Middletons Steakhouse: Peterborough Restaurant Launch

The Facebook competition post reached 124,537 targeted people with the live video reaching 21,552 on opening night.  

Middleton’s launch email open rate was 45.13% with a Click-Through-Rate of 15.78%.

We reduced booking fees by driving 2,745 bookings directly to the website compared to the 179 bookings made on a third party booking website.

The venue was booked out for opening week and quickly became the top performing restaurant. 

Middletons Steakhouse and Grill has been continually expanding over the last few years, with seven locations now open across East Anglia and the South East. After a successful launch in Leicester, Middletons wanted to see similar results from their newest restaurant opening in Peterborough. In order to succeed, Middletons needed to increase brand awareness and build a customer base in and around Peterborough.

The Brief 

We had three months to build an audience through digital and PR activity. The interest created online had to focus on not only creating a buzz around the launch but most importantly delivering footfall to the restaurant.

The Peterborough restaurant is their largest to date with a ground floor and basement seating 180 inside and 50 outside for al fresco dining. Middletons had a significant amount of seats to fill.

The Strategy 

The strategy was built around creating awareness of the launch and driving bookings across the opening period. To achieve these goals we targeted audiences through social media and PR.

In terms of generating publicity, local and regional press were contacted about coverage on the opening of the newest Middletons location. Breaking away from the traditional media approach, online food and drink reviewers were also contacted to be part of the launch.

This was supported by a social media strategy implemented on Middleton’s Twitter and Facebook page. This was combined with an email marketing campaign to make the biggest impact possible.

Leveraging Twitter

The focus on Twitter was to encourage interactions and engagement from social influencers, including food bloggers and well known people in the area. Peterborough United Football Club players were invited through Twitter to visit the restaurant who promoted their experience at Middletons on their social platforms. These positive reviews carried on well after the opening of the restaurant which helped avoid a post-launch dip in bookings at Middleton’s newest location.  

Facebook tools

As well as the expected, targeted posts focused on location and personas, Facebook reviews were also encouraged and shared leading up to, and after the launch. Anticipation was built with a competition which reached over 100,000 local people. The page was also used to promote recruitment as this would encourage people to tag those looking for job opportunities but in turn, also increase awareness of the restaurant opening.

On the night of the launch, a live Facebook video tour of the restaurant was filmed which reached nearly 22,000 people. The local mayor attended to officially open the restaurant generating a good amount of press.

The Results 

The preview nights booked up quickly and on the night of the launch, Middletons Steakhouse and Grill Peterborough reached full capacity, this success continued post launch.

With a modest total media spend, the competition post reached 124,537 targeted people with the Facebook live video reaching 21,552.  

Another success was reducing Middleton’s costs by driving people directly to the website to book, rather than a third party booking website. 2,745 bookings were made directly through the website rather than the third party booking website, saving a significant amount of money for the client.

Publicity had a huge impact on the success of Middletons Peterborough with extensive coverage from the local media, including features on BBC Radio Norfolk. On Facebook, a review on the ‘We Love Peterborough’ page reached almost 50,000 people.

Email marketing proved highly effective for Middletons with impressive results from the food menu email campaign. Middleton’s open rate was 45.13% and Click-Through-Rate was 15.78% which is well above the industry benchmarks for email.

Our efforts in Public Relations, Social Media, Email as well as things like Search Engine Optimisation all contributed to the final result, achieving not only a buzz online, but delivering physical footfall which was the most significant end goal for our client’s latest restaurant opening.