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Brick and Mortar

Brick and Mortar Food TruckSAN FRANCISCO, CA – Three mobile food operations are getting brick-and-mortar homes at last. First off, the fine folks at Brass Knuckle — they of the clever band-inspired sandwich names like Fryin’ Maiden (buttermilk fried-chicken sandwich) and Pork Floyd (a pulled-pork melt) — are opening their first, wheel-free home at 749 Larkin Street (at O’Farrell). As Tablehopper reports, chef Shellie Kitchen (who happens to be a contestant on the current season of ABC’s The Taste) kind of flew under the radar with this one,

Meanwhile, Rice Paper Scissors is turning their pop-up at Brick and Mortar (1710 Mission Street) into something more permanent — maybe we’re calling it a semi-permanent pop-up? They’ll be serving lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday to Wednesday, with weekend brunch in the works too. See the lunch menu here.

Also, Hapa Ramen chef Richie Nakano has finally revealed the location of his eventual brick-and-mortar spot, which has shifted from his planned location (next door to State Bird Provision on Fillmore), to a former 99-cent store in the Mission. As Tablehopper reveals, he’s snagged a lease at 2293 Mission Street (at 19th), but the opening could still be a ways off since there’s a change-of-use application that will have to go through Planning first.

Find the entire article at sfist.com <here>

image from houstonpress.com

HOUSTON, TX – A favorite Houston food truck, Good Dog Houston, revealed on Twitter this weekend that it will be opening a brick and mortar location in the Heights.

Houstonians typically go online to find out the hot-dog truck’s daily location.

The tweet toasted followers with a photo of champagne and keys, commemorating the announcement and promising more details in the coming week.

Good Dog owners Daniel Caballero and Amalia Pferd told Eater Houston the location will be in the former Big Mamou space at 903 Studewood and they plan to open prior to the beginning of football season in September.

Good Dog Houston’s Ol’ Zapata dog was named by Fox News in May as America’s best hot dog, and Esquire named the truck among the best food trucks in the nation in March.

Good Dog Houston is the latest local food truck to establish a permanent location, following Eatsie Boys in December.

Find the entire article by Katy Stewart at Houston Business Journals <here>

Unlike food truck owners, brick and mortar restaurant owners are proving to be very close minded when it comes to using social media to their advantage. A recent survey by MustHaveMenus , revealed that nearly half of the 1,300 restaurant owners, managers and caterers that they polled, do not use social media to attract customers. What this survey shows, is that while mobile eatery owners almost entirely use social media as their sole form of customer marketing, a large percentage of stationary eating establishments are social media holdouts.

Here are some of the key findings from the study:

  • 42% of restaurant owners and managers invest in social media efforts (including blog participation, and managing their Twitter and Facebook accounts.
  • 12% of restaurants and caterers hire someone to manage their social media presence.
  • 23% of respondents do not believe that they need to use social media as a marketing tool.
  • 23% of respondents believe that they don’t have time to devote to social media, along with all their other restaurant management duties.

“Running a restaurant or catering business doesn’t leave much spare time for owners and managers,” said Jim Williams, CEO of MustHaveMenus, a leading online provider of restaurant menus and marketing designs for the food service industry. “But we believe that social media deserves that extra effort as a marketing vehicle. Eating is a social occasion, and social media is a great way to turn a great meal into a tip for friends, family and foodies.”

“Social media can seem scary to a lot of restaurant owners,” said Matthew Dorian, Director of Marketing for Referral Circle, a social media marketing firm for independent restaurants. “The key to being successful with social marketing (or any marketing for that matter) is to engage and interact with your guests through the mediums that they are already using. Find where your guests are lurking and focus on those spots.”

Although this may be scary to them, the scarier fact they should be aware of is the social media usage increases being show in most age categories. Over the past year social media growth is attributable to more GenXers (those between ages of 32-45) and Boomers (46-65 years old) joining in. For Generation X, usage from 2009 to 2010 increased from 70 to 85 percent. Usage among Baby Boomers increased from 54 to 76 percent. Among the Millennials/GenY (those 13-31 years old) usage grew from 84 to 91 percent over the last year.

All of this high tech social media may be new to these restaurant owners but in the food truck industry, social media is a must have source for customer outreach. Some of the avenues that these hold outs could use that food truck operators already use could be:

  • Announce the new menu or drink specials of the day
  • Promote a happy hour event or special restaurant event
  • Solicit ideas for new menu items or specials of the day on Twitter.
  • Offer a special prize for people who follow you on Twitter by a specific time and date, to be entered to win a free bottle of wine or gift certificate.

These ideas are already being used by the food truck nation for years now, hopefully if given enough time, our brick and mortar brethren can learn the ways of the new world, instead of keeping their heads in the sand afraid to use these tools.

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