Posts tagged ‘hotel’

February 24, 2011

Social Media Panel at Foodportunity Serves Up Mike Thelin, Nick Zukin, Gregory Denton & Carrie Welch



Portland’s food community gathers to talk food with tastes from some of the new kids in town — St.Jack and Aviary, as well as Beaker & Flask, KOi Fusion, Lincoln, Accanto, Genoa and Serratto.

PORTLAND, Oregon (February 15, 2011) – Think of the food blogger you follow daily, but have never met. Or your favorite butcher, artisan chocolate maker or cheese guru. Portland will once again host Foodportunity, an opportunity for people from all different food and beverage careers to mix, mingle and talk about food. Meet local chefs, food writers, photographers, publicists, artisan producers and farmers who have all contributed to Portland’s thriving independent food scene. A regular event in Portland, Foodportunity will be held on Monday, March 7, 2011 from 6-9 p.m. at the Heathman Restaurant and Bar. Tickets are $20 in advance, $26 at a later date (w/ all handling fees) and include bites from a collection of Portland restaurants such as Accanto and Genoa, Aviary, Beaker & Flask, KOi Fusion, Lincoln PDX(Culinary Artistry and Sunshine Tavern opening

Spring 2011)St. Jack, Serratto and The Heathman Restaurant and Bar. Tickets are available now through Brown Paper Tickets at

“Our last Portland event was a hit and food professionals love the chance to catch up with colleagues or meet someone new in the food community,” said Keren Brown, Foodportunity founder. Foodportunity is one of the few events of its kind that brings Portland’s food community together in one location on one night – a true meeting of the minds and tastebuds!

Grazing is Encouraged…

Portland restaurants will serve up some tasty bites included in the admission. Beer and wine will be available from a cash bar, and a wide range of food products from local companies will be available to sample. Companies interested in showcasing their product may contact Keren Brown,

Down & Dirty with Social Media

New to the Portland event will be a social media panel made up of some of our favorite Portland social media stars including Mike Thelin, a local food writer, Cooking Channel contributor, and food event maven. Joining Mike on the panel will be Carrie Welch, formerly the Vice President of PR for the Food Network, Nick Zukin, food writer and host of and executive chef Gregory Denton of Metrovino. Learn a few insider tips to starting a social media campaign in your restaurant or food business and share your personal experiences on Facebook and Twitter.

Speed Networking – for Foodies

The first 30 Foodportunity ticket-holders to send an email to will get a seat at the “speed networking” session, hosted by Byron Beck, a freelancer for national and Oregon-based publications, who also appears on television and radio, has his own blog at and contributes to What better way to meet so many foodies at one time (for 1 minute each) and hand out business cards in this intimate and fast-paced setting.


About The Heathman Restaurant and Bar

The Heathman Restaurant exemplifies the best of the Pacific Northwest using seasonal ingredients inspired by the flavors and cuisine of France. Recipient of the James Beard Best Chef: Pacific NW award in 2001, Philippe Boulot partners with the region’s select growers, producers and vintners to find the highest quality ingredients. Boulot was honored by the Academie Culinaire de France as the Academie’s Chef of the Year. The Heathman Restaurant and Bar was chosen as one of the “Best Bars” by Portland Monthly. For more information, please call 503-790-7752 or visit The Heathman Restaurant is located in the historic

Heathman Hotel at 1001 SW Broadway in downtown Portland’s cultural district.

About Foodportunity

Keren Brown, aka Frantic Foodie, conceived of the food networking idea known as Foodportunity and has held more than a dozen food-related events last year in both Seattle and Portland. Recently recognized by as “Doer of the Week”, Keren also organizes monthly events for Seattle food bloggers where she holds Q&A sessions with famous authors, tours of food companies and other events to help bloggers interact. Keren’s food events information can be found at Frantic Foodie in the Seattle PI, and on the events page of For more information, visit and follow us @foodportunityOR and #Foodprtpdx and #Foodprt.

July 30, 2010

"Crawl" with Paul Barron of Portland Restaurants Effectively Using Social Media Aug 11


Join Paul Barron (@paulbarron), Publisher of Fast Casual Magazine and the USA’s leading influence on social media and the restaurant industry, and Jeffrey J Kingman, CEO of Chalkboarder, on August 11th as we “crawl” restaurants in Portland OR that are effectively using the social web to build community.

Paul Barron

Paul Barron, Producer

Paul, presenting “Web 4 Era for the Hospitality Industry” at Lola’s Room in SE Portland that evening (hosted by Social Media Club PDXdetails here) is producing a “Day in the Life of a Social Web Content Producer”, using video interviews and journalizing. He’ll begin the day departing the Northwest Sustainability Discovery Conference in Salem, meeting with Geoff Latham of Nicky USA, lunching at Oregon Culinary Institute, “crawling” the Portland restaurant social media scene and presenting at Social Media Club PDX’s August get-together.

In addition, he will be live-streaming the Social Media Club PDX event that night. Details to follow on the live-streaming.

All restaurant, hotel, hospitality, public relations, marketing and social media professionals interested in the application of social web tools, theory and technology for the food and hospitality industries are welcome to join us for this crawl the afternoon of Aug 11th. We’ll announce an itinerary on August 4 via social media.

Please contact Jeffrey J Kingman at (503) 481-2479 or for additional details.

## ^jk

February 20, 2010

Small Biz Social Media

I’ve become really fascinated with how small independent businesses can take advantage of emergent social web tools. Much of my professional experience has been in the non-corporate world (except for Ritz Carlton, Hyatt, GTE Sprint, and some early career positions); independents generating less than $5 million in annual revenues.

The growth challenges posed to independents are, I believe, much more difficult than that for larger organizations. With larger organizations comes economies of scale. The independent organization manager has so many more hats to wear and not nearly the time or educational resources available.

How can these organizations take advantage of the new tools of the social web? The social web research firm Wetpaint/Altimeter found that organizations with total social media engagement were able to grow their businesses by 18%. It’s no secret that the social web offers organizations opportunities, but these players aren’t able to afford the market rate for social media strategists and community managers ($100/hour and $60/hour respectively).

**Please do not think you can conduct good social media by hiring a kid with a large Facebook account – that will FAIL miserably.

How does an independent restaurant, inn or coffee house effectively compete against the multi-units in social media? This question has been rattling around my brain for the past six months and I think there is a minimum of three answers:

Do It Yourself.  Doing it yourself offers the operator complete control. It also means significant time in learning effective strategies, tools and methods. In addition, it means significant time involvement in maintaining your social media activities (production, distribution, monitoring, engagement).

Outsource To A Large Firm. Outsourcing to a large firm can be attractive because of the automation offered in distribution, monitoring and analysis. In addition, you don’t have to invest time and money in learning effective strategies, tools and methods.  The disadvantage is that your organization will still have to do the content production and the engagement, requiring your time and attention.

Hire A Small Professional Creative Company. I posit that this is the best option for the independent small business. The creative company brings all the resources for production, distribution, monitoring and engagement – crafting and executing a sound and highly individualized strategy. Time requirement for the organization is minimal, requiring meeting in person or through technology for the creative professional to gather some raw content and give reports/feedback. It’s personal and accountable.

I’m going to forecast here that 2010 will be the year we’ll see an explosion of small creative social media providers catering to small business. Market rates will be reasonable, ball-parking in the $500 to $1000 per month range. With small business being the backbone of the American economy, I believe these social media providers will become the norm.

January 27, 2010

Brave New World

Illustration by Kathy Boake

A great article on how foodservice and hospitality operations can use social media, written for the Canadian hospitality industry by author Lesley Young for Foodservice World Magazine.

FH 01 10_BraveNewWorld

She quotes our CEO Jeffrey J Kingman in several places.

December 31, 2009

2010 Is About Meaningful Content

Written for and cross-posted on 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 (, 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


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


About 70% of Facebook users are outside the United States

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

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.

December 3, 2009

Restaurant Websites: Where Creativity Goes To Die

Restaurant Websites: Where Creativity Goes To Die
by Zachary Adam Cohen on November 30, 2009
Originally Posted on Zachary Adam Cohen

The Agony and Pain of Restaurant Websites

Smooth Jazz? Flash? Impossible Navigation? Incredibly Long Loading Times?

The current state of restaurant websites is pathetic. Haven’t we had enough of this? Why do restaurants think they can get away with putting up a brochure of their offerings and expect their customers will respond by flocking to their establishment? In a city like New York, with thousands of dining options, it is simply not enough to broadcast your service to a sophisticated public. Even in smaller cities and towns with far fewer options, restaurants are failing miserably to adapt to the realities of how consumers spend their money today.
Let’s Take a Look at Why

The 20th Century is why! All one had to do was broadcast, hire some P.R. people, get the word out and hoped and prayed that the customers started flocking.

Not anymore folks! American’s get a bad rap for being lazy, apathetic gluttons who watch too much TV and lack any real culture. Silly I say! Social Media is changing that perception right quick! And more importantly, it’s changing the truth about Americans.

American consumers are quickly becoming a discerning sophisticated consumer. Part of this is due to the recession. We are all going through a phase of re-prioritizing just what it is we REALLY want to spend our money on. And what we want to spend our money on is places, products and people we believe in, that we feel connected to, that we feel we have a stake in.

Social Media makes this all possible. We can now communicate directly with the brands and businesses that get, or could potentially get, our spending money. And it’s all public. No more ruses, no more telephone hangups, no more poor customer service. Why not? Cause when you piss off a customer these days, they can get you back. They can Twitter it, they can post a youtube video, they can blog about it.
What Do Restaurants Need To Excel in Social Media?

First thing’s first, you need a blog. There are so many stories to tell. Who are they? WHY are they? What motivates the chef, the servers? Give me a narrative damnit. I want your food but I also want your story. Restaurants are one of the few remaining places that we go to truly disconnect. To be with our loved ones, our friends, our family. We get to connect in real life after SO much connecting online.

But I want to do so in a place that has captured me with their story. And you can’t do that without a blog. Start one, make the time to learn the basics and start sharing. You will quickly find a lot of people willing to share your story. You’ll find your natural constituency. Are you a Nouvelle Mexican spot in Boerum Hill? Well, talk Mexican food. Share stories about authentic Mexican ingredients. For the Chef: Write a post about any stage work you did in Mexico or Spain or wherever! Who trained you? What did you learn?

Where does your food come from? Talk about your vendors, the farms and middlemen that get the product you serve? Talk about the menu, how was it created? What inspired this dish or that? Give us some context. You don’t have to give away every little secret. We still like to be surprised. But give us something!

Oh, and can we please get your social media links? Every website in the world has their social media links proudly displayed on their website. And you don’t? I know 14 year old Indonesian scam artists who have better designed websites than you do. Oh and btw: you got ripped off royally on your site.

And tell us who is doing the twittering? Is it a host? What’s her name? The Chef? The PR Firm? Let’s get some transparency people.

How Can You Use a Blog To Entice Customers?

As I am known to do, I asked Twitter AKA The Hive Mind about this today. One user, a new friend name John True suggested letting blog readers know about special “off the menu” items. This is a fantastic idea. Every so often the restaurant could end a blog post with an “Easter Egg.” Basically, they could leave a clue telling readers (or twitter followers) about something special going on. This a great way to make your readers feel their are privy to something special. And it’s another creative way to convert readers to customers.

What about letting blog readers, or Facebook Fans, or Twitter followers get first dibs on any special events? And what about video? And Pictures?

Start a YouTube channel, get a Flip HD camera and start interviewing regular customers. Is someone coming by once a week? Get him or her on tape to tell us why? What draws that customer back? Maybe we’ll feel the same way. Are testimonials so hard to produce? Stop relying on a big media dinosaur to come to your rescue. Yes, The New York Times is still important, and hopefully always will be, but for the most part, the impact of professional critics is nominal. If 20 food bloggers love you, and 5 critics don’t, guess who wins? It ain’t the critics. No one trusts them anyway.

Zac is a friend active in social media services in NYC and a VERY accomplished food blogger with the award-winning blog Farm To Table: The Emerging American Meal

November 6, 2009

Are your servers making spitballs of “bad” comment cards?

Do your restaurant managers get every comment card guests fill out? Are waitstaff trashing the bad comment cards? Do you have an effective means to capture guest contact info via “opt-in”?

I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce you to Rewarding Feedback – a phenomenal new consumer-focused product that was invented with the primary focus of driving revenue to restaurants, gaming establishments and service firms.

This unique process collects guest experience data at the time of the experience in exchange for coupons for a future visit. The Rewarding Feedback process replaces the need for paper surveys, online questionnaires, telephone follow-ups and even mystery shopper services. The process provides the opportunity for the business to obtain feedback on every customer interaction (rather than the typically low volume of feedback results currently received by conventional means).

The standard restaurant implementation has the on-site hostess present the guest with Rewarding Feedback equipment to complete a quick survey at the end of their meal. Upon completion of the survey, the data is analyzed instantly. The guest receives a valuable coupon, regardless of the survey results, but if the guest experience has been satisfactory, a second coupon is provided to the customer to share with a friend. If the guest experience has been deemed less than satisfactory, on-site management is notified of the problem immediately, thereby allowing the establishment to “save” the relationship with the guest, before they get their bill. Coupon types and expiries can be varied, depending on the marketing campaign established.  In addition, you can market the coupons to other organizations – creating additional revenue.

What makes the Rewarding Feedback process so valuable is that it allows every establishment to collect real-time, actionable data while at the same time turning the consumer into a valuable marketing resource on behalf of the business.
Our reporting portal allows management resources to review individual establishment results or compare results from a single establishment against others in a defined region and/or chain.

For more information visit Rewarding Feedback.

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

November 2, 2009

chalkARTblast 004


chalkARTblast 004


Welcome to’s chalkARTblast! Inside you’ll find ~

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

And other goodies we liked from last week J




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

image005 Client News This Week

Old Vines

Mike Farrell, a client of Chocorua Group from a couple years ago, reached out to 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 to collaboratively strategize and execute market penetration into the USA.

As part of that process, they and 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. 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 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.


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

image007 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. 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’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, 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!


Noted Blogs

Beautiful design can make your guest experience amazing!


Video Of The Week

(for fun)

Burger King and Windows 7 launch in Japan


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