From February 5th to 28th, U.S. Pecans launched restaurant promotions at 9 well-known restaurants, covering 11 stores in total. 28 Chinese dishes featuring pecan kernels were developed by the restaurants’ master chefs and were served during the promotional period, among which included appetizers, dim-sums, main dishes, desserts, drinks, and ice cream.
In order to instruct chefs on the proper uses for pecan kernels, 9 chefs along with restaurant purchasers were educated and underwent training at the Metro Catering Academy, where U.S. Pecans had also held a recipe development seminar last August.
To better promote this event, each store prepared displays of POP materials, such as customized menus, posters, tent cards, etc. These POP materials contained basic information about U.S. pecans as well as photos of the promoted pecan dishes. In addition, U.S. Pecans also invited an active social media KOL (key opinion leader), who had 150,000 WeChat followers and 220,000 Weibo followers, to post one piece of content on each platform. By the end of the restaurant promotion, these two postings received more than 90,000 pageviews and 44 likes.
During the promotion, each restaurant offered an average of 3 dishes which featured pecan kernels and by the end of promotion, 5,805 dishes were sold in total. MZMC staff visited participating store locations, tasted some of the pecan dishes, and received feedback from the chefs about the promotion and pecans in general. Overall, it was noted that pecans possessed a much better flavor than walnuts and proved to be quite adaptable to Chinese cuisine. A chef from the Jade Pavilion, one of the restaurants in the promotion, remarked that pecans could prove a good replacement for hickory and would be an ideal topping for ice cream. Tyler Babcock, Deputy Director of ATO Shanghai, attended a CMC media event at the Moller Villa, which also participated in the pecan promotion. Pecan Beefsteaks, Pecan Scallops, and Pecan Tarts with Panna Cotta were served at the event to 27 members of the media.
Following the promotion, four restaurants listed as below keep at least one pecan dish on their regular menu for at least one season. These restaurants and dishes included:
• Pecan and Black Rice Juice at Jiu Chu Tang
• Pecan Salad at Moller Villa
• Pecan Corn Cake at The Gusto!
• Caramel Pudding with Pecan Pieces, Pecan and Pineapple Salad, and Roasted Banana with Pecan at Eat More Fish
• Pecan Fried Shrimp at Jade Pavilion;