Culinary by Popular Demand
Bringing your customer base into your business
In a world of immediate gratification and social media, customers expect a certain level of service and response. When they don’t get it, they will let you know.
It’s time to leverage the outspoken, engaged and passionate consumer. They know what they want, they have great ideas, and they want to share them. Social media enables these consumers to put their ideas out there. There is real opportunity to not only seek engagement, but use the information given.
It goes beyond asking fans what their favorite menu item is – ask them what they would like to see on the menu. Offer them the opportunity to create their own. Include guidelines to enable the operational side to actually look at these recommendations for execution.
Brands have used this method during contests for new pizza toppings or burger combinations and have seen great success. Go a step beyond – bring in culinary expertise from the brand team to provide direction. Open up the opportunity to create menu items beyond what is already offered and extend a partnership to well-known chefs around the country. Incorporate mediums such as Pinterest for participants to offer inspiration and ideas, and YouTube for video submissions.
The level of interaction between the brand and the online community will not increase engagement but establish a loyalty for a brand that actually listens. There are numerous benefits for a brand to take this approach including:
- - Gain unique user generated content
- - Leverage multiple mediums, increasing communities and reach
- - Expand reach beyond existing fans to foodies/ culinary enthusiasts
- - Gain valuable consumer insights and feedback
- - Identify needs for change or growth to increase customer visits and overall spend