Posts tagged ‘purveyor’

March 10, 2010

Client Case Study: Coffee Fest

This past weekend Chalkboarder headed over to Meadowlands NJ to provide social media coverage of Coffee Fest’s first of three 2010 tradeshows. We were fortunate to meet some truly outstanding people within the specialty coffee and tea industry, from growers and suppliers, to roasters, coffee/tea shop owners and baristas. There seemed to be a fair number of folks attending who were planning to open a coffee/tea house.

Coffee Fest NYC Barista Competitor Megan's Signature Drink

Our mission at the Show was to journalize – to capture as much of the activity as we could to share with the friends of Coffee Fest and hopefully – that they would then share the high energy of Coffee Fest with their communities.

We’ve got some blogging to do – some retrospectives of the show. We were able to capture a large number of videos, create a Youtube Channel for Coffee Fest and engage a lot of the attendees and exhibitors through Twitter.

You can find all the videos over here at Coffee Fest Youtube, search the Twitter archives by using the hashtag #coffeefest, and stay tuned for the blog postings over here on Jeffrey Kingman’s Leaf & Berry Blog.

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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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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 13, 2009

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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

image0031

image0041

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

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.

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: Developing two month strategies for introducing Rewarding Feedback to multi-unit and independent restaurant organizations, with specific targets in New England and the Pacific NW.

Jenee Halstead

Update: Jenee is “back in the saddle again”. We’re searching for an artist to design cover art for her newest release, an EP; almost ready for release. With Chalkboarder.com, Jenee is crafting a holiday card campaign and the social web distribution of her new EP. Other activity includes Chalkboarder.com updating and consolidating her social network operations and strategies.

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.

Update: Chalkboarder.com is working on Tapwater’s new website design and new blog.

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.

Update: Savant Culinaire is exploring the idea of partner relationships with wine/food oriented social media tycoons.

Chocorua Group

Chocorua Group (a sister company of Chalkboarder.com) 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

Update: Chalkboarder.com is now conducting social media awareness of Chocorua Group via social media and networking.

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Social Web Clippings ~ Our Favorites From The Last Week

Mashable How To: Use Social Media in Your PR Pitch Plan

Seattle Post Intelligencer Starbucks, Microsoft Mighty in Social-Media Marketing

Mashable Young Social Mediaphiles: 36% Tweet and Check Facebook After Sex

Justin R Levy Determining Social Media ROI

Brand Savant What’s Wrong With Social Media Marketing Strategy

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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.
  • Paddy’s Bar & Grill. We’ve initiated contact with another of PortlandOregon’s restaurant and bar insitutions.
  • Le Cordon Bleu. We’ve begun a dialogue with the Chief Marketing Officer for this national group of culinary schools to interview them for an article on how culinary schools use social media.
  • 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. We issued a comprehensive social media proposal to them today.
  • Social Grub. Still in dialogue with Social Grub on many levels. If we land them, you’ll be first to know!
  • Montana Stock Growers Association. Ranchers move a bit more patiently than the rest of us – we know they’re busy getting ready for winter. We’re patient with these folks – they’re ranching families that live pretty rurally. We did hear last Thursday that it had dropped over two feet of snow just north of YellowstoneNational Park.
  • 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.
  • Subcontracting to traditional PR/Marketing Agencies. Negotiations are waiting on response to proposals from firms in NYC and Virginia.
  • We’re launching a global social media campaign pitch to one of the world’s most distinctive alcohol brands, Jagermeister. Stay tuned on this.

Publishing, Speaking, Seminars & Conferences

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!

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 exhibiting Chalkboarder.com at the annual New England conference of Professional Association of International Innkeepers, November 16-18 in Nashua, NH.

Jeffrey posted his first article on FohBoh last Thursday as one of their ten featured front-page contributors. Here’s the link to Emergent Social Technology Is Changing Hospitality Right Now: Supply Line. All content posted on FohBoh is also cross-posted on our blog – and Jeffrey is a fairly active writer!

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

Nation’s Restaurant News TV Show Bachelorette Looking for a Few Good Restaurant Men

Special Video Blog by Volkswagen

Musical StairsRolighetsteorin.se – The fun theory

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Video Of The Week

(for fun)

The Luckiest People In The World

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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 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 1, 2009

A Sea Bass Journey in Social Media

Cross-posted on FohBoh.

Could a Full-Line Distributor Use Social Media to Drive Restaurant Sales?

Chilean Sea Bass

Chilean Sea Bass

Imagine for a few moments a scenario that might happen in the next few months – the journey of a Chilean Sea Bass through social media. Before I get to that, I want to ask how full-line distributors, such as PFG, Sysco or US Foods might use social media.

We’ve been thinking about this here at Chalkboarder.com and have a 48 hour scenario for you – a quick social media news cycle that could generate four unique and compelling messages for a restaurant to share with its customers – that those customers might share with their friends – which could increase sales both short and long term for the operator.

As a former chef, I know that the major full-line distributors have great seafood programs. As an example, let’s visit PFG’s fish buyer on the dock in Chile, negotiating with the boat captain. As the buyer concludes the purchase he takes a quick one-minute video of the sea bass with his iPhone and adds a message about his excitement in securing this amazingly fresh catch for chefs back in the USA.

iPhone

iPhone

He sends that video message through social media (probably through Twitter and Facebook) to the entire PFG sales force in the USA. We could say that it’s sent at 8 am in the morning. By 9 am the entire sales force has seen the buyer’s video – and forwarded it to all their restaurant customers. “Hey, check out the awesome sea bass that will be available tomorrow! If you want some, let me know now.” Compelling content and call-to-action through social media.

A restaurant chef gets this message mid-day, watches the video, and picks up the phone or text messages the salesman: “I want some – get me 50 pounds”. As soon as the chef receives confirmation from the sales rep, he immediately sends the fish-buyers video to all the customers of the restaurant in social media: “Check out the amazing sea-bass we just bought off the boat. We’ll be serving it tomorrow! Call for reservations and let us know you want fresh sea-bass!” More compelling content and call-to-action.

Got the picture? Wait, there’s more.

Next morning, chef takes a quick video of him checking the sea bass in through the back door and sends that out to the restaurants customers “When you buy fresh fish, you want to see clear eyes and smell the sea. Our restaurant only buys the freshest fish we can. We’re serving this amazing sea bass just in from Chile tonight! Did you make a reservation to get some?” Another compelling message with a clear call to action just got out the door.

At 11 am, the restaurant owner takes a picture of the great Chardonnay that goes well with the sea bass – and there’s another compelling message with call to action: “Tonight we’re serving Caymus Chardonnay with the Sea Bass special Chef is cooking up. We’re still not sure what the recipe is, but boy is that fish fresh! Call us and let us know you’re coming.” How many customers have called for reservations?

Seabass

Seabass

At 4:30 pre-meal, Chef is explaining the specials to the wait staff. The grill cook takes a quick video with his iPhone of the finished and incredible-looking special, then of the wine and then of the waitress tasting the fish and melting “Oh my god!” He sends it to the restaurant owner who sends it to the restaurant customers again – with the message “Our wait staff is swooning over Chef’s Sea Bass special tonight – we still have some reservations open – come on in!” Get the picture?

Let’s take this sketch one more step. Late that night, the chef sends the pre-meal video back to the sales rep, saying “We brought in twenty more tables and sold out the fish in one night!” The sales rep forwards that video and message to not only his supervisors, but also back to the fish buyer, who then shares it with the boat captain. Talk about a connected community.

The fishing vessel acquires direct connection with consumers, the consumers get direct connection with the boat captain, the sales force is motivated and communicating, and the restaurant is sharing trust and making sales. Everyone is in transparent community. Messaging is immediate and contains actionable call-to-action.

We’d love to hear your ideas on how a full line distributor could employ social media. How can the distributor build trust, help operators be successful, create sustainable community and increase their own bottom line through social media?

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(503) 305-6397

info@chalkboarder.com

Chalkboarder.com is a digital management and social media service firm operating nationally. We provide social web solutions to organizations of all types.

September 21, 2009

How State Restaurant Associations Could Use Social Media

Blog posted on FohBoh and Chalkboarder.com’s White Papers

Two weeks ago, Chalkboarder.com surveyed 2200 restaurants in fourteen major metropolitan US markets, to assess the Ease of Entering the Virtual Door. As a break from that labor, we did a quick study of how many state restaurant associations are using social media and discovered that about 6% do.

This begged us to ask how these associations could use social media to benefit their members. Here are some ideas we’ve generated based on our negotiations to provide the oldest cattle ranchers association (see below) in the country with social media services:

  • Positively address restaurateur legislative concerns to the general public.
  • Showcase restaurateur community involvement.
  • Create a social network where suppliers, legislators, restaurateurs and the public can engage in dialogue.
  • Highlight the best features of the industry.
  • Address public concerns about the industry through direct engagement.
  • Tell the story of the industry in their state.
  • Communicate with all stakeholders (public, industry and journalists) the issues and concerns that restaurants face daily.
  • Offer instant forum for dialogue between the stakeholders on the issues.
  • Strengthens the community – leading to local sustainability’s.

You may say that websites do most of this already – that’s true. The advantage that social media brings is the engagement, authenticity, dialogue and transparency to all parties – public, journalists, legislators, restaurateurs and suppliers. It builds deeper communities.

Our conversation with the cattle ranchers gave us the opportunity to consider the diverse and complex needs that could be addressed by social media for a highly visible association. The ranchers have to communicate with the public, with legislators (locally, regionally and nationally), tell their story and promote their agendas. Some of the issues they face with the public are:

  • Herd management with predator threats (wolf hunting)
  • The threat of diseases from bison and elk
  • Stream water access
  • Grazing rights on public lands
  • Food safety
  • International trade
  • Grass fed vs. feed-lot

There are many other issues they have to communicate about, in addition to preserving a ‘way of life’. Their complex needs are not much different from the complexity of needs state restaurant associations face representing you.

As always, Chalkboarder.com loves engagement and dialogue – it’s what social media is all about. Please comment.

July 30, 2009

Social Networking for Hospitality Purveyors

Social Networking for

Hospitality Purveyors & Suppliers

Jeffrey Kingman & Judith Smith, Founders, Chalkboarder

You’ve heard about social networking. Twitter and Facebook. Ning and Bebo.

What is it, exactly? Who uses social networking? Are there business uses?

Can social networking help your foodservice organization?

Social networking is simply the act of building communities through the Internet and other wireless devices. It can be a way to connect personally with family and friends and those who share your interests.

It can also be a fresh new way for a business to connect with existing customers to increase sales, and a fresh new way to attract new business. It is as revolutionary to sales/marketing as the billboard, the copier, the web site, or the search engine were in their infancies. With social networking, the power of the Internet is harnessed in a low-cost form that conveys your immediate message 24/7 to the world’s netizens. And that’s priceless. And that power awaits your exploitation.

Let’s learn a bit more about the concept, and then explore the direct applications to your business.

How social networking works:

Based on the six degrees of separation concept (the idea that any two people on the planet could make contact through a chain of no more than five intermediaries), social networking establishes interconnected Internet communities (sometimes known as personal networks) that help people make contacts that would be good for them to know, but that they would be unlikely to have met otherwise. In general, here’s how it works: you join one of the sites and invite people you know to join as well. Those people invite their contacts to join, who in turn invite their contacts to join, and the process repeats for each person. In theory, any individual can make contact through anyone they have a connection to, to any of the people that person has a connection to, and so on.

Whatis.com, March 13, 2009

Who uses social networking? Not just the youngsters!

“According to comScore, more than 50% of Facebook’s users in the U.S. are over 35; the single biggest age demographic in the U.S. on Facebook is now between 35 and 44, and that Facebook’s fastest growing demo is 55-plus. With 52 million U.S. users and 170 million worldwide the graying of Facebook is to be expected simply because Facebook does not have a lot of growing room left among the younger set. According to Pew Internet and American Life data, 75% of online adults 18-24 already have a profile on a social network.” Social Media Optimization, Feb. 26, 2009

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What could this mean for the hospitality industry and foodservice purveyors?

According to Ron Ruggles, Southeast Editor for Nation’s Restaurant News, the topic of social networking (especially the human resource cost of social networking) was the single dominant conversation at the National Restaurant Show in Chicago, May 2009.

Thousands of restaurants across the country are creating profiles on social networks, communicating with their customers and enticing their customers to share with their friends. Thousands of other firms are creating profiles as well, using direct messaging to communicate to loyal customers and creating compelling message content that, hopefully, their communities will share with friends.

Sample of restaurants on Facebook/Twitter

T.G.I. Friday’s

L’Espalier

Sel de la Terre

Outback Steakhouse

Gritty McDuff’s

Many, many more…

A few of the hospitality vendors using Facebook

Sysco Foods

Sysco Atlantic

Sysco Edmonton

Sysco Corporate

Sysco Seattle

Sysco Kelowna

McCain Foods

Unifirst

Food Arts Magazine

Share Our Strength

Restaurant Confidential Magazine

Angostura

Heinz Ketchup

Why should a foodservice purveyor use social networking?

Harness the awesome power of the Internet to communicate with customers

Broadcast daily fresh messaging at low cost to customers

Send immediate messaging of special promotions to customers

Provide a forum for customer communication to corporate

Sales and marketing implications for your products/services

Sales Promotion: “Special Of The Day: Order three cases of World Harbors Prairie Fire sauce this week, get fourth free!”

Company Communication: “Northcenter is anticipating heavy road traffic this weekend. Please let your sales rep know if you have delivery needs different from norm.”

Supplier Push: “DirtySue is introducing new martini olive juice; we’ve picked it up and have it in stock! Ask your rep for samples!”

What is required to successfully market your product through social networking?

You’ll need one or more staff that is rooted in marketing, in foodservice, in your company’s goals and business plan. The title for the job is “social marketing strategist.” Must have excellent communication skills, and be fully engaged in the social site environment of the Internet. This might be someone you already have on your staff, or you might need to bring on a new FTE. Or you can outsource the work.

The social marketing strategist will need to glean and broadcast bits of information and messages continuously. The laptop or PC is on all the time. The Internet server is a high-speed connection. The employee attends it regularly or continuously. The employee will do the following:

Create entities on social networking sites for your company identity and manage those sites. Find out if there’s any buzz on the Internet each day about your product. Find out if new members have joined your Internet communities. Find and join other communities with your identity. Broadcast your message to appropriate social networks.

What is the value of social marketing to business?

“It’s made us national instead of a little-bitty store in a little-bitty town.” Cynthia Sutton-Stolle, co-owner of Silver Barn Antiques in Columbus, Tex., talking about Twitter, which she has used to find both suppliers and customers nationwide. NYTimes 7/26/09

So far, Salad Creations’ management team has had nothing but positive feedback from its Twitter tweets and retweets. John King, the company’s vice president of marketing, said the service builds on itself based on retweets (tweets that get forwarded to friends, also known as RTs). “Obviously, it depends on the right messages, too, and what you’re trying to promote,” he said. “We’re in our infancy so far in this program, but we’re very excited about it.” Fast Casual Magazine Website Article 17 June 2009

A great article on the many business uses of social networking..

http://www.stumbleupon.com/s/#4Nukvl/ivancampuzano.com/what-is-a-twitter//

That was the windup. Here is the pitch.

Just as foodservice and hospitality providers hire PR firms and advertising agencies; just as they hire accountants and HR services; just as they use direct mail advertisers and radio spots, a purveyor can also hire a service to create and manage their social networking.

An Internet search shows just one company that has anticipated this need and prepared to accept this challenge: chalkboarder.com.

Chalkboarder will assign a social marketing strategist to your company. This strategist will be responsive to whatever level of need exists and what you desire for your outcome. The strategist will understand your business. The strategist will speak for you to communities of the Internet world, using only messages authorized by you.

Chalkboarder was co-founded by a long-time executive chef with associated extensive experience in the concepts of branding, marketing, and foodservice management. There’s a vision for the junction of social marketing with food. And there’s a deep understanding of the people who work with foodservices.

Why outsource?

It just makes fiscal sense for many foodservice and hospitality companies to hire out this skilled task of social network strategist. And time is of the essence. Social networking is the future of growing a business. There’s no time for a purveyor to develop a program from scratch. If a company isn’t using social networking for marketing by year end 2009, it will be lagging competition.

To learn more about what chalkboarder can do for you, click here or call (800) 409-8144.

Ó 2009 Chalkboarder.com