The popular restaurant was poised for growth, but needed a digital strategy to position them for greatness.
Since 2008, Roberta's has remained one of the most buzzed-about restaurants in the United States. With its seasonal menu and DIY-ethos, it became a New York City institution, famous for its off-the-walls parties, laid-back vibes and its devotion to culinary excellence. But in today's increasingly competitive landscape, they needed more than traditional PR to guide their goals. In 2014, Roberta's enlisted the help of Hiraeth to overhaul its marketing practices to include a multifaceted approach that paired traditional PR outreach with strategic digital branding and social media.
a versatile brand facing a digital dilema.
Described by the New York Times as "one of the more extraordinary restaurants in the country," Roberta's was setting its sights on major expansion. What started as a single restaurant in Bushwick had quickly grown into a nearly full-square-block mini-empire, with a Two-Michelin Star tasting menu restaurant, a separate take out and bakery space next door, their first Manhattan brick-and-mortar location, a wholesale bakery program, a frozen pizza division, a full-scale catering department, mobile operations spanning the boroughs, pizza pop-up's across the country, on-site events and merchandise. With so much going on, they were in desperate need of a new marketing strategy that would encourage growth, while maintaining brand authenticity.
redesigned digital infrastructure + data-driven messaging + traditional PR Outreach = growth.
Hiraeth recognized that in order for Roberta's to successfully expand without damaging the brands' hard-earned street-cred, it would involve targeted campaigns that used a combination of traditional and new media strategies. This included a complete redesign of their social infrastructure, using the parent-child page model to separate out the different divisions of the Roberta's brand. The original Roberta's Pizza channels became the brand parent, while Roberta's Bakery, Catered by Roberta's, and Roberta's Garden became brand children. We used the data from comparing accurate digital analytics against POS system sales reporting to guide our campaign focus, while developing the voice of the brand through consistency and increased interaction with our customers. Targeted press media outreach paired with B2C marketing helped launch a series of company milestones for the growing Roberta's brand, and provided the necessary framework for continued growth and success.
Roberta's digital footprint saw drastic growth during the last two years. Their following on Facebook increased by 130%, while Twitter increased by 60%. Instagram saw the largest uptick in followers, from 5,000 to 50,000, in 18 short months. The recent addition of SnapChat hit new levels when Roberta's snap was added to the National Pizza Day Story, exposing their operations to 20M people in a 24 hour period. PR placements for both Roberta's and Executive Chef Carlo Mirarchi saw major milestones, including an appearance on NBC's TODAY, and Late Night with Seth Meyers, as well as a feature spread in VOGUE with Karlie Kloss, photographed by Mikael Jansson.