Consumerist reader Tom is not the kind of guy who usually goes out for fancy meals. But heck, it was his wife’s birthday coming up and one of her favorite local restaurants was participating in Jersey Shore Restaurant Week. It would be perfect — a nice dinner + plus a great deal = a happy wife and an equally happy wallet. But then Tom realized the deal had just expired, and decided to throw a hail Mary pass via social media.
Tom writes that he expressed his dismay over missing out on restaurant week by tweeting at the owner of the restaurant, a bona fide celebrity chef, writing: “Ah, too bad @jsrWeek is over. Eileen’s b-day is tomorrow night and I know she loves @ChefDavidBurke’s Fromagerie. Was a killer deal.”
Lo and behold, Burke was listening — or rather, reading. Tom says he tweeted him back and offered the same restaurant week deal, so he booked a reservation for her birthday. How nice, he thought. But the consideration didn’t stop there.
When we got to the restaurant I just got the sense that something was a little different, like they were expecting us. The waiter brought us out a starter app that was compliments of the house. Then the waiter brought us out a cheese platter that was also on the house. At that point the waiter asked how we were friends with the chef and I explained that all I did was tweet to him. Then the head chef personally brought out yet another special course to us. My wife was loving the VIP treatment.
After finishing our meal we were invited to tour the kitchen. The head chef told us that he was in Manhattan the night that I tweeted to the owner. They were cooking at a charity event with another celebrity chef (Emeril Lagasse). The head chef told us how the owner stopped what he was doing and said, “Hold on, I’ve got to answer this guy’s tweet.”
I’m not a foodie and I’ve never posted on any restaurant review site. I’m just a Jersey Shore guy who wanted to take his wife out to a nice dinner.
Tom adds that this shows to him, that the chef/owner really understands not only customer service, but the important role social media plays in it as well. It also goes to show that if at first you don’t succeed, tweet — nicely, of course. No one likes an all-caps shoutfest.