Old Dog, new tricks…

(27 /03 /2015)

I admit; I’m a bit of an old dog.  I was sourcing recipes, cooking and finding my way around a commercial kitchen long before, Facebook was certainly not on the scene, and blogging, what was that?

Over the last three or four decades, the hospitality scene has changed dramatically.  It’s not just about being a chef and serving good food these days – you really have to know how to sell “it” – you, your food, your product, your restaurant.  And the tools and technologies to do these have absolutely exploded!  Gone are days of an advertisement in the local paper or on the radio and even on TV if you had a big marketing budget.  These days it’s about social media, apps (I even have my own you know) and quirky promotions that bring in the customers…and that means we old dogs have had to learn a few new tricks!

My new trick is blogging!  I’m not really much of a writer – I’d much rather be “on the tools” or out the front talking to customers and finding out what they want face-to-face, one-on-one.  So why do I blog?  Apart from being highly encouraged by one of my business advisers, I’ve learnt that the humble blog is great way to get your message across in a conversational, non-threatening manner.  They are thought provoking and encourage readers to jump into the conversation and share their stories…the good ones do at least, which I hope includes mine!

I’ve read many blogs which I have whole-heartedly agreed with while others have had me screaming obscenities and tearing my hair out and each one has made me want to respond, to put forward my two cents.  That’s the beauty of this form of communication – it can be used to promote, educate or sway opinion. So as much as I don’t enjoy writing, I do like the opportunity to say my piece and get people talking.

So what new trick have you had to learn?  Facebook, Instagram and various other social media platforms are all new technologies perfectly suited to hospitality marketing.  It only takes one person to “like” or share your page and before you know it, you can be inundated with customers.  These platforms are great for generating interest in your business, advertising jobs or seeking new sponsors or partners…it’s a very cost effective way of getting yourself out there!  One word of caution though – social media is only controllable to a certain degree so you must be prepared to deal with negative feedback or hacking issues if they arise.

So yes, I’m an old dog but in today’s technology-focussed world, I’ve made an effort to learn some new tricks and apply them well.  It wasn’t easy and I didn’t do it on my own but I think the key is to embrace the challenge of learning something new and you will make it work.  I’d love to hear your stories about the one new thing you’ve embraced as an old dog (or even a young one) and how you’ve made it work for your business.

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