Many restaurants use Instagram as their main social media presence. It’s visually oriented, allowing for beautiful pictures of dining rooms and food, and it also can be highly engaging, as the operators of the Instagram account of Rick Bayless’ latest concept, Tortazo have learned.
“We put a lot of effort and energy behind our Instagram and our social presence,” Tortazo president Sam Lipp said. That has included asking their followers to pick the next seasonal menu item, between a torta with a Yucatán-style pork called cochinita pibil and an avocado BLT tlayuda — a sort of giant pizza-sized tostada served at room temperature.
“Our followers voted for the pibil, so that’s now on the menu in Chicago,” said Lipp, who’s currently working on the opening of the concept’s second location, in New York City in early September.
“And that’s the tip of the iceberg,” he said. “We're looking at Instagram as a way to express some of the values of our brand while engaging with people. Education is really important to us, and celebrating and highlighting some of the farmers that we choose to work with locally, both in the Chicago market and soon here in the New York.”
Tortazo also makes robust use of Instagram’s “highlight” feature that allows them to give permanent places for their stories. The account currently has a highlight featuring new menu items, one that’s a biography of Bayless, one that highlights cocktails, one that highlights tortas, one that quotes their favorite reviews and one that’s previewing the New York location.
Tortazo also uses its Instagram account to celebrate large and small holidays, such as Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day and Best Friends Day (June 8) as well as its own weekly holiday: Torta Thursday.
The Instagram account actually launched before the first restaurant opened, showing pictures of the food and counting down the days until the restaurant debuted.