food and beverage underground

Restaurant Press, Priceless

Restaurant press can add more than just a mention; it can add credibility to your establishment. Have you ever noticed every time a topic related to the food and beverage industry is in
your local news the same people and restaurants are always the go to places for the television channels and the local papers? Is your one of the restaurants they call when there is a related story? If not it’s time for you to get into the mix.

You need to build some quality relationships when it comes to restaurant press. To do this you need to build a foundation with your local press. This can be a much easier task than you may imagine. First off they need to know you exist in the first place so your first task is to prepare a press kit. This can be as extravagant and detailed as you desire to make it (if you already have one, now would be a good time to update it if you haven’t within the last year or so), but for a basic start you need to include the following:

Needed Information

  1. A Restaurant Fact Sheet: The name of the restaurant, address, phone and fax number, e-mail address, owners name, key personnel’s names (chef's, sous chef, general manager, etc. You need to include a detailed description of the restaurant and concept. Include hours of operation, parking info, special attributes of the restaurant (outside dining, private dining etc.) Include a brief description of the style of food you serve giving at least one signature item example. Also include your average price rage and credit cards accepted.o A copy of each of your menus (breakfast, lunch, dinner, wine, drink lists, beer list, specialty items).
  2. If you have any articles about your establishment include them as well (write-ups, reviews, blurbs) if you have several keep the number limited to five selected articles.
  3. Include several picture, both black and white and color. Pick a variety mixing in food shots, chef shots (profile and action) and owner shots. These are to be copied for the restaurant press kit, but have them easily accessible for when you get the call to use them.
  4. Have several different kinds of recipes with photos available
  5. Current bios on you and key members of your restaurant--chef, owner, sommelier.
  6. A list of possible hot issues and topic that you feel would be a great fit for you and your establishment.
  7. Several business cards.

Putting It All Together

Once you have all your material together your going to need to compile it in a nice folder for presentation. Head to staples and while their keep in mind that however you decide on presenting this should reflect the look and theme of your restaurant. If you are a sports bar, don’t put together the look and feel of a fine dining restaurant. After you have your things together head to the print shop and make those packets. You will need quite a few (think of putting one in the face of each television news desk, and any newspaper reporters, plus you will need to have plenty on hand for those special times that happen to pop up unexpectedly. Think how useful it would be to have one ready the next time one of the waitresses comes into the office and spouts out “guess what? There is a food writer from Food and Wine at my table.

Getting It Out

Once you have it all together and your ready to get them into the restaurant presses hands take out a piece of paper and start looking through the paper and watching the local news writing down the name of every reporter you feel would ever possible write a restaurant press report. Once this list is complete check the top 5% of those who write a larger amount of restaurant press articles. These are the ones I strongly suggest you visit personally with the press kit in hand. Going to give them all out personally and being able to introduce yourself to these people would be priceless, but once you get the ball rolling you’ll get more opportunities to meet them later, so initially you can mail the restaurant press kit to them. Make sure in the mailings you include a cover letter introducing yourself, and make sure you include that you are available for interviews, on the spot information on restaurant topics, and would love to be called on opinion pieces etc.

This is what you will be telling the other people you have on your list face to face, but again include the introduction letter in the packet as well. You may wish to invite them to your restaurant for a lunch or dinner. Ask them if there is anything that they have on the horizon that you may offer your assistance with. Remember they are always looking for something new and fresh, so have a few ideas for them as well.

Remember you need to cultivate these relationships and keep yourself available to them when they need something in a spot. Getting into that circle of restaurant press contributors takes nurturing and constant effort, but the dividends it will pay is priceless.

From Restaurant Press to Used Restaurant Equipment Auction

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