Photo via Flickr user Jaume Escofet
In recent years, many chefs have shunned the use of social media in their restaurants. From French cooks trying to stop diners from Instagramming their dinner to industry outrage at bloggers who try to blag free meals in return for positive online reviews, chefs and smartphones don't often mix well.But according to a new report from British communications agency, William Murray, chefs are becoming more social media-savvy, using Twitter and Facebook to recruit new restaurant staff and even embracing Instagram pics at the table.
In a survey of more than 200 chefs across the UK, the agency found that 98 percent said they saw "the value of social media" and checked their accounts six to seven times a day.And it's not all just about the lols.When asked how they used social media, over half (57 percent) of the chefs said they advertised restaurant vacancies, while 30 percent used it to search for food photos and 23 percent for food trends. Reassuringly, just 15 percent of chefs turned to Twitter to find recipes.As well as being questioned about their own social media habits, chefs were also asked about their views on diners' use of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The report found that 83 percent of chefs were in favour of customers both taking photos of dishes and writing reviews. Sacre bleu!
Chefs like Andy Oliver of recently opened London Thai restaurant, som saa recognise the growing importance of social media as a way to drum up business. He turned to Twitter to promote his restaurant's crowdfunding page last year.Oliver told MUNCHIES: "We crowdfunded som saa from humble beginnings and the response we had was phenomenal, but we couldn't have done it without help from people on Twitter especially. A lot of our friends in the industry shared our crowdfunding link, and told people that we were a worthwhile investment which paid off. I think Twitter is such an integral part of what restaurants do now, it would be silly to ignore its influence."So, if you're looking for that rockstar chef lifestyle (and aren't we all?), get tweeting. Just remember that you'll have to ditch the phone when it's your turn to scrub the pots.