Case Study: Salad Success in Austin

Vinaigrette is a sustainable farm to table wellness concept centered on delicious gourmet entrée salads. Founded by chef and farmer Erin Wade in the healing desert of New Mexico, the restaurant’s two locations in Santa Fe and Albuquerque have enjoyed great financial success with a loyal customer base since opening in 2008 and 2013 respectively.

Staying close to her southwest roots, Wade chose the growing city of Austin, TX for her third location and first outside New Mexico.

The restaurant scene in Austin, best known for its BBQ, tacos and food trucks, is especially dynamic and competitive today with a constant stream of new restaurant openings.  

To make Vinaigrette stand out and connect with locals, Take Out PR worked with Erin to develop and tell Vinaigrette’s unique Austin story. More than 15 press attended the soft opening resulting in widespread local coverage that put Vinaigrette on the map instantly.

Photo credit: Taste of KoKo

Photo credit: Taste of KoKo

In addition to inviting food and lifestyle press to the soft opening to secure opening coverage, we worked with the Austin Business Journal to tell a more in-depth feature story about Erin and Vinaigrette. 

Beyond the ABJ exclusive and opening news stories, Vinaigrette was included in coverage about where to eat for the popular SXSW 2016 festival, just three weeks after opening.  And because we prioritized getting to know the local media and made meaningful connections with each one of them, Vinaigrette and Wade are being sought regularly for stories.  

Photo Credit: Arnold Wells/ABJ

Photo Credit: Arnold Wells/ABJ

Additionally, Vinaigrette hosted the Austin Food Blogger’s Alliance for happy hour, which provided a big boost on Instagram and Facebook.

Below is a sampling of Vinaigrette’s early coverage.

Key Take Outs:

  • Storytelling is a top priority- write your own story first before the media starts to write it.
  • Pitch an exclusive business feature story about your new restaurant, the owner or the chef.
  • Put the time and effort in up front to build media relationships. Doing so will pay off though ongoing media coverage.
  • Host your local food bloggers for a special tasting or event. They are especially great about sharing photos and posts on social media.


A Sampling of Austin Media Coverage:

Zagat, 15 Family Friendly Restaurants that Rock, April 19

Austin Way, Where to Find Delicious Spring Salads, April 8

Austin Monthly, Dining Spotlight—Kale Yeah! March 28

CultureMap, A Guide to SXSW Dining by Austin’s Top Food Blogger

Austin Business Journal, Branching Out with a Comfort Food Vibe, February 19