Monday, April 6, 2009

What Twitter is good for: restaurants!

Posted By on Mon, Apr 6, 2009 at 12:00 PM

Few things are better than hot baked goods. Especially hot doughnuts and cookies just out of the oven. But it's hard to know when a bakery has such treats. Krispy Kremes turn on a neon light when their doughnuts are coming out, but even then you have to be driving by to see it. Calling a bakery every 10 minutes is unrealistic, and so is expecting that bakery to update a Web site dozens of times a day.

Enter Twitter.

A baker can't call 200 customers individually to tell them he's closing in 10 minutes and all pastries are half off, but he can Tweet it. As the Kogi Taco Truck in Los Angeles has learned by Tweeting its location for the night, using the technology can draw people who otherwise wouldn't have known where the hell it was.

One man in England has already taken it to the next level by introducing BakerTweet

It's a wireless device set up to an oven. At the same time the timer's

buzzing to let you know the croissants are done, it's sending out a

Twitter message that hot croissants just came out of the oven.


BakerTweet from POKE on Vimeo.

As BakerTweet shows, the possibilities are endless. I can imagine a computer program for a bar that decides what to have at happy hour by how many @replies it receives asking for an item. Or, instead of a really busy restaurant turning away people without reservations, it sends out a message to all if some tables open up.

To Twitter fanatics, none of this is new but many restaurant owners and diners are just now catching up. Once they get caught up, restaurant dining could be a very new experience.

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