Earlier this week Joe and I went to Pancheros to grab a burrito. I had not been in several months, I love the food but Pancheros is a ten minute walk from IZEA and normally isn’t top of mind. When I returned to the office I tweeted about my burrito and was amazed when somebody at Pancheros quickly responded to me.

Obviously Joel at Pancheros understands the power of Twitter. He is probably using Twitter search to identify people speaking about their company then responding in real time. I loved that he reached out to me and followed me, so much so that I have returned to Pancheros two more times this week, spending $20 in additional food and beverage. I want to praise Joel and Pancheros for their use of Twitter, but challenge them to think bigger.

Pancheros 2.0

Imagine this. It’s January 1, 2009. Joel just tapped me on the shoulder to consult with Pancheros on a social media strategy (which I don’t do). My first order of business… Twitterize everything.

Get Employees On Board

I told both the cashier and the owner of my local Pancheros that I tweeted about Pancheros and they both had no idea what the heck I was talking about. Pancheros should encourage these people to participate in Twitter and enlist them to help spread the word while at the restaurant.
Pancheros Twitter

Spread the Word

It’s great that Pancheros is on Twitter, but I would have never known it. I just so happen to tweet about them and be followed back. If they are going to be on Twitter they should make a commitment to promoting it now, while Twitter is still relatively young. Don’t let McDonalds or Burger King “eat your lunch”. Connect with the early adopters and they will create a snowball of followers. Make it clear you are on Twitter, don’t make your fans seek you out or stumble upon you.

Pancheros Twitter

Encourage Conversation

Pancheros has big screen monitors broadcasting irrelevant cable television programming to their customer base. Why not turn those into Twitter search feeds, showing everyone the conversation around the Pancheros brand and the food they love so much. Seeing the conversation will encourage people to participate and drive free brand exposure on a massive scale.

Pancheros Twitter

Drive Demand Through Special Offers

Pancheros should use Twitter to tweet out special offer codes for Panchero followers. I would suggest doing these tweets a couple times a week, around lunch and dinner. If they tweeted out “come to @pancheros in the next hour and mention promo code TACONOW to get 20% off a taco” I would be there… a lot.

Embrace The Twitter Community

How about holding a Tweetup with free or discounted product at Pancheros in each city they have locations. Perhaps people could get a free taco by Tweeting out a phrase like “@pancheros hooked me up with a free chicken taco at the Orlando tweetup”. Utilize the network effect of Twitter to spread the word at low cost.

Tweet and Mortar

Pancheros and other businesses with a physical location have an incredible opportunity to integrate Twitter in everything they do. Those that move first and build an army of followers now will have a distinct advantage over their counterparts that arrive late to the game. Joel is heading down the right path, I hope he can get senior management to see the bigger picture and be the first fast food chain to embrace Twitter in this way

If you like this post feel free to follow me on Twitter.

Ted Murphy

Ted Murphy

Ted Murphy is an American entrepreneur. He is currently the Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of IZEA, a technology company that provides software for influencer marketing.


  • Mark Fulton says:

    Very innovative ideas. I especially like the live feed concept of recent buzz on twitter.

    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head here.. more companies will be following this lead soon.

    Twitter works.

  • i was surprised to see Pancheros on twitter and was wondering how they would use the social media tool. To my surprise they contacted me directly as soon as I started following them. I proceeded to tell them a frustration that they did not offer nachos on the menu and Joel took the feedback and informed me of a location that is beginning to offer this as an extended menu and to check it out. Thought that was awesome.

    Ted, Great Ideas, as always!

  • Greg Rollett says:

    Ted, those are some great points and ones that w have started to chat with our clients about. It is one thing to be on these networks, it is another to actually integrate it into part of their brand.

    I think Joel is doing a good job with probably what he has to work with. The major problem of all chain restaurants is communicating down the line. Most servers/cashiers/erc do not know the current ad campaign that ran on the SuperBowl, nonetheless the fact that they are on something like Twitter.

    Anyway, I love the ideas and your fast artwork to create t-shirts and window stickers.

  • Aaron Weiche says:

    Hi Ted – Great post. I like the fact that Pancheros is taking part in the SM space. I had the opportunity to meet in person with Joel, after connecting online, and I think they are headed toward many of the ideas you threw out. Just as many businesses, they are first taking part and just starting to learn the opportunities to listen and take part in the online community.

    My biggest takeaway from your post is that a business can’t let finding you be an accident on Twitter, find a way or a few ways to drive your target market to take part. Great examples you provided them. The day I met with Joel, he was wearing a Pancheros Twitter shirt, so he’s on board with ya there.

    Again, great post. I love when great idea people actually provide examples in their posts, not just theory. Thanks!

  • Julie says:

    “Tweet and Mortar” AWESOME!

  • the power of twitter — and photoshop! It took me a second to realize the images were a part of the @panchero vision in 2009 and did not reflect the current situation!

    As usual, great post!

  • Joel Johnson says:

    Hey Ted,

    Thanks a lot for this post. There are a lot of ideas that I’d love to see come to reality and these are some great examples. Making our Twitter presence more “in person” is definitely part of the agenda, and hopefully soon! Again, I greatly appreciate it!

    Social Media Manager
    Panchero’s Mexican Grill

  • Amy says:

    Agreed! My co-workers and I now eat at Panchero’s at least once a week due solely to @pancheros tweets. Joel’s personality has a lot to do with this. He isn’t pushy/salesy …. constantly begging you to go to Panchero’s. He just tweets like anyone else. I think he’s doing a great job!


  • Steph Adamo says:

    Awesome Photoshop illustrations. Unsolicited design advice alert: I’m not digging your fully-justified text. This is my first visit to your blog and one of the first things i noticed was that the words were really spaced out. (using Firefox 3.0.4 on a Mac)

  • Ted Murphy says:

    @Steph Adamo:
    Feedback taken. I am not sure about it myself but was trying something different.

  • Adam Cohen says:

    Well done @pancheros – I love great brand listening stories like that, and I like the suggestions and ideas. In theory they could apply to any retail store. I think social media platforms, with the right approach, can serve as the integration of the digital with the offline channel. I’d wonder if twitter is considered “mainstream” enough yet specifically – imagine every store in a mall with the same sign – but clearly there are ways to achieve better integration with offline. Thought provoking post to say the least, thanks!

  • Kye Grace says:

    This is an awesome mock up of how a company could really take it to a new level.

    It boggles my mind that this is still just an ‘idea’! I wish I owned a restaraunt so I could do this…but that would be about the only reason I would want to be in the F&B industry.

    Very thankful for those that are and are passionate about it though!

  • Ted Murphy says:

    @Kye Grace:
    My guess is a small independent restaurant or retail store will be the first place I see true integration like this.

  • […] Murphy also just wrote about an experience he had with a local Mexican restaurant in Orlando called Pancheros (@pancheros).  In his post, he […]

  • This is great! You’ve just inspired me to get my local eating places on board with this.

  • valmg says:

    Great points Ted. I think it would also do well if they tweeted things like a secret daily special to encourage followers and messages such as “no wait at Pancheros” to pull business from competitors that don’t want to wait 30 minutes at a place down the street.

  • Talin says:

    This is really innovative. I guess I have mixed feelings about it though. It seems like every bit of webspace that starts out as a social networking tool eventually gets used for marketing purposes. I don’t mind, and actually enjoyed, hearing about the personal touch of a local establishment keeping in touch with you, their customer, but I dread the day that we are flooded with just as many ads from corporate giants as glut FB or myspace.

  • brettbum says:

    I think those are some great ideas/ suggestions too. I was just writing about something called a Chumby, which is a clock radio that among other things (email, whether, mp3 player etc) enables you to view twitter. As I read you suggestion about the flat panel, I was thinking maybe smaller doses on the actual tables with chumby’s could enable people to tweet on the spot themselves while at the restaraunt. (note I’m not plugging Chumby or anything, might be too expensive actually to roll out to every table, but there might be some other gadget that’s a better fit.)

  • Ted Murphy says:

    I was checking out the Chumby in WIRED. Do you have one? I would love to know what you think, where is your post? I was thinking of buying one myself.

  • […] Read more on Pancheros and Twitter at Ted Murphys Blog […]

  • Bill Brister says:

    Ted / Joel –

    Good Stuff … Great ideas … Twitter is just a scratch on the depth of reach that can be made through micro-media (Twitter/SMS) … Restaurants are prime examples of an industry BEGGING for the larger spotlight! Early adopters of this technology will build a loyalty base any business will be envious to have.

    Kudos to Panchero’s!


  • […] Pancheros Gets Twitter … Kinda | Ted Murphy How about holding a Tweetup with free or discounted product at Pancheros in each city they have locations. Perhaps people could get a free taco by Tweeting out a phrase like “@pancheros hooked me up with a free chicken taco at the Orlando tweetup”. Utilize the network effect of Twitter to spread the word at low cost. (tags: twitter) […]

  • Awesome ideas, Ted! I definitely think that if you’re going to create a Twitter (or other social media presence) for your brick & mortar business, there’s no point in hiding it from your customers. No, not all of your customers who walk into your store are going to understand it, but your Twitter followers should not be like a secret little clique that only an elite few are a part of. Anyone who’s interested in being a part of your community should be openly and warmly invited to do so.

  • […] + Pancheros Gets Twitter … Kinda The always entertaining and idea factory Ted Murphy throws out his visions for burrito chain Pancheros on their current use of Twitter and how they can deepen their use of the social media tool. Ted gives great examples and photos on how the restaurant chain can take their Twitter marketing use to a whole new level by bleeding it down to each location and employee. First read the post, then follow @pancheros and then go eat at Pancheros. […]

  • […] that are relevant to their business and brand. We were stoked to see blogger Ted Murphy post this write-up of how Panchero’s uses Twitter to engage with customers. We loved tracking the engagement and […]

  • […] for sending a little Pancheros gift package to me. Apparently he liked the post I did about Pancheros using Twitter and has put some of the ideas in motion. I already hooked Joe Sales up with a free Burrito card, we […]

  • […] month I wrote a post about Pancheros’ use of Twitter. In the post I described what I would do if I was tapped on the shoulder to help Pancheros develop […]

  • […] was so enthused when Joel reached out to him that he wrote a blog post about how Panchero’s had embraced Twitter and challenged the company to go further — specifically at the store level. In this week’s […]

  • […] Media guy, and love what he has done and is doing.   Other bloggers have even given Pancheros more ideas on integrating Twitter into their […]

  • […] Murphy also just wrote about an experience he had with a local Mexican restaurant in Orlando called Pancheros (@pancheros).  In his post, he […]

  • […] I recently joined Twitter. Admittedly I wasn’t sure what it was really about. So I jumped in feet first, and now it all makes sense. It is an amazing communication tool. Smart companies are using it to stay connected with their customers. Check out this post on how a restaurant could use it to build sales. https://www.ted.me/pancheros-twitter-kinda/ […]

  • Twitter Comment

    RT @jaybaer: Think a small biz or restaurant can’t maximize Twitter? @tedmurphy shows how it can be done [link to post]

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