In winter of 2017, the F2T Hospitality Group, was opening their third Seattle based venue for food and drink – a craft cocktail bar with small farm to table bites in the heart of West Seattle’s “Junction neighborhood”. The new space was to be a chemistry inspired cocktail lounge, dedicated to the science of mixology. Many of the bar’s signature cocktails included ‘nitro muddling’, home grown tinctures, house infused spirits, and more.
West Seattle has always been a tough nut for ‘premium’ businesses to crack however and generating positive word of mouth was going to involve as much engagement with the neighboring community as promotion.
Alchemy needed a hyper-localized content strategy that emphasized their passion for high quality ingredients and Pacific Northwest flavors that would allow them to compete with the best cocktail bars in the country, while still feeling inviting to their friends and neighbors. They needed to be seen as an aggressively local establishment that cared about the neighborhood and wanted to be part of its ongoing success.
To start, our team setup and optimized Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google My Business channels, including linking all accounts together and ensuring that contact information was indexable. This established the business on the best possible footing with search engines and helped set them up to be found through generic local searches, such as “Restaurant West Seattle”.
Working with 1205 to open our first craft cocktail bar was an amazing experience. They're responsive and extended out high touch customer service to social media.
– Shawn Olyia / Owner – F2T Hospitality
Building the Voice
After several discovery sessions with Alchemy’s bar and kitchen leaders, we begin working with the company’s photographer to generate food and drink content ahead of opening, in order to give potential customers a taste of what was to come.
Our team began posting content and engaging with community members almost 90’s prior to opening. In the course of that engagement 1205 answered questions from local community about what type of venue this would be, what the menu would look like, followed up on potential reservations, and more.
Engaging the Audience
Aggressive social advertising was used to amplify organic content beyond the local area. This included beautifully curated shots of items from the venues upcoming menu, historical background on key players in the kitchen and behind the bar, content from external sources that closely matched the client’s aspirational goals, and more.
Alchemy gained solid footing in all their desired markets in the run up to opening. This included press from localized publishers like the West Seattle Blog and King 5 News, all the way to nationally recognized food and drink media outlets, such as Eater and Thrilist. Before opening day, the venue had accrued over 64,000 engagements across all channels, including some four thousand Facebook followers earned through shared and paid content
The restaurant itself opened to unanimous applause (and two weeks’ worth of reservations), winning praise from local West Seattleites as well as local food and drink critics from around the Pacific Northwest. 1205’s ongoing engagement with the business’ potential customers base signaled that the business was run by a local who was committed to maintaining the vibe of the neighborhood and showed subject matter expertise about high end food and drink.
Alchemy continues to help set the standard for craft cocktails and farm to table food in the Pacific Northwest thriving in a neighborhood previous contenders had found it challenging.