|Left to right: Meyer, Hernandez, Bayless and Andres; photo by Hernan F. Rodriguez|
During a fascinating discussion, Rick Bayless said that websites are having more impact on dining choices than local newspapers. To prove that point, Bernardo Hernandez asked the audience: “Raise your hand if you have today’s local paper… Now raise your hand if you have a phone.” The phones won the overwhelming majority in the room.
Danny Meyer praised the immediate impact of social media on service, giving him a chance to correct restaurant mistakes on the spot. For example, when one diner Tweeted that the pancake size suddenly got smaller at Maialino, Meyer, unaware of the shrinkage, made sure the size was not only fixed on the spot, he sent the user home with an “apology” basket of sweet rolls.
Rick Bayless loved how social media makes him a three-dimensional personality. He uses it not as much to promote his businesses, but to show who he is as a chef. He also highlighted how in social media, “Everyone can be media.”
The conversation diverged into a different kind of modern-day marketing - the “pop up” restaurant, to which Jose Andres said of his America Eats effort: “I needed to tell the history of American cuisine from my perspective. Did I get some media attention for it? Yes. Was it good for my restaurants? Yes. Will I do it again? No.”
After the talk, we caught up with Bayless and Meyer - stay tuned for our exclusive Q&A and watch the Tech Talk here.