“Blogging in Great Taste” is a new series from RestaurantAdvisor.org and SilverFox Digital Communications aiming to help drive greater professionalism and standards in Food Blogging.
4th February 2017 – Doha, Qatar
A training session was held for aspiring food bloggers on 4th Feb. at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Doha and was attended by dozens of bloggers. The trainer, Michael Stellwag, a 20-year digital marketing veteran from USA with brands such as Southwest Airlines, UBS, Singapore Airlines, and Qatar Airways, delivered the training. He is Founder of SilverFox Digital Communications, a Dubai-based Digital Marketing & Social Media Agency. He is also founder of Qatar restaurant reviews site, RestaurantAdvisor.org.
The course, aimed at boosting the skills for new generation of food & beverage bloggers, had the objective of serving Qatar’s National Vision 2030, by helping support the growing hotel, restaurant, and café industry that is sweeping Qatar. The course covered blogger tools, commercial awareness, Google search optimization, business ethics, and the biggest hit, how to effectively describe even the simplest of food items for blogging success.
The course comes at a time where SilverFox Digital Communications has witnessed remarkable growth in Qatar’s hotel, restaurant, and café market. Whilst the sector growth has been beneficial for the country, and contributed towards Qatar’s National Vision 2030, it has led to intense competition amongst restaurants and cafés alike. This competition has left restaurateurs looking for answers as they seek public awareness of their unique menus and services.
In a market assessment conducted by SilverFox Digital Communications, Michael Stellwag, Founder & CEO, stated “it is clear to us that more marketing and support are needed to support Qatar’s restaurant & café sector. Therefore, SilverFox Digital has aligned with new Qatar restaurant review website, RestaurantAdvisor.org, to help develop the food blogger scene in Qatar.”
Stellwag went on to say, “based on our review of the food blogger market in Qatar, there appear to be numerous opportunities to offer a more complete product to serve their readers and the needs of restaurants & cafés.” Therefore, the aim of the training was to help boost the professionalism and awareness of food blogging across Qatar.
He continued: “one thing we cannot deny is that everyone in Qatar loves their food. In fact, there is an “inner-foodie” in almost all of us. For some Qatar residents, food is a key area of personal identity and expression. In a market like Qatar, which is so driven by word of mouth marketing, these food expressionists have a positive effect on increasing trial of food and beverage establishments.”
Another force that has driven power to the food reviewers is the state of the Qatar economy, which has led to more careful discretionary spending by Qatar residents. This has led Qatar consumers to think twice about where they spend their dining and entertainment budgets.
Food bloggers are in an enviable position in Qatar, because many restaurants don’t have a digital footprint of their own, which opens the door for influencers and food bloggers to become key drivers of awareness and opinion of dining establishments.
SilverFox Digital recommended bloggers learn how to describe all the qualities of the food they tasted for five minutes. The art of expression comes in many forms, and part of the workshop focused on the myriad ways you can describe even the simplest of foods. Part of it comes with a strong vocabulary, and the other part comes from having more “human sensors” on at the moment you walk through the restaurant’s door.
Aspiring bloggers were taught to notice the extreme details throughout the restaurant, and even the kitchen. Bloggers will also be taught to think outside of the bun, paying close attention to service, cleanliness, the chef, and the serving process.
SilverFox Digital has identified blogging to be a key driver of awareness and trial of the many new restaurants & cafés in Qatar. The firm holds great hope in the future of food blogging as a marketing method for dining establishments, particularly, when professional blogging standards and ethics are adhered to.
The company’s founder has the restaurant business in his blood, as his grandparents started a 600-store restaurant chain in Champaign, Illinois in USA in 1953, called Dog ‘n Suds. Stellwag became a food aficionado at an early age, and has taken interest in combining his love of the restaurant business and digital marketing, to build a network of trained bloggers across Qatar that serve the public and restaurateurs, alike.
The training included guest appearances from local Social Media specialist, Mr. Muhammad Nasir, who spoke about social media marketing in the food blogging world. In addition, guests were treated to the art of tea tasting, by Ms. Fiona Quan, representing Mulan Arab Trading Company. Attendees also received a food presentation by the Assistant Executive Chef at Crowne Plaza Doha Hotel, where each could experience the art of food descriptions for themselves.
ABOUT SILVERFOX DIGITAL:
SilverFox Digital Communications is a Dubai-based digital marketing agency serving clients around the world, mostly in the Middle East and South Asian markets. The company helps businesses in Qatar and other GCC countries transition into social and digital marketing as a means of finding and nurturing loyal customers. Trusted by companies such as Marriott International, Qatar Skills Academy, QMMF, KKT Orthopedics, etc. SilverFox brings more than 20 years of digital marketing and social media experience from companies such as Southwest Airlines, Orbitz.com, UBS, Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airways, Qatar 2015, and more. Visit SilverFox Digital at www.silverfoxdigital.com and on twitter at www.twitter.com/AskSilverFox or www.facebook.com/silverfoxdigital.
Formed only recently, RestaurantAdvisor.org has grown rapidly as a site for sharing Qatar restaurant reviews (from amateurs and professional foodies, alike). The site allows restaurant goers from around Qatar a place to add their own restaurant reviews. It also serves as a hub for the most prolific food bloggers across Qatar. For more information, visit www.RestaurantAdvisor.org.
For Inquiries: Call +974 66881044