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Pinterest for Atlanta restaurants?

Should restaurants post food photos and other images on Pinterest? (Sushi House Hayakawa, Doraville by Becky Stein / AJC Special)

Should restaurants post food photos and other images on Pinterest? (Sushi House Hayakawa, Doraville by Becky Stein / AJC Special)

Like many, I avoided Facebook for quite awhile before joining the ranks of followers. I feared the dreaded “time suck” as so many have called it. But one day I finally joined and I hopped on Twitter, too. And now, I have another addiction: Pinterest.

Pinterest, a shareable virtual bulletin board, is the newest addition to the time sucking family of social media sites. It has become a daily habit for me and, apparently, for many others. According to compete.com, which provides web traffic statistics, Pinterest received close to 20 million unique visitors in April.

Despite warnings against advertising and self-promotion during Pinterest’s sign-up process, businesses are beginning to explore ways to capitalize on its marketing potential, restaurants included.

Pinterest seems like a viable marketing avenue for restaurants. Post photos of food or daily specials and let the “pinners” spread the word by adding those photos to their own boards. Those photos will then be viewed by all of their followers, and placed again on the main screen for all Pinterest users to view. The potential customer reach extends far beyond Atlanta.

Besides being a simple marketing tool, Pinterest can tell a restaurant’s story and provide a window into a chef’s perspective. Depending on a chef’s pins, you could potentially see places he/she has traveled, plating ideas, culinary pursuits and explorations (curing hams, making cheeses, etc.). Chef Jay Swift of 4th & Swift has a pin board documenting the progress of his garden. Who wouldn’t want to see where their food is grown and know that the chef values sourcing so highly?

Let’s see photos of the farmers and their products, share preparation techniques and see the staff in action. Pinterest opens the door for a new type of branding — a more personal one that tells a story through collections of photos and website links.

After speaking with a number of publicists for Atlanta restaurants, it seems that many eateries are currently exploring the possibilities of Pinterest. So far, I’ve found pin boards for RA Sushi, Corner Tavern, Murphy’s and HH Desserts, the newly launched boutique dessert business by pastry chef Heather Hurlbert. Searching for businesses on the site can be difficult, however, so there may be others. Have you found any?

Would you welcome Atlanta restaurants to Pinterest or is it just one more marketing intrusion?

Check out photos from AJC’s restaurant reviews on Pinterest.

–by Jenny Turknett, Food and More blog

6 comments Add your comment

stephieZ

May 30th, 2012
1:30 pm

I would only welcome restaurants if they had pinned some food pics that then link to actual recipes, otherwise I would ignore and avoid.

Rick

May 30th, 2012
1:38 pm

Sushi House Hayakawa … yummy! Probably the best place for sushi in the metro area. I love it.

Matthew Graczyk

May 30th, 2012
3:05 pm

Pinterest is great for social bookmarking, but what about personal bookmarking – the bookmarks for the sites you visit over and over? A productivity booster instead of a killer. Try my company’s iCrumz.com. Think Evernote but optimized for personal bookmarking.

AL

May 30th, 2012
5:40 pm

Check out the Pinterest page for Doc Chey’s Noodle House: http://pinterest.com/doccheys/

Bubba

May 31st, 2012
7:38 am

Fresh Air BBQ, Jackson, GA

Since 1929 the Mother Church of BBQ in GA

SM

June 5th, 2012
9:59 am

Sip Wine Bar is on Pinterest. I follow them and they (amazingly enough) follow me. I think it’s pretty cool. Beyond posting food, they post “cool” stuff like wine accessories, photos of wineries and wine cellars, etc. I love that it’s more than trying to re-pin their menu items every day and advertise to me. Its about shared interests…