From national brands to mom-and-pop shops, it’s been a year – plus seven months – for companies of all kinds.
But few businesses across the country have been hit harder during the COVID-19 pandemic than restaurants. With that in mind, Plan B set out this year to help one of Chicago’s independent, minority-owned restaurants get back on its feet by serving up some free marketing services.
This summer, we asked our employees to think about their beloved neighborhood dining spots, from the 2 a.m. corner taco joint to a sweet bakery down the street to their go-to place for Chinese take-out. We received 20 nominations of restaurants from across the city, and then randomly selected our winner: Cuba 312 – a modern Cuban restaurant in Roscoe Village owned by the wife-and-husband duo of Jamie and Billy Alvarez.
Cuba 312 actually is one of two Chicago restaurants owned by the Alvarezes, including Mima’s Taste of Cuba – which focuses on traditional Cuban comfort food, and is located less than two miles away in the Irving Park neighborhood.
Jamie told Plan B that, like so many other restaurateurs, she’s dealing with understaffing and is so busy just keeping her businesses running that she doesn’t even have time to put together job listings, let alone develop fresh social media content for Instagram and Facebook or proactive communications for customers. She expressed a need for marketing assistance for both Cuba 312 and Mima’s – and Plan B got to work.
We started by considering our agency’s strategic social content pillars of Utility, Entertainment, Value, and Reciprocity, and focused on the Utility and Entertainment to meet Jamie’s primary needs.
To assist with recruiting efforts, our team designed a series of stylized “Now Hiring” posts for each restaurant that blends tropical imagery and urban Chicago settings along with fun wordplay to grab the attention of prospective job-seekers as they’re scrolling through their social feeds.
Plan B designed additional “Now Hiring” carousel posts featuring the great dishes and cool mural artwork from Cuba 312 and Mima’s, communicating the reasons why working there is different – and better – than working at other restaurants.
To provide additional unique content to supplement the restaurants’ usual UGC and owned photography, Plan B designed an array of playful entertaining posts celebrating the brands and relevant holidays.
As a final course, Plan B served up a vacation postcard-style direct-mail design to promote both restaurants, allowing the Alvarezes a tool to let customers in Roscoe Village, Irving Park and surrounding neighborhoods know that there are two great spots for an authentic taste of Cuba conveniently located within two miles of each other.
A fan of both restaurants, Plan B’s Director of Content Dave Wischnowsky (shown below with Billy and Jamie Alvarez outside Mima’s Taste of Cuba) highly recommends the Pollo de Roscoe at Cuba 312, and the Cubano with rice and beats at Mima’s – washed down with a mango piña colada. Salud!
Be sure to follow @officialcuba312 and @mimastasteofcuba on Instagram, and find your way to Cuba 312 (2054 W. Roscoe St.) and Mima’s Taste of Cuba (2925 W. Irving Park Rd.) to dig into some of the best Cuban food in Chicago.
To dish about how Plan B can help your business serve up some fresh social media strategy and content, drop us a line here.
Cuba 312 and Mima’s Taste of Cuba weren’t the only Chicagoland restaurants nominated by Plan B employees this summer. Check out these other delicious independent, minority-owned eateries also recommended by the B-Team!
Chop Suey Huang (Chinese)
Edge of Sweetness (Bakery)
Luella’s Southern Kitchen (Soul Food)
Sauce Bread and Kitchen (Variety)
Siam Paragon (Thai)
VPT Grill (Mexican-American)
Wholly Frijoles (Mexican)