Restaurant & Hospitality Consultants

What Restaurants Can Learn from Caitlyn Jenner’s Debut

By Andrew Freeman

There are some moments in time that are historic and froze in time. I will forever remember where I was when I saw the first images of Caitlyn Jenner.  (I was in a concept session with a client in the middle of Ohio.) Personally, I admire her bravery and her style (and those gorgeous photos!).  Professionally, I can’t help but have tremendous respect for how seamlessly the PR was handled for her debut.  One of the areas of our work at AF&Co. is developing and launching new concepts.  As I was watching Caityln’s story unfold, I couldn’t help but make a few comparisons to restaurant openings.  Here we go:

Build Suspense. Starting with the Diane Sawyer interview and leading to the cover of Vanity Fair, Caityln has had us all on the edge of our seats.  Next up:  the TV show showing the behind the scenes!  Releasing details slowly but methodically has allowed Caityln to tell the story her way.

Go Social. Owned media is cost-effective and gives you control.  As we learned from Caitlyn, when timed with opening press it can continue the momentum from initial press energy.  For restaurants, owned media goes beyond social outlets and includes websites and email databases.

Hire the Best Photographer You Can. We can’t all have Annie Leibowitz take our photos, but if you are going to transform your restaurant, make sure you hire a pro to showcase the outcome.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly: It’s Never to Late to Be Who You Are. We talk a lot about authenticity these days, but it’s about more than using the right ingredients or being true to a certain cuisine.  No matter how long you’ve been in business, open the restaurant you’ve always wanted.  Passion is important and life’s too short not to be who you are.


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