Restaurant Sciences: Data Driven PR Campaign

Restaurant Sciences was a startup focused on providing syndicated data and insights on food and
beverage consumption in restaurants, bars, nightclubs and other foodservice establishments. The
company was purchased by its largest competitor in 2014 in an investor driven buy-out.
The company delivered market share, market basket, competitive analysis, pricing, promotional, trend,
segmentation and custom analytics to food and beverage manufacturers and distributors, as well as the
broader industry they serve. Restaurant Sciences transformed over $1 billion per month in guest check-
level sales information into detailed data and insights across all segments of the foodservice landscape
in the United States and Canada. Insights were delivered online through their business intelligence tool
and through custom analytics.

Restaurant Sciences had only recently started to consolidate the data collected from restaurants to fuel
its data business. Its two-pronged approach to offering services to restaurants in exchange for the
restaurant’s POS data meant that the company initially thought it would offer more product oriented
PR, but without viable product announcements, we recommended to the client that they focus on the
company’s bread and butter, data. This information was of more interest to the media. Targeted PR
support, focused on getting coverage in the industry publications, became the focus of the PR outreach.
(Building credibility was another identified top need.)
Just as Restaurant Sciences began to establish itself in its industry with this strategy, its lone competitor on the data side began a similar campaign, offering weekly data insights to the media and through the company’s blog. It became apparent that Restaurant Sciences’ campaigns also needed to be more
frequent – a hardship on the small firm where resources and time were tight. We stepped in to help
them efficiently derive insights from their data and focus on campaigns where they could easily and
quickly derive insights.

In an effort to demonstrate the value of the data Restaurant Sciences collected, campaigns were
activated to publicize insights from the information, underscoring how the data was treated and
appealing to suppliers who were its potential customers. These campaigns revealed industry trends,
were a source of credibility, and used in comparisons to the data of its competitor.
CPRM met with the Restaurant Sciences team to brainstorm press announcements that would captivate
reporters at industry publications, and showcase the company’s ability to turn data into meaningful
results that added value to suppliers and restaurateurs. For each data point, CPRM wrote a press
release, issued it over the wire and reached out to a comprehensive list of industry and consumer
publications in an effort to get coverage.

With the first few releases and outreach, Restaurant Sciences received coverage in a handful of key
industry publications and a few consumer outlets. The data painted an appealing picture, which
generated interest even though some publications passed on the data insights. Some reporters passed
solely because they were unfamiliar with Restaurant Sciences and felt the need to wait for the company
to prove itself. The coverage increased steadily as Restaurant Sciences became more credible. (There
was also a sizable increase of restaurants in its database, which made the data statistically more
relevant.) As the data grew stronger and the team learned which topics generated the most interest,
coverage became more frequent and substantial. Several releases created new customers and produced
a long list of interested leads. One of Restaurant Sciences’ data releases resulted in 42 original articles,
including stories in: TIME, MSN, The Huffington Post, Fox News, Business Insider, The LA Times, The
Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, Boston Magazine, The Globe & Mail and The New York Daily

Meanwhile, the internal team was turning a wary eye toward the organization’s main competitor. The
almost weekly barrage of releases and data points made the team nervous. At times it felt like a head-
to-head comparison. The agency set aside time to do a comparative assessment, looking at both
industry and consumer media. While Restaurant Sciences was being selective, the competitor was
blasting out data right and left. (At least that was how the internal team was feeling. The reality was
that the “press releases” were often nothing more than a blog post in the format of a press release.)
Below is a comparison of 2013 PR efforts between Restaurant Sciences and its main competitor.

Restaurant Sciences Competitor
Press Releases in 2013 8 31
Total Press Release Pick-up 1,296 17
Newsletter Inclusion 12 6
Total Pieces of Coverage (Original Stories)* 91 38
Potential Audience of Coverage 1,466,071,483 5,537,144
Average Number of Original Stories per Release** 12.9 1.2
Pieces of Coverage on Top 100 Websites*** 9 0
Original Stories on Top 100,000 Websites*** 62 10
Stories & Newsletters in Industry Publications 38 38
Measurable Industry Audience 8,053,537 5,899,560

 *These metrics were based on the coverage for both companies that we were able to find via Google search and alerts.
 **Analytics for potential audience were acquired by researching media kits, our media database
and using web traffic estimators.
 ***Website rankings were taken from the Alexa Traffic Rank tool for a relative comparison
 ****Metrics are an estimate from analytics we have for the industry websites. Some sites and
newsletters did not provide audience or subscriber information.