Chef Seminar #1: Digital Marketing Strategies 101

“As a chef, marketing meals in the modern world is a complicated process. Over the years we’ve worked with thousands of chefs, and as result we’ve been able to distill some key learnings and paths to success. Our goal is not only to help you sell meals, but to help you grow your brand and achieve whatever goals you have for yourself. In this first installation of our webinar series, we talk about building a feedback loop in order to grow an audience and work efficiently, and how to leverage some key features of social media channels to sell your events out in advance.

There’s lots of information here, but if you take the time to read and implement it into your own efforts, we are confident it will yield results.”

– Joey DeBruin, Feastly’s Head of Growth  

Part 1: The Feastly Marketing Team’s Mission

  • Our goal is always just to shine a light on the amazing things our chefs are doing. We do that in a wide variety of ways, from helping out on social media to answering questions about building a brand to providing analysis of what we know sells best for any given city.
  • Help us help you. We realize every chef is different, and that they bring their own unique set of experience, goals, and dreams. The platform is incredibly versatile, and we like to think our team is too, but the more transparent you can be with us the smoother things will go. If you’re looking to grow your following to one day open a brick-and-mortar, tell us about it and we can help guide you along a path that has worked well for other chefs that have done that with us in the past. If you’re just looking to cook your passion once in awhile, we can help with that too!
  • You deserve financial success. For every chef, we work to maximize the revenue you make. In addition to all of the marketing support, our job is to take the thousands of meals that happen on the platform and crunch the numbers to find trends and patterns that can help you sell seats more effectively.

Part 2: Owning Your Feedback Loop

    • Most every successful business has built a feedback loop – a way to allow their audience to grow. Without it your efforts will be like running on a treadmill: you work and work but never seem to get anywhere. So here are the nuts and bolts:
      • Define your loop – every one is unique! The key moment of the loop is when someone decides they want to stay informed about what you’re up to. This could mean they follow you on social media, subscribe to your email list, or even just follow your Feastly chef profile.
      • Create the assets you need. If you want to build a brand for yourself, it is crucial to have a Facebook brand page and/or Instagram account. Anything more than that (like a website) is great, but only if you actually have the resources to create and maintain it in a way that is professional. Be realistic with yourself, don’t spread yourself too thin and ask us for help!
      • Execute a plan. It might be obvious that you need to grow your following in order to grow your brand, but how to do it shouldn’t just be shots in the dark. Make a plan, and execute it. Be upfront with your requests. Don’t just put link to your Facebook page, ask people to like it and tell them why. The thank you note after the meal is the perfect place to do this, since people have already tasted your food and are in the perfect moment to be converted to a loyal customer. You can also upsell your future meals at the same time. Here is an example of what your message could look like: “

Hi Everyone,

Thank you so much for coming last night. It’s always a pleasure to cook for such a good-spirited and enthusiastic crowd.

If you have any photos that you’d be willing to share, tag us @your_popup. We never have time to take our own!

Up next we’ve got an awesome series of meals, from a 5 course scallop and squash dinner to a more casual happy hour. You can find out more about them by liking our facebook page at . We also use that page to give out discounts and special invitations because we love seeing familiar faces at the events! Your support means a lot to us.

Thanks again for coming and we hope to see you soon!
-Joey, and the rest of the Your_Popup crew

      • Be diligent about re-engagement. Once you have followers and fans, you have to keep them informed about what you’re up to. This could be by posting content/recipes/photos to your brand pages, or just sending them a note when you have a meal coming up. If you need help creating cool content, we’re here for you!
      • Be wary of things that don’t contribute to your loop. It’s great to partner with a local brand, but it’s a much better use of your time if you can ensure that the partnership is going to lead to more people engaging with you long term.


  • Play the long game. The number one most important thing to do when building a brand is to engage with as many people as you can. Our data shows that price is the most important factor when someone considers attending a meal from a chef they don’t know. If you aren’t consistently selling out meals, it likely means your audience has some room to grow. Figuring out a way to host more approachable, lower cost meals is a smart way to build your brand. Then once you have a following that loves you, the possibilities for what you can do are endless.


Part 3: Leveraging Social Media – Facebook Events

  • Facebook events are a great way to grow your brand. Once you have a brand page, start creating events for your meals. The social networking of Facebook will help you take your existing audience and branch outward to engage and acquire new customers and fans.
  • Invite your audience to get the event to the “tipping point.” Organic reach (Facebook recommending to random people that they engage with your event) is greatly boosted when the event has initial traction. In other words, invite 100 people to your event and it’ll likely be shown to 1000 more. So invite your Mom, invite your coworkers, invite anyone you’re comfortable with even if they aren’t likely to attend.
  • Adding us as a co-host will GREATLY increase your reach. If we have access to your page as an editor, we can add ourselves as co-hosts. This means that some of the thousands of people that like our page will automatically be shown the event, which can really help boost it over the edge. We’ve seen great success with this strategy, so reach out to someone on the team to talk about making it happen.
  • Post in the event discussion in order to send people notifications. In addition to the notifications that will happen automatically (ex. “reminder: you have an event in two days”) people who have expressed interest in your event will get a notification every time you post in the discussion. This is a powerful tool, and a great way for you to get interested people to book. Post photos of the dishes, other content, and if you need to move some last minute seats you can post a discount code created from the marketing page of your chef dashboard. People love hearing from chefs!
  • Make sure your event has an actual location. Don’t just put “secret venue” because the location is super important for organic reach. Just something like “Mission District San Francisco” is fine, but don’t leave it blank.


Part 4: Questions, Future Topics, and More

  • Please stay tuned to future webinars! The next one is all about tips, tricks, and tools to make these things easier – including free scheduling tools for Instagram and Facebook, and more.


Send me a message with any topics you’d like to go over in the future. You can reach me at or via Facebook. Thanks for tuning in!