6 things we learnt about social media from the movie Chef

Have you seen the film (and recent addition to Netflix) Chef? While many will see the film as an irreverent, and possibly irrelevant comedy, there are many fascinating insights into the world of online media, social networks and blogging imbibed within the film.

The film tells the story of an acclaimed chef who is falling into a creative rut at a successful Miami fine-dining restaurant, and then has a Twitter meltdown following a bad review from a food blogger. Along the way we witness the juxtaposition of head Chef Carl Casper, with his grasp of the modern world, alongside his young son who was born and grew up in the digital age and has a firm grasp and understanding of phones, tablets and the ways of the online world.

Many of the Pelican foodservice PR and communications team are self-proclaimed Netflix fiends. Whether we are discussing House of Cards, The Thick of It or the latest episode of Better Call Saul, Netflix always manages to deliver high-quality entertainment.

Below are six takeaways about social media from the movie Chef.

1. The language used on YouTube can be worse than those in a testosterone fuelled kitchen.
Chef Carl Casper refuses to take his son with him to the kitchen at the restaurant in order to save his son from hearing the foul language often used in professional kitchens. His son adroitly points out that it won’t be anything he hasn’t seen before on YouTube message boards.

2. Bloggers can carry just as much weight as journalists
The whole restaurant, from kitchen staff to front of house, frantically prepares for the arrival of the Miami food blogger. The owner of the restaurant encourages the front of house to ensure all the guest are enjoying themselves when the blogger arrives. If the blogger writes a positive review to his large readership it could be a great coup for the business.

3. @replys can be seen by everyone
After seeing a nasty tweet posted by the Miami food blogger, Chef Carl Casper unwittingly responds to the tweet by calling out the blogger, little did he know that all of his followers could see his vitriolic response. A huge social media faux pas!

4. Embarrasing videos can go viral
Chef Casper has a confrontation with the Miami food blogger upon his second round of arriving at the restaurant. What starts off as a noble defence of his job, his fellow staff and the restaurant turns into a wild-eyed tirade. A number of the restaurant viewers filmed the incident on their phone which promptly went viral.

5. People respond to personal stories that are relatable
*SPOILER ALERT* Once Chef Casper leaves the fine-dining restaurant he sets up his own food truck and, alongside his son and his comfort with Twitter and Vine, becomes an instant online hit, redeeming the earlier viral episode. Being open about the uniqueness of the business and sharing personal family details proves a massive hit for Chef Casper’s new start-up company.

6. Small businesses can benefit enormously from the power of social media
Although costs can come with promoting and targeting Facebook posts and promoting your Twitter feed, the most effective way of getting seen (and by the people you want) is through social media. A large chuck of user’s online time is spent on social media, it could be the way your target audience comes to find out about your business.

Pelican Communications are specialists in the environmentfood and drinkoutdoor and leisure and packaging sectors and offer a range of services such as media relations, brand management, event management and people developmentContact us for marketing and communications expertise.