#Foodiechats Connects Food Lovers Worldwide
Steve Green was born in 1974 and, at his parent’s insistence, he first took part in the Forum at the age of 12. In 2001, he participated in the entire Landmark Curriculum for Living. He says Landmark has influenced his everyday speaking and thoughts in creating the life he likes and wants to live.
According to Steve, “Foodiechats (#Foodiechats) was brewing subconsciously for awhile”. He had always been a foodie and his love of food began as a young child. Steve’s family always had different theme dinner nights, such as Taco Night, which was his favorite. Growing up, he was introduced to very eclectic food such as sushi, oysters, caviar, pig ears, seafood and much more. They had dinner at home and dined out at the hottest restaurants. As a teenager, he worked at the Taste of Chicago, and at his grandfather’s hot dog restaurant. He always enjoyed trying new restaurants, trying all kinds of food, but what he really loved about food was how it brought people together for fun and conversations that weren’t political – just a great way to bond with someone.
He started a social media company in 2009 and his main clients were restaurants. He enjoyed being the voice of restaurants via social media. Steve put together campaigns like one called ‘On the Go’ . They brought different people together and they drove around visiting different restaurants. He really enjoyed that aspect–that was the beginning of him wanting to make food experiences his business and career.
Twitter became his favorite social media channel, and he fell in love with hashtags. He loved following music and sporting events through hash tags.
#Foodiechats began on Monday May 9, 2011 at 8:57 pm. His first tweet was a simple “What’s everyone having for dinner tonight?” and he added the hashtag to it. From the very first tweet, 10 people responded to it – with the hashtag. When he asked another question, 25 people responded, then another question with 50 responses, and another with 100! At about 2:30 am, when the discussions finally wound down, someone suggested #Foodiechats be every Monday night, and for 215 straight Mondays, he has hosted #Foodiechats on Twitter.
They just celebrated their 4th year online, having had 215 #Foodiechats.
Initially, Steve’s endeavors were about building a foodie community and he was excited about it. Every Monday he connected with other foodies worldwide and made international friendships and relationships. #Foodiechats started with a single tweet, and now it’s his full time business.
It has also become a public relations vehicle for the food and beverage industry to showcase what they have and get the word out on who they are and what they do to a very influential social foodie community. Companies pay a fee to advertise on the show or to sponsor the evening. Steve and the companies work together to come up with a theme. They then ask the community 10 questions, and for five days leading up to their Monday event, Foodiechats promotes the sponsor to the community. The business model initially began with 52 Mondays per year and a different sponsor every week.
They almost immediately were selling out of the 52 Monday sponsorships so they created special editions throughout the week. These were for new product launches or a new restaurant. One of Steve’s favorite activities has been to visit cities around the country doing live foodie chats. He does them live online where he gets to meet social media foodie influencers in cities across the nation. On Steve’s Instagram page, there have been over 120,000 food shares using #foodiechats.
Steve says it has become a community built BY the community. It started off just a fun hobby bu,t the community kept giving suggestions on how they could discuss certain topics. They share about meeting great people too.
In June 2015, a New Mobile App for #Foodiechats was submitted to Google and Apple, and they recently were both approved and Steve is publishing it soon. The summer tour begins with visiting cities nationwide and also Canada. He is letting people know it is the only social media app for foodies and the foodie community that exists.
To date, because of the design of sharing their love of food, #Foodiechats has not experienced much negativity on or about the show. He says sometimes the conversations can get heated out of passion for the food, but Steve says the community is so strong, they all work together to keep topics on track and in a positive manner.
#Foodiechats is every Monday night at 7 pm Central time, and people all over the country tune in. Topics include everything from healthy eating, to celebrating beef, to going gluten free. Steve says #Foodiechats is the Top 40 of the foodie world. There are other channels who have vegan chat or all about bacon but Foodiechats talks about everything related to food. With the launching of the new app there is a special section on the app called ‘Split a bite’. It is a place for foodies to meet – for people who want to talk about food and try new restaurants together.
He was recently asked to give a Ted X talk about going against the flow–they thought #Foodiechats would make a good story since his business started from a tweet.
One of the things that contributed to Steve wanting to be a community leader was something he learned at Landmark from Seamus Ford – his Self Expression and Leadership Program Leader at Landmark. He was mapping the communities he was in when he was stunned by the actual lack of communities he was a part of. Also, in the communities he was participating in, he really did not know anyone. He thought to himself that was pretty sad.
Seamus said to him “Look how far you’ve gotten in your life without knowing that many people in your communities. Take this on. Look at what the possibilities might be with that as a breakthrough.” From that moment on, Steve became (in his words) a “Hi” Machine. Everywhere he went–an elevator, the gym, the local grocery store, he said hello. That live component of saying hello translated over to the online world with him having no problem tweeting or messaging someone. That is how he has been able to create an online social media foodie community. He said ever since, whenever he is feeling down and knows he needs to be always creating himself, he starts saying “hello” to everyone he comes in contact with. He loves getting to know new people and getting that connection that really gets him going, and with social media he can reach out to so many more people. Foodiechats reaches over 1,000,000 people every Monday night, and once the App is out, the sky just might be the limit.
When asked where he sees his company going next, he says in the app is a section called “What’s that dish” that could make a TV show, and so could “split a bite”. He says It just might be the number one way for foodies to meet other foodies. Steve says how awesome it would be to hear something like “I met someone on “Split a bite” on Foodiechats. Overall, his goal is to build a sustainable site where foodies can meet and discuss the kind of foodie topics they share passions about.
Steve says to look at a community that you love and are passionate about. How can you maximize that community for you to truly move forward in whatever area of your life matters to you? It might be directly from that community, or it might inspire you to be even better in a different community. He says it would be great to experience who you know in your community and what they offer, and to support your friends to continue to grow in their communities and being committed to it. He believes in the giver’s philosophy, meaning if you support them they will support you–especially with regards to social media.
Steve says to start with “Hi. How are you?”, and with the sheer power that has, build connections and make someone’s day when you reach out to them. It’s a ripple effect when you make their day and harmony happens in your community.
He says if you are on social media remember to tag it #Foodiechats and tell him what your favorite meal is.
You can check out #Foodiechats on twitter or on the web at www.foodiechats.com and you can download the #Foodiechats App on your iPhone and Android. Watch the #Foodiechats fourth anniversary celebration below.