816 New York to be strategic partner for Boston-area restaurant expansion
Longtime client Red Lentil eyes growth opportunities, taps agency for strategic guidance
NEW YORK, NY, 1/25/21 – 816 New York, a brand strategy and communications agency, announced today that they have been asked by leadership at Red Lentil Vegan & Vegetarian Restaurant to join them as strategic partners for their upcoming expansion.
Founder Sarah Williams will lead the strategic planning that focuses on brand (and avoiding brand confusion), campaign, and outreach objectives, while serving in an advisory capacity regarding how to best approach the audience and grow while staying mindful of limitations in resources: time, staff, and money.
“Initially, they had approached me to discuss opening franchise brick-and-mortar locations. That’s a robust undertaking, especially during COVID-19 with limitations everywhere on in-house dining and the costs associated with ramping up a franchise model,” Williams says. “I suggested instead the idea of an agile fleet of Red Lentil food trucks, an effort that would require fewer resources, tap the local market first where their loyal customers already live, and give them time to test out this new direction.”
“It’s a brilliant idea, and the truck in itself is free marketing while on the run. Pankaj and I have been going back and forth on how we could perhaps launch a mobile franchise model,” says restaurant partner Sam Jhanjee.
The restaurant and the agency have been partnered since 2011. They have weathered multiple crisis situations together, including the Boston Marathon bombing in 2012 and now COVID-19. Chef Pankaj Pradhan knows he can trust that the 816 New York team will jump when it’s time to jump, but also can produce revenue, even in the midst of chaos.
“Pankaj approached me when COVID hit,” Williams says, “and we just went to work as we always have. 2020 wasn’t easy for them, but it wasn’t devastating either. We just pivoted, stayed positive and grateful, and here we are.”
Williams proposed strategic initiatives such as vegan-at-home takeout campaigns to boost spirit and cash flow over the holidays, and her team consistently communicated on behalf of the restaurant with customers via social media and email marketing.
“In 2020, the restaurant saw a 148% increase in gift card sales with 143% more gift cards sold,” she says. “Their Christmas Eve event did nearly $12,000 in revenue—all takeout on a single day. They trust us; this new strategic partnership should be great fun.”
816 New York has been strategizing, branding, and promoting restaurants since being founded in 2009.