Social media takes to the kitchen at The Tomato Head

Social media is taking to the kitchen as The Tomato Head restaurant launches a new approach for announcing its daily specials. This month, The Tomato Head restaurant, with locations in both Knoxville and Maryville, is including social media outlets Facebook and Twitter in its mix of innovative lunch, dinner and brunch offerings.

The Tomato Head is joining the millions of individuals, businesses and organizations on Twitter, but the tweets from The Tomato Head are very specific-they announce the daily specials offered at the restaurant.

Like many restaurants, The Tomato Head offers lunch and dinner specials that change daily. To check the specials, customers have always been able to call the restaurant or read the specials board positioned outside the restaurant. Now customers have many more options for making their lunch, dinner or brunch decision.

Every day, around 10 a.m., both the Knoxville and Maryville locations of The Tomato Head send a tweet announcing that the specials have been posted. Due to the description length and the number of specials-from special slices of pizza and soup to burritos, sandwiches, salads and desserts-the restaurant can’t use Twitter as its primary posting source. “With the 140-character limit of Twitter,” said Scott Partin, co-owner of The Tomato Head, “there was no way we could adequately describe our specials.” The 10 a.m. tweets include a link to the daily specials, which have been posted on the restaurant’s web site, where there is plenty of room to describe the day’s unique eats.

“Our specials are one of the ways we feature seasonal produce, have fun, and try new approaches with our ingredients,” said Mahasti Vafaie, The Tomato Head’s founder and co-owner. “We wanted to offer another way for our customers to get the daily update on what’s being served and hopefully get them thinking about what they may want to have for their next meal.”

Customers can click directly from the tweet to read the specials or, for customers not using Twitter, they can go directly to the web site,, and find a link from the homepage. Specials announcements are also posted to the restaurant’s Facebook page.

Additionally, a new blog is being launched on The Tomato Head’s web site. “We plan on using the blog as a tool to make other announcements about the restaurant, including special events, art shows, and other news of interest. Tomato Head has always enjoyed such a great community of patrons. We’re hoping that the blog will provide another avenue for our community to get and share information about the restaurant.”

The next question, can customers order directly from their computers, has already started popping up with frequency. “We’re looking to incorporate online ordering early next year,” said Partin and Vafaie, “but not just yet.” Until then, customers can call ahead or have their order in mind after reviewing the specials posts.

Serving innovative pizzas, sandwiches, salads and specials since 1990, The Tomato Head’s focus on great food extends from homemade breads, dressings, salsas, dips and desserts all the way to the peppers that are pickled in-house. Located in downtown Knoxville, on Market Square, and in downtown Maryville, on Broadway, The Tomato Head promises a casual atmosphere with a creative undercurrent for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. Monthly rotating art shows, a full wine and beer list and a commitment to sustainable practices complete the character of The Tomato Head. For more information, visit or follow on Twitter @thetomatohead.

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