C & O Restaurant has a blog, which has post from May and . . . November. Can we expect that posts will now pick up with some regularity?
Maya is on Facebook but they have set up a profile, not an official page for the business (this is the wrong approach — read more about pages vs. profiles here). One shouldn’t have to “friend” a restaurant. You can like a restaurant, but it’s really tough to be friends with it (you never call me!)
Michie Tavern may be one of the oldest restaurants in Charlottesville, but they’re still hip enough to be using social media. The historic restaurant has a Facebook page and they allow fans to comment on the wall (sometimes they interact with those who have posted there.)
Escafe has a blog. OK, not really. I’m sorry I made you go look, but they should be, too.
Downtown Grille surprised me with a Facebook page and a Twitter presence. This old-school, steaks, bourbon and cigars establishment doesn’t seem like it would be leading the pack in social media use, but indeed, there they are. While I’m thrilled to see Downtown Grille using Twitter, there’s room for improvement with more frequent tweets and interaction — I want to be tempted to come to the restaurant with tweets about menu items and specials. Just a reminder of the fabulous meals I have had there makes me want to go.
This is a selection of some of the finer restaurants in Charlottesville – others, including Ivy Inn, Hamilton’s, Fleurie, The Local, L’Etoile, have no discernible social media presence, other than the throngs of locals and visitors blogging and tweeting about them, posting their visits to their Facebook profiles or checking in on FourSquare.
In upcoming posts I’ll look at what other, more casual dining establishments are doing with social media and how it’s working for them. I’ll also share some tips on what these businesses could be doing, to gain a competitive edge and remain top of mind with those dining out in Charlottesville.
I hope some C’ville eating establishments read your article Marijean. Social media is such a great way for restaurants to connect with diners, but you have to do it right. It makes me nuts when I get to a blog, Facebook Page or Twitter feed that hasn’t been updated for months (from a business in any industry). I almost feel like you’re better off to have nothing than something that is outdated. Thanks for your great insight, as always.
There is a chef’s blog link on the Ivy Inn webpage (which has totally changed recently, by the way!), but it seems to be largely pictures of food with little text. At least it does seem to have been updated semi-regularly over the last few months.
Actually, there are a couple others I know of (level of regular maintenance varies):
Brookville has a blog (and it’s kept up-to-date): http://brookvillerestaurant.blogspot.com/
Zinc has a blog (last post on Aug. 20 – http://bistrozinc.blogspot.com/), a Twitter account @bistro_zinc (last tweet Oct. 1) and a Facebook profile (last post Nov. 24) but not a page.
@Amy – you’re right on the mark when you say you have to do it right. I feel like some of these outposts are being maintained by someone who has overextended themselves (an owner, a chef) and realized they don’t really have the time to look after it. Local restaurants are no different than a large company in this respect – they have to have a plan and goals and commit to it. Otherwise, what’s the point?
I think Beer Run uses Facebook exceptionally well. They post their lunch specials every day, as well as new inventory, and tastings. I was just commenting to my husband that we go to Beer Run A LOT because of their Facebook presence.
This post really focused on the “fine dining” restaurants – stay tuned for one on casual dining including Revolutionary Soup, Eppie’s and Beer Run.