Restaurants in the age of Instagram and the creation of visual experience points. Welcome to Niddo.

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Strategic steps to understanding the modern restaurant consumer and, in turn, offer them a memorable experience so that they become your number one brand spokesmen.

Niddo is on a quiet street with little foot traffic in the Juárez district, Mexico City, corner of Dresde and Praga. It is a destination restaurant that opened its doors toward the end of November 2018. A localle with no obvious exposure to a captive audience certainly seems like harakiri for any commercial venture. So what’s the awareness strategy for this neo-bistro that could just as easily be found on the corner of Dresde and Bleeker in Manhattan? The key word is: Instagram. This social network that acts as the registry for our day-to-day memories has turned into a crucial marketing tool for restaurants.

Millennial’s Online Reign in Mexico:

Fundéu, the
RAE-backed institution that promotes the proper use of the Spanish language,
picked “selfie”, the act of taking one’s own picture from a mobile device, as
word-of-the-year in 2014. In 2019, one of the nominees was “dataism”, a
tropicalization of Big Data: a doctrine based on the importance of data;
the correlation between these two words accentuates the relevance of the link
between life-style and technology that has intensifed over the last decade.

According to Facebook’s global marketing area, Instagram had over 800 million active users per month around the world. In that same year, 80% of Instagrammers followed a brand, and 60% said that they were exposed to new products through the app. In Mexico, as stated by the Mexican government, youth from 12-29 years of age make up 31% of the population, and 90% of this group has a Smartphone. The World Population Review indicated that until 2018, the median age in Mexico was 28. Conclusion: you have to speak millennial in order to survive in this day and age.

Mastering the
diners’ psychology: the art of translating insights into points of experience
and thus into a successful business model:

Much of
Architecture is also Psychology and Semiotics. A cathedral, for example, that
represents an encounter with divinity, will generally boast incredibly high
ceilings and use precious materials like gold to denote majesty. Under the
precept that everything comunicates something and that the world is a
realm of perceptions, it is essential to analyze the messages that are sent to
the recipients, or in the case of a restaurant, its diners. A bar with candles
on tables for two that only opens in the evenings and has dimmed lighting is
just asking to be used as a spot for a romantic dinner.

Niddo speaks to
two main markets: trend seekers and folks that work in and around the area,
evoking the experience of a first-world, everyday restaurant.

Eduardo Plaschinksi, partner, told us more: Niddo was conceived to be the neighborhood nest, with an interior design dreamed up to be cozy, using warm textiles and terracota tones. It reinterprets urban bakery and brasserie models. He and his family’s Jewish origin comes through in a short and optimal menu that combines this cuisine´s accents with Mexican offerings. The space highlights the Juárez district’s Art-Deco heritage. What is this restaurant screaming at the top of its lungs? Come meet me! Make yourself at home. Have a coffee, enjoy a nice breakfast, work, relax, by yourself or with company, and spread the word. Only 2 months after it’s unveiling, Niddo has over 6,000 organic followers.

architecture: a win-win for the diner and restaurant owner

Niddo offers two
distinct strategic areas that satisfy its public’s needs: the first is a
third-place-style coffee shop where you can work from while sipping on an
Americano and eating pastries. The second is the restaurant itself, with
bistro-style seating: a consumption ocassion that lends itself to lingering
conversation both post-breakfast and lunch.

In terms of a
restaurant’s business model optimization, if we analyze the way in which diners
use the space, we could offer a customized experience that maximizes capacity:
how many times have you seen a sinlge diner seated at a table for four?

The aesthetics of a place are no good if there is no functionality. We believe in disruptive architecture that optimizes the diner’s experience, but also use it to increase the business’ profitability.”
Mero Mole

The perfect balance for a destination restaurant is to create an experience and generate stories with unique slants that can be told over and over again. For example, Vicky’s House, a dessert shopin Miami that is accessed through an old-school London telephone booth inside LoKal, a burger joint. Vicky’s is like the Foreman’s house from That 70’s Show, and they specialize in decadent milkshakes. The space and experience appeal to connecting with nostalgia and a homey comfort. Their strategy in beverage presentation is to stimulate the senses with textures, colors and large portions, begging the customer to let the entire wolrd know I just had the best milkshake in the history of the universe.

psychology and sense of belonging / Discovering mindset:

In an age where communication is imminent, space branding goes beyond stamping a logo on the walls of a restaurant. Signage is all about physically representing the brand’s DNA so that the audience thinks: this message speaks to me, I will share it with the world.

Five points to consider for creating optimal Instagrammable experiences at a restaurant:

  • Pay attention to dish presentation, from the tableware to the glassware. Make sure the food has various textures, colors and shapes.
  • Digital users Google every restaurant before they go there. Be sure to put your best foot forward on social media.
  • Feature “hero” visual elements that are iconic to your brand in your interior design.
  • Everything communicates something: be congruent with your brand’s premise and design execution.
  • The on-site experience begins with the facade. It is yet another form of communication and the first point of contact with your diners.

How does the legalization of Marijuana influence restaurants?

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5 questions for Andrea Drummer, Cali’s OG Cannabis Chef. From Michelin Stars to infused butter:

Andrea Drummer’s menu includes dishes like Louisiana style king prawns, ginger caramelized dumplings, Baja style tacos and crab carbonara. What do they all have in common? The aura of new American Cuisine and that all of them are prepared with butters infused with California marijuana.

Drummer is a Florida native, but she studied culinary arts at the Cordon Bleu in Pasadena. She specializes in French technique but her cooking is a tribute to Southern American fare. She was Execute Chef at the Ritz-Carlton in Downtown L.A. She also worked with three-Michelin-star chef Thomas Keller, best known for his Napa Valley farm-to-table restaurant, The French Laundry.

Andrea is changing the cooking rulebook and her fine herbs through Elevation VIP Collective, a company she co-founded in 2012. The brand’s motto is creating private fine dining culinary experiences using Cannabis. She also authored Cannabis Cuisine, a recipe book that highlights marijuana as an artistic flare in every dish.

Netflix elevates viewers with Andrea:

This streaming service didn’t flinch as it crashed into the cultural consumption scene. Their original programming includes titles likes Cooking on High and Chelsea Does. The first is a cooking competition show where the main ingredient is Cannabis; Andrea stars in three episodes. The latter is a documentary series from US comic Chelsea Handler, who analyzes contemporary social phenomena. Chelsea invites Andrea to prepare a feast for a group of friends in an intimate setting and a menu curated with different infused butters.

Abolishing the era of contemporary Prohibition:

Big Band music blared through dance halls and the masses gathered to drink illegal Bourbon in speakeasies from 1922-1930. Today it’s Hip Hop, and one of the changing trends surrounding Cannabis is the sophistication of it’s consumption. Andrea is one of the pioneers that is reinventing haute cuisine in the Americas. This phenomenon that is taking hold in the US restaurant industry is setting the precedent for the future of cannabis in Mexico’s food scene.

I’ve asked Andrea Drummer five questions that will shed light on the current context of marijuana in California and it’s relationship with food:

How is marijuana affecting the hospitality industry in the US?

The recreational use of cannabis in cafes and dispensaries was recently legalized in West Hollywood, CA for 2019. Next year, I’m going to open a restaurant that serves cannabis-infused food at market-accesible prices, and by that I mean that the average check is going to be the same as any other casual dining establishment. You’ll be able to have anything from oatmeal for breakfast to a  prix-fixe menu.

My strategy for expansion is to also create a Bed and Breakfast concept: an adult destination that can accomodate families, where clients can choose to enjoy a traditional brunch or cannabis-infused brunch. Why not? It’s a brand new industry and we are free to create. The same thing happened with alcohol after Prohibition ended.

What are new consumers looking for as far as F&B experiences go?

Her answer: specialization, pairings and surprise. Millennials are adveturous and relate to food with curiousity about it’s origin and history. These consumers want to boast about their experiences: talk about them, be the first ones, be on the edge; they are also a mix of cannabis connoisseurs and foodies. The demand for edibles is growing but the idea that cannabis in food can only mean “pot-brownies” is a thing of the past.

How do Mexican ingredients influence your culinary offering?

My training is French, but I explore other cultures. My way of relating to the community is to speak their same food-language. I’m a perennial student of gastronomy, and Mexican tradition is one of the ones that most intrigues me; it is authentic and fascinating.


Baja Fish Taco: Cilantro aioli with cannabis-infused coconut oil, by Andrea Drummer.

What is the experience like, presently?

I ask the guests what effect and flavor profiles they are looking for. I make the infused butters and mix them up. Mi cooking style is such that I prefer the marijuana to be subtle tasting and rather have it enhance the others to create a whole sensory experience that goes from the tip of the tongue all the way inside. I find the perfect pairings, the same thought process you would have with a wine or beer and a dish. I’m very careful that people don’t have a negative experience: I actually accompany them during the dining ritual and guide them, one bite at a time. I am their chef, and like all chefs, I am responsible for what my patrons are putting in their mouths.

What do you see happening in the cannabis industry on a world-wide scale?

The marijuana that I use is organic, seasonal and harvested by Lowell Farms, local California growers. I connect with them because they treat employees fairly, and they do not compromise on the integrity and purity of their product. If we don’t treasure the land and what’s natural, in an imminent future where Marijuana is globalized, big industry comes into play and it’s possible that with process optimization and cost reduction will come a Cannabis product that is not pure.  It’s what always happens when a product goes massive, and the same thing applies to any type of cooking ingredient. We are at a time when we consider what is natural as a luxury.

To know more:


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