As COVID-19 spread across the country, a national multi-unit restaurant chain had to shift to a completely off-premise model in a very short timeframe. This required company-wide changes – and strategic, clear communications around all of them – including increased safety protocols and additional off-premise options to drive transactions and ensure guest comfort.
To retain customer loyalty and sales during a global pandemic, and without indoor dining, the restaurant chain needed to innovate and adjust rapidly to keep employees and guests healthy while also communicating to guests how they could continue to safely and conveniently enjoy their favorite menu items.
The brand called on Linhart PR for reputation management, message development and strategic media relations counsel, to tell these stories through earned national media coverage:
Calling on its nearly 25 years of working with multi-unit restaurant chains and its extensive crisis communications and national media relations experience, Linhart PR quickly adapted to the new COVID-19 media landscape and activated the following approach:
In total, Linhart PR secured nearly 2 billion impressions for the restaurant chain during the initial months of quarantine, through stories that delivered key messages in outlets including The New York Times, USA Today, Business Insider, Yahoo! Finance, Forbes, Today.com, and CNBC.
By summer 2020, the company saw steadily improving sales since the start of the pandemic, including a more than 130% increase in digital sales and a 20% increase in loyalty program enrollment.