Vegan restaurant brand strategy
Wild Rice Vegan Cafe

Cafe Brand Strategy, PR, and Launch

Watertown, Massachusetts

Unfortunately, this restaurant did not survive due to location.

The Challenge

Launching a sister brand in the same town

The restaurant needed to distinguish itself from its well-established, popular sibling, not just in food concept but also in visuals and messaging.

While the owner’s existing brand, Red Lentil, is a fine dining vegetarian and vegan experience, Wild Rice was a grab-and-go counter order, self-serve concept. 


We needed to use messaging, PR, and outreach to the existing audience to manage expectations to ensure that those wanting a formal dine-in feel wouldn’t be disappointed.

The Strategy

Creating a hip neighborhood spot for locals

We targeted the primary messaging as a place where local businesspeople and social groups could meet up, taking advantage of free WiFi, a large presentation monitor, and ample space for up to 40 people.

We helped the owner from inception to launch to develop his concept and brand, including:

  • Brand name development, to define a name that would differentiate the restaurant from Red Lentil while being somewhat similar.
  • We developed the visual system: palette, logo, typography, icons, all to correlate to the menu being offered.
  • We designed a menu that would serve as both in-house and takeout, as well as coupons, announcement cards, business cards, and a one-page microsite.
  • We established their Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, and other social media pages, attracting 300 followers in the first week.
  • We created email templates and performed all outreach to existing patrons of the Red Lentil, neighborhood and commercial organizations, local vegan / vegetarian groups, and the like.
The Launch

Overwhelming results from restaurant launch event

We devised and executed the following PR and marketing strategy to launch the restaurant:

  • PR research for local press, bloggers, and foodie and fitness groups, local businesses, and social groups
  • Press release writing, distribution, and followup with media contacts and bloggers for interview requests
  • Design and coordination printing for menu, coupon card, business card, and rack card for grand opening announcement
  • Promotional email and social media outreach to maximize exposure. The email campaign generated a 44.2% open rate and 15.56% click-through. Through solely organic reach (no paid posts), the Facebook event generated 29,000+ hits in overall reach, 1900+ views, and about 500 engagements.
  • The chef was subsequently featured on Boston’s NBC affiliate and the restaurant was written up in the Boston Globe, leading to additional online articles.