(NOTE: My good friend and colleague Leslie Irish Evans is one of my favorite gourmands – “one who is excessively fond of eating and drinking” and she is a crazy active social media enthusiast. She has built her community “Peeling Mom Off The Ceiling” to a following of nearly 6,000 Facebook fans and 1400 Twitter followers with her humor, wisdom and insights. I wanted her to share what it’s like for a non-food professional to interact with restaurants on Twitter…because she is “one smart cookie” when it comes to food!)
As a busy mom, an internet junkie and a dedicated foodie, I’m always delighted when my worlds connect. It simply makes life easier and seemingly more streamlined when it feels like the world is meeting you halfway. So it’s a special feeling of “YES!” I get when I see a restaurant I love joining the social media world.
I can already hear a few doubters clucking “Why would a restaurant need to be on social media? You can’t tweet food!” Sure you can (in a way), and much more.
TOP REASONS WHY I LOVE RESTAURANTS THAT TWEET
1. THEY WHET MY APPETITE.
One of the many reasons I love following restaurants on Twitter is that it helps me decide where to go. Seattle has some really great restaurants, and sometimes the choosing can be overwhelming, but the restaurant that tweets a delectable description of tonight’s special has hooked me before I even leave my couch. “Would you like to hear tonight’s specials?” Yes, yes I would. Before I even leave the house, thanks. Many has been the night where I was wooed by a clever establishment into coming to visit when I hadn’t even planned on going out.
2. THEY KNOW MY NAME.
Remember the theme from the TV show “Cheers”? “You want to go where everybody knows your name.” Well, it’s true. I remember working in my father’s greasy-spoon diner as a teenager, and he said to me “Look, people don’t come here for gourmet food. They don’t come here for the splendid décor. They come here for friendship and to be acknowledged. For god’s sake, learn their names.” It was some of the best advice I ever received. When a restaurant I like tweets something tasty, and I respond (either directly back to them or by re-tweeting) that restaurant sees my face and my name helping to promote their business. They know who I am. Which leads to number three …
3. THEY MAKE ME FEEL LIKE A VERY IMPORTANT PERSON!
Admit it, we all want to feel special. Have you ever been to a restaurant, seen the chef or the manager come out to speak to a certain table, and thought: “Who are those people? They must be important!” Well, I have had that fun and flattering experience happen to me strictly from my Twitter interactions. I’m not a food journalist. I’m no one special in the food world. But these restaurants knew who I was from the fact that I had tweeted about them, and the extra attention and acknowledgement from the staff was definitely a fun ego boost. Ego aside, perhaps the very best reason I love restaurants that Tweet is …
4. THEY BECOME “MY” RESTAURANT.
I love the food. I’m now “friends” (well, Twitter buddies, anyway) with the staff. It’s like I have a little “skin” in the game. I now care very much about the well-being of this restaurant and I’m going to send my friends there. They’ve got a dedicated ally in me, all for the simple reason that they tweeted about their place.
Leslie Irish Evans is the creator and host of “Peeling Mom Off the Ceiling”, heard Monday mornings on KKNW-1150AM and www.imthankful.com. When she’s not discouraging mommy martyrdom she can be found surfing the web, looking for a good place to eat. Tweet her up at @LIEvans, and friend her page at http://www.facebook.com/peelingmomofftheceiling