Twitter has replaced the Yellow Pages for some chefs and their suppliers. An article by Chuck Sudo in today's Chicago Sun-Times highlights a new trend of restauranteurs and suppliers using social media to find customers and generate business.
"Carl Galvan, a sales representative at Supreme Lobster & Seafood in Villa Park, uses the messaging service Twitter to post photos of fish and other seafood Supreme is offering and to interact with chefs interested in placing orders based on those photos. Since Galvan started using Twitter four months ago, he estimates his sales have doubled."
Sudo notes that as technology has made communication easier and faster, a growing number of chefs and others in the food industry have taken to social media services such as Twitter and Facebook to promote themselves and their projects, interact with customers and fans, offer special promotions -- or just see what all the fuss is about.
Restaurants have long known that word-of-mouth referrals are critical for success. Social media provides another set of tools for generating and sustaining positive referrals.
Even paper-bound reviewers like @ZagatBuzz are getting into the social media game.
Services like @CloudProfile make it easier for local food and beverage companies to expand their reach and grow revenue. Leesburg Vintner (http://leesburgvintner.cloudprofile.com/) and The Four Firkins (http://fourfirkins.cloudprofile.com/) are two great examples but there are many others.
So next time you have a hankering for a cold brew or a great slice (or both) what will you do? Check out your friends tweets and yelps, or open the yellow pages?