Gourmet To Go Sees Social Media As The Future of Business
Randy Sims of Gourmet To Go says successful businesses can't ignore social media.
Gourmet To Go is a 28-year-old local catering business headquartered in Maryland Heights. They specialize in freshly made corporate lunches and have an appreciation for locally sourced ingredients.
Owner Martha Uhlhorn says Gourmet to Go is the largest purchaser of Kale from Thies Farm (which also has an outlet in Maryland Heights.)
In addition to corporate lunches, Gourmet To Go offers catering services, three St. Louis retail outlets for lunch and take home dinners for busy workers who want to bring home something fresh but just as convenient as a drive through.
Randy Sims, a consultant who maintains Gourmet To Go’s online presence, said breaking into both Facebook and Twitter was a no-brainer.
“It’s another means of communicating the same message to a younger target audience," Sims said. "As a business, it’s where you have to be.”
Sims said Gourmet To Go’s year-old Twitter page specifically targets customers within walking distance of the downtown St. Louis retail outlet. “I tweet about the daily specials, sometimes about the nightly entrees.” The Gourmet To Go website offers a calendar of ever changing nightly entrees, but Sims considers Twitter a proactive way to remind people of their options rather than passively wait for customers to come to him.
The newer Facebook page was started in the fall of 2010 with the intention of appealing to a broader market. Around the holiday season, the Facebook posts focused mostly on the catering end. For 2011, Sims is examining the possibility of adding special coupons for people following Gourmet To Go on Facebook or Twitter.
Sims isn’t deterred by Gourmet To Go’s slow trickle of followers. “We’re growing more slowly because of the nature of what we are. Instead of a restaurant offering happy hours we use it to talk about our corporate menu, nightly entrees or fresh sandwiches. It’s a more immediate way of providing information.”