Event Coordination, Promotion, and PR Strategy for Restaurant Ribbon-Cutting & Grand Opening

The Challenge

Red Lentil Vegetarian & Vegan Restaurant has been our client since 2010. In 2021, they launched their second location in a nearby town outside Boston.

The first step in planning for the event was a strategy session with the chef / owner and general manager where we plotted a multi-tiered course:

  • PR research and outreach to local press, bloggers, local town officials, state officials, and health-conscious groups
  • Email and social media marketing to fans of flagship restaurant
  • Event coordination for ribbon-cutting and online contest

Overall Turnout

250+ guests

The Strategy

The event was structured as a ribbon-cutting, followed by a buffet-style open house / grand opening celebration, open to the whole town of Sharon, Massachusetts.

We had just two month to attract a following. We had just 9 days to organize the grand opening.

Event Coordination

We contacted state senators and representatives, local officials from town government, the diversity committee (restaurants are minority owned), the school board, the Lion’s club, and the fire and police departments. We then coordinated responses from those officials, with a 90% turnout.

The chef-owner was presented by official documents from the State Senate and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, commemorating their grand opening celebration.

Public Relations

Our PR efforts began with online research to build a list of media contacts, local related health businesses, area and vegan Instagrammers, and food bloggers. We also included contacts who had written articles about Red Lentil, the chef / owner’s well-established, popular flagship restaurant, also located in Watertown, Massachusetts.

We then wrote a press release and pitch emails, which we distributed to the media, bloggers, and various online groups. Link to local TV segment to come!

Contest

We worked with @onlyinbos, an Instagram account for Boston-area residents with 300K+ followers, to develop a contest to launch after the grand opening event. It offered sixteen $25 gift cards to those who tagged the post and were chosen by the account manager. We shared it in our Instagram and Facebook stories as well. Results: 110,500+ users post visibility, 2616 post likes, 1607 contest entries, 51 shares, 28 saves

Social Media

We created a Facebook event, which we drove people to through an email marketing campaign and Facebook posts. We posted regularly to the new restaurant’s growing number of Instagram followers, and we promoted all reviews and grand opening announcements to their Facebook page’s very active list of fans.

During the event, we actively manned their Instagram and Facebook accounts, reposting patrons’ content, taking every opportunity to comment, thank fans, and otherwise grow and engage with their fanbase. Within just two months:

  • We gained 575 page likes on Facebook, and in the past week alone, we’ve picked up 276 page followers. Overall followers count is 803.
  • The Facebook event reached 10,553 people, with 268 responses, primarily women between the ages of 30-60.
  • We gained 523 Instagram followers. We reached 1606 (+84.8%) accounts in the past month, and engaged with (responded to, etc) 346 accounts (+67.1%).
  • We cross-promoted all event details to the Red Lentil flagship Instagram and Facebook accounts.

Print Design

We designed a 15% off coupon to be handed out at the event and placed in to-go orders at Red Lentil.

Email Marketing

We distributed an email marketing campaign inviting a list of over 2700 opted in subscribers of Red Lentil to the grand opening event and listing the details, dates, and times.

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