In Los Angeles, a new restaurant recently made its debut, and while restaurant openings in L.A. are quite common, this one stood out due to its unique backstory. The upscale Vietnamese restaurant located in West Hollywood, known as DiDi, was founded by Tue Nguyen, a classically trained chef and co-owner with a significant presence on TikTok. With over 668,000 followers, Nguyen garnered attention on TikTok by sharing her passion for Vietnamese cuisine, ultimately catching the eye of John Terzian and Brian Toll from the H.Wood Group. They recognized the potential of collaborating with Nguyen and decided to open DiDi in July.
Nguyen’s journey of opening her restaurant was well-documented on TikTok, providing her followers with a behind-the-scenes look at the life of a chef-owner. This represents a growing trend where fine-dining establishments are exploring TikTok as a platform to engage with a broader audience. While most high-end restaurants do not have their own TikTok accounts, some are beginning to experiment with the platform and are reaping its benefits.
For instance, Pied à Terre, a Michelin one-starred restaurant in London, has gained significant traction on TikTok. The restaurant’s videos feature its chefs and staff, offering insights into topics like selecting kitchen knives and preparing artichokes. In just four months on the platform, Pied à Terre amassed 7.2 million views. This innovative approach aims to showcase the authenticity of fine dining on TikTok, which contrasts with the platform’s usual trends.
Despite the inherent differences between TikTok and fine dining, such as accessibility and trendiness, these chefs and restaurateurs are striving to find a middle ground. They understand that TikTok can introduce their restaurants to a wider audience, but they emphasize that it cannot replace the immersive experience of dining at their establishments. In essence, TikTok serves as a mechanism to attract more customers and add an element of fun to the fine-dining experience.
In conclusion, while TikTok can serve as an effective marketing tool for fine-dining establishments, it should not replace the traditional experience of dining at these restaurants. TikTok is a way to engage a broader audience and offer glimpses behind the scenes, but the true assessment of a restaurant’s quality can only be made through a personal visit. It’s a delicate balance between embracing modern platforms and preserving the essence of fine dining.