Three-person team boosts Facebook likes from 4,000 to 148,000 in a year

How a fondue chain proved to the bosses the value of taking care of customers one at a time.

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Not so long ago, when customers complained about spilling molten cheese on themselves at a fondue joint, they had few public places to gripe and contented themselves with online forms, 800 call lines, and strangers cornered in elevators.

These days, restaurant customers—both satisfied and ready-to-rumble—broadcast their comments on places like Twitter, Facebook, and Yelp for the world to read.

So Sandy D’Elosua, national director of communications for Front Burner Brands, has sought to respond to every mention within 24 hours. In doing so, Front Burner’s The Melting Pot fondue chain boosted Facebook “likes” from 4,000 to 148,000 in one year and won praise from loyal customers and complainers alike, who were surprised that their tweets were acknowledged.

All this was done with a staff that started the year at one person: D’Elosua herself. (She now has two others aboard.)

‘You just have to do it smarter’

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