The economy is weighing heavily on the minds of chefs and restaurant operators. Last week, our story "Blue Plate Blues" described the extent to which some are going to lower their costs and keep customers coming in when the natural response of many of those customers may be to cut back on dining out.
Marketing is another piece of the equation. Locally, I've certainly noticed more restaurants sending out email "newsletters" with descriptions of their specials and promotions that week. Some even send daily messages.
Now a new ripple seems to be developing. While I haven't seen this in the local market, this story from the restaurant industry publication Restaurant Report brings up the social networking tool Twitter as a marketing device. It recommends restaurant operators use Twitter's terse, personal format to keep in regular contact with customers and entice them to come in.
Assuming no one is buying contact lists, you the consumer would have to voluntarily sign up for this type of thing. Would you want to? Considering the amount of Spam, junk and clutter than comes at us through ether now, would you want to get regular, even daily, updates of what's cooking at this or that restaurant?
My first thought is that this would become annoying, yet maybe others looking for a quick idea for a meal out that day would welcome the inside info from the restaurant's themselves.