Steve’s Deli in Chicago is beloved for it’s corned beef sandwiches, creamed herring and sable fish. It has also earned a place in the heart of its community by using Twitter. Steve Green tweets for Steve’s Deli, he is a huge foodie and can talk about food all day long. Steve’s tweets get across a genuine person who loves making connections happen and putting a smile on people’s faces. We caught up with Steve to ask him a few questions about twitter and what it has done for Steve’s Deli.
FriendsEat: What was your first reaction when you heard of Twitter?
Steve Green: Twitter? So basically it is like status updates on Facebook?
FE: Did you initially think that Twitter was something your restaurant could put to use?
SG: Oh yea! For sure! What an amazing tool to reach out to so many people in such a short period of time!
FE: When did your restaurant start using Twitter?
SG: We started using Twitter about a year and a half ago.
FE: Can you share with us the first Tweet? Was it hard composing the first Tweet?
SG: Our first tweet was something like “Corned Beef, Pastrami, Tuna Salad, Egg Salad, what is your favorite sandwich?”
FE: How important is Twitter in your restaurant business?
SG: Twitter is a huge part of our business. We have the chance to thank people online for coming in to our restaurant. We also have the chance to make connections happen by thanking several of our fans in the same Tweet! Not only are we talking about Corned Beef, Matza Ball Soup but we are also creating community.
FE: Has Twitter significantly contributed to the restaurant? How?
SG: Like we said earlier, we are in the business to make our customers happy. We want to serve you a great meal and we also want to make Steve’s Deli a place where people can hang out. Twitter has allowed us to become a connector as well. We include people in the same tweets who have never met. This is a great way to create a community!
FE: Your restaurant is very active on Twitter, how much time do you devote daily to this task?
SG: There are three key times during the day that we are on Twitter, breakfast, lunch and dinner. We love to make people hungry when they are thinking about breakfast, lunch or dinner. We also check it during the day to make sure we are getting back to our followers.
SG: We love interacting with people on Twitter! We love talking about food, I mean, who doesn’t like talking about food. We have a great menu that features so many different options so we can talk all day long about our menu. We also like to checkin and find out how your weekend was, how you’re are feeling and did you enjoy your meal with us.
FE: What advice would you give to a restaurant that is just starting to use Twitter?
SG: The advice I would give is to interact with your followers. Don’t just market your restaurant.
FE: Was there any memorable Twitter-related incident that will go down with the history of the restaurant?
SG: There are so many great moments, but one moment is when one of our followers was sick and came in for our chicken noodle soup. She was feeling better the next day! The Power of Chicken Noodle soup and the Power of giving some love!
FE: Have you ever experienced anything negative from Twitter? How did you handle it?
SG: Sure, there are people who had slow service or a bad meal once in a while. We reach out to our follower and offer them a complimentary meal and apologize for the bad experience. A free Corned Beef sandwich goes a long way.
FE: What is your opinion on the validity of Twitter as an effective tool in marketing the restaurant?
SG: Twitter is an amazing way to market a restaurant. You can target people in your city and let them know that you exist. Twitter is a quick way to reach out to individuals and share with them about your restaurant. Twitter is also a great tool to make people hungry.
FE: How do you fit tweeting into a restaurant’s already busy schedule?
SG: We dedicate one person to handling our Tweets.
FE: Do you see Twitter as a long-term component in your restaurant’s activities?
SG: Yes.. We are going to keep utilizing Twitter. If you don’t Tweet, nobody can Retweet us!
FE: What do you find are the most effective tweets?
SG: The most effective Tweets are about the items on our menu. When we make people hungry which entices people to come in.
FE: Do you see any changes or modifications in the future as to the Tweet content of your restaurant?
SG: We are just going to keep Tweeting and interacting with our followers. Consistency is the key!
FE: What strategies should restaurants utilize when Tweeting?
SG: Make sure to leave enough characters so people can Retweet and comment back.
FE: How active do you get in order to increase your number of followers on Twitter? Does it even matter?
SG: We stay active on a consistent basis and Tweet 7 days a week. We also follow new people everyday.
FE: Have you studied the profile or demographic of your Twitter followers?
SG: We like to follow people from Chicago, since we are a local deli. We do follow other people, but mainly in Chicago.
FE: Has there been an unexpected result from using twitter?
SG: The unexpected result has been all the recognition of the community. People enjoy talking to Steve’s Deli and we enjoy talking with our Followers and then meeting them at the Deli. Bridging the gap from online to offline.
FE: Can you share with us the most effective or interesting Tweet of your restaurant?
SG: We like to ask people if they prefer Corned Beef or Pastrami? We like to ask if you ever had a Cheese Blintzie? We also love to ask what is your favorite kind of bagel?
FE: If your restaurant can get a celebrity to Tweet about it, whom would you choose?
SG: We would love to have Jerry Seinfeld to Tweet about us. He is the king of Deli’s
FE: Do you think Twitter is instrumental to the success of the restaurant business in general?
SG: We think Twitter is a great component to our Success.
SG: Yes we use Facebook and Foursquare as well and a few other sites.
FE: If your restaurant can contribute to improving Twitter to provide certain features, what would those be?
SG: Give us a few more than 140 characters because we could talk about food all day long!
FE: Any advice for those Twitter neophites?
SG: If you don’t Tweet, nobody can Retweet you. If you don’t join the conversation, nothing will happen. Social Media is here to stay! Just Tweet it and NetUpNow!