The (Viral) Marketing of a Restaurant

This week I went to eat at La Pietra Cucina, a relatively new upscale Atlanta restaurant. It's a bit hard to find, to say the least.

It has no sign, with the exception of a small sandwich board on the side of the road that reads "Now Open" with the phone number printed very large and the name of the establishment printed very small. It has no website.

It is located on a very busy road, in the lower level of an office building, and is easy to miss, even if you pass by in the car every day. When you do manage to arrive, there is no indication of where you should park and you'll likely try to open the locked door that leads to the part of the restaurant that's currently being renovated before happening upon the less-grand, unlocked door a few paces down with a paper sign taped to the window displaying the hours of operation.

I even overheard a patron arriving after me comment to her dining companions, "You had to choose the hardest spot to find in all of Atlanta."

And yet, on a Tuesday night, in the midst of a recession, the restaurant was fairly busy and a large group gathered at the bar. This is likely due to a small number of respected, local food bloggers who have taken the new restaurant under their wing and written several rave reviews. It is a great thing that the internet allows word to spread and helps local businesses who are putting out a quality product (or delicious dishes in this case) get a real leg up, without doing a thing but excelling at what they do.

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