Top Chefs and Restaurateurs Talk Social Media and Food

Bayless, Andrés, Hernandez, Meyer discuss the power of media to communicate with fans

Tech Talk: Marketing to Today's Diner

At the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen this past weekend, chefs José Andrés and Rick Bayless, Zagat director Bernardo Hernandez, and restaurateur Danny Meyer sat down to discuss the power of technology and media in the world of food.

When asked about the power of newspapers to convey a message, the group agreed that newspapers today play a small role. Newspapers are important to reach those who are not connected to social media, but chefs get many more comments from being mentioned on online news sources, like Hernandez polled the audience, asking who had cell phones and who read the local paper. As expected, the overwhelming majority had phones and did not read the paper. Although the diminishing power of newspapers is on everyone’s mind, he further proved the point that our means of communication are changing.

Twitter and Facebook are becoming major components in how chefs and foodies communicate with one another. The immediacy of Twitter allows for quick customer feedback (including damage control) and constant conversation with fans. Bayless explains that many of his conversations via Twitter are with fans across the country, many of whom may never get the chance to dine in one of his restaurants. It allows him to be connected to people all over the world.

Though high-tech communications certainly help drive conversation about new restaurants and food trends, nothing beats real life, face-to-face communication. According to Meyer, “High tech ain’t never going to trump high-touch.”

Watch the full talk here: