Press releases for restaurants are a vital publicity tool to broadcast major milestones like openings, renovations, restaurant announcements, executive appointments, awards, restaurant promotional events, and more.
Listen up, restaurateurs! When your hot spot’s cooking’ up major news—like opening up shop in a new location or an award for best wings in town—it’s time to get the word out to the masses! Crafting some attention-grabbing press releases will score you that sweet media coverage, revealing all the delicious details of your accomplishments far and wide.
This article explores best practices for crafting compelling releases and executing an integrated public relations (PR) strategy focused on securing widespread media coverage of restaurant achievements.
The role of press releases for restaurant PR
Press releases are like a public announcement meets marketing secret sauce—part news, part promo, and a whole lot of potential! These strategic write-ups showcase the latest and greatest your restaurant’s got cooking’ in a tasty bid to catch media attention.
By spotlighting your signature staples, buzzworthy events, hard-won awards, or values-driven initiatives, all of which make your community proud, press releases spotlight positive stories in an official yet engaging way.
The goal is to gain valuable visibility and credibility as outlets share your brand’s exposure with hungry audiences. Even scoring some free media real estate builds long-term loyalty and trust as readers put faces to names. A press release ultimately showcases your people, purpose, and plates in an irresistible pitch. So whether it’s celebrating standout service, a chef’s farm-to-table philosophy, or a charity drive bringing free food to frontline workers, press releases turn positive restaurant stories into newsworthy promotions.
When writing a restaurant press release, a well-organised restaurant management plan can be a great resource. It offers a chance to highlight the establishment’s dedication to quality, effectiveness, and client happiness.
Potential benefits include:
1. Increased customer awareness and traffic
Press releases are a valuable publicity tool for restaurants, but their true value lies in driving real business results like increased customer traffic and sales. Simply securing media placements is not the end goal; press releases should aim to boost meaningful consumer engagement.
When done right, a press release spotlighting a new menu launch, anniversary event, or award recognition can significantly heighten local customer awareness and drive restaurant traffic via multiple avenues. Food critics sharing an opening’s exotic dish or profiling the hometown chef’s inspiring backstory spark discovery. Images of striking restaurant renovations in local media pique the interest of nearby office workers seeking a fresh happy hour spot. Attention-grabbing announcements then lead patrons to visit the website for hours, make reservations, or buy gift cards.
2. Establishing thought leadership
First things first—before diving into any PR brainstorming, clearly map out what winning looks like. What’s the destination this media ride should reach? Speaking gigs? Sales leads? Getting tangible about your objectives makes it way easier to plot the trip accordingly.
By regularly sharing unique insights, trends, or innovations, a restaurateur can cement their status as an industry expert. This lends additional credibility and interest to their commentary, making it more likely to be featured by media outlets.
In essence, thought leadership humanises an establishment, making it more relatable through shared beliefs. Strategically highlighting values, purpose, and vision via press releases makes the venue about more than just food; it becomes a respected lifestyle voice. This deeper resonance drives engagement and business growth.
3. Positive associations through third-party validation
An endorsement or positive review from an established newspaper food critic offers immense credibility due to their perceived impartiality and expertise versus paid advertising. This reputational boost spurs diners to visit and judge for themselves.
However, simply broadcasting announcements via press releases is not enough. Restaurants must strategically build engagement with targeted media channels and influencers.
Understanding the media audience
Tailoring messaging and outreach efforts based on the target publication and their audience is key to uptake.
Identifying key media outlets to increase restaurant brand awareness
A successful press release relies not only on crafting a compelling story but also on identifying the specific media outlets and journalists most likely to cover the announcement. When seeking to unleash an effective press release, a proper feedback analysis entails asking key questions:
- Who is our target diner demographic?
- What media channels and programmes are most relevant?
- Which editors, critics, or influencers set agendas locally?
- What types of stories or angles spur reader interest generally?
- Does our branded narrative translate and add value?
Getting clear on audience preferences shapes effective pitches. Local late-night news producers care more about visual elements than a podcast focused on in-depth chef interviews. Similarly, social media responses indicate what resonates with old versus new establishments.
Local monthly magazines present opportunities to align with both upscale foodies and neighbourhood residents. An acquisition press release around expanding total locations with more casual diners in mind tugs different heartstrings across those readers.
Data also uncovers gaps, representing untapped potential. A PR agency can immensely assist in conducting landscape evaluations, building media lists, and creating templates suited for multi-channel distribution based on past successes. They also set story expectations and timing across television planning cycles and weekly community papers.
The capabilities now exist to quantify impressions down to the individual journalist from each press release or personalised pitch. Building ongoing reciprocal value-added relationships with media gatekeepers pays exponentially over vague sporadic blasts. Not all coverage drives direct conversions. Brand halo matters.
Scoring meaningful highlights, interviews, or exclusives raises visibility even among competing restaurateurs, which lifts ships across communities. However, establishment lifecycles, contributing personalities, and theatre matter in measuring progress. What jumps out today fades tomorrow. Yet branded momentum compounds, making every consumer touchpoint pivotal.
Pitch mileage-worthy news like new chefs and menus to food magazine editors catering to culinary achievements and trends.
Hometown newspaper journalists appreciate grand opening press release stories with community angles.
Mainstream outlets look for creative hooks like celebrity sightings or record-breaking food art.
Crafting compelling press releases for restaurants
While no universal standard exists, effective press releases allow readers to quickly grasp why something is newsworthy.
Elements to Include
- Attention-grabbing headlines using emotional triggers, numbers, or intrigue
- Opening paragraph covering the 5 Ws (who, what, when, where, and why)
- Quotes from owners or partners lend credibility.
- Multimedia like images, videos, and infographics for engagement
- Boilerplate restaurant description for context
- Calls-to-action to visit, read more, share, etc.
Formatting Best Practices
Logical information flow starts with the most newsworthy details.
- Scannable layout with ample paragraph breaks
- 300-500 words in length
- Hyperlinks to external references
- Hashtags related to events for social discovery
- Key contact information for media follow-ups
Sample Restaurant Press Release Campaign
Popular Phoenix pizzeria Sally’s Slice Shop aimed to bolster summertime customer engagement with this PR strategy:
Milestone: Sally’s 20th anniversary
Hook: A limited-edition Throwback Thursday promotion featuring their original 1996 menu
Nostalgic TBT campaign announcement
Humorous staff reflections on two decades
Customer contest: sharing Sally’s memories
6 local news and radio profiles of Sally’s anniversary
10% sales increase during the 6-week TBT promo campaign
5X website traffic spike from contest publicity
15% growth in Instagram followers
This example shows integrating press releases into amplifying branded content and celebrations. Tapping into audience nostalgia, humour, and participation amplified exposure.
Extending Reach Through Digital Platforms
While targeting journalistic outlets, modern free press releases also entail:
Publish releases on restaurant and partner websites.
Promote via social channels for discovery.
Tag relevant brands for coattail messaging.
Maximising Online Engagement
Digital channels broaden press release visibility.
Channel Best Practices
Email Share sign-up popups, drive downloads
Website banner ads to click for full announcement
Social Media Utilise relevant hashtags, tagging, and clickable images.
Review sites provide exclusive previews to spark commentary.
Tracking performance and results
Monitoring meaningful metrics offers crucial PR and press release optimisation insights around content, messaging, channels, and strategy.
- Media Placements Clipping reports, Advertisement Value Equivalency
- Website traffic, Google Analytics referrals, and behaviour flow
- Social Engagement: Likes, clicks, shares, tags, and conversations
- Sales Conversions Compare campaign days to past averages.
The value of press releases as tools to secure media coverage around restaurant milestones cannot be overstated. As attention spans decline, blossoming noise drowns out marketing messages, and scepticism of sponsored content rises, public relations can break through.
Journalists, specifically local media gatekeepers, crave credible announcements demonstrating community enhancement. An opening press release holds weight over advertisements. It signifies confidence while inviting engagement on an equal playing field.
Consider the press release announcing a new executive chef coming off a televised competition show. The next announcement will be expanded parking lot upgrades for families six months later. Then the annual farm-to-table harvest menu refreshes. Tactical press release sequencing fosters familiarity until that long-awaited capital investment modernising a vintage dining room finally lands feature story treatment.
This public relations trajectory may unfold over years, not weeks. Yet slowly earned third-party media validations compound exponential interest. They signify relevance worthy of patron consideration while spotlighting progress.
Restaurants concentrating solely on meal quality, consistency, and service while ignoring external public visibility do themselves and their communities a disservice. Media relations bolster branding and vitality, even driving tourism and local supplier business.
Proactive restaurateurs recognise press releases*s role as the public-facing voice for sharing their vision. They put systems in place to facilitate regular positive news distribution. They plan signature events or community engagement trigger points that merit coverage.
In our world deluged 24/7 with content all desperately fighting for eyeballs, mindshare, and wallet share, served-up press releases uniquely deliver valuable signals rising above chaos. They offer instant credibility. When leveraged early and often around milestone occasions as hallmarks of culture and progress, their impact compounded over months and years remains unparalleled.
The Future Role of Strategic Press Releases
More than simply conveying news, press releases allow restaurants experiencing major milestones or developments to control messaging and the public narrative. As attention becomes more competitive, brands proactively showcasing achievements via targeted publicity campaigns will break through the noise.
Thoughtful coordination with owned channels and stakeholders ensures press releases and spotlight announcements, evoking excitement, intrigue, and engagement. Integrated efforts, compounding releases with promotions and events, can multiply impressions while attracting existing and new patrons.
A restaurant’s food ordering system can tell a compelling story in its press release by demonstrating its technological innovation, customer-satisfaction, operational effectiveness, and flexibility in response to market developments.
In summary, press releases will continue to grow as essential instruments in restaurant public relations strategies for those recognising and activating their potential.