The Challenge

      Zoës Kitchen came to Marketwave with exciting news in the fall of 2018. The Mediterranean-themed restaurant had partnered with American Airlines to serve as one of the international carrier’s on-board food providers and wanted to leverage exposure in the sky to more business on the ground. The agreement could support sales goals within the 19 states where the fast-casual chain already served its fresh dishes and also a way to measure consumer interest. But Zoës knew it needed a media outreach campaign not only to raise awareness of their new partnership but also of their restaurant concept and menu offerings.


      Our team’s goal was to maximize media coverage before, during and after the partnership announcement. We took an integrated approach to media outreach by incorporating social media alongside traditional mediums. Our team:

      • Identified relevant story angles prior to the announcement, launch-day and post-launch to extend coverage opportunities.
      • Contracted with social media micro-influencers focused on food, health and motherhood to showcase how Zoës offerings fit into everyday family life.
      • Targeted national media outlets, leveraging existing relationships and creating new ones.
      • Reached out to local business journals, daily papers and TV stations within American hub and focus city markets.
      • Focused additional resources on national food and beverage trade publications and consumer magazines.
      • Created a branded press kit, “The Spice of Life,” targeting top media outlets. The package demonstrated how Zoës’ menu offerings fit into Keto and Whole30 diets and included an infographic, holiday recipe ideas and the restaurant’s signature spice.


      The Zoës project launched quick and soared through the holiday season. Our team:

      • Secured coverage from 692 media outlets in the project’s first month, including USA TODAY, The Wall Street Journal, U.S. News, and national consumer magazines such as Cooking Light.
      • Landed broadcast segments with ABC and NBC Dallas-Fort Worth affiliates.
      • Generated 442 million views at an estimated value of more than $23.7 million.
      • Generated more than 550 new mentions on social media.
      • Micro-influencer posts garnered 1,222 likes and 176 comments.

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