CHEFS: THE SECRET MARKETEERS
**Whether posting images of their latest dishes, networking with colleagues or keeping up-to-date with industry news, chefs are rapidly becoming the social animals of hospitality, as a recent report has shown. Neil Gerrard reports**
Chefs are the social media superstars of the hospitality industry, and a “hidden” marketing asset to the businesses they work for.
That is one of the key findings from a new report, Social Chef, commissioned by Mars Foodservice in association with the Craft Guild of Chefs, and assimilated by digital marketing expert Karen Fewell.
The research, which aimed to find out if, how and why chefs are using social media, was compiled online, and 335 chefs took part.
An overwhelming 90.1% of chefs agreed that social media is a great way to increase footfall to their establishment. They also find it a useful way to recruit, with 87.9% of those surveyed thinking that social media helps with recruitment.
Speaking about how best to use social media to a business’s advantage, Fewell said: “The best way to sell on social media is not to sell. Selling on social media comes after
you have built a relationship with your community. Many people think social media is about the technology, but it’s much more about the psychology. To have success, you need to understand the behaviour of your target market.”
Sarah Gray, marketing manager of Mars Foodservice, added: “Mars Foodservice is at the beginning of its social media journey. This report will help us shape how we use social media to engage with chefs and the foodservice world. I want to ensure that what we do is a help and not a hindrance to the industry.”
Most Facebook users check their account two or three times a day.
Most Twitter users check their account more than 10 times a day.
Most LinkedIn users check their account once a day.
There are currently more than 17 million images with the hashtag #FoodPorn on Instagram.
In a 30-day period (mid-October to mid-November 2013) there were 193,346 mentions on Twitter of the #FoodPorn hashtag.
Highlights from the Social Chef report
60.5% of chefs have bought from a supplier they saw on social media.
68.9% of chefs think food bloggers are good for the industry.
76.8% of chefs think online review sites help the industry.
85.6% of chefs say everybody thinks they are a ‘foodie’ these days.
91.3% of chefs think it is socially acceptable to post pictures of food on social media.
85.6% of chefs like it when a customer posts photos of food they have cooked.
57.2% of chefs disagree that there isn’t enough time in the day to do social media updates.
78.8% of chefs have attended an event because they read about it on social media.
87.9% of chefs think social media helps with recruitment.
90.1% of chefs agree that social media is a great way to increase footfall to their establishment.
63.1% of chefs think social media should now be part of a chef’s training.
65.6% of chefs say they would be interested in attending an industry training course on social media.