The One Thing You Should Always Do in a Media Interview

For restaurateurs and food establishment owners, connecting with people daily is a part of their business. And to gain a little attention, connecting with influential people like reporters or bloggers is a must.  In many instances, this requires the owner or chef to engage in media interviews where a reporter will come with questions related to a story they are writing about your restaurant (which you presumably pitched).

For some, the prospect of being interviewed by a reporter is exciting, but for others, it’s nerve-wracking, causing anxiety and discomfort. Many of our clients experience the latter until they have a few interviews under their belt. At which point, they become much more comfortable speaking to media and engage with them frequently to give their business a boost. 

But for those first interviews, the unusual nature of the experience requires some preparation and support. That’s why we created this handy guide to help you interview like a pro with important tips and reminders for how to host a successful interview—starting with creating your key messages.  And with this knowledge in place, the one most important thing you must do in every interview—smile! It will demonstrate that you are relaxed and happy, both good signs for a prosperous future.  

Want to learn more, try signing up to get our 7 tips for free PR! Then, explore our other options for helping you spread the word in both press and through social media.

5 restaurants in Cleveland that caught our eye

Take Out is always on the hunt for new dining experiences and food that will knock our socks off. So, we asked our friends for a virtual tour of Cleveland faves and here they are!

Ohio’s first Nationally Certified Green Restaurant, The Greenhouse Tavern, cooks up sustainable cuisine using local ingredients that you won’t forget. Everyone is sure to find something and we love the focus on GMO-free and organic.  

Looking for a relaxed, casual dining experience, drop by The Butcher and The Brewer. This brewpub is a great place to meet up with friends, and who knows, you might just make a few new ones thanks to its community-style seating. All items on the menu are made to share, which gives you the opportunity to try a few different dishes. Plus the brewmaster uses his education in science to create one-of-a-kind, innovative beer that people travel from all over the country to experience.

Momocho is not your typical taco place. It offers creatively crafted and exciting modern Mexican food that is almost too pretty to eat. Momocho prides itself on being innovative and hip, appealing to a younger crowd. They also use seasonal and local ingredients, which are sure to leave your taste buds tingling for more!

Want some amazing Italian cuisine? Then you need to check out Michaelangelo’s in Little Italy. It provides a cozy contemporary atmosphere with dishes brought to you by award-winning executive chef, Michael Annandono. It is the perfect place to go for a romantic evening or to relax in a causal environment with great food and friends

Coastal Taco brings a beachy, laid back vibe to the waterfront of Lake Erie where they are serving up inventive, larger than life tacos at affordable prices. It’s a great place to sit outside on their massive patio and soak up the lake views with friends and family while sipping a homemade soda or a classic cocktail and consuming tacos that are sure to make a be splash.

Have a favorite new spot you can’t live without? Drop us a line: hello@takeoutpr.com

5 Seattle Gluten-Free Spots We’re Loving Right Now 

For those who are celiac, dining out can be a bit of a minefield when it comes to finding truly gluten-free options.  And if you’re just looking to cut back on bread (easier said than done), it can feel like a salad is your only option at times. Luckily, Seattleites have a number of tasty (really) options -- so grab your GF and check out these delicious GF spots!

Nuflours
For those of you gluten-free friends with a sweet tooth, you can have your cake and eat it too. Nuflours’ specialty is bakery goods and sweet treats, all crafted in a 100% GF kitchen. Since opening, they’ve expanded to offer breakfast and lunch, too. Nuflours is centrally located on Capitol Hill and well worth a visit.

Razzi's Pizzeria
Pizza + bread seem pretty inseparable. But fear not, pizza lovers, there’s plenty of gluten-free options out there today, and Razzi’s is a great Seattle option. They’re even certified gluten-free, so you can rest assured if you’re especially prone to gluten reactions. Be sure to check out their gluten-free beer and cider options, too.

Capitol Cider
Having only been to Capitol Cider for shuffleboard and ciders on the weekend, it took a while to realize that the entire kitchen is gluten-free -- not just their ciders! The atmosphere easily morphs from day to night in this space, thanks to a clean-but-casual vibe and lots of board games to entertain. Don’t miss out on their gluten-free fish and chips, which are shockingly good!

Itto's Tapas
Itto’s Tapas is a delicious stop-in, gluten-free or not, with a variety of Moroccan and Spanish small plates. While their menu isn’t 100% gluten-free, it’s pretty close -- about 95% of options are GF-friendly. Their creative cocktails round out the experience and keep things fun for all diners.

Cafe Flora
An oldie but a goodie. Cafe Flora is a Madison Valley institution, well-known for it’s delicious vegetarian-friendly options. Fortunately, it’s also a haven for the gluten-free crowd and even has its own gluten-free fryer to prevent fraternizing ingredients. Their menu is packed with seasonal veggies and thoughtful takes on meat-free recipes.Simply ask to dine off their gluten-free menu and you’re set.

What is your favorite GF restaurant? Let us know on Facebook or Instagram!

3 ideas to refresh your menu for spring

Spring has officially sprung! Check out these three tips to refresh your menu to reflect the new season. 

  1. Lighten it up! If your menu traditionally uses bold or dark colors, use the spring season as an opportunity to give it a face lift.
    • Lighten up colors by using a lighter tint or tone of your brand colors.
    • Clear all the clutter and optimize white space to give your menu a light and airy feel.
  2. Change the focus! Think about the foods and drinks your customers are looking for in the warmer months.
    • Switch the attention to lighter food options, such as salads instead of heavy soups.
    • Capitalize on the start of farmers markets and add fresh, seasonal ingredients to your menu.
    • Add more breakfast and brunch items due to spring and summer holidays, such as Mother’s and Father’s Day.
  3. Make it obvious! If you want to promote your lighter menu items, make it easier for your customers to find them.
    • Highlight new or important items by adding elements to draw the diner’s attention to it – put a box around it or highlight a featured image of the dish.
    • Place your best-selling items in the places that the diner’s eye goes to first, usually in the upper-right hand corner of the menu.

Need some help with a menu refresh? Shop our custom design tools and we’ll get your menu ready for the warmer months ahead. Connect with us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram and let us know how you plan to refresh your menu for spring!

5 Seattle Restaurants We’re Loving Right Now

Here at Takeout, we take eating seriously -- and we’re also suckers for ambiance and style to complete the dining experience. Seattle, our home base, just happens to be a city that constantly offers exciting new restaurants to try. Here’s a quick intro to some of our latest favorites!

Healthy food + cheerful ambiance makes for a winning combination at Bounty Kitchen in Queen Anne. The die-hard health fanatic and the curiously-healthy alike will love their line-up of salads and juices, and we’re groupies for their delicious bowls (think kale, arugula, cauliflower couscous, dried currants, apricots, almonds, charred peppers and onion, mint, and cilantro all topped with a lemon vinaigrette - and you’ve got one bowl!) They’ve even tapped into the toast trend on their menu. If you’re looking for a delicious approach to healthy eating, look no further.

Thackeray on Stone Way is in good company with sister restaurants like Barrio, Meet the Moon, and Purple Cafe -- but it’s also a standalone hit for a broad audience. Diners can choose from vegan-friendly options or knockout burgers and everything in between. An ideal spot for a fun evening out with friends (and without breaking the bank), Thackeray delivers for just about anyone.

Feeling fancy? Make a reservation and take the opportunity to up your outfit as you step into the 1930’s at Circadia, a posh spot located in downtown Seattle.Their menu is bolstered by classic favorites with a French twist -- and you’ll also find a few hints of global influence here and there. If you’re interested in impressing your group, you can also opt for their Champagne and Caviar society.

Next time you’re on Bainbridge, be sure to stop by Bruciato for a delicious Neapolitan-style pizza. Their menu has a little of everything to broaden the average pizza-lover’s palette. You’ll find the likes of bone marrow, wood-roasted octopus, tripe and clams to keep things interesting -- or simply opt for their rendition of a classic Margherita pizza. 

We love the focus on responsibly raised game meats at Flintcreek Cattle Co. in Greenwood. You’ll find a unique menu with the likes of venison, bison, and wild boar (and some staples like filet mignon and ribeye for the less adventurous). The team’s sibling restaurant, Rockcreek, has a similarly thoughtful approach to seafood if that’s more your scene.

Have a favorite new spot you’d like to share? Drop us a line: hello@takeoutpr.com

Event success with these 4 elements!

 A grand opening event is a great way to celebrate and engage your community, including local media and influencers.  We’ve been to a few parties and here are four of our favorite tricks for event success!

Hashtag it! By building a specific hashtag for your event, you will build engagement with the attendees and bring the conversation together. It also will allow people to find photos from the event, as well as information.  Tip: choose a # that is simple, memorable and related to the event. Most importantly, make it something that nobody has used before (or has been minimally used)! #Noodlemeisopen, #partayatsammys, #eatatluc

Cheeeese! We live in a photo-first society! That means lots and lots of photo and/or selfie taking. Make it easy for your guests to remember your event by having a Polaroid on hand!

Drinks on me! Coasters are an inexpensive way to get your restaurant logo and messaging out there. You can create an entire marketing program around them that will make your guests take pictures and share them on social media to start a conversation. They are also a fantastic opportunity to further promote your custom event hashtag and/or use them as an incentive to return to your restaurant with a coupon or advertisement for happy hour.

Can I get a signature!? Create a custom signature cocktail for your event! It’s another opportunity to set yourself apart and create a conversation topic – “are you a sunshine seeker or cold & bold?”

Follow these four key ingredients, your event is sure to be a hit! Don’t forget to sign up for your Free 7 Tips to Get PR for your event and make your restaurant a success! Connect with us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram and let us know how you plan to make your event special!

Top Food Bloggers on Instagram

Follow these Foodie Feeds on Instagram

Social media is a driving force in the restaurant industry. It gives customers a front row seat to what’s happening in your restaurant, lets them interact with you in a fun and personable way, and ideally convinces them that your food is so delicious they must try it.  

So, who in the food industry is rockin’ Instagram? Read on to see who we turn to for inspiration.

1.       Lee Tilghan

Lee is our must-follow food stylist. She makes everything from avocado toast to a bowl full of vegetables look absolutely delicious! Follow her for serious inspiration on how to make your food look interesting and appealing in photos.

2.       New Fork City

Honestly... Wow🦄 Credit: @glutenfreeing #newforkcity

A photo posted by New Fork City® (@new_fork_city) on

We love how New Fork City gives shout outs to local eateries. Sharing is caring, and tapping into your community is a vital way to gain attention – especially when you’re first starting out.

3.       Rolf and Daughters

@josephcrenshaw holding down the daily. #everyday

A video posted by rolfanddaughters (@rolfanddaughters) on

This Nashville restaurant gives followers a behind-the-scenes look at their establishment. You’ll see the chefs making fresh pasta daily, grilling meat, and more. Pro Instagram tip: customers love having a court-side seat to the kitchen action.

4.       Black Tap

Black Tap clearly knows how to tap into their “wow-factor.” Those sundaes are serious conversation starters and sharing photos that make followers say “holy cow!” will generate buzz and help create a line out the door.

5.       Perch

We love Friday night!

A photo posted by Perch (@perchlosangeles) on

Perch in Los Angeles strikes the perfect balance of showcasing food, drinks and the ambiance of their spot. After seeing this photo, who wouldn’t want to head to the rooftop for music and cocktails on a Friday night? 

6 National Websites for Restaurants to Know

Restaurants’ customers are local, but what the people in your community read goes far beyond local media. Placement in a top national lifestyle website can validate your concept and bring locals and tourists in.  Here are five lifestyle websites that you should know – they focus on food and have opportunities for restaurant coverage, recipe submissions and chef features. Content from these websites is sometimes syndicated on major news aggregators like MSN.com providing the potential to reach tens of millions!      Daily Meal:    The  Daily Meal  covers all things food, so dive in and find your place in their content! Editors canvass the world to bring readers the best food and drink experiences at all levels, around the table, at home or on the road. The Daily Meal delivers dining news and trends, ways to help home cooks succeed in the kitchen, while highlighting the unifying aspects of food and drink and celebrating the people who create them (namely chefs!).   What to pitch:     Seasonal recipes! We’ve had great success placing recipes for clients around major food holidays like the Super Bowl and National Salad Month.     Your restaurant as part of a new dining trend, or along with notable local acclaim to consider for features, restaurant round ups, and more.  Have a particularly unique point of view and respected position in the food world? Consider nominating yourself to be on the  Daily Meal Food Council .   Pure Wow:   PureWow  is dedicated to finding ways to make life more interesting, beautiful and manageable. Coverage includes the breadth of women's lifestyle: fashion, beauty, home, arts and culture, money, tech, food and travel.    What to pitch:   New restaurants and the “best (your food category here)” if you live in one of their featured cities (NYC, Dallas, SF, Hamptons, LA, Chicago).  The best (your food category here) in every state.  Seasonal recipes and how-tos. Here’s a tip: reach out and ask what recipe roundups they are working on so that you can pitch the perfect recipe for inclusion.   The following national websites also have strong local food coverage in select metropolitan areas. Find your local writer to pitch and invite to your events.      Spoon University:     Food coverage by college students for college students, this site is great if you have a location near one of the  local chapters  and appeal to college students (fast-casual, bars, vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, etc.).    Thrillist:    Thrillist    is a leading men’s digital lifestyle brand, providing all that's new, unknown or under-appreciated in food, drink, entertainment, nightlife, gadgets, and more.  Think edgy and pitch opening news, restaurant reviews and original best-of food ideas to your city contacts.    Zagat:     This go-to source is stepping up its online game with lots of local content.  Get on the contact list for the writer in your city so you can receive their emails about stories they’re working on.  Invite them to your events and send them your news, seasonal menus and ideas, too.    Red Tricycle:   Red Tricycle is one of the most followed parenting sites and features regular food coverage, including roundups of the best Mac n Cheese for kids or smoothie bars.  Consider pitching if: you have a kids menu; are especially kid-friendly; have a space to rent for parties; or make for a special moms night out or date night.  Have questions? Reach out at  hello@takoutpr.com .  And don’t forget to sign up for your free 7 tips to get PR  here  and connect with us on  Facebook ,  Twitter  and  Instagram .      

Restaurants’ customers are local, but what the people in your community read goes far beyond local media. Placement in a top national lifestyle website can validate your concept and bring locals and tourists in.  Here are five lifestyle websites that you should know – they focus on food and have opportunities for restaurant coverage, recipe submissions and chef features. Content from these websites is sometimes syndicated on major news aggregators like MSN.com providing the potential to reach tens of millions!

 Daily Meal: The Daily Meal covers all things food, so dive in and find your place in their content! Editors canvass the world to bring readers the best food and drink experiences at all levels, around the table, at home or on the road. The Daily Meal delivers dining news and trends, ways to help home cooks succeed in the kitchen, while highlighting the unifying aspects of food and drink and celebrating the people who create them (namely chefs!).

What to pitch:
Seasonal recipes! We’ve had great success placing recipes for clients around major food holidays like the Super Bowl and National Salad Month.

Your restaurant as part of a new dining trend, or along with notable local acclaim to consider for features, restaurant round ups, and more.

Have a particularly unique point of view and respected position in the food world? Consider nominating yourself to be on the Daily Meal Food Council.

Pure Wow: PureWow is dedicated to finding ways to make life more interesting, beautiful and manageable. Coverage includes the breadth of women's lifestyle: fashion, beauty, home, arts and culture, money, tech, food and travel. 

What to pitch:
New restaurants and the “best (your food category here)” if you live in one of their featured cities (NYC, Dallas, SF, Hamptons, LA, Chicago). The best (your food category here) in every state. Seasonal recipes and how-tos. Here’s a tip: reach out and ask what recipe roundups they are working on so that you can pitch the perfect recipe for inclusion.

The following national websites also have strong local food coverage in select metropolitan areas. Find your local writer to pitch and invite to your events.

Spoon University: Food coverage by college students for college students, this site is great if you have a location near one of the local chapters and appeal to college students (fast-casual, bars, vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, etc.).

Thrillist: Thrillist is a leading men’s digital lifestyle brand, providing all that's new, unknown or under-appreciated in food, drink, entertainment, nightlife, gadgets, and more.  Think edgy and pitch opening news, restaurant reviews and original best-of food ideas to your city contacts.

Zagat: This go-to source is stepping up its online game with lots of local content.  Get on the contact list for the writer in your city so you can receive their emails about stories they’re working on.  Invite them to your events and send them your news, seasonal menus and ideas, too.

Red Tricycle: Red Tricycle is one of the most followed parenting sites and features regular food coverage, including roundups of the best Mac n Cheese for kids or smoothie bars.  Consider pitching if: you have a kids menu; are especially kid-friendly; have a space to rent for parties; or make for a special moms night out or date night.

Have questions? Reach out at hello@takoutpr.com.  And don’t forget to sign up for your free 7 tips to get PR here and connect with us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.