Business, Consumer, Food, Syracuse

Downtown Syracuse Restaurant Keeps The Likes Coming and Pictures Snapping

Poke bowl of the week with a matcha tea at Original Grain. Emma Henzes (c) 2017


By Emma Henzes Syracuse, N.Y. (NCC News)- In the age of social media, a picture is worth a thousand likes. But Original Grain wants more than just the likes on their own social media profile. It’s about their customer’s likes, too. The downtown Syracuse restaurant on the corner of South Salina and West Fayette street wants the customer to feel as if though Original Grains work of art, or food rather is their work of art ready to be captured by a cellphone.

Manager Taylor Porter keeps that in mind when he’s creating a new dish, or bowl, one of their specialties. Smoothie bowls, greens bowls, noodle bowls all with their own pattern and design. Their Instagram is filled with pictures of bowls and heaping green mounds of avocado on thick toast, paired with matching smoothies and matcha teas.

“They want the brightest and prettiest colors and the things that really pop out to you,” Porter said. “We are always trying to find a new way to catch everyone’s eye.”

It’s about the aesthetic. And every good Instagrammer, or photographer for that matter, knows the importance of natural lighting. There’s no short of that except when the sun goes down and Original Grain’s bright mood lights flood their corner across from the Chase Bank. Porter feels that their location is a great spot.

“The corner of Salina and West Fayette is always busy with traffic. And there are red lights right here, it’s perfect. People pull up and look over and see how bright it is and it definitely helps with the outside crowd.”

While Original Grain’s big glass doors are open to every type of customer, they have their niche just after celebrating their one year anniversary in late August. With trendy food, subtle but pleasing backdrops, and the presentation of the food, Original Grain typically draws the business class working professionals of downtown and the college students. Porter laughs about how customers are always taking pictures before they dig in, trying to get just the right shot. Original Grain has started their own delivery service and has especially targeted Syracuse University as potential customers.

“As far as SU goes, there’s a lot of kids on campus and everyone’s on social media,” Porter said on trying to engage that customer base. “That’s the big thing and being a part of that is kind of a way to work them into that as well.”

Social media has been a large part of their marketing plan, it’s been the foundation since before they even actually opened up shop.
“That was big before we opened the restaurant. We had a huge following on our social media so that really helps to carry the weight of a lot when we were transitioning,” Porter said. “I think social media should be a priority because it seems like a lot more people are inclined to use social media than be out in the real world.”

As the second most followed restaurant account in Syracuse with 11,000 followers. That’s right behind Dinosaur BQQ, a regional chain. Original Grain hopes this success on social media can help propel future expansion to other parts of the upstate New York area.

Taylor Porter, Manager of Original Grain, creating a Southwest Smoke Bowl.

Taylor Porter, Manager of Original Grain, presenting a Southwest Smoke bowl.

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