O’Charley’s Restaurant + Bar

BACKGROUND

O’Charley’s wanted something beyond the ordinary ribbon cutting for their multi-year restaurant reimage plan. Their goal was to couple the reopening of each restaurant with a special celebration that would not only create publicity around the remodel and increase business and sales at each location, but display the culture of the O’Charley’s brand. They called on Reed Public Relations to help them reach this goal.

 

STRATEGIES + TACTICS

To gain local media interest around each O’Charley’s restaurant remodel and reopening, RPR has carried out more than 80 Hometown Hero celebrations – one celebration per remodel – honoring local members of the armed services at each newly-redesigned restaurant. RPR is responsible for the integrated communications strategy surrounding each Hometown Hero celebration, ribbon cutting and promotion.

This included the following tasks:

  • Identify honorees through research and outreach. If restaurant provided recommendations, vet selections. Secure honorees and coordinate dates.
  • Serve as the liaison between honorees and restaurants.
  • Develop one-pager for each restaurant with information specific to their honoree.
  • Coordinate with the restaurant to make sure they get pictures that can be used for marketing purposes.
  • Develop press release for each location. Include information on reimage and hometown heroes program.
  • Handle all local media pitching.
  • Handle all local community partnerships and relationships with local influencers, such as chambers or elected officials.
  • Make social media recommendations.
  • Develop additional campaign aspects, such as a free meal to the first 50 guests at select restaurants.
  • Establish a partnership with Operation Gratitude and develop a “thank you” postcard campaign.

RPR also coordinated a dozen ribbon cuttings, as well as 60 promotions during the past two years, promoting a free meal deal and Thank You Thursday Bar Event.

 

RESULTS

RPR received 150 media hits in 88 outlets in 62 different cities around Hometown Hero events, ribbon cuttings, promotions and overall reopening news for O’Charley’s. Media spanned across TV, print, radio and online. This was a total of 7,444,051 media impressions. U.S. Senator Bob Corker’s office also caught on to the Hometown Hero celebrations and wrote personal thank you letters to several of O’Charley’s Hometown Heroes.

In addition, RPR established a partnership and secured cross-promotion with Operation Gratitude, a national organization with a significant following, including more than 73,000 Facebook fans in key O’Charley’s markets. More than 100 local heroes celebrated their service with friends and family in a newly-remodeled O’Charley’s restaurant.

While these stats are certainly impressive, the Project Star/Hometown Heroes team is most proud of the one thing that is immeasurable – the goodwill that this program created across the O’Charley’s footprint. The heartfelt reaction from not only the honorees, but the response from the local community and employees at each location was tremendous.