Regional and Hyper-Local Media Coverage Leads to a Successful Chuy’s Opening in Annapolis

Chuy’s is an authentic Tex-Mex restaurant brand that was founded in Austin, Texas.  Launched in 1982, there are now 90 locations spanning from Texas to the East Coast.  This past week, Chuy’s opened their second Maryland location in Annapolis.

Maroon PR was selected by Chuy’s to serve as its local public relations agency in Maryland to manage media relations and provide event support for the Grand Opening.  Beginning back in July, the Maroon team created a strategic plan for the local market and started working in tandem with the Chuy’s marketing team to implement PR initiatives.

Media Relations Strategy

The primary focus was to maximize media coverage for Chuy’s hyper-locally in Annapolis, as well as throughout the region.  This was important not only to inform the public about the new location, but also to build brand awareness for Chuy’s as it considers opening more locations in the state.  The strategy was to build “Coming Soon” buzz among the public, secure business coverage for the brand, and amplify hype surrounding the Grand Opening on November 14.

Regional and Hyper-Local Coverage

Through a focused approach, Maroon PR utilized its restaurant PR experience and media relationships to line up a series of placements for Chuy’s.  This started with a business announcement that was released by the Baltimore Business Journal in August.  As the opening date approached, additional placements appeared early in the fall with outlets such as Eye On Annapolis, and a Fox Baltimore morning segment focused on hiring.

Early in November the final push for coverage was implemented.  Results included morning TV segments with CBS Baltimore and Fox Baltimore (below) who reach viewers inside and outside of Annapolis.  More notable coverage was secured with state’s largest newspaper, The Baltimore Sun and the top newspaper in Annapolis, the Capital Gazette.  A leading industry outlet, Eater DC, and the hyper-local Patch.com, also featured news about about the opening reaching the niche audiences.

Impact

Traditional public relations plays an integral role surrounding the opening of a new restaurant.  By earning attention for Chuy’s and its newest location, Maroon PR was able to reach the public and deliver vital information needed to drive early sales.  Chuy’s had public excited, and there were patrons lined up early outside the restaurant on opening day.  The foundation for success was provided, and relationships with the media in the market were cultivated which will generate more coverage opportunities for Chuy’s in the future.

Creating Relationships

In addition to traditional media relations, Maroon PR created the following relationships for Chuy’s to drive their growth:

  • Identifying a local charity partner for the restaurant, The Bowen Foundation for Autism, which is an umbrella of The Arc of Central Chesapeake.
  • Developing the invite list of business owners, community members and other VIPs to fill the restaurant’s pre-opening charity dinner.
  • Orchestrating a pre-opening happy hour for local teachers and creating relationships with local schools.
  • Creating relationships with Maroon PR’s contacts and coordinating food drops to the Anne Arundel County Medical Center, U.S. Naval Academy and others.

For more information about Chuy’s in Annapolis, visit: https://www.chuys.com/locations/annapolis/annapolis

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