How a Truffle Traveled Twitter

How a truffle traveled twitter is one of my favorite Twitter Case Studies, and it comes from Tom Prince, Owner of Tomasso Trattoria & Panzano Market. His businesses consistently earns top ratings, Yelp raves, and a bevy of awards for their seasonal menus and world-class wines.
How a Truffle Traveled Twitter

A Noble Tuber Arrives

A commitment to fresh, local and Italian ingredients has helped Prince attract foodies to Boston’s suburbs. A popular feature of Tomasso’s website is Tonight’s Specials, which celebrate the season’s best.

One fall day, the chef ordered a small quantity of white truffle. When the truffle arrived, it was more than double in size to what had been ordered, weighing in at 3.5 ounces! Mild panic set in for how the restaurant would move this perishable, high-cost item quickly.

White Truffle Luxury

At the white truffle auction in Italy once, a 1.6 pound white truffle sold to a California buyer for $150,000. A single ounce can sell for $200 to $500 retail, and that’s only enough for garnishing two to three plates of pasta or risotto. It’s not unheard of to pay $75 to $100 for an entree featuring this highly esteemed Italian magnatum.

Imagine the excitement and trepidation of Tom Prince and his team upon receiving this prized ingredient. Undaunted, they understood fast action was in order.

As they pondered the possibilities for their $1,000 investment, they noted the truffle’s size was a spherical match to a Fenway Park baseball sitting on their office shelf.

Short Order Opportunity

To engage customers in the thrill of the truffle and attract them to the restaurant, Tom knew he had to showcase the magnificence of the mushroom in real time.

How a Truffle Traveled Twitter

Tom Prince, Owner of Tomasso Restaurant in Southborough, MA.

So, they started by taking a picture of the truffle next to the Red Sox collectible under an illuminating kitchen lamp. Next, they used Twitter to share the picture and deliver a social only offer to followers.

Tomasso-Panzano fans were sent tweets inviting them to come to the restaurant and experience this rare, seasonal delicacy. Dishes featuring white truffle shavings were created by the chef and priced attractively at $35-$39 each, far below what a patron would pay for a white truffle dish at most restaurants.

Home Run Outcomes

  • The white truffle sold out in a few days, making them a respectable profit.
  • Real-time value was delivered to loyal followers, contributing to good will and customer rapport.
  • Word of mouth and online viral marketing ensued as customers shared their happy truffle stories.
  • Tomasso-Panzano’s reputation as a premium destination for local and Italian provisions was reinforced with locavores, chefs, foodies and journalists.

How are you using Twitter to build relationships, deliver real-time value and grow your business?

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