case study

Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant – PR

Colorado’s 34-year-old institution looks to break the mold

Challenge

The Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant’s multiple locations have been a TexMex destination for more than 30 years. However, as is often the case with older restaurants, they weren’t top of mind with the media, who were busy covering newer, trendier places. When they were included, it was often only to mention their famously strong margaritas and three-margarita limit rule, not their new programs like a completely revamped cocktail menu or the introduction of seasonal specials. The Rio was evolving, but no one seemed to know it.

Results

The Rio began to be included in local food media for stories on their newer, expanded offerings, and also became a source for top level articles surrounding the food industry, such as an interview with Denver7 for “Colorado lawmakers to extend takeout alcohol option for restaurants” and Denver Business Journal’s “Economy of Scale – Why Colorado Restaurants Will Never Be the Same, If They Survive At All.” The Rio was also being featured in national publications for its evolved offerings, such as having its Smoky Paloma cocktail recipe printed in Cowboys & Indians Magazine, and a piece in The Manual on “Why Tex-Mex Cuisine Deserves to Be Taken Seriously” in addition to Thought Leadership pieces like 5280’s “Have New To-Go Alcohol Sales Helped Local Restaurant and Bars?”

In 2020 alone, ROOT secured 63 pieces of coverage with an online readership of 41.1 million.

Solution

ROOT needed to shift the outdated messaging surrounding the Rio by highlighting its rotating seasonal menus, esteemed tequila program, leadership changes and community partnership efforts. We overhauled their PR messaging, launched the renovated Boulder location with a huge media and influencer event, sent out regular pitches to targeted media spotlighting the Rio’s new elevated menu items, applicable seasonal offerings, an impressive tequila program, and held several events at various locations to allow the media and influencers to experience firsthand the new chapter of the Rio. In 2020, we focused on new offerings adapting to COVID-19, then expanded our PR efforts into positioning the Rio’s leadership team for thought leadership pieces.

In Their Own Words:

“Hey PR Team! Just want to say you guys are killing it with the exposure we’re getting. Great job!!”

Jason Barrett – Chief Executive Officer Rio Grande Mexican Restaurants

Challenge

The Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant’s multiple locations have been a TexMex destination for more than 30 years. However, as is often the case with older restaurants, they weren’t top of mind with the media, who were busy covering newer, trendier places. When they were included, it was often only to mention their famously strong margaritas and three-margarita limit rule, not their new programs like a completely revamped cocktail menu or the introduction of seasonal specials. The Rio was evolving, but no one seemed to know it.

Solution

ROOT needed to shift the outdated messaging surrounding the Rio by highlighting its rotating seasonal menus, esteemed tequila program, leadership changes and community partnership efforts. We overhauled their PR messaging, launched the renovated Boulder location with a huge media and influencer event, sent out regular pitches to targeted media spotlighting the Rio’s new elevated menu items, applicable seasonal offerings, an impressive tequila program, and held several events at various locations to allow the media and influencers to experience firsthand the new chapter of the Rio. In 2020, we focused on new offerings adapting to COVID-19, then expanded our PR efforts into positioning the Rio’s leadership team for thought leadership pieces.

Results

The Rio began to be included in local food media for stories on their newer, expanded offerings, and also became a source for top level articles surrounding the food industry, such as an interview with Denver7 for “Colorado lawmakers to extend takeout alcohol option for restaurants” and Denver Business Journal’s “Economy of Scale – Why Colorado Restaurants Will Never Be the Same, If They Survive At All.” The Rio was also being featured in national publications for its evolved offerings, such as having its Smoky Paloma cocktail recipe printed in Cowboys & Indians Magazine, and a piece in The Manual on “Why Tex-Mex Cuisine Deserves to Be Taken Seriously” in addition to Thought Leadership pieces like 5280’s “Have New To-Go Alcohol Sales Helped Local Restaurant and Bars?”

In 2020 alone, ROOT secured 63 pieces of coverage with an online readership of 41.1 million.

In Their Own Words:

“Hey PR Team! Just want to say you guys are killing it with the exposure we’re getting. Great job!!”

Jason Barrett – Chief Executive Officer Rio Grande Mexican Restaurants

a few media hits

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