Partnering with chefs to build brand awareness and drive fundraiser sales
Pizzeria Locale is a contemporary pizzeria inspired by the traditional pizzerias of Naples, Italy, and was created as a result of founders Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson and Bobby Stuckey’s culinary travels throughout Italy and years of fine-dining experience.
Food & Nutrition
With several locations in Denver, Pizzeria Locale is a fast-casual, contemporary pizzeria under the direction of James Beard Award-winning chef Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson. While Pizzeria Locale’s founder is well-known among the foodie crowd, many Denverites are unfamiliar with the restaurant, which vies for attention among the city’s up-and-coming fine and casual dining scene. To boost restaurant visibility, the pizzeria created guest chef events where Pizzeria Locale 1) partners with like-minded, locally-known fine dining chefs who create a special month-long pizza addition for the menu, and 2) hosts a one-night fundraiser where 50 percent of sales go to a local non-profit.
As the PR agency representing the Denver Pizzeria Locale restaurants, Linhart PR was tasked with generating news of its guest chef events though traditional and influencer outlets to boost restaurant sales, visibility and fundraiser participation.
Linhart PR developed the following approach to drive results for the guest chef partnership and fundraiser:
- Host a media preview event. Invite Denver media and influencers to an exclusive event to experience one-on-one interactions and interviews with the guest chef and Lachlan. Host the event prior to the special pizza’s public debut so media get a sneak peek and create advance content that will attract readers/viewers. Leverage Lachlan’s expertise and local fame to secure interest from foodie media who aren’t typically interested in fast-casual dining options.
- Offer pizza drops. Share pizza with TV and radio stations to encourage them to talk on-air about the guest chef partnership. This spreads the word about the guest chef’s pizza and fundraiser while helping media learn more about the restaurant in a memorable (and delicious) way.
- Leverage strong media relationships. Based in Denver, Linhart PR has outstanding local print, online, broadcast and influencer connections. The team knows exactly how and who to share information with to secure meaningful coverage.
- Get on event calendars. While it seems small, listing the guest chef partnership and fundraiser on local event calendars can boost participation and drive additional coverage, as media outlets often look at calendars to develop stories.
- Partner with the right non-profits. Carefully research and select a non-profit group that complements Pizzeria Locale’s mission of caring for local communities by serving up the highest-quality ingredients. Choose a non-profit that’s well-known and well-loved in the local area. Consider its media appeal, as well as reach through social channels, newsletters and email marketing. Make sure the partner leverages its network to support the fundraiser and engage its own audience! As a bonus, choose an organization that’s also meaningful to the guest chef to create an even deeper program connection.
In 2017, Linhart PR supported two guest chef partnerships and fundraisers, securing a total of 30 stories and more than 47 million media impressions across all major Denver TV, print, online and social platforms. Visibility of Pizzeria Locale also was boosted by partner chefs promoting the program on their own platforms, and restaurant sales and fundraiser participation were strong and consistent. In turn, Denverites began to associate the restaurant as a friendly business investing in organizations meaningful to the local community.