ENTERTAINMENT: Cooking Gone Viral: The Internet’s Best Food & Beverage Programming
Despite The Food Network’s popularity over the last 25 years, it has not been immune to the cable-cutting trend. Today, some of the most popular food-related shows can be found on YouTube and other social media networks. The web content ranges from independent personalities to major brands. The variety and lack of constraints that come with traditional programming means that there’s a show for everybody. Here are some of the best we think every foodie and restaurateur should catch.
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DID YOU KNOW…
Amazon Tests “Orville”
What would you do to get through the supermarket line faster? Would you fork over your fingerprint? Amazon is testing a new system called “Orville” that allows Amazon Prime users to scan their hand to ring up their purchases. It’s currently being tested on Amazon employees at vending machines with the goal of rolling the system out in a few Whole Foods next year. This is really riding that utopia/dystopia line.
Who Are the Hong Kong Protestors?
Hong Kong protesters have been hitting the streets since June to protest a proposed bill that would allow extradition to China and to stand up for democracy in Hong Kong. Surveys carried out among more than 6,000 participants of 12 protests by a team coordinated by the Chinese University of Hong Kong found that around half of the protesters are in their twenties, while three-quarters of protesters are college educated.
Union Approvals Rebound Across All Parties
Over the past decade, approval of labor unions has surged by about 16-17% points across all parties. Democrats are still more likely to support unions, with approval standing at around 80% among self-identified party supporters. A little under half of Republicans now support unions, up from 29% in 2009.
FAILURE TO COMPLY
Why it matters to you: Setting a dress code can lead to charges of racism; be careful how you proceed.
Does your restaurant have a dress code? Do you publish it on the street so everyone who is set to enter your restaurant can review it? If you follow the lead of Barwest in Sacramento, CA, you’ll not only have that sign on a sandwich board out front, but it will also contain really specific prohibitions like “No Grills” and “No Gang Colors.” Experience with dress codes will tell you that they really aren’t an effective method to block out the people you don’t want as guests. In fact, they almost always cause unnecessary conflict with guests, but this one is clearly a direct reference to hip-hop style and culture. There are so many better ways to address the character of your audience without trafficking in racist tropes in front of your restaurant.
But where is the line when it comes to determining the make-up of your audience? This is an age old question in our industry and it’s fraught with peril. Go too far and you the subject of a national story in the media. Don’t do anything and see your regulars become unfamiliar with your restaurant. But doing something can end up causing bad publicity or worse, accusations of racism. We suggest you treat it like your work dress codes and make it gender/culture neutral. For example, this sign could have only included “collared shirt, no athletic wear bottoms, and no hats.” Together it would have had the same effect but not ended up on page one of a national news outlet.
GUEST GENERATED MARKETING ROCKS
Why it matters to you: Experts agree that user-generated content is great, but how do you actually get it to happen?
The biggest challenge in social media marketing is generating sufficient quality content to actually have enough to post. You see this when you view social accounts for restaurant operators that rarely add content of their own and hardly interact with their online constituency. It’s hard to see the connection as an operator from social to actual guest engagement. The irony of course is that the best solution to this problem is leveraging user-generated content. This guide offers a quality overview of how to access and employ user-generated content on your social media channels effectively. It starts with the base premise that guests are already creating content and it’s an opportunity for you to elevate your social content that further engages them.
Among the most potent insights is how to specific extract value from the content your guests are already posting about your restaurant. For starters, guest-created content reduces your overall marketing expense. If you can find specific posts about your restaurant, you can simply repost and add your own insight, #hashtag, or specific offer. Speaking of #hashtags, they are an invaluable way to create community around images you post. By consistently using them to identify your location, theme, and marketing goals, you are making it easier for people to find all this great content created around your restaurant.
But it doesn’t end there. You can also inspire guests to post content relevant to your marketing efforts and restaurant. One simple example is a contest for prizes from your location. By framing the offer to amplify your message, you are letting guests do your work for you and they’ll be happier for it. So, read this great primer on making user generated content work for you and get started on making social media deliver for your marketing plan.
[Source: FSR Magazine]