About 8 months ago I was sitting in my favorite lunch spot, Liquid Lunch, and was trying to use my cell phone to check into Foursquare. Unfortunately I couldn't because not only was there no wifi, there was terrible cellular service (not the business's fault, I know). As I looked around, this quaint soup/sandwich joint with a freezer full of old-school sodas, a chalkboard menu, and a line nearly out the door made zero effort to join the new media revolution. No Twitter presence. No Facebook presence. A website akin to Geocities. A missed opportunity.
It motivated me to write a post about the lack of restaurants embracing Foursquare, and praising AJ Bombers which has done a bang-up job of exactly that (and more) in Milwaukee. There are so many opportunities for businesses to embrace their customers and even those who aren't yet customers by utilizing the FREE tools that web 2.0 has provided us. No purchase necessary. Sweat equity not included.
Just today I was reading AJ Leon's blog, as I do nearly every day, and he posted a video of a restaurant he had found in Azusa, CA, on his cross-country road trip for Rise of the Cubicle Farmer. It's called The Pasta Bar, run by two uber-passionate people who have taken advantage of all the opportunities social media has provided to "hug their customers" as I like to put it. AJ explains more in the video below.
This is exactly what I was hoping Liquid Lunch would do. In our Post-Advertising age, this is exactly what ANY business can do to tell their brand story, close the trust gap, and make life a little better for their customers, one meal at a time. The opportunities are endless, as long as you're passionate and willing to put in the sweat equity. The Pasta Bar has, and they're reaping the rewards.