Restaurant Marketing Case Study: Engaging Influencers, Gatekeepers, Bloggers And Media

Fogo de Chao: Influencer Identification, Recruitment & Activation

Fogo de Chao, is a fine dining Brazilian steakhouse we worked with to identify, recruit and activate entertainment and restaurant industry influencers to help launch the brand into Los Angeles.

Project Obstacles: 1) the restaurant is not celebrity chef-driven; 2) nearly half a dozen high-profile steakhouses had opened in the city within a couple of months; 3) the entertainment industry rules the city and can inadvertently deem a restaurant hip, hot or NOT.

Project Bonuses: 1) Fogo de Chao is a one-of-a-kind restaurant; 2) They have best in class service, food and wine; 3) Excellent reputation; 4) Locations in Los Angeles feeder markets; 5) Stellar location

We wanted to make sure we were in the hip and hot category.

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Based on more than a decade of entertainment industry brand integration experience, we knew that the assistants of studio heads, celebrities, agents and others are the key gatekeepers for restaurant’s that want to penetrate the elite group of the city’s dealmakers.


We created a VIP event, but just for the assistants that would make them feel valued and on the inside track.

Because we have both entertainment and restaurant clients we utilized our list of more than 800 of the city’s top Hollywood assistants. Normally, restaurants hoping to make a huge grand opening impact, will invite top influencers and bloggers while excluding those individuals who are actually doing the research, making the recommendation and the reservation.

Additionally, we created multiple on and off site brand events for food and wine bloggers, restaurant critics and other social influencers that introduced them to the award-winning restaurant and addressed each groups individual needs.


By developing a multi-pronged marketing approach that effectively targeted each tier of influencer, the Beverly Hills launch was one of the steakhouses most successful.

Summarizing this restaurant marketing case study, we reached the gatekeepers who are responsible for dozens of reservations each day, bloggers and traditional media reporters who impact the dining decisions of top social influencers and in turn who passed along their high value recommendations to between three to five of their friends, family and / or co-workers.

If you would like to know more about how consumers make dining decisions, read our in depth analysis of recent survey statistics and our Dining Decision Ecosystem.

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