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Who's using Twitter?

Other food people/chefs/food magazines/food communities (@CHOW) throughout the mid-west and west are starting to use Twitter pretty heavily to engage in food conversations... who here in the Northeast is on Twitter? Who are you following? I'm @Pav1ov

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  1. I figure pretty much everyone is on it at this point, though some use it a lot more heavily than others. Tweeting Instagram pics of food has been been a thing for some time (see @Jamiebiss and @mscelfo for two prominent examples).

    5 Replies
    1. re: deglazer

      except for orfaly's supposed recent outburst, i think most twittering (heh) is done by pr firms on behalf of their clients.

      personally i don't need a steady stream of chatter from anywhere or anybody so don't follow it.

      1. re: hotoynoodle

        "orfaly's supposed recent outburst"? That's a strange characterization. It was FB not Twitter, but no one is claiming it wasn't actually Orfaly who posted that despicable diatribe.

        As to the rest of your post, I could not agree more.

        1. re: CapeCodGuy

          initially, i'd thought it was on twitter. story has now gone national on gawker and i then saw it was a Facebook issue.

          ack. either way. ya know? too many outlets to say stoopid stuff for those lacking an internal edit button.

          1. re: hotoynoodle

            I'd make the argument that this is why Twitter is a better forum for chefs/restaurants. You can say far too much on FB but with Twitter you have 140 characters. FB is great for keeping up with what Aunt Tootie is doing in Sheboygan with her male 20 yr. old "house guest".

            For succinct discourse between cooks/restaurants and the general public/peers Twitter is a far better way to reach out. In other cities and areas of the country Twitter has completely taken over for cooks/restaurants as the preferred form of social media and FB has been left to its own devices. The outburst by Chef Orfaly is a prime example. Had it been on Twitter it would have been

            Customer: Thanks for ruining Thanksgiving your pie tastes like vomit!
            Chef: Sorry you had a bad experience, come in and let us make it up to you...or r u a crazy person?

            Rants should be forever left to FB or food websites. There is no room for them on Twitter.

            Wow.... maybe I should go to work for Twitter.... Of course this could all just be BS.

            1. re: pavlov_dog

              I agree with pavlov_dog about twitter being a good forum for chefs. One of the great uses of twitter is to follow the chefs on the area's food trucks. Where they are, when and what's on the menu are perfect tweet fodder.
              I also like when a chef like Steve Johnson of Rendezvous tweets that he is making the sausage for his Cassolet. It reminds me to get there while it is one the menu.


    2. When we announced "Local Stories to Local Boards" ( http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/839197 ), this sort of thread became on topic, but we did include this caveat:

      Our rules for insiders still apply, even if the discussion is about local food blogs, and you are both a blogger and a hound. You may not recommend your or your friends’ food blogs. You also may not defend your blog outside the realm of what we allow for business insiders if people comment on it.

      And we feel that linking to your own Twitter is much like linking to your own blog. You're welcome to recommend people you think are worth following to read about Boston food, but as with all recommendations on Chowhound, please make sure you're not recommending yourself or people you work with. Thanks!

      3 Replies
      1. re: The Chowhound Team

        Sorry about that... I've been in Chowhound for years and years but haven't been on in a while. I Wasn't linking to self promote necessarily although I can see where you got that. I was looking more for other locals that might be on Twitter as it seems that the Northeast is pretty far behind a lot of mid-western and western cities with regard to social media. I'd have no problem editing my Twitter handle out of the above Topic if there were a way to do so or if you could do it for me. That being said I'm really not sure why the comments on the thread were removed if people are allowed to suggest people to follow via Twitter... perhaps you could speak to that? Thanks.

          1. re: pavlov_dog

            I don't think that what you did was in violation of the rules. I think the moderators were replying to someone else. You did not self promote which is why I am guessing others were removed. You certainly could not say "I have a great Twitter page everyone should follow it". Unfortunately your question probably caused others to respond this way and get deleted. You were having a conversation and while you included your twitter tag in the post which is a little questionable you probably have the right to include it as a signature because that is permitted.


        1. I only pay attention to the tweets of those of whom I have been tweeting with for a while. I found some claiming to be in a north end rest but their location coming up in another state.

          7 Replies
          1. re: libertywharf

            Yes the idea that a company can "Tweet" for someone's restaurant is just absurd, and the fact that in doing so these restaurants are taking the "social" out of social media is more dumbfounding. This is how 99% of restaurants on the Seacoast of southern Maine/NH are doing Twitter, and in doing so just basically shill non-stop.... super annoying.

            1. re: pavlov_dog

              I think the fact that it is being poorly done by some PR people doesn't necessarily mean it's not a good role for PR to play. Many chefs and owners still don't understand what they ought to be doing with Twitter, Facebook, etc. to engage customers in ways that are useful to both parties. For every Joanne Chang-style natural, there are ten Orfaly-style Mongolian clusterfluffs waiting to happen. Hire pros, at least at first to show you the ropes. There is some science, or at least craft, to restaurant-industry social media.


              1. re: MC Slim JB

                But non-stop tweeting is ridiculous. I generally won't follow anyone who tweets more than about ten times a day. Has anyone ever followed Whole Foods? It makes you crazy. I also think it is crazy for a business owner to run their own (business) Twitter account. They have the skills to be a chef or run a business, and even if they are good at PR, which most aren't, their time and talent is better used elsewhere. They might be really good at washing dishes too but they still hire someone else to do that for them. Sometimes it's even the same guy who runs their Facebook account...


                1. re: hungrytommy

                  It depends on what they are tweeting... if they are tweeting their specials, pricing, etc... yeah that's a block or a DM with "friendly advice" before they are blocked. If it is cool pics, interesting pieces they have come across, or just plain funny shit... they can tweet all they want. Doesn't bother me a bit... I prefer quality... but if quality comes in quantity then I'm good with that too.

                  As for chefs not running their own Twitter account. I think it shouldn't be done any other way... if they want to have someone do the Restaurant's feed to handle a majority of traffic and bring things to chefs attention that require it then fine... but that someone ought to be someone who is either spending a crazy amount of time there or works as a cook or perhaps manager FOH... period.

                  I know several James Beard finalist chefs that can't imagine a restaurant without Twitter or someone running their Twitter feed for them. They say it is instant feedback that comes directly to you regarding what you're doing. Good bad or indifferent you know immediately if things are going well or in the weeds.... I asked them how do you have time for Twitter... "If you have time to text or make the odd phone call here or there... you have time for Twitter"

                  Not having time for it would be akin to saying I don't have time for customer service/ or branding/ crisis management/ or problem solving.... because used properly Twitter is all those things. Look at guys like @tmaws @cookingkid @GerardFCraft @dan_kluger all at the top of their game working crazy busy restaurants.... they all have Twitter and they all do social media well.

                  And with regards to restaurants using FB.... FB is dead from a business standpoint... an absolute waste of time. especially now that they are going to charge for viewership. so those 10000 "likes" have turned into only 1000 folks even seeing the content. And honestly I don't know a lot of restaurants with 10000 likes.... more in the 1-3k range so take 10% of that and you get jack squat.

                  Midwest and west have dropped FB altogether in lieu of pinterest, instagram and foursquare. They openly mock Yelp and it's time we stop holding our asses and do the same here in the Northeast.

                  @ hungrytommy are you on Twitter I'd like to follow if I could sir.... I promise not to Tweet more than ten times a day and if I do... I promise you'll at least be mildly ammused!

                  1. re: pavlov_dog

                    For a long time the only way you had direct contact with a chef was the once or twice the night when they left the kitchen and walked the dining room. The more of you that is out there, the more things there are for people to not like. People make first decisions excluding options because they don't like them. They then try to determine what they do like from the remaining options. If I were advising them I would limit exposure, which is where PR groups come in or even just an in-house marketing/communications director.

                    I don't think their time is best spent reading every tweet about them or their restaurant. If a chef thinks that a response on social media is representative of what people actually think of them then they are nuts. In my non-food life. I run a business and I know from a wide variety of resources what people think of us. I also know it only takes one unhappy person to make a scene. The problem is that when you change to try to appease the one unhappy person you end up making a whole new group of people unhappy. It makes sense for a chef to know what the overall feelings of the social media world is toward him and it is deceptive to have a personal account that is actually run by a PR firm. But even as the line between personal and professional grows thinner, it is important that the distinction remain or things like last week at Pigalle happen. I don't know what the outcome of that will be, but it will keep me away from there for a long, long time.

                    oh and yes I do use twitter but with a very small inconsequential following.

                    www.hungrytommy.com and @hungrytommy

                    1. re: hungrytommy

                      Nah I gotta tell you @hungrytommy I disagree with the first paragraph but I suppose that's what discourse is all about right? To me a chef being on Twitter makes sense and they should never relinquish that to a PR firm... like u said it's deceptive otherwise.

                      Chefs are big boys and are far from stupid. They are perfectly capable of reading, understanding and or replying to a few dozen texts/tweets a day.Yes as the Pigalle incident shows they can be hot headed, egotistical. A smart chef would take two seconds on Twitter and say... sorry you had a bad experience. Please come in and let me make it up to you. They don't "have" to do anything.... but all the people they have shown good will towards with a "Thanks for coming in" or a "Glad you enjoyed it, we enjoyed having you" will see the chef as a good person trying to deal with what must be an "asshole". Perception is reality right?

                      Besides that it would have never blown up into that had the chef not been on FB to begin with... and on twitter the most the woman could have said was "your pie tastes like vomit thanks for ruining my TG." It wouldn't have been a long assed tirade. If it were multiple tweets it would have made the woman look like the psycho.

                      If it's not in their best interest to read every tweet about their restaurant or themselves then they need to shut the doors... I'd say it's only in their interest (assuming the chef is the owner) if the owner is someone else it is in their interest to read every tweet about the restaurant, it'll still be in the best interest of the chef to read his own twitter feed.

                      For promotional and marketing purposes PR firms are a good idea... as for getting the pulse of what's happening day to day via Twitter. PR shouldn't have anything to do with it. Chef by their very nature have a thick skin and as their profession is to serve people they have gotten quite used to having their work critiqued. This starts with their first culinary school class or their first chef if they start their career in the industry..... either way they are getting their chops busted from day one.

                      People want to belong, people want that interaction... it builds your brand and it builds loyalty. These people that follow you will be your brand ambassadors. It's as good as the doorman who knows your name or the maître d . It's not something you're going to see on an "ROI" report...at least not in the first year or two....it's not something immediately tangible as a marketing firm may have you believe.... but it does make a difference on your P&L sheet.

                      Of course these are just my ramblings and musings... but the more I see Twitter being used well first hand... the more these thoughts become solidified.

                      Thanks for sharing your Twitter handle!

                2. re: MC Slim JB

                  meh... I have mixed feelings about that. I'll say this, It's smart that the restaurant owner/chef understand the power of social media. Regardless of whom they choose to do their social media the theory that bad social media is better than none I feel is incorrect.

                  What happens in these parts is a firm is paid to tweet anywhere from one to three times a day (basically slightly before the meal times) and it is always a FB linked tweet where you see half the message then a link. I don't know anybody who has been on Twitter more than five minutes that has been tempted to open a linked tweet.... might as well be a spam bot offering to show you some video "They were shocked" to see you on.

                  What this does is serves as a reminder from one to three times a day as to why you hate these people. Hiring pros...meh... what does that even mean? I suppose a pro is someone who knows all their is to know about a subject.... yet, who do you know with a social media degree? I think someone needs to go in to the restaurants and offer training wheel Twitter.... here's how easy it is before introducing the idea of SEO, Analytics, hootsuite, bounce rates etc.

                  I mean a lot of the restaurants I see daily acting as FB billboard fronts don't have but 20-50 followers.... let us walk before we fly. Then after the chefs have practiced/ used/ understand what social media is and has a good following.... then you can pick gnat shit out of pepper and start to figure out how to drive more traffic, work with your analytics, do some cross promotional stuff and have synergistic relationships...

                  Before that a lot of the so called pros just muddy the water and unless they have worked with multiple restaurants, or understand the restaurant industry... they're just herding cats themselves. because A restaurant is not.... just another business.

            2. My cell phone is quite enough thanks, I don't need to be perpetually communicating or receiving communications. I like my peace.

              1 Reply
              1. re: treb

                Ha... understood! Although you can have the settings so they go just to your feed and not your phone...

              2. I am on twitter like I am on Facebook...in spurts. The two "foodies" I follow and swear by are HiddenBoston and BostonZest. I find both are pretty spot on and objective when it comes to the best places or dishes in the area.

                1 Reply
                1. re: BlueMagic

                  You are most kind BlueMagic, thank you.

                2. I try to tweet daily, about a fair range of topics, and usually have something about food on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

                  I also follow a variety of subjects on Twitter, in food this includes: Formaggio, mcslimjb, hiddenboston, sakanaya, Wednesday editions of various newspapers, and many more.

                  I still follow Chowhound daily, and consider it my first souce for food information, after alt.food.wine Chowhoundwas an early great resource!

                  @castorpman on Twitter

                  1. If you're interested in following the cocktail world in greater Boston, I highly recommend @cocktailvirgin. Fred Yarm is posting mostly these days. He's also collected about 5 years of his experience at Boston area bars in a new recipe book called Drink and Tell. Fred generally describes an experience at a restaurant or bar, then gives the recipe, and then describes the experience of drinking the beverage.

                    I also like @mcslimjb for both food and drink tweets in the Boston area.

                    www.kindredcocktails.com | @kindredcocktail | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community