Case Study: The Opening of Falansai Vietnamese Kitchen
By Katja Schroeder, Expedition PR
One of the industries that technology is changing dramatically for the better is the food and restaurant business. Technology spurred the creation of new types of food services and is helping restaurants with their operations and marketing. There is a food tech boom in New York and many of the new food companies are based in Brooklyn. Crain’s New York reported that investors have a huge appetite for Brooklyn food startups. The on-demand dining industry is growing, driven by new types of companies that help consumers prepare gourmet meals at home with home-delivered packages that include ingredients and recipes or help consumers purchase fresh produce and organic products via the Web. Examples are Plated, Blue Apron, Kitchensurfing, Food52, Wholeshare and Farmigo.
But also the traditional restaurant industry is using technology from point-of-sales (POS) systems, online reservation and delivery services as well as social media marketing.
Thus, we were very excited to be brought on board to execute an integrated marketing program for the opening of Falansai Vietnamese Kitchen (pronounced faa-laan-sai) in Brooklyn, New York. The restaurant opened its doors in Bushwick, an up-and-coming neighborhood in Brooklyn that is known for its galleries and street art. The goal was to position Falansai as a medium-priced restaurant whose dishes reflect the cross-pollinated culture of Vietnam, blending the heritage of Vietnamese street-food food with French flavors and Chinese cuisine, particularly from the ChaoZhou region.
Expedition PR cooked up and served an integrated communications program that combined media relations, social media marketing, events, advertising, and email marketing.
Let’s take a look at social media marketing. Social media channels have become an important avenue for restaurants to attract and engage with diners, partly thanks to the ability to share visual content. A picture of a dish can speak louder than words. Diners share mouthwatering photos of dishes via apps like Foodgawker and Foodspotting. The team identified the most important social media channels for Falansai to engage with diners and “foodies” and created the restaurant’ social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Foursquare. The team is using platforms such as Yelp and OpenTable for marketing activities and customer feedback.
Technology also helps to track communications impact. Data from the restaurant’s point-of-sales system allows identifying popular dishes; Analyzing email opening and response rates guide the content for the next email marketing campaign. Website analytics give insights on popular topics and content to continuously refine and adjust program components.
After six months up-and-running, the restaurant established close relationships with food and local bloggers and its Bushwick community, including art galleries and fellow business owners.
L Magazine and Brooklyn Based listed Falansai as the best new Brooklyn restaurant in 2013; Brooklyn Magazine named Falansai’s Clay-pot Catfish among the best 20 dishes in 2013. Village Voice named the Clay-pot Cat fish among the top 100 dishes in NYC; Falansai was listed in the 2014 Michelin Guide. Falansai’s chef Henry Trieu was named among the best new chefs in 2013 by Brooklyn Magazine.
The Falansai opening was covered by several print and online publications including Time Out New York, The Village Voice WSJ, Grubstreet, Brooklyn Based, Brooklyn Exposed, The L Magazine, Bushwick Daily and Tasting Table.
You can read the Falansai case study here.