As some of you might know, I manage quite a few Facebook pages. That’s why when Tom and Rachel, the owners of Cowan’s Restaurant downtown, asked me to help promote the Social Media Week of their Customer Appreciation Month, I quickly said “yes”. It was an unusual job offer, with unusual hours, unusual job description and an unusual period of time – just the perfect thing for me! And, it promised to be fun!
At the start of Social Media Week at Cowan’s Tom and I bounced some ideas off of each other, and he gave me freedom to do what I want. There was no better way on his part to put my creative mind to work. Had somebody told me I would be an Official Social Media Specialist a year ago, I would probably laugh at them. Yet, I loved wearing my name tag and being part of the Cowan’s Family for a week.
Wednesday morning I was at Cowan’s before going to work at the Visitor Center. It’s amazing how many loyal customers they’ve got, who keep returning day after day. I walked from table to table, asking people if they liked Cowan’s Restaurant on Facebook and telling them about the giveaways we were having. What amazed me, is how nice everyone was. They listened to what I had to say with a smile, and then proceeded to tell me how much they loved the restaurant and the pie. Sure, it must have been slightly unusual to have your breakfast interrupted by a strange girl with a giant name tag and an accent, asking you if you were on Facebook, but nobody seemed to mind. Of course, I had mugs and glasses and key chains and T-Shirts and flashlights to give away 😉
The same day I returned in the evening, to spread the word about Social Media and how when you like Cowan’s on Facebook, you can stay updated on their specials and all that’s new. I changed into my shirt with my special name tag and I felt like I belonged there. Approaching strangers did not bother me anymore, I wanted to hear more of their stories about the restaurant and what kept them coming back.
On Thursday, I was at Cowan’s at 7:30 am, then came back right after work and Tom fed me some delicious dinner. I heard so many wonderful stories of why people love Cowan’s and how this is the family place to meet. The excellent food and the amazing pie definitely helped bring people back, but there was more to Cowan’s than that. The friendly staff, the warm inviting atmosphere, the collective memories inhabiting the walls created an ambiance like no other prompting you to return and to be part of it again.
On Friday I was back early in the evening, and the minute I walked through the door I was greeted with smiles. T-shirt, name tags, gifts to give away, and I already spotted some familiar faces.
On Saturday morning, while I was doing my rounds my husband ordered us breakfast. The restaurant was full, and everybody was happy to learn about our social media promotions. I saw many friends, gave away lots of t-shirts, flashlights and mugs, and made some new friends. When I got back to our table, we weren’t sitting alone any more. How nice it was to share breakfast with friend without planning it in advance!
I could not wait to share all these wonderful stories with Rachel and Tom, who were busy in the kitchen, yet always found time to walk around and greet the customers. Tom insisted on making me something to eat every time I was there throughout the week. Just like they appreciated what I did, I appreciated the opportunity to be part of the wonderful Cowan’s family and the amazing Washington community. Cowan’s Restaurant is one of these places that you come, taste, experience, enjoy and then “like” on Facebook because you really want to. Nowadays when Social Media tends to replace face-to-face communication and distance us from each other, Cowans’ Restaurant is like a safe haven for young and old, who like to meet, laugh and enjoy a delicious meal like a family would do at the dinner table, fully present in the moment. Rachel and Tom are truly some of the sweetest people I know, and their motivation to keep the restaurant going is the tradition they would like to continue. Cowan’s Restaurant has been welcoming different generations over the years and the combination of wonderful staff and amazing customers makes it The Place To Meet downtown. I really enjoyed my unusual job for a week, which reminded me how important is to appreciate what you’ve got and be grateful for the little things every day. Just like a yummy breakfast with the family on a Sunday. Or a casual dinner for two on a random Wednesday evening. Or coffee and pie with a friend as an afternoon treat. You don’t need a special occasion to go to Cowan’s. But every time you do, it’s a delightful experience.