Most restaurant manufacturers use social media to publish their specials or exhibit appetizing images of dishes, however to Shawn Walchef, proprietor of San Diego’s Cali BBQ and host of Digital Hospitality, prospects need extra than simply shareable snaps: they wish to know your story. Walchef is captivated with spreading their mantra: “sluggish meals quick” not solely to their ghost kitchens and the standard retailer pipeline, but additionally by way of their many social media channels.
“It goes again to digital hospitality,” he mentioned in an interview with Nation’s Restaurant Information on the Nationwide Restaurant Affiliation Present. “Our job is to to not decide how folks wish to get meals. We love the restaurant expertise, however finally, folks’s habits change […] it is not that eating places are going away: We simply we have to consider ourselves in a different way now.”
A part of that transformation, he mentioned, is to completely embrace investing within the tech stack, which is absolutely extra of a “tech maze” these days with all the tech partnerships and integrations that operators have to grasp.
Cali BBQ makes use of know-how to show up the quantity on the model’s e-commerce presence with tech companions like Toast, although which may not work for everybody: constructing a “Tech maze” will not be a one-size-fits-all strategy.
With Cali BBQ, for instance, the purpose was by no means to be one of the best barbecue restaurant of all time. Walchef mentioned he is aware of that he’s not serving one of the best barbecue on the planet. As a substitute, his purpose is for Cali BBQ to turn into “the Amazon of barbecue.” He needs his prospects to have the ability to order slow-cooked barbecue and sides every time and wherever they need and to convey the on-demand e-commerce economic system to the world of slow-cooked pork and brisket.
A vital facet of attending to that time of digital ubiquity is mastering the artwork of on-line storytelling. Cali BBQ has a podcast, YouTube channel and a large presence on each social media platform you possibly can consider. Walchef makes use of that social media presence to interview and converse with different colleagues within the barbecue and restaurant business, and to inform the model’s story.
“Be the present, not the business,” he mentioned. “The issue with social media is that all of us wish to put our greatest foot ahead. We wish that curated Instagram feed that reveals off all the finest dishes in a restaurant […] However the aggressive benefit can be to inform the story of what actually occurs behind the scenes, who the pitmaster is […] in the event you’re on this enterprise, your story issues.”
Walchef encourages all eating places to take this route of exploring storytelling by way of media platforms like YouTube and TikTok. However when the Digital Hospitality podcast hosts one other barbecue restaurant as a visitor on the present, isn’t it odd to be discussing “commerce secrets and techniques” with a competitor? No, Walchef mentioned, as a result of “a rising tide lifts all ships.”
“We’re not attempting to compete with one another,” he mentioned. “We’re masters in a room sharing concepts.”
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