For the past couple of months I’ve been an intern at a Philadelphia food tour company called (oddly enough) City Food Tours. The company sells tours around different neighborhoods in Philadelphia that involve not only sight seeing and history lessons but also savoring the eclectic foods our city has to offer. There are other companies like it in the US (including an affiliate in New York City owned by the sister of Philly’s CFT owner) but there is none like it in Philadelphia proper. So far, my time here has been quite interesting. My main tasks involve tour promotion, tour preparation and a few customer relation responsibilities (newsletter, database, purchases, etc). I’ve also updated the company’s Twitter and Facebook profiles a few times throughout the semester.
My time here has filled me in on how effective word of mouth marketing can be. The owner of City Food Tours had informed me during my first few days that the company does not purchase any advertising. City Food Tours relies on press releases, media website community calendars and corporate partnerships to get the word out among some other practices. I have seen these techniques flourish in just a couple of weeks while promoting a few new food tours. For example, City Food Tours recently kicked off its Prohibition Cocktail Tour which takes a tour group to three different speakeasy-type bars/restaurants in center city and teaches them how to score a drink in Philly during the Prohibition (they, of course, find success in doing so at each of the three stops). The promotions for this tour involved a partnership with the National Constitution Center in old city which started its new exhibit American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition. The partnership did a lot to get the word out, it even prompted a local news anchor to do a story on the event which can be found here. It was cool to see a small company that I work for be featured on a prime time local news spot featuring someone I see every time I’m at the internship.
I’ve included a few photos of the Prohibition Cocktail Tour. If you’re of age and like the sounds of it, join us: Information and tickets.