Iowa Chop House

design, photo, pr, social

The not-so-secret recipe for a successful restaurant launch: "Make 'em hungry."

background

The Iowa Chop House is a locally-owned, craft brew fueled restaurant in the heart of Downtown Iowa City. Embracing the local farming community, Chop House is styled with the barn wood from the Harry and Lucille Seelman family farm. The table tops, wall décor, and Iowa Beer Barn are a nod to the farmers who sustain our community.

what makes it special

The Iowa Beer Barn is the first self-service beer wall of its kind in Iowa. Patrons of legal age are assigned a bracelet that allows them to self-pour up to 28 ounces of craft brew from one of Iowa’s top breweries. Wine, cocktails, and beers from around the world are also served. On its lunch and dinner menus, Chop House features locally-sourced ingredients ranging from steaks to the berries in specialty cocktails.

brief

Build major momentum pre-opening, do the Iowa Chop House story justice, and pay homage to the real craftsmen in our community; farmers, brewers, and gardeners.

our pitch

Downtown Iowa City businesses see their fair share of seasonal dips in patrons. We continually strived to stay top-of-mind to those who love Chop House, and those who should. We kept them hungry for fresh, seasonal Iowa dishes, and ready to belly up to the bar with a frothy pint of high quality Iowa craft beer.

the winning recipe

It’s easy for people to get excited about a new place to eat and drink in Iowa City. It’s not as easy to build buzz after the opening and continue the momentum for months to come. We did exactly that.

Through a blend of organic and paid Facebook campaigns, original photography, coordinated PR outreach, and a brand voice that sounds like your best friend, we were able to drive tremendous reach and grow the local fan base months before and after doors opened.

social strategy

Sculpt produced stunning visual content that brought the guest experience to life. We shot food, prep, interior, exterior, and staff photography on a regular basis; all with a consistent, quality feel. Our copywriting style was short, sweet, and honest, speaking to our guests inner monologue (“you know you want this”) and resulting in competition-crushing post engagements. We then amplified our stories to reach beer lovers, foodies, and locals with disposable income.

community relations

Authentic connections (and referrals) are vital to the success of a restaurant, so Sculpt pinpointed patrons and personally invited them to special event, holiday brunches, and brewery dinners. The outcome was early reviews, press, and shares across social.

Sculpt carried the Chop House marketing torch long after the launch, helping earn more than 4,000 talkative Facebook and Instagram fans, and nearly a thousand email subscribers in short order. As a primary marketing channel, social helped fill jobs, drive traffic, and educate and delight guests. And we couldn’t be prouder of our partnership.

Stop by their pages to see the evergreen photography and content templates live on today.

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