Dining Alliance & Consolidated Concepts/Case Study
Dining Alliance and Consolidated Concepts are group purchasing organizations for independent restaurants and small restaurant chains. The two companies help restaurants save money on food and other items essential to restaurant operations: everything from tomatoes to tablecloths. By combining their members’ purchasing power, Dining Alliance and Consolidated Concepts can command lower prices from food suppliers. The companies also track and manage complex rebates from food suppliers to make sure their members are getting the most rebates possible.
Dining Alliance and Consolidated Concepts had three specific media outreach targets. First, they wanted national media coverage to raise the overall profile of the company. Second, they wanted local news coverage in markets where they had an established presence in order to convince more restaurants in those markets to join their organization. Lastly, they wanted restaurant industry trade media coverage to highlight their service and expertise among key stakeholders in the industry.
One of the biggest challenges for Dining Alliance was how to convince reporters and editors that a company they had never heard of could be a valuable and knowledgeable source of industry data. When reporters get a good source of information and insight on a particular topic, it can be hard to convince them that there are other sources. In this case, information on food pricing and trends from a restaurant perspective had its own set of already established experts. Our job was to help educate the media on Dining Alliance’s unique perspective and unmatched knowledge as the organization that facilitated hundreds of millions of dollars in restaurant food purchases.
“We decided that my companies Dining Alliance and Consolidated Concepts needed to come out and get national exposure and be recognized as the leader in our field. PR was the way to do it but I had bad experiences in the past with large retainers. INK was able to get me several major national press and TV interviews like Wall Street Journal and CNBC but also great local press like Boston Globe and Atlanta Herald that got the phones ringing. We continue to do PR to build influence and credibility to attract new customers plus it drives traffic to our website and boosts our ranking in search engines. We owe this huge bump in our exposure and reputation to INK!”
INK began our outreach efforts by interviewing a number of Dining Alliance restaurant customers about their experience with the company and how it helped them save money and operate better. Those interviews became the basis for both local coverage in markets where Dining Alliance had a strong presence, and in the form of case studies and articles in restaurant trade publications. We also monitored breaking weather and food related news for opportunities to offer Dining Alliance’s expertise (impact of drought and disease on food prices, etc.) We also took advantage of Dining Alliance’s internal food pricing data to spot trends that could be tied to larger news events. For example, the dramatically higher price for chicken wings surrounding the Super Bowl.
Raised National Profile
With more than 269 million impressions in national media , INK raised the profile of both Dining Alliance & Consolidated Concepts with multiple coverage on CNBC. Additional coverage in CNN, Associated Press, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, CS Monitor, BusinessWeek and Investor’s Business Daily. INK created a food commodities report, collected from clients data, that would effect restaurant costs and typing it to increases in your favorite Superbowl foods.
Expanding Presence & Sign-ups
INK targeted local/regional business and news media where Dining Alliance/Consolidated Concepts had an established presence to reach more restaurants in those markets to join their organization. Stories in local coverage CNY Syracuse, Buffalo News, Arizona Republic, Atlantic Business Chronicle, The Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times drove additional signups on the local level. Over 5 million impressions and immediate sign-ups.
Building Influence & Credibility
INK secured media coverage in the restaurant industry trades Griffin Report, Restaurant Hospitality, Restaurant Facility Business, Restaurant Report with frequent coverage in FSR Magazine, Franchise Times, Fast Casual and QSR to highlight their service and and expertise among key stakeholders in the industry.
INK met Dining Alliance/Consolidated Concepts specific goals in raising their overall profile on a national level targeting national media, highlighting their services to key stake holders targeting industry trades and building additional subscribers in areas they had a presence in by targeting local media with the success stories of current restaurants who were members.