Will a restaurant opening press release really be enough to give your establishment the traction it needs? When it comes to dining out, we have a lot of choice these days. The restaurant business is a competitive one even in small towns. While that’s great for established places, what does a new restaurant have to do to get noticed?
The answer is, of course, marketing. While there are plenty of ways you can market a new restaurant, I’m going to focus on just one aspect here: writing a press release for your restaurant opening.
No, press releases are not glamorous, and they’re usually not fun – but done right, they can be super-effective at grabbing the attention of journalists and foodies in your area.
How Should You Format Your Restaurant Press Release?
It’s always intimidating to start with a blank piece of paper – or screen – staring accusingly at you. One trick that I have which will make this blank screen intimidation go away is to start by creating a boilerplate.
A boilerplate is one of those things that is kind of boring to make, but insanely useful to have. After all, why stop at just one PR on opening night?
A boiler plate is essentially where you include contact details along with information about your company. It’s a quick way to give your details to interested parties and makes it easy for them to contact you should they need more information on something your PR didn’t quite cover.
These are great because you can reuse these over and over again for multiple press releases. Essentially, you’re creating a template that you can use whenever you like. It’s also a great way to procrastinate before writing while still being able to achieve something.
Add your logo at the top, followed by your contact details (name, telephone number, email, fax). Then add a placeholder for a title and your actual press release.
With all that in place, you now have a document that’s ready to go whenever you need to write a new press release.
How Should You Order and Write a Restaurant Opening Press Release?
Always start with the title – or the first and possibly most important part of your release. This is the first thing that most people will read, so you really want to make it count. Ideally, you want a title that tantalizes people and gets them intrigued enough to read on (and visit).
Good details to include in the title include the name of your restaurant, when you’re opening, what type of restaurant it is, and why it’s a great place to dine. As an example:
Grand Opening Tomorrow: Acclaimed Michelin Star Chef to Open Bullfighter Taverna with a Fiesta of Food, Fun, and Plenty of Jamon
Well, I couldn’t think of a Spanish food beginning with F off the top of my head – but you get the point!
From this mock headline, we know it’s a Spanish restaurant called the Bullfighter Taverna, and that it’s opening tomorrow with a party featuring a mystery top chef.
A good headline should suck people in and compel them to read the rest of your release. After all, it’s not every day that a Michelin star chef opens a new Spanish restaurant!
You’ll want to make sure that the first, opening paragraph gets all the information that you need. In the case of a restaurant opening, you should tell people this is a new restaurant, the exact date and time it is opening, the kind(s) of food you will serve, where you are located, and what the real secret sizzle is in your sauce.
Hopefully, you also have a website – if so, include this in the press release so that people can quickly check out pictures, menus, and more. Here’s an example of an opening paragraph:
Bullfighter Taverna, Michelin star chef Juan Filipe’s latest Spanish restaurant, is opening tomorrow (July 21) at 2314 Long Road, Roanoke. With more than 200 tapas on the menu, in addition to an extensive cellar showcasing some of Spain’s best wines, the Bullfighter’s menu is already creating a stir with local gastronomes.
This is packed with details that give everyone the most important information right off the bat.
The second paragraph is a place where you can talk more about what makes your restaurant so special.
OK, so you might not have a Michelin star chef at the helm, but you will have something unique – a take on a classic dish, a unique atmosphere, or even your pricing (whether it’s cheap and cheerful or fancy-schmancy). Whatever it is, talk about it in the second paragraph.
The third paragraph is where I usually like to add a quote from someone associated with the restaurant. It can be a simple statement of excitement or discussing one of the points mentioned in the second paragraph. This is a great way to include a little personality into your PR, too.
If you don’t want to include a quote, that’s fine too; you can simply move on to talk a little more about what makes your restaurant so special. From signature dishes to an exquisite customer experience, just keep letting people understand what your value offering is. Do your chocolate brownies make people’s toes curl in pleasure? Let them know!
As you might already have guessed, what’s going on here is that you are making sure the most important details are at the top, with each subsequent paragraph filling in more of the details between the broad brush strokes.
Journalists and food bloggers are often busy, so don’t waste their time: cough up the big details they want before deciding if this is relevant to their needs then go into the frilly bits.
Whenever you’re done, just add ### to the end.
Distributing your Restaurant Press Releases
Journalists get flooded with press releases every day, and 99% of them end up in the trash. I know, that’s a scary statistic – but the good news is that most of them end up in the trash because they are completely irrelevant.
For example, if you were the editor of a magazine that dealt with the latest news in the industrial machinery industry, are you going to be interested in yet another restaurant opening press release? Even if the food sounds delicious, it’s so far out of whack with your editorial policies and focus that….
So, while you can make use of distribution to get a wide-scale release, it’s often better to focus on a more targeted offering. Contact journalists on local newspapers and food bloggers with an interest in your specific cuisine, even local food scene.
Not only would these sources find your restaurant opening press release relevant to them, but you can also start to build up relationships with them. Focus on building a relationship by opening with an email and cover letter explaining who you are, why you’re contacting them, and why this story is a newsworthy one.
You Don’t Have to Cook Your Restaurant Opening Press Release Up All By Yourself!
Restaurants are a high stress, high-pressure business, and launch night is no different – in fact, they’re often the most high-pressure day of them all! A skilled copywriter with expertise in creating press releases can mean one less thing on your plate. After all, you’ve got plenty to do as you put all your efforts into making sure that everything in your establishment is perfect for your first guests.
I’ve written hundreds of restaurant opening press releases for places just like yours across North America as well as press releases for typical restaurant events such as launch nights, special deals, and more – and I can also help you to effectively distribute your news to journalists and food bloggers in your local area. Get started today – contact me for a free initial consultation!