Managing the Grand Opening of an Upscale Café Concept
When The Glass Knife was preparing to open its doors in Winter Park, the new patisserie and café concept turned to Curley & Pynn for its grand opening. Specializing in decadent cakes and elegant desserts, The Glass Knife was entering a highly competitive dining scene in one of Central Florida’s most affluent areas. Retained only three months out from The Glass Knife’s opening, we needed to work quickly to promote a successful grand opening that would help establish the restaurant’s reputation for years to come.
We aimed to provide a taste of The Glass Knife to at least 25 Winter Park-area community leaders, to secure news stories and social media posts about the grand opening among popular local dining media/influencers, and grow its Instagram following by 30%.
We developed a multipronged approach that would leverage community leaders and traditional news media, as well as influential bloggers.
Partnering with a trusted dining journalist was a main point in our media relations strategy. As a popular newsweekly and resource for things to do in Central Florida, we pursued opportunities with Orlando Weekly. The outlet’s food and drink reporter would be the first journalist to see and experience The Glass Knife.
A few days before The Glass Knife’s fall opening, we hosted a media and influencer preview event. Informational stations and spokespersons were placed throughout the space, and we invited our guests to experience and enjoy each area (as well as taste samplings of the menu).
Throughout the course of our campaign, we also distributed reveals and news about The Glass Knife’s beautifully designed space, its various menu items and luxury coffee bar.
A select group of community leaders, including city commissioners and Winter Park Chamber of Commerce representatives, were invited to take part in a cake-cutting ceremony and photo opportunity. We also planned an exclusive community leader event, including all logistics and invitations, showcasing The Glass Knife’s stunning environment, delightful sweets and more. This event was strategically scheduled a couple of months after the grand opening and the end of their busy holiday season, and would serve to continue community conversations about the newest offering in Winter Park.
On opening day, The Glass Knife was completely packed with excited guests. The Orlando Weekly reporter who was granted a first look ran a story that garnered more than 2,000 Facebook “likes” in less than 24 hours, and it became the top story on the paper’s homepage. Overall, we achieved triple our objective for media coverage, with more than 66 placements as a result of the media preview alone. The Glass Knife’s Instagram following jumped by 110% less than a day following the media preview. Regional media’s excitement for the opening even caught the attention of a national Bloomberg Pursuits writer, who decided to include The Glass Knife in a listing of Orlando’s best restaurants.
As for community relationships, nearly 40 Winter Park leaders attended their invitation-only event and 13 also attended the grand opening ribbon cutting, far surpassing our total objective.
The hype generated from our outreach led to continued excitement for the café. To this day, The Glass Knife is regionally renowned for its desserts and atmosphere, and has achieved numerous accolades.
Related Case Studies
Since 2005, Curley & Pynn has managed strategic public relations and marketing communications for Electronic Arts (EA) Orlando, home…
With a new era of senior living beginning to take shape, leaders at the University of Central Florida (UCF)…
When The Glass Knife was preparing to open its doors in Winter Park, the new patisserie and café concept…
Curley & Pynn since 1996 has managed strategic public relations and marketing communications for the Florida High Tech…