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Chef Geoff crowdsources its new location

The newest Chef Geoff's opened in September 2012

Washington restaurateur Geoff Tracy is searching for a new location. He wants to open his sixth-owned diner in the Washington metro area and is asking his online audience for suggestions.

"I try to use social media in a way that gets people to interact," he says about the plan. Tracy, who tweets several times a day and has close to 2,600 Facebook fans, received more than 300 comments when he asked where he should open his next restaurant.

"Some people mentioned places that I was actually going to go look at," Tracy says. "A lot of postings about Reston. A lot of people want one in Capitol Hill. I take those things into consideration."

Tracy may not be the first in Washington to crowdsource for site locations, but he’s among the few chefs to use social media and implement the feedback for dinner specials and menu options.

Although he’s not sure on the type of restaurant he wants to open — he offers American cuisine at four Chef Geoff’s restaurants and Italian dishes at Lia’s — he wants to invest $1 million on his next location.

"I may do another Lia's," he says. "But I want the spot first…different locations need different things."

Since opening his first restaurant in the year 2000, Tracy says he has focused on locations that have between 5,000 to 9,000 square feet of space — the size of his smallest and largest diners.

Read more articles by Luis Velarde.

Luis Velarde writes about business, investments, real estate, and urban development. His work has appeared in the BBC World Service, Voice of America and others.
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