Generating Excitement for Multiple New Restaurant Openings in a Competitive Media Market

Chipotle Mexican Grill is a fast-casual restaurant brand cultivating a better world by serving responsibly-sourced, classically-cooked, real food with wholesome ingredients and without artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. The fast-growing restaurant chain was expanding in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, opening nine new restaurants over the course of about four months. Three of the nine were drive-thru digital order pickup Chipotlanes, including the first Chipotlane in the Dallas metro area.

Client
Services
Media Relations & Influencer Marketing
Communications Strategy & Planning
Industry
Multi-Unit Restaurants
Awards
2021 Gold Pick

CHallenge

Opening several new restaurants in one market back-to-back can lead to media fatigue and disinterest in covering the later openings. In a competitive media market like Dallas-Fort Worth and an increasingly saturated restaurant market, Linhart PR needed to find a way to generate excitement for all the new locations and maintain a steady beat of positive news coverage about Chipotle’s growth in and commitment to the Dallas-Fort Worth community.

Solution

Linhart PR developed a three-phased approach to securing ongoing coverage of the new locations and rapid Dallas-Fort Worth expansion:

>>Focus on the first Dallas Chipotlane to excite top-tier local media early on, since “firsts” drive news

  • Initial outreach also teased the following eight openings to plant the seeds for business-oriented growth story coverage down the line

>>As restaurants open, pitch community papers and official city pages to highlight individual openings in smaller towns

>>At the same time, target Dallas-Fort Worth top-tier media with the larger restaurant growth story:

  • Included all nine restaurants
  • Shared key growth points, such as the fact Dallas-Fort Worth had the most Chipotle restaurant openings in the country during that quarter
  • Provided details on Chipotlanes
  • Emphasized the growing convenience of dining at Chipotle, a key brand message

     

Results

Linhart PR aimed to secure 10 pieces of new restaurant coverage and exceeded the goal with 25, earning 25 million impressions about the first Dallas Chipotlane, individual local restaurant openings, and the Dallas-Fort Worth brand growth story.

Specifically, Linhart PR secured:

  • 9 pieces of coverage highlighting the first Dallas Chipotlane in outlets like Community Impact Northeast Fort Worth
  • 3 stories about the individual restaurants in hyperlocal media outlets, including the Cross Timbers Gazette for the Roanoke Chipotlane in Roanoke, Texas.
  • 13 Dallas-Fort Worth Chipotle restaurant growth stories in the Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Star Telegram and CultureMap Fort Worth

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