Red Lentil Vegetarian & Vegan Restaurant

Restaurant Marketing, Crisis Comms, Design, PR

Boston Area, Massachusetts

The Challenge

Creating a legend

For more than 12 years, we have refined and expanded the audience for the Red Lentil. A fledgling vegan enterprise is now a multi-location, award-winning brand, earning Best in Boston from Boston Magazine and DoorDash year after year, as well as Yelp's Top 100 U.S. Restaurants 2022.

Throughout the year, we heavily support all Red Lentil locations with:

  • planning multi-channel campaigns for events and promotions, including measuring KPIs, insights review, and reporting for pivoting strategy
  • email marketing campaigns tied to list segmentation that consistently generate 52%+ open rate and 6-10% click-through rate; we more than doubled the number of subscribers from 2021 to 2022
  • event coordination and media relations outreach for music events, holidays, and press events, attracting local and state legislators, vegan bloggers, and influencers
  • growing and managing multi-location Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts, including managing customer feedback, contests, event creation, and cross-promotion
  • website design, management, and landing pages, including e-commerce integration with PayPal and Stripe
  • Toast POS / CRM integrations and updates, and third-party ordering platform management (Grubhub, DoorDash, Uber Eats, etc)
  • print campaigns, advertising, trade show collateral, and in-house signage
  • reputation management via Google, Facebook, TripAdvisor, and Yelp reviews
  • partnership growth opportunities and launch events
The Relationship

Crisis communications and brand loyalty ... one post at a time

During COVID-19, we worked tirelessly to keep the restaurant open and their staff paid. We survived together. 

  • In 2020, by following our strategic advice, Red Lentil saw a 148% increase in gift card sales with 143% more gift cards sold. Our promotions led to their Harvest Dinner Thanksgiving event generating $12,000 in revenue—all takeout on a single day. 

  • Due to these successes, our managing director / CEO Sarah Williams was interviewed for a national podcast and various online media outlets to discuss our crisis strategies for small businesses and our commitment to integrity in communications and business.

On April 19, 2013, the Boston Marathon bombing assailants ran right past Red Lentil Watertown. We united to build a campaign to raise money for One Fund Boston and promoted a healing brunch for the neighborhood. (Scroll down for more or view the case study.)

The Strategy

Maximizing exposure and growing into new markets

We have worked for years to maximize the restaurant’s exposure, attract and keep loyal customers, and further their stellar reputation in the neighborhood. Our launch strategies have attracted local and state legislators, bloggers and reporters, and influencers in the healthy living and vegan spaces.

Our restaurant strategy attracts thousands to Red Lentil’s website and socials. Not only that: They have brand loyalty and brand visibility at every active touchpoint. We don’t waste their money or our time; we tap the channels that best reach their audience.

 

Utilizing innovative techniques (not digital ad spend) to attract customers, fans, and influencers—both regionally and nationally—a single event gains visibility among hundreds of thousands of online and local users.

 

In fact, our restaurant launch strategy case studies are some of our highest ranking pages on our website here at 816newyork.com!

The Results

Overlapping Multi-Channel Holiday Promotions

During the holidays, there is a big push, and that requires organization and strategy.

  • Facebook & Instagram posts experienced incredible engagement. No events or posts were boosted. $0 PPC advertising dollars were spent.
  • Thanksgiving Harvest Dinner event sold out.
  • Over $11,000 in online gift card sales generated in just 5 weeks.
  • Hundreds saw and/or responded to their Facebook Event and email marketing.
The Strong Campaign

The shootout was just a block away

We received a call early that morning. The chef and the staff had decided to serve brunch for free for 5 hours the next day, a gesture they hoped would help heal the community. We had less than 24 hours to attract as much viral reach and press as we could.

  • We updated their WordPress website by adding a Boston Strong–related slide to the homepage slider and creating a landing page that we could drive people back to throughout the day.
    Results: 456% increase in visits; 1900+ visits to landing page
  • Our most aggressive tactic, we used Facebook to make the brunch go viral. We changed their cover photo and created a Facebook event. Then starting promoting it (unpaid).
    Results: The initial promotional post was seen by 17,500+ people, shared 130 times, received 188 likes, and commented on numerous times.
  • Twitter provided excellent access to local media and helped push the event to a new level, particularly with the use of hashtags like #BostonStrong. People sent out pictures from the event mostly from Twitter and we kept the interaction going and showed our appreciation.
  • We sent an email to their list to promote this event.
    Results: 52.32% open rate, 29.81% click-through rate
  • We reached out to local news media like the Boston Globe to promote the event.

In honor of his generosity, we did not charge the client for this project.