Posts tagged ‘FohBoh’

December 31, 2009

2010 Is About Meaningful Content

Written for and cross-posted on FohBoh.com. I’m one of ten front-page contributors to FohBoh – the largest social network for the restaurant industry with over 13,000 members.

There’s been tens of thousands of conversations this past year about social media:

  • what is it,
  • how do you quantify ROI,
  • how can you compare it to traditional marketing/advertising,
  • what is the role of traditional PR/Marketing/Ad agencies with it,
  • how do you use it, and,
  • what is the most effective strategy?

Have you figured it all out?

I haven’t – social media is extremely dynamic, fluid and changing all the time. I read the leading social media theorists (Mashable.com, Paul Barron, Amanda Hite, Chris Brogan and numerous others) constantly; every day. While I’m not an expert and never want to be called a guru, I am most definitely a proponent, a social media evangelist and power user, both for my business and on behalf of some of my clients.

There’s been a number of pronouncements in the past few weeks – predictions – of what 2010 will bring for marketing, public relations, advertising and social media. I’m here on the last day of 2009 to share my distillation of these predictions with you.

The End of Traditional Marketing & Advertising (Static Announcements)

Let’s face it – have the marketing/advertising/PR strategies of the last forty years worked for you over the last two years?

  • Is running a newspaper ad every week with a coupon really working for you?
  • Is running a thirty second radio ad like a used car salesman begging people to “come on down” really working for you?
  • Is the static “brochure” of a website really working for you?
  • Is getting listed on the restaurant page of the newspaper working for you?
  • Are the menu pages in the Yellow Book working for you?
  • Is your direct email campaign really working?
  • How results-satisfied are you with text messaging the special on hot wings and draft beer?
  • Did placing an ad in the State Visitors Guide really work for you?
  • Did making that 60 second video ad for the local cable network really pay off?
  • Are static messages (think: flyers/coupons/etc) on Facebook and Twitter working for you?
  • [for the major multiunits] Did that 30 or 60 second major network ad really build relationships in your local communities?

I could go on. It seems there’s countless means to market and advertise a static announcement to the public. Is it really working for you?

2010 Equals Content

Your customers want to believe you are in community with them – for their needs, desires and wishes. Are the traditional strategies listed above really demonstrating how much you value your customer?

So how can you communicate with your customer dynamically, meeting their needs and desires?

  • Listen to them
  • Comment on their messages – sincerely
  • Let them produce content toward you
  • Don’t get defensive
  • Keep the mantra simple: It’s Not About You : It’s About Your Customer

Paul Barron and I had a conversation last week about the landscape of marketing, advertising and the social web. In an excellent post titled “Real Time Search could impact restaurants – big time!” on his blog Social Coco, Paul states “The point is that real-time is consuming the web in terms of new content that was not there just a few short years ago. This new content will impact restaurants in a big way as consumers not brands post videos, blogs, tweets, wall posts and podcasts more about their restaurant experience. And guess what all this will come up in: real-time search!”

John Jantz, in an article titled “Small Businesses Will Simply Become More Naturally Social” (cross-posted on Social Media Today and Duck Tape Marketing), states: “Social media activity and behavior can help facilitate communication and connection with your entire collaboration universe: prospects, customers, suppliers, partners, and employees and as such should be freed from the limited thinking.”

Free Stuff

We all like free stuff in this industry – free samples from the sales rep, free food and goodies from the tradeshows, etc. The old saying “free is a very good price” is part of our weekly vernacular. How many of you like free positive publicity?

Why not encourage your customers to share their life-stories with you through social media? Maybe a customer’s son or daughter videotaped the parents wedding anniversary dinner at your place. Perhaps a kid on the local baseball team is a regular customer – ask him for an interview that you can share. Take a couple pictures of your favorite businesspeople around town – share them through social media:

“My friend Joe at Zeke’s Auto knows more about foreign cars than anyone else I know. (picture link on web of Joe)”

What I’m suggesting is to use your marketing/advertising efforts to build community instead of standing on the street corner bull-horning the nightly special.

The 24 to 48 Hour News Cycle

I’m not saying never talk about your business – I’m saying make the community needs of your customers take priority in your marketing/advertising. I’m saying that even large multi-units can do this – by being meaningfully engaged in local community through social media.

You have the opportunity to create a localized 24 to 48 hour news channel that benefits and build community. And when you talk mostly about others, when you put others first, when you give to the community – it will reward you.

People will respond – and they will love the occasional story from your crew! You – as restaurant owner, as chef or line cook, as general manager, bartender or waiter, hostess or dishwasher – have the opportunity; the right even… or perhaps responsibility, to connect community together – just as much as the minister, town council member or fireman.

Tell your community’s stories first through your messages and your stories last. People will notice. Make your message revolve around your customers, not you.

Blogpost Fluff: Top 2009 Facebook Statistics

Facebook currently boasts over 350 million users

50 percent of Facebook users log on in any given day

Each day, 35 million users update their status

55 million status updates are posted each day

2.5 billion photos are uploaded to the site each month

3.5 million events are created each month

There are more than 1.6 million active Pages on Facebook

Over 700,000 local businesses maintain active Pages on Facebook

Users

The average user has 130 friends on the site

On average, users spend more than 55 minutes per day on Facebook

The Like button is used on 9 pieces of content on average each month

25 comments are written by users on Facebook content each month

Most users are member of at least 12 groups

International

About 70% of Facebook users are outside the United States

Over 300,000 users helped translate the site through the translations application

December 18, 2009

2009 Holiday chalkARTblast 006

Strategic Relationship Engineering Both On & Offline

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As we wrap up 2009, we wish to extend sincere holiday greetings to each of you. In addition we want to welcome new relationships; thank our stakeholders, clients and partners and generally give thanks to a very intriguing first six months.

Chalkboarder.com Client News

It’s been a very busy six weeks since we last released a chalkARTblast. We’re busy with some new clients and had to dive right in. Here’s some of the more intriguing things coming up on our calendar for the first quarter of 2010.

Filming “Deadly Claws” Aboard An Oregon Dungeness Crab Boat

We were approached by a Dungeness Crab fishing vessel the F/V Harvester sailing out of Coos Bay OR, to sail with them, blog about off-shore crab fishing and do some cooking dockside with the freshest Dungeness Crab you ever had. Well, one thing has led to another and its become a full-fledged video documentary. Now we’re planning (and writing the storyboard for) an hour long production for WebTV, telling the “farm to table” history of off-shore crabbing, the canneries and the danger. They’re going to put me to work as a deckhand in February catching crab for a day in the cold wet swells and then I’ll don a chef jacket and do some cooking at the cannery. The Captain states that this is twenty times more dangerous than “Deadliest Catch”. As an adventurer and complete extrovert, who is passionate about where our food comes from and cooking – its right up my alley.

I hope the Coast Guard Rescue stays close by!

Marsha Collier Requests Chalkboarder.com Research Collaboration

Marsha Collier, author of “eBay for Dummies”, with over 1 million copies in print worldwide and the top-selling eBay author, requested Chalkboarder.com’s assistance and collaboration through two methods.

Marsha has been commissioned to write a book due in June 2010 on Customer Service, with a chapter on restaurants. After reading our “10% of USA Restaurants Using Social Media” study (September, 2009), she requested us to redo the study in March 2010 for inclusion in the restaurant customer service chapter.

Additionally, Marsha and I are launching this next week a Twitter-based discussion on customer service. This discussion will be weekly on Tuesdays at 9 pm eastern – you can participate by following #custserv.

FohBoh.com Conference on Social Media

We’re still waiting for confirmation of this one – but Michael Atkinson, CEO of the largest social network, FohBoh.com, for the restaurant industry internationally, invited me to participate as a panelist in a conference sometime in 2010. If the conference is confirmed, I’ll be joining Guy Kawasaki and the founders of LinkedIn and Ning.com on-stage to discuss how the social web can and does impact the restaurant industry. I’m extremely humbled and flattered by the invitation and do hope the conference happens.

“Branded” – The Legacy Five Generation Montana Rancher

We’ve been in dialogue with the oldest cattle ranchers association in the USA, Montana Stock Growers Association, for a long time. I started this relationship in 2007 when we were talking about bringing a line to the national restaurant industry of natural Montana beef, raised and processed from birth to box in-state.

Over the past three months we’ve been in dialogue with them about their social media strategies. Again, one thing has led to another and now we are talking about another hour long documentary exploring “farm to table” and what it means to be a five-generation Montana rancher. More danger! The ranchers want to bring me and the filmmaker out during spring branding, put me on a horse, make me handle a rope and possibly make a few Rocky Mountain Oysters (yes, cutting). At the end, after documenting the history of Montana cattle ranching and exploring the myriad issues they face today we’ll do some cooking of beef.

We have much more news below…

ADVERTISEMENT

Customer experience, satisfaction and loyalty are

built from the table up.

Your food, service, management and corporate identity meet the customer in the restaurant. So why wait until customers leave to measure their experience? Through Rewarding Feedback your customers can articulate specific experiences that are important to them. Rewarding Feedback allows your managers to “hear” what customers are saying while they are still seated and at the height of their dining experience.

Rewarding Feedback

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The Oregon Truffle Festival

Seattle’s top food blogger and restaurant consultant, Traca Savadago (http://seattletallpoppy.blogpost.com) and I are headed out to the vineyards of Oregon at the end of January to blog the Oregon Truffle Festival. Willamette Valley Vineyards just seeded 16 acres of truffle spoor and Oregon truffles are rapidly edging out European truffles for reputation. Traca will be with the chefs in the kitchen over the two days while I am video-blogging the two day “Train Your Dog to Hunt Truffles” workshop.

Coffee Fest

We just started a year long relationship to handle all of Coffee Fest’s social media. As part of this, I’m seeking certification as a barista. Coffee Fest is the most respected tradeshow for the specialty coffee and tea industry internationally, with shows in Meadowlands NJ, Minneapolis and Seattle.

We’re launching an internationally comprehensive social media strategy for Coffee Fest, to increase attendance, exhibitors and overall show experience. A very intriguing part of this relationship is that we’ll be live web streaming the Barista Competitions at all three tradeshows! We decided to call this “bean-casting” (instead of sports-casting) the competitions. In addition, I’ll be speaking on the social web at each Coffee Fest Executive Summit during the tradeshows.

Renaissance Gourmet

We’ve been working with Renaissance Gourmet (British Columbia, CAN) on clarifying their casually elegant lifestyle brand and market the past month and finding them sponsors. As part of this, we’re helping to create and develop a strategic brand/concept in WebTV, e-Books, blogging and other content. The market for Renaissance Gourmet is international female 25 to 55, with significant existing traffic (over 125,000 views per

month) coming from the USA, Australia, Canada and the UK. This project also involves international strategies in social media to grow viewership and further monetization of the brand.

Renaissance Gourmet offers casually elegant lifestyle advice, simply upscale gastronomy, travel, farm-to-table documentaries and just shot a pilot for a non-exclusive series on the Australian Lifestyle Podcast Network.

Challenge Issued to USA Restaurant Industry

We’ve tossed a challenge down to the restaurant industry in the USA. With 945,000 restaurant operations in the country, we think we’ve got a great challenge.

We asked the industry to put over 100 marathon runners into the 2011 Boston Marathon, each sponsored with over $1000 in pledges. The fund-raiser would benefit Share Our Strength, a twenty-five year nonprofit working to end childhood hunger domestically by 2015.

We caught the interest of Share Our Strength, which referred the challenge to its Great American Dine Out steering committee and other C-Level industry leaders. Really, all this is my effort to get myself running again J. Just teasing… I’ve been involved with Share Our Strength since 1994.

Rewarding Feedback

Strategic networking on behalf of Rewarding Feedback (Toronto, CAN) continues. We’ve introduced them to several potentials on both coasts of the USA and are waiting for the crush of the holiday chaos to end to close these deals. A very intriguing inquiry occurred from an 87 unit restaurant outfit with four brands from South Africa. It’s really tough to coordinate communication between North America and South Africa.

Event Mingle

Event Mingle is a social web based community platform for trade shows. With extremely robust metric analytics and structure, it empowers tradeshows to largely expand the return on investment for both attendees and exhibitors participating. We’ve crafted a relationship with Event Mingle to introduce and refer them through our deep proprietary networks off line.

Great American Spice Company

Great American Spice Company is a large web-based retailer of spices. We’re spreading the word about them to consumers through a social media strategy.

Social Grub

Social Grub is a robust Facebook application for service industry businesses. This application has powerful back-office tools and empowers businesses to use the social web to offer promotions, coupons and broadcast of events and news both through smart-phones and personal computers. We’re in a mutual relationship with Social Grub, referring their product while they refer us.

Other News & Pursuits

In the first quarter of 2010, we’ll be combining our two identities (Chocorua Group and Chalkboarder.com) into one brand under the Chalkboarder.com logo and identity. We’ve asked a few diverse peers to provide us critique during this process.

We’re waiting for a yea/nay decision on a pitch we made a few weeks ago to the PR firm handling 1800 Tequila (a brand of Cuervo), 5WPR in New York City. This proposal laid out a six-month global social media strategy. The PR firm indicated to us they were taking the proposal to Cuervo and we’re standing by.

We’re in negotiations with a former client in KennebunkportMaine, Old Vines Wine Bar, to strategize and execute their social media.

We’re in negotiations with Wind Horse Coffee in MilwaukieOregon to strategize and execute their social media.

While there are other negotiations underway across North America and internationally, we just don’t feel comfortable yet sharing them.

Well, that’s all the news that we see fit to print this month. We’d like you to know that chalkARTblast will be distributed monthly from here on – distributed sometime right after the 15th of each month.

Peace On Earth and Goodwill To You!

Jeffrey J Kingman

Happy Holidays from Judith, Bill and Jennifer – partners.

chalkARTblast is produced and distributed by Chalkboarder.com

Copyright Ó2009 Chalkboarder.com LLC

(503) 305-6397

info

December 17, 2009

Debate About Customer Contact and Feedback Systems

Debate About Customer Contact/Feedback Systems

Social Web, Email, Paper Comment Cards, Tableside and Blogs

Technology is completely changing the game for service industries. You would not be reading this post two years ago if it weren’t for the atomic explosion of the social web.

I believe paper comment cards are dead. They have zero value today. For reasons enumerated by several sources here in FohBoh and my own observations, I declare the paper comment card an archeological relic of an earlier age. If you are still using paper comment cards, you’re a dinosaur.

I also believe there is limited functionality communicating with customers via email. Do you really think a customer is going to provide their email address to you – just so you can send them advertising and marketing? My email inbox is flooded with relevant content: Clients, Peers, LinkedIn discussions, about twenty different Smart Briefs, Peter Shankman’s Help A Reporter Out (HARO) and my favorite blogs that I want to see; not to mention the tweets I want to save. I don’t have time to open your advertising and marketing junk (especially if I opened it once before and that is what it was).

Blogs that are written well, contain intriguing imagery or video with compelling content, are informative of the life of your business (meaning your people, your passions, where you source your materials, or what fun-filled special event is happening) are going to interest me. I’ll probably follow you – either by RSS feed or asking you to directly email me with it. I know it’s a blog. I know that you’ve put time into it. It’s succinct, relevant and visually compelling.

But I’m here today to argue something tried and true. Visiting tables. You know this works. Just as you know that if the POS system fails, you can always write chits.

I wonder how many operators keep old-school blank ticket pads in the office for that emergency?

There’s no more effective customer contact and customer feedback system than the owner or manager spending time on the floor visiting tables. Chatting up regulars and greeting new faces is the simplest, easiest and most direct personal contact an operator can implement to build relationships and get feedback, discover customer concerns and let the customer know how much you appreciate their business. It’s at this point that gaining effective feedback happens, whether that is verbal communication or using digitally based survey collection/reward systems.

Now Immagonna give you a twist, before I give the microphone back to ya.

The social web, with it’s different networks like Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon etc., is virtual tableside. Customers find it much easier to “friend you” through social networks than they do to give you their email. They find it much easier to post comments on restaurant search sites, than they do to (risk their security) provide you their email. And you get to draw them into conversations. Just as there is a virtual front door to your restaurant – there’s a virtual tableside chat waiting for you.

If you want examples of this, go follow Rick Bayless of Frontera Grill on Twitter (@Rick_Bayless) or Ron Zimmerman of the Herb Garden ($190 pp dinners) on Twitter (@Herbguy). They’ve been doing it for a year. The customer feedback they receive is astounding.

Over on Facebook, search out the Boston restaurant Myers & Chang – they do it as does Caminito Argentinean Steakhouse in NorthamptonMA (owned by a socialmedia rockstar).

These case studies prove that restaurants across the dining option spectrum use social media to engage existing and new potential customers by visiting tableside – virtually – and on the floor.

Do you disagree with any portion of this post? I’d love to hear it and debate you…

An interesting find:

A few days ago I received a tweet sharing a 20 minute video by the Executive Editor of WIRED magazine, Kevin Kelly, titled “The Next 5,000 Days On The Web”. Did you know that the web is only 5,000 days old now? That’s only thirteen years. We’ve only had email for less than fourteen years. We’ve only had Facebook since 2004. We’ve only had Twitter since 2006.

November 6, 2009

Sodexo Uses Social Media in Recruiting Hospitality Professionals

A number of weeks ago I met Kerry Noone, Marketing Communications Manager for Sodexo’s Talent Acquisition Group over Twitter. While I do not remember the context of the original dialogue, we’ve chatted at length about Sodexo’s use of social media – especially in recruiting top talent for their organization. Kerry has over 3,000 followers on Twitter and 228 on Facebook.

Sodexo recognized the proposition value of using social media in recruiting in 2007, more than tripling the traffic to their career website. Perhaps the strongest statement from dialoguing with Kerry is this – “In order for a company of any size to use social media successfully for recruiting they have to be consistent, honest, genuine and, most importantly, they have to be responsive. We respond to every wall post or discussion question related to the culture and experience of working for Sodexo because we want potential candidates to know there are real people ready to help.”

The formal interview is here:

When and how did Sodexo see the ROI and value of using social media as a platform for recruiting top professionals?

Sodexo’s Talent Acquisition team set out to create positive experiences for our candidates through Social Media marketing in 2007, which in turn has helped us to strengthen our employment brand and drive traffic to our Careers website. Soon after we started using social media marketing, we more than tripled traffic to our career site and these tools have helped us reduce our investment and reliance on job boards. If there is a number to track, we track it. We look at the number of Facebook members, LinkedIn group members, Twitter followers, YouTube video views, returning and unique visitors to our blog, click throughs on the links, trendlines, etc.

Other tangible results include :

· Increased traffic to Sodexo Careers web page of 182% since launch of our initiative

· Sodexo Careers social media properties provide approximately 142,000 page views and more than 5 million media impressions per year

· Sodexo Careers Blog: The blog site has been visited over 22,000 times since it’s launch and now receives about 3000 unique visitors per month

· Sodexo Careers Facebook fan page now has over 1200 fans and receives more than 4000 page views per month.

· Sodexo Careers LinkedIn group has almost 1400 members and over 100 discussions have been started or commented on by our members.

· YouTube – over 60,000 video views since the launch of the channel in 2008.

· Sodexo Careers on Twitter has more than 3000 followers.

· More than 50 members of our recruitment team and several other Sodexo employees are active on twitter, greatly expanding the reach of our brand and helping to grow the targeted talent networks that will fill our positions.

How long and how complicated of an assessment process was it for Sodexo to arrive at a decision to use social media in human resourcing?

Even before participating in the first Second Life Virtual Careers Fairs with Sodexo in May 2007, we realized the future of recruiting would include online social spaces. We saw an opportunity to use Social Media marketing to audit our brand, participate in conversations, increase our positive footprint on the internet and to build personal relationships with potential candidates and current employees. In November 2007, we created our Facebook page, a YouTube channel, a Linkedin group and, in January 2008, we launched our Careers blog. More recently, we have started using Twitter and Flickr. Soon after establishing a company presence on these sites, we trained our team of more than 50 recruiters to use these tools to network and communicate with potential candidates. With more than 110,000 US employees and 6,000 client locations we have career growth opportunities that need to be creatively communicated. Most candidates know us as a food services management company, however, we are a leading facilities management provider and part of a global organization with talent needs in IT, Marketing, sales, etc. We are able to highlight unique jobs on our blog by highlighting some of our employees and their experiences in and out of work.Our goal is to give our visitors the opportunity to take a look inside Sodexo, to interact with us and to strengthen our employment brand and improve our candidate experience.

Is social media paying off for Sodexo as a human resource strategy? If so, any success examples?

Once we started using social networking sites to connect with people, it didn’t take long before we started to build relationships with potential candidates. We look at the interactions and discussions within the groups and can easily determine the great value and therefore success of our social media strategy. As an example, if you are familiar with the Sodexo Careers Facebook page, you’ll see we are talking to candidates every day. Our candidates are reaching out to let us know how much they appreciate the access to our recruiters. Our recruiters have embraced social media in their jobs as recruiters. Without them we would not be actively communicating with candidates across the country about their career opportunities on Facebook, Linkedin, our blog, and on Twitter. The active participation of all of our recruiters is what sets us apart from other companies using social recruiting. Our social media marketing has become a valuable online resource for candidates across the country seeking more information about Sodexo and for employees around the world with the desire to connect with their colleagues.

Did Sodexo try any strategy that ultimately proved not to work and was discarded?

The ultimate goal of any recruitment strategy is to generate candidates and hires and we have several examples where Social Media has played an integral role in identifying and/or attracting a recent hire. Traffic and hires are tracked as best as they were able (recognizing that hires often come from multiple sources). As I mentioned before, if there is a number to track, we track it — Facebook members, LinkedIn group members, Twitter followers, YouTube video views, returning and unique visitors to our blog, click throughs on the links, trendlines, etc. By looking at the numbers monthly we are able to see the growth and activity. We are also able to identify activities that have increased or decreased traffic and make adjustments to our plans. We look at the interactions and discussions within the groups and how they all work together to promote each other.

What are the networks being used and why?

We started with our careers blog, Facebook, Linkedin, and a You Tube channel in November 2007. In 2008 we added Twitter and Flickr to our social media marketing. The purpose of our social networking efforts has been to build personal relationships with potential candidates and current employees and our goal is to give our visitors the opportunity to take a look inside Sodexo, to interact with us and to strengthen our employment brand, which is why we have been careful not to take on too much and remain focused on building the networks we have.

What recommendations would you give an independent or small unit operator in using social media to find good people?

Companies that are not using Social Media for recruiting are missing out on the opportunity to connect with candidates. The easier you make it for candidates to connect with you through social networking sites the more successful you will be with your social recruiting, which is one of the reasons we created a “Network With Us” page on our career site. We want candidates to reach out to us. In order for a company of any size to use social media successfully for recruiting they have to be consistent, honest, genuine and, most importantly, they have to be responsive. We respond to every wall post or discussion question related to the culture and experience of working for Sodexo because we want potential candidates to know there are real people ready to help. Of course when an organization decides to create a Social Media strategy for branding or recruiting, it’s important to consider the risks. For example, as a publicly traded company, there are issues we are unable to discuss legally. We’ve made a conscious decision to allow virtually any discussion, positive or negative, as long as it isn’t offensive and is related to the culture and experience of working for Sodexo. As the voice behind our social media marketing, I am often the first person to welcome a candidate to this space on the internet we call “Sodexo Careers” but ultimately the goal is to connect candidates with recruiters and our Hiring Managers. It’s also important to communicate your brand consistently on all of your social spaces and avoid copying and pasting corporate press releases into your sites to maintain a genuine and personal approach.

Foodservice companies of all sizes can effectively use social networking to meet their human resource acquisition needs. It’s likely to source better candidates than traditional print media and has a much lower cost to execute. The other tangible benefit is that it markets your organization brand to the public through one more channel.

But please, don’t just put out a message that anonymously says:

“Needed: Chef with experience. Send resume via email with cover letter stating why you want to work for us.”

Everytime I saw a job announcement like that I was confounded on how the heck I would know why I would want to work for you – if I couldn’t know who you were…

You can contact Kerry Noone via the Sodexo Career blog at http://www.sodexocareersblog.com/

November 2, 2009

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chalkARTblast 004

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Welcome to Chalkboarder.com’s chalkARTblast! Inside you’ll find ~

  • Our Client’s News
  • Social Web News Clippings
  • Chalkboarder.com News
  • Job Openings at Chalkboarder.com
  • Favorite Blog Posts Last Week
  • Video Pick of the Week

And other goodies we liked from last week J

ADVERTISEMENT

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Customer experience, satisfaction and loyalty are

built from the table up.

Your food, service, management and corporate identity meet the customer in the restaurant. So why wait until customers leave to measure their experience? Through Rewarding Feedback your customers can articulate specific experiences that are important to them. Rewarding Feedback allows your managers to “hear” what customers are saying while they are still seated and at the height of their dining experience.

Rewarding Feedback

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Chalkboarder.com Client News This Week

Old Vines

Mike Farrell, a client of Chocorua Group from a couple years ago, reached out to Chalkboarder.com for assistance in both social media and an operational consult. Meeting next week.

Great American Spice Company

The story of The Great American Spice Company is the story of freshness. A meal, like anything else, is only as good as the quality of its components. Which is why we offer nothing but the freshest, highest-quality spices. It’s a difference you can see, smell and taste.

Rewarding Feedback Inc,

Headquartered in Toronto CAN with a US Sales office in Las Vegas, Rewarding Feedback retained Chocorua Group and Chalkboarder.com to collaboratively strategize and execute market penetration into the USA.

As part of that process, they and Chalkboarder.com are developing an extended eight month social media campaign.

Update II: We’re introducing Rewarding Feedback to some restaurants and lodging operations in New Hampshire over the next two weeks.

Twitter = @rewardfeedback

Facebook Page

Social Grub

SocialGrub allows restaurants and retailers to create coupons, instant offers, discounts, and other promotions once and then automatically distribute them through their own branded Facebook and MySpace applications, as well as on Twitter and other micro-blogging sites and through widgets.

We’re just getting started with the folks at Social Grub and will be developing a comprehensive strategy to introduce them and their products. This relationship is unique in that their services depend on their clients using social media – so we’ve become the referral Social Grub provides to potential and existing clients.

1337 Wine & 1337 Wine TV

Following a conversation with Marc Fusco, Owner of 1337 Wine, we’re sharing his Skype Wine Tasting Series over social networks. An amazing idea bringing Vintners to a tasting through Skype from around the world.

UPDATE: We’ve negotiated a virtual winery in Second Life to host the first ever virtual/real-world wine tasting. Well announce the Winery, date/time and sl-url in Second Life when we know. Stay tuned for roll-out of social media campaign for this client, starting next week.

Jenee Halstead

Update II: Jenee’s Holiday mailer is almost done and ready for printing.

Tapwater Music

Update II: We’ll be meeting this week with Tapwater on strategies for winter. Wrapping up development of their new website.

Savant Culinaire

Savant Culinaire is offering a sweet package gastronomic tour of Chile in late March of 2010. Chalkboarder.com is executing the social web networking and promotion of this amazing itinerary.

Update II: Started heavy promotion via social media of this amazing gastronomic tour of Chilean wine and food. Reservation inquiries beginning.

Chocorua Group

Chocorua Group (a sister company of Chalkboarder.com) offers strategic brand and concept development for organizations.

Update II: Chocorua Group was introduced through LinkedIn to a potential strategic brand national roll-out client based in Los Angeles. Stay tuned.

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Social Web Clippings ~ Our Favorites From The Last Week

Mashable: Tweet Humor: 10 Twitter Users That Crack Us Up

FOHBOH: Why Urbanspoon’s Rez is no match for OpenTable..

Mashable: International Domain Names Coming in 2010

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Chalkboarder.com News

Employment Announcements

  • Group Creative Director. Searching for a PortlandOR based Creative Director experienced in edgy public relations/marketing campaigns, communications, social web. Must be street and business savvy and “get” cutting edge social media.
  • Chief Technology Officer. Searching for a CTO well and deeply versed in Web 2.0 and 3.0 developments. Must have deep experience in web and mobile applications.
  • Regional Sales Directors. Chalkboarder.com is searching for uniquely qualified persons with established networks, especially in the hospitality industry. Commission based with benchmark milestone ownership opportunities. Opportunities for this position exist geographically in:
  • Boston
  • Washington, DC
  • Dallas
  • Chicago
  • Denver
  • Seattle
  • San Francisco, and
  • Los Angeles

We are in second round interviews with very talented applicants for NYC and Atlanta.

  • Social Web Strategists. Searching for talented and creative account managers. Based in PortlandOR. Must be fluent and established in the social web. High personal follower counts are a plus.
  • Human Resource Director. Searching for a talented and savvy HR Director to be based in PortlandOR.
  • Chalk Artist. We’re looking for one unique artist, experienced in the traditional medium of chalk art. Half-time to start. This position is Oregon based and will produce a video-taped chalk art rendering of a Chalkboarder.com’s client message for each chalkARTblast. Videos will be permanently maintained on You Tube and distributed virally. Great opportunity to get your skills noticed.

Negotiations This Week

  • Veritable Quandary. We’ve pitched a proposal to one of PortlandOregon’s most venerable restaurants to execute their social media. PENDING
  • Coffee Fest. We were invited to present a seminar at Coffee Fest NYC/NJ in March and when asked if we could propose social media services, were invited too. UPDATE: Tweaking details of dialogue. CLOSING
  • Social Grub. Still in dialogue with Social Grub on many levels. If we land them, you’ll be first to know! CLIENT SECURED
  • Denominational Capital Campaign Consultancy. Dialogue continues with this quiet, yet effective consulting group, that approached us for assistance in guiding churches on social media applications. PENDING
  • We’re launching a global social media campaign pitch to one of the world’s most distinctive alcohol brands, Jagermeister. PENDING

Publishing, Speaking, Seminars & Conferences

Jeffrey was invited to present a seminar on social media at the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem, Massachusetts on Dec 29th.

Jeffrey J Kingman, CEO, was invited to present a seminar on social media/web at Coffee Fest in NY/NJ, March 4, 2010.

Jeffrey and Dr. Ola Ayeni of M-Dialog are co-producing a video webinar on social web applications to the hospitality industry, scheduled for Nov. 16. This panel dialogue will also include Paul Barron, Publisher of Fast Casual Magazine. Dr. Ayeni, through a personal relationship, is asking the Chief Marketing Officer of Facebook to moderate. Stay Tuned for further details! RESCHEDULED FOR JANUARY

Jeffrey and Bill Bridgmon (VP of Sales, Chalkboarder.com) are attending the International Hotel/Motel/Restaurant Show in NYC November 7-9 for networking and potential clients.

Jeffrey will be attending (with a media pass) People Reports Best Practices Conference in Dallas, November 10-12. This conference brings together hundreds of CEOs and HR Directors from the major multi-unit restaurant chains in the USA. Networking opportunities abound.

Jeffrey will be attending the annual New England conference of Professional Association of International Innkeepers, November 16-18 in Nashua, NH.

Jeffrey is posting his third article on FohBoh this Thursday as one of their ten featured front-page contributors. All content posted on FohBoh is also cross-posted on our blog – and Jeffrey is a fairly active writer!

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Noted Blogs

Beautiful design can make your guest experience amazing!

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Video Of The Week

(for fun)

Burger King and Windows 7 launch in Japan

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chalkARTblast is produced by Chalkboarder.com

Currently published Mondays, except on federal holidays.

Future publishing will be daily.

Copyright Ó2009 Chalkboarder.com LLC

(503) 305-6397

info

October 8, 2009

50 Ways Marketers Can use Social Media to Improve Their Marketing

50 Ways Marketers Can use Social Media to Improve Their Marketing

Chris Brogan is a great social media theorist and this article has value to any organization.

Posted using ShareThis

October 7, 2009

Emergent Social Technology Is Changing Hospitality Right Now: Supply Line

Tuesday’s front page FohBohist Amanda Hite shared an outstanding video produced by The Economist – titled “Did You Know 4.0 – The Media Landscape”

The video visually and effectively describes the cresting radicalization of mobile and social web technologies that are already changing the Hospitality Landscape. Are you prepared for this tsunami to affect your operations?

How will emergent mobile and web technology change the hospitality industry over the next couple of years? Over the past few weeks I’ve been sharing communications with Nadia Aly of Microsoft, Michael Atkinson (FohBoh CEO), Paul Barron (Fast Casual) and others who are thinking about this topic.

Much of the dialogue here on FohBoh has centered on how operators should prepare for and take advantage of social media and social networking. There’s been less dialogue on how emergent technologies and applications can improve the efficiency, productiveness and financial return for suppliers and distributors. How can the supply/distribution chain quickly assess and implement new web and media applications to provide greater service to operators?

Let’s look at the various sides of emergent technology and web applications in this light.

Supplier/Distributer Social Networks

What are the advantages to a supplier or distributor in embracing social networks like Facebook or Twitter?

• Increased face-time with operators at their convenience.
• Mini-sales campaigns through social networks.
• Paper-less marketing.
• Introduction of new products through social networks and online redemptions.
• Directly engaging suppliers/food manufacturers through the distributor.

I’ll give you an example, based on years as an Executive Chef. My life as a Chef is busy; this you know. I usually do not have a lot of time to meet personally with the Sales Rep. Often; the Sales Rep drops a sell-sheet, which I might just throw in the trash due to my workload.

It’s likely that I am logging into Facebook at the beginning or end of a day. In the future, my full-line distributor has posted a food manufacturer profile; perhaps with a short video showing me the best product they have to offer and explaining it. Maybe that is a new potato product from McCain or a new green To-Go container from someone else. That message might also offer me a deal if I click on a digital coupon to take advantage. The message is there at my convenience and puts me directly into engagement with the manufacturer.

• Delivery Logistics/Announcements
• Short Orders on Trucks
• Last Minute Deals

Again, let’s go to the future for the Chef. Wouldn’t it be great if the transportation director at the distributor could send a Twitter message to me letting me know the truck is an hour or more late (or – broken down a few hours away)?

I’d be thrilled as the Chef to get advance notice early in the day on my Twitter account that the truck doesn’t have the dried mushrooms I ordered; well, not thrilled, but at least the distributor is giving me and my Sales Rep a heads up so we can figure out a solution as soon as possible.

You know, that Twitter message you sent me 4 pm on Ordering Day, about the buy three cases get one free – I might just take you up on that, especially if I could Tweet you back and say put it on my order. Last minute sale, anyone?

I’m sure there are others here who can think of the social network benefits suppliers and distributors could bring to operators.

QR – Microsoft TAG ~ The Next Evolution of Bar Codes

QR / TAG is the next generation of bar-coding. FOHBOH has an example of the FOHBOH TAG on the front page.

Michael Atkinson posted a great article on Microsoft TAG and QR late Tuesday night – pointed at operators. Let’s look at how manufacturers, suppliers and distributors could take advantage of this intriguing application.

What if the Chef could pass his camera phone over a TAG printed on the delivery invoice, get a secure link to all the invoice data, download that data in comma-separated format and import it right into his inventory management software?

Here’s the benefit to the operator. First, transparency and accountability in the inventory process. There’s no room to manipulate the inventory to skew the cost percentages at the end of the month. The only real variable becomes waste. The distributor is the data entry into the inventory, not the Receiving Agent or Chef.

Second, the ending inventory becomes a different process. If the purchases are being put into the inventory equation on delivery and the sales of inventory are being redacted on the sale – at the end of the period a report of what you should have on hand is generated. With that, inventory becomes a process of marking discrepancies (“hmmm, now where did that go?”).

Third, real-time financial data. Instead of the Chef or Receiving Agent physically updating the purchase cost of items, it’s done automatically, creating a financial document, the inventory that is transparent and last cost purchased. How many inventories have you seen where the prices were at least a few months old? With the volatility of markets, how does that reflect an accurate snapshot or report of your financial position?

What about putting a TAG on a head of beef at birth? Some of my ranching friends are not going to be real keen on this idea of trace-back ability. That TAG gets updated with every inoculation or inspection the animal receives. It gets updated when the animal is moved from ranch to feedlot and then updated again when run through the slaughterhouse. The information on the TAG is then shot-gunned to every portion cut with new TAGS. What does this mean in today’s guest-driven market?

• Product Recall – Instant TAG scan of the steaks in the Chef’s cooler with the mobile phone. Chef knows immediately.
• Empower Restaurant Sales – The restaurant can scan the tags on cryovaced portion cuts and inform their customers that the steaks this week are from Bar-O Ranch in Wyoming, grass-fed on prairie grass and fattened in Nebraska. They could even tell their customers when the animal was born. How powerful is that message from the restaurateur to the customer?

Again, the opportunities to use this new technology are endless. A winery could TAG their bottles with tons of specific information. The wait staff could – heck, even the customer could – scan the TAG on the bottle and know the details of terroir, date of harvest and time in cask.

What if the food manufacturer put a redemption TAG on the case delivered to the operator that they could scan with their phone and email in? What if the distributor put a TAG on the invoice informing the operator of special announcements? What if industry suppliers put TAGs on their magazine advertising containing deals or further information – does this mean the end of product request cards that you have to mail in? What if the manufacturer distributed through Twitter or Facebook to distributors a message with an embedded TAG communicating something compelling with a call-to-action? What if a Sales Rep showed a TAG on his phone that the Chef scanned with his, again sharing a message from either the manufacturer or the distributor?

Here is the TAG I use for Chalkboarder.com.

Chalkboarder.com Services MS Tag

Chalkboarder.com Services MS Tag

Nadia Aly from Microsoft shared with me several other sources for learning about TAGs:

Conclusion

The Social Web, new applications and social networks are creating vast opportunities for unique developments in our industry, not just for operators, but also for manufacturers, suppliers and distributors. The industry engagement across the board is about to explode. All stakeholders in our industry have the opportunity to be incredibly more dynamic, efficient and communicative. How is your organization preparing or strategizing to capitalize on this tsunami?

As always, blog posts here on FohBoh are invitations for engagement and dialogue. We’d love to know what you think about this… got ideas?

October 5, 2009

chalkARTblast 001 : Chalkboarder.com’s New Weekly Bulletin

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chalkARTblast 001

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Welcome to Chalkboarder.com’s first issue of chalkARTblast! Inside you’ll find ~

  • Our Client’s News
  • Social Web News Clippings
  • Chalkboarder.com News
  • Video Pick of the Week
  • Job Openings at Chalkboarder.com
  • Favorite Blog Posts Last Week

And other goodies we liked from last week J

ADVERTISEMENT

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Customer experience, satisfaction and loyalty are

built from the table up.

Your food, service, management and corporate identity meet the customer in the restaurant. So why wait until customers leave to measure their experience? Through Rewarding Feedback your customers can articulate specific experiences that are important to them. Rewarding Feedback allows your managers to “hear” what customers are saying while they are still seated and at the height of their dining experience.

Rewarding Feedback

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Chalkboarder.com Client News This Week

Rewarding Feedback Inc,

Headquartered in Toronto CAN with a US Sales office in Las Vegas, Rewarding Feedback retained Chocorua Group and Chalkboarder.com to collaboratively strategize and execute market penetration into the USA.

As part of that process, they and Chalkboarder.com are creating an extended eight month social media campaign.

Jenee Halstead

Jenee is in partial retreat for now – working on music and other lifestyle developments. Her newest release, an EP, is almost ready for release. With Chalkboarder.com, Jenee is crafting a holiday campaign and the social web distribution of her new EP.

Tapwater Music

It seems to be the time of year when music groups go into partial seclusion – Tapwater is taking some time off from the road, while their frontman spends a month or so in Africa. We’re really looking forward to his return and sharing new sounds he’s discovered. For Tapwater, Chalkboarder.com is busy building a new website and blog, in addition to developing a comprehensive year long social web strategy.

Savant Culinaire

While Savant Culinaire is a sister company to Chalkboarder.com – or, more of a pet travel project of ours – we think its appropriate to share what Chalkboarder.com is doing on their behalf.

Savant Culinaire is offering a sweet package gastronomic tour of Chile in late March of 2010. Chalkboarder.com is executing the social web networking and promotion of this amazing itinerary.

Chocorua Group

Chocorua Group offers strategic brand and concept development for organizations. They are excited to announce that Rewarding Feedback has retained their services for the next eight months.

Chocorua Group will be assisting Rewarding Feedback with market presence in the USA hospitality and other industries. Stay tuned through Chalkboarder.com for more announcements – such as taking Rewarding Feedback to the following trade shows:

  • New England Food Show, Boston
  • Las Vegas International Restaurant, Nightclub & Bar Show
  • National Restaurant Show, Chicago

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Social Web Clippings ~ Our Favorites From The Last Week

Social Media Today ~ A great article on Best Buy’s recent Facebook snafu. Did they handle it appropriately?

Mashable ~ Mashable reports that Internet Ad Spending in the UK has now topped Television spending.

Mashable ~ We love Mashable’s reporting on the social web. This article lists the 10 Most Romantic Social Media Finds.

Christian Science Monitor ~ CSM is reporting on how Facebook and Twitter are helping the flood victims in the Philippines flee rising waters.

Mashable ~ Five Ways to Make Your Business Transparent. Good reads, good reads.

Social Media Explorer ~ Social Media for a Small Business Restaurant

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Chalkboarder.com News

Employment Announcements

  • Group Creative Director. Searching for a PortlandOR based Creative Director experienced in edgy public relations/marketing campaigns, communications, social web. Must be street and business savvy and “get” cutting edge social media.
  • Chief Technology Officer. Searching for a CTO well and deeply versed in Web 2.0 and 3.0 developments. Must have deep experience in web and mobile applications.
  • Regional Sales Directors. Chalkboarder.com is searching for uniquely qualified persons with established networks, especially in the hospitality industry. Commission based with benchmark milestone ownership opportunities.
  • Social Web Strategists. Searching for talented and creative account managers. Based in PortlandOR. Must be fluent and established in the social web. High personal follower counts are a plus.
  • Human Resource Director. Searching for a talented and savvy HR Director to be based in PortlandOR.
  • Chalk Artist. We’re looking for one unique artist, experienced in the traditional medium of chalk art. Half-time to start. This position is Oregon based and will produce a video-taped chalk art rendering of a Chalkboarder.com’s client message for each chalkARTblast. Videos will be permanently maintained on You Tube and distributed virally. Great opportunity to get your skills noticed.

Negotiations This Week

  • Social Grub. We’re in dialogue with Social Grub on many levels. If we land them, you’ll be first to know!
  • Montana Stock Growers Association. Dialogue should resume again this week. We’re patient with these folks – they’re ranching families that live pretty rurally. We did hear this morning that it had snowed deeply in parts of Montana, so we guess they are pretty busy getting their stock into appropriate quarters.
  • Denominational Capital Campaign Consultancy. This quiet, yet effective consulting group, has approached us for assistance in guiding churches on social media applications. Very intriguing ideas.
  • Subcontracting to traditional PR/Marketing Agencies. We’re exploring two negotiations this week, one with a firm in NYC and the other with a firm in VA. Both are very talented PR/Marketing firms. The VA firm is led by the former Marketing Director of AOL and Mapquest.
  • We’re launching a global social media campaign pitch to one of the world’s most distinctive alcohol brands. We think we’ve got a great idea – and since we’re only one connection removed from the top – an outstanding chance.

Publishing

Jeffrey Kingman, CEO of Chalkboarder.com posts his first article on FohBoh Thursday as one of their ten featured front-page contributors. In it, he’ll explore what the social web could mean for suppliers and distributors in the hospitality industry and how that might increase operator sales volumes.

Additionally, Jeffrey was asked by the magazine Today’s Restaurant to contribute an article for their special May issue devoted entirely to emergent technology.

Stay tuned for information and a link to a webinar on social media that Jeffrey participated in last week.

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Noted Blogs

Paul Barron’s Social Coco ~ Idea Creation for your Restaurant

Progressive Dairyman ~ Seriously, It’s Time to Tweet

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Video Of The Week


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chalkARTblast is produced by Chalkboarder.com

Currently published Mondays. Future publishing will be daily.

Copyright Ó2009 Chalkboarder.com LLC

(503) 305-6397

info@chalkboarder.com

September 23, 2009

Chalkboarder.com CEO joins FohBoh as a featured columnist

Yesterday I received an invitation from FohBoh to join their top-ten featured contributors as a front-page writer about the hospitality industry.

fohbohlogo

FohBoh is the USA’s leading social network for the restaurant industry. With over 12,000 members, journalists and others participating and viewing, this is a distinct honor. I’ll be focusing on trends in the social web and how operators can put those to use in social media campaigns.

Ok, off to Seattle to speak at the Executive Summit of Coffee Fest to industry execs about the social web.  Jeffrey