Eyeing diners, restaurants take to Twitter

Mon Apr 20, 2009 4:03pm EDT
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By Lisa Baertlein

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Kogi, a duo of Korean BBQ-inspired taco trucks in Los Angeles, has "Tweeted" its way to international stardom and is inspiring restaurateurs seeking new ways to tempt diners during a deep recession.

Twitter, a free social networking site, is a vital ingredient in Kogi's success. As Kogi's example shows, the service that started as a way for people to follow the 140-character "tweets" of friends and celebrities is quickly becoming a powerful new way for businesses to talk directly with customers.

Because Kogi's trucks visit locations all around Los Angeles, brand director Mike Prasad wanted to create a single place where fans could gather.

"We had to create a home for them. Twitter was a natural fit," said Prasad.

The plan worked. Since launching in November, Kogi has attracted more than 15,000 followers on Twitter(twitter.com/kogibbq).


"There is nothing faster for communicating than Twitter," said Aaron Allen, chief executive of restaurant consulting firm Quantified Marketing Group. "You have to be a complete moron to ignore it."

The Twitter conversation "cloud" can give businesses an early read on consumer sentiment, said Shiv Singh, global social media head at advertising and marketing firm Razorfish.   Continued...

<p>People wait for their food while others wait in line to order at Kogi, a Korean BBQ-inspired taco truck, in Torrance, California, April 17, 2009. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok</p>