While Facebook pages and Twitter handles have become a staple on most restaurants' business cards, Boulder-basedModmarket
wants to stand out. Sure, it will continue to use Facebook and Twitter accounts, but they'd be seamlessly integrated into the official website.
"The idea is that we'd like to get way beyond what has been seen," says Anthony Pigliacampo, who owns the mini-chain with Rob McColgan. Visitors would be able to access giveaways that are currently only on Facebook on the website, too, and the online ordering available on Modmarket's website would be available via Facebook. And the owners promise other surprises in store.
But first, Modmarket needs to win Facebook and American Express Open's unimaginatively named "Big Break for Small Business" contest. The prize: $20,000 for each of five businesses, as well as a training session at Facebook's headquarters in Palo Alto that will focus on how to use social media more effectively.
Modmarket is one of ten semifinalists out of a pool of 11,000 entries. Pigliacampo thinks the quick-serve restaurant's vision of sustainability got Modmarket through the door. "Every facet of our business is built around the idea of it being sustainable," he says. That goes from sourcing locally and organically to the fact that eating the food on a regular basis is "sustainable for the customer eating it." Translation: eating Modmarket all the time isn't artery-clogging, like standard fast food.
Plus, social media is the business's primary way of getting the word out. "We're a young company, run by fairly young people, and we're a little more tech savvy than most restaurateurs," Pigliacampo says. "Regular advertising is really expensive, and Facebook isn't."
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He's seen people come in based on "Likes" that their Facebook friends gave to Modmarket, he notes. When @edg126 tweeted "@modmarket disappointed in the quality of the Denver restaurant. Meal was kinda sloppy looking compared to boulder," the owners responded via Twitter, "@edg126 DM me and I will make it up to u."
"All of these ways to talk add to the megaphone of the Modmarket voice," Pigliacampo says.
McColgan and Pigliacampo currently have Modmarket locations, one in Boulder and one in Glendale, with a third opening at the Tech Center before the end of the year.
You can vote for Modmarket at -- you guessed it -- Facebook. Voting ends on July 19.