How Mainland is Helping Famous Toastery Grow Its Franchise Footprint. Again.
Mainland’s PR strategy secured the better-breakfast brand high-profile media placements worth more than $75,000 in ad value.
Famous Toastery is a Charlotte, North Carolina-based breakfast/lunch/brunch franchise with more than 25 units spread over three states.
The brand was founded in 2005 by two lifelong friends, Robert Maynard and Brian Burchill, who saw a gap in the market for the kind of high-end, fresh-ingredient breakfasts and lunches they had experienced in major metro markets like New York.
The brand’s “better breakfast” offering, which takes a quality-focused and customer-centric approach to the breakfast daypart, was an immediate hit.
By 2013 the Famous Toastery began franchising rapidly. It originally engaged Mainland (then No Limit Agency) to help spread the word about this exciting brand opportunity through Mainland’s “earned, owned, paid” media strategy.
Soon, the brand had expanded to more than 25 stores. After this tremendous growth spurt, in 2019 Famous Toastery put a pause on development and its partnership with Mainland.
“We were getting lots of leads, but we weren’t interested in leads anymore,” said Maynard.
Instead, the brand shifted its focus to corporate support efforts, new technology initiatives and refinement of its franchise model.
It turns out the timing couldn’t have been better to refocus their energy. The brand found itself ahead of the curve when the COVID-19 crisis hit, able to guide its franchisees through perhaps the worst period American restaurant industry by spearheading the launch of curbside pickup and helping franchisees renegotiate with landlords.
At the end of 2020, with vaccines rolling out and an end to the crisis on the horizon, Famous Toastery still had a great story to tell and product to offer, and the brand decided to restart the development engines. And so, Famous Toastery returned to Mainland to help the brand grow again.
Famous Toastery needed to regain the buzz it had been generating prior to COVID-19. If it wanted to attract new investors, it needed a way to let them know that not only did it survive the pandemic, it was able to leverage the crisis to become a more efficient organization while retaining its customer base.
But suddenly, CEO Maynard found himself lost in an unfamiliar media landscape.
“Things have changed, even in the last two years,” said Maynard. “What is newsworthy is a little different today. There’s also a lot of noise out there, so we needed a way to break through, get attention for our successes, and let the world know that we’re ready to expand.”
Famous Toastery needed a way to cut through that noise in the information landscape to generate excitement with both consumers and investors.
To do this, the brand re-engaged Mainland in 2020 to help devise a strategy. It devised a robust earned media strategy that identified key audiences, and, using press releases and media outreach, helped promote Famous Toastery both as a consumer brand and a solid business opportunity that made it through pandemic, stronger than ever.
Mainland’s efforts culminated in more than two dozen local and national media placements and a PR and ad value in excess of $75,000. But here’s the important part: These placements put Famous Toastery front and center with key business audiences.
Famous Toastery appeared in Fox Business, the Charlottesville Business Journal, the Greater Wilmington Business Journal and Franchising.com. That’s in addition to general-interest media that focused on the brand’s food and service offerings.
HOW MAINLAND WON
Mainland won by focusing on relevant and high-quality media outlets and on reaching specific audiences. Instead of blanketing media, it picked its targets and shot bullseyes.
“We understand that our job is not just getting press for a client or getting their name in the newspaper. It’s getting the right press” said Nick Powills, CEO of Mainland. “Now that there are so many outlets through the proliferation of social media, we took the time to really hone in on the audiences that Famous Toastery needed to reach. This wasn’t about collecting clips for a client — this was a defined strategy that would help the brand achieve its growth goals.”
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