7.22.2015: Engaging / Crowd-sourcing


Here’s What Happens when You Engage Customers on Twitter

This has gone from a fun practice to an actual imperative best practice: if you have a Twitter presence, you need to engage with your customers on Twitter. They expect it. It doesn’t delight them to receive a response, it angers them to be ignored. Period.

A recent Harvard Business Review piece has all of the details about why this is a thing — including the fact that people under age 35 spend an average of four hours daily on social. Also: “the percentage of people who have used Twitter for customer service leapt nearly 70 percent, from 22 to 37 percent from 2013-14. McKinsey’s analysis shows that 30 percent of social media users prefer social care to phoning customer service.”

The piece goes on to share a lot more helpful research (with actual numbers to back it up, which is always way more exciting than just conjecture) and is worth a read. It concludes with great strategies for actually implementing a change in Twitter-centric customer engagement.



Square’s New Dashboard for Businesses

Good news for merchants who use the Square processing system for payments in their restaurants — the company introduced a standalone mobile dashboard to keep tabs on every aspect of the business. Compare sales of certain items, track best-sellers, toggle between restaurant locations, and view all of your most important data one one screen. It’s available to download now on the App Store.



This Copenhagen Restaurant is Crowd-Sourcing its Menu

A restaurant in Copenhagen (of course it’s in Copenhagen) is taking the crowdsourcing theme to a new level, allowing patrons to decide its menu. Aptly named Work in Progress, the restaurant plants to serve “food inspired by Spain.” Here’s the backstory, according to a rep from the restaurant “We had an opportunity to take over the restaurant space very quickly, so instead of closing it down while we figured out the concept, we wanted the process to be part of daily life at the restaurant.”

As a patron, expect to be served a menu the chef prepares — no choices (but wine pairings!) Then, you get to vote on your favorites, leaving comments and notes. Based on diner feedback, the chef will create the final model, which should be ready to go in a couple months. Cool idea.



Surprising info from OpenTable’s report

Data-driven dining is an interesting concept. Anyone who pays attention to menu and other dining trends has great insight into what diners want, but I’m digging the studies and other data-driven insights powered by food and restaurant technology companies. Last week, it was all that fascinating wine data from Delectable; this week, it’s more of OpenTable’s Technology and Dining Out report.

Seriously, if you are interested in this stuff and haven’t read it yet, download the PDF. It covers everything from thoughts on Googling guests before their reservations and all about emerging in-meal technology, which is only poised to get bigger and more universally accepted very soon. There’s also a very useful appendix that breaks out trends by major metro areas, so if you’re a restaurateur in that specific area, you’ll get more information about how your guests feel about restaurant technology and gauge their specific level of comfort with adopting new ideas and methods. I can’t say enough good about this report.



The Tartine Robot Overlords (not really.)

Today in overblown headlines of the week, Vice’s Munchies site talks about the expansion of San Francisco-based bakery Tartine and how it might start to use *gasp* robots to keep up with demand during its expansion. After merging with SF-based coffee giant Blue Bottle, Tartine is going worldwide, and its kitchen on Guerrero Street in the Mission certainly isn’t going to cut it as they take their bread and pastries to Japan. According to founder Chad Robinson, “I’m looking at getting better food to different parts of the country, trying to mainstream something that has historically been for the wealthy alone. The most exciting thing I can do now is scale.” Ergo, some level of automation is inevitable.

Robinson goes on in the piece to explain that some level of automation does not make the product inherently less farm-to-table; instead it allows the process to be done faster while still sourcing the best ingredients that make our beloved Tartine bread the bread we love. I’m all for progress guys. Let’s not go overboard on the robot coverage, k?



  • It’s Din! How a California startup is trying to change dinner — Food & Wine
  • Five startups that will change the way you think about food — SF Magazine
  • Tonight! Food+Tech Connect’s restaurant technology meetup in New York. I’ll be there. Say hello! — Meetup
  • How the tools of venture capital are revolutionizing food. — Forbes

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