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How to Make Your Restaurant Stand Out From the Crowd, On and Offline

QUICK 5 with REED Public Relations
Photo: Official

It’s been a tough several years operating a restaurant through uncertain times. The team at REED Public Relations knows better than anyone that it’s a battle to keep up with constantly updated trends that will keep consumers flocking to your business. That’s where a partnership with a seasoned PR company can come in handy! REED makes every brand local through strategic campaigns, events, and impactful messaging aimed at building connections between clients and their preferred customers.

REED Public Relations is a Nashville-based public relations and marketing agency specializing in a customized menu of restaurant-focused services to bring your business to life in this competitive market. Since 2012, they have worked with culinary heavy hitters like The Loveless Cafe, White Bison Coffee, Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse, Von Elrod’s, and many others on launches, events, and social media strategies. 

What Now caught up with REED PR vp Macey Cleary Binner for the Quick 5 tips from PR pros on how to be successful with your marketing strategy and get all eyes on your business. 

1) What’s the biggest challenge or hurdle you hear from restaurant owners introducing their first concept? 

It can be hard for locals and visitors alike to figure out where to go and eat. Working with REED, our goal is to increase brand awareness which is accomplished through integrated campaigns. We work directly with social media influencers and community groups, spotlighting brands in a variety of different ways. For example, maybe your restaurant offers a unique spin on a classic dish that we can spotlight to spark interest with diners.

2) At the heart of every business is their core values. Which of your core values resonate with your clients in the restaurant industry?

Measurable results – our slogan is: The numbers talk. We’ll let them speak.

We know these restaurants are investing money into public relations services, and we have to show a return on that investment. A tactic we regularly utilize for our restaurant clients is broadcast cooking segments. We can provide a clip of the segment along with the viewers that watched it. While PR is mainly focused on brand awareness since it’s earned media, not advertising, we typically see an uptick in sales for that menu item following a TV appearance. 

We’re also very proud of our Be The Good program. A portion of our revenue is donated to different causes on a national and local level, as well as our in-house sustainability program. On a national level, we send people on mission trips across the globe. While the program was paused due to the pandemic, we pivoted to set up a COVID-19 communications hotline. We set up 30-minute calls with businesses to give our opinions and marketing advice during that time where many were struggling. As of last month, we have re-started sending people on mission trips. 

Locally, we make donations to our neighborhood YWCA and volunteer at their events. Lastly, our in-house sustainability efforts have been a hit with our employees. We compost in the office, have built strategies to eliminate plastic use, we find options for carpooling, and build in sustainable options at our client events.

4) Your team offers a plethora of services to new and well-established businesses, like Crisis Communications, Influencer Marketing, Media Training to get clients camera-ready, and plenty more. What’s your social media advice to a first-time restaurateur introducing a new concept? 

It’s best to start early. We understand not wanting to share too much too soon since your opening timeframe can shift but a strong PR campaign is planned for typically one to two months ahead of opening. 

Before opening, we recommend teaser campaigns and establishing your social pages to be sure you secure the handle you want to use.

5) What are you hungry for right now? 

As a big foodie I feel like I’m always hungry. We’ve got to show some client love with the Loveless Cafe. It’s THE place for a Southern breakfast. They were recently named the South’s Best Biscuits by Southern Living Magazine and have been ranked as one of the top five restaurants in the state. Martha Stewart calls it the best breakfast she’s ever had! 

Jim ‘N Nick’s is also a client favorite. I’m from Birmingham, where the brand was founded, so I grew up eating their cheese biscuits. It’s great to see a relationship with a brand come full circle now that we lead their PR efforts. If you like brisket, you need to get it with a side of Morgan Co. white sauce! 

Dicey’s Pizza & Tavern is right near the REED office in the Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood. They serve party-style pizza, lots of shareable dishes and their fried pickles are delicious. Pro tip: their margaritas are made with mezcal for that smoky flavor.

REED Public Relations is a full-service public relations and marketing agency based in Nashville, Tenn. REED serves clients nationwide and across dozens of industries by developing and executing strategic communications campaigns including attention-grabbing events, social media marketing and smart messaging. REED was founded in 2012 and is a proud member of the Public Relations Global Network (PRGN). The firm is also actively involved with the Nashville chapter of the Public Relations Society of America and the International Association of Business Communicators. To learn more or contact REED Public Relations, visit

What Now Media Group shares daily restaurant news in 23 US cities and counting but we’re also dedicated to the continued support of brands as they grow in this busy market. We pride ourselves in knowing the best in the biz when it comes to restaurant industry experts. Whether you’re opening a new restaurant or growing an existing one to multiple locations, What Now’s Preferred Partners can help you every step of the way. 

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Jeannine Boisse

Jeannine Boisse (she/her) is a What Now Media Group staff reporter with a background in Radio & Television. Based in San Diego, you can usually find her exploring local breweries, trying new recipes, and listening to podcasts.
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