NYC Restaurant Uses Instagram Hashtag to Augment Table Menu

Comodo NYC - The Instagram Menu

Comodo is an small, intimate restaurant in Soho specializing in a menu of Colombian-Spanish-Mexican-Brazilian-American influences that have been adapted to New York. However, what’e even more interesting than the fusion of these food cultures is the ‘social media fairytale’ of how the restaurant came to be.

Ad-agency employee Felipe Donnelly and his wife Tamy Rofe began hosting private dinners every Thursday for local food fans that they connected with through Twitter. Their original idea of doing a dinner every Thursday for a year, and documenting the results on the Worth Kitchen blog, became sidetracked when the success and publicity of their project resulted in a knock on the door and a letter from the NYC Department of Health, informing them that they could no longer serve dinners to the general public from their kitchen. After the shock wore off, Felipe decided to leave advertising for good and the couple rented a commercial kitchen and began holding dinner parties for a crowd of 50-60 people.

In December of 2011, based on the success of Worth Kitchen the couple decided to open Comodo (meaning ‘comfortable’ in Spanish). With the restaurant due to be opened in July, they leveraged crowdfunding site Kickstarter to help fund the last $15,000 worth of expenses.

With the restaurant now open, Comodo is leveraging photos shared by diners on Instagram. Because right or wrong, food fans love to take pictures of their favorite meals; both as reminders of a great dish, but as a way to brag and make friends and followers drool. Comodo has printed the words #comodomenu on Instagram at the bottom of it’s table menu. Curious customers to what the dish looks like can simply grab their smartphone and search Instagram for the hashtag.

Next item on Comodo’s menu should be a 100% mobile-friendly website. While the navigation is not in Flash, the ‘Story of Comodo’ video is embedded as a background element and prevents myself (and I suspect all mobiel users) from accessing the menu, reservations or anything else.