Wagamama is a remarkable chain of noodle restaurants. I really love eating there. I must say, it’s a unique experience.
While eating there last Sunday, I came up with some ideas on how could the brand take a huge step, using social networks. I also checked their website and, to my surprise, I realised that they are not using social media yet. So, what’s the big deal?
Let’s start first by having a look at their current situation:
- The website looks OK but it’s not integrated with social tools
- They have recently released a cool iPhone app
- Only a few Wagamama restaurants in Australia and New Zealand are trying Twitter
- There’s a Wagamama Facebook page with over 30,000 fans. Believe it or not, that’s abandoned. They only made one post back in March 2008 🙁
Here we go with some cool ideas…
You can tell that people have fun when they eat there. Wagamama’s food is at the centre of the story, however, those of you that went to the restaurant will realise that they have sort of an open kitchen where you see all the cooks performing their art.
My first question was: why does this brand not have a YouTube channel? So the idea consists on placing a few flat screens above the kitchen bar and show live all the cool stuff that’s going on in the Woks. Also, I was impressed to see all the videos that customers shoot inside the restaurant!
There’s no doubt that the cooks and waiting staff are heroes in this play. You have to see the orchestration and great service that these folks deliver. So far they are not being featured but they could make into the YouTube channel and FlickR photo album of the brand in the following way:
- Cooks can present daily of weekly, the “dish of the day” and show how they look to drive more people insane about Asian food.
- Waiters can introduce themselves and feature some team-building activities (I perceive a great team spirit when I’m there)
- Why not having a cook and waiter/tress of the month and feature them like a movie star?
- Cooks can do short videos featuring themselves as well and include the links on the Wagamama Cookbook!
There’s a lot going on here that the brand is not capitalising on. It’s very simple to spot great conversation and loads of compliments in platforms such as Twitter and Facebook (Go to their search bars and type the word “Wagamama”). Is it worth as a brand to talk with your audience? You bet.
First thing you see when you sit at the table are this paper place-mats. Also, waiters your them to write down your dish numbers. As you see there’s no signs of social media here so the idea would be to invite their audience to engage and participate. For example they could include all special offers/dishes of the week and include a hashtag to each so people can spread the word about it and later on would be a lot simpler to track it. Hashtags are great to spark conversations. They generate a lot of curiosity sometimes.
This is an obvious one, however, Wagamama are not using geolocation either. By embracing Facebook Places (especially now that Facebook are testing Popular Places) and at least Foursquare they could really connect with those checking-in ( real time as well) and why not offer special deals. My idea was to include a screen dedicated to check-ins and see them all coming as a waterfall.
These are some simple ideas that came to my head in a 25-minute lunch. Imagine all the great ideas that Wagamama customers could come up with in general… Huge opportunity for the brand.
What ideas would you add?
09/11/10 Update: It’s nice to see that this blog post took Wagamama’s conversation to the peak of the month 🙂