Natural Foods Merchandiser

Lure in customers

If you want to spice up your prepared food offerings with trendy new flavors but are afraid your customers won’t share your enthusiasm, take a lesson from Rosewood Market in Columbia, S.C. Chef Benoit St. Jacques’ daily deli offerings include exotic recipes like Moroccan Chicken Couscous, Persian Eggplant and Caribbean Stew With Jerk Tofu. Rosewood cook Katie McKinney says regular customers usually trust St. Jacques’ taste buds, but “if people give us a ‘what’s that?’ kind of look, we are quick to offer them a sample.” The cooks also assure that the staff has tasted new dishes and is well versed in the ingredients. “We make sure to be real positive when people ask about a dish,” McKinney adds. “We don’t say, ‘I don’t eat it;’ we say, ‘it’s a big favorite around here,’ or ‘it’s one
of chef Benoit’s favorites.’”

Rosewood also sends out daily Tweets about new dishes to lure in customers. Once they try the dishes, they often become customers for life. “We have people who’ve moved away and plan their visits back to Columbia by what’s on our menu,” McKinney says.

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