I examined the strategy of a few of the most popular (new and old): Cantine California, Le Mary Celeste, Blend, Ten Belles, Bob's Cold Press, and the establishment at which these photos were taken, Café Loustic. It was fun research, and a great opportunity to meet a handful of the talent behind such cool places.Twitter to inform customers about their whereabouts and share feedback. Blend, a burger joint, blogs to identify themselves not just as a curator of hamburgers, but of art, culture, and music, too. Bob's Cold Press utilized Facebook to attract customers even before they officially opened with photos, updates, and news about co-branding events. They continue to actively use it today.
a Facebook page as well, despite (or perhaps because of) the fact that owner Channa Galhenage intends for it to be "a true café du quartier". Though they've been considerably less visible online, Facebook serves as a convenient place for customers to find out their address and hours. In my opinion, that doesn't make Galgenage's commitment to quality products and service any less authentic.
Yet for some, I'm afraid, it can. Le Mary Celeste opened with a lot of online and offline buzz, for instance. I was hopeful based on their two existing successful venues (Candelaria and Glass), a great Brooklyn Brewery launch party, and the enjoyment of oysters at the bar on more than one occassion. Unfortunately, I left a recent dinner there hungry and disappointed. The amazing food was served in too small of portions, at too high of a price... without any bread whatsoever. (What?!) And our table for four was ridiculously cramped.
No matter what restaurant critics, Yelpers, and the eateries themselves say, it's doubtful that any online presence will surmount an unpleasant experience. Customer loyalty is archaic, even in our digital age.Café Loustic's 10€ lunch. A few weeks ago, Lara and I absolutely adored our choices from their short but sweet, French-ish menu: spinach and salmon tarts, oatmeal-raisin cookies, and two espressos. Sometime soon, I hope to sample the "laptop special" (a Chemex of seasonal coffee with 3 mini-cupcakes) and The Kale Project's kale salad I've been, um, hearing so much about :). But not before finishing this paper...