"It was kind of a mess, no pun intended, well maybe some pun intended." Rick Moghadam said. The restaurant is a single-location powerhouse today thanks to the marketing skills Rick bought to the table. Owner Chris Wyett of the Pennsylvania Cafe said that he has struggled to get customers into his restaurant. He opened the small cafe in January of 2020, and like many, did not expect a pandemic to blindside his new business venture. When they shut down in-person dining Chris found himself delivering for Instacart on the side and paying the bills of his restaurant out of his savings. Being a new business, Chris was not qualified for any of the government funding that his neighbors got. He was running groceries during the days and serving food in the evening times, it was June of 2021 Chris ran out of money and ideas, he was faced with either shutting the establishment down or finding help for funding it.
The initial call came in around Father's day 2021, the 28-year old owner was at a loss, everyone that tried his food loved it, and he had regulars but he was not getting ahead because there was absolutely no money left to market the restaurant. It has been a struggle. Chris had no property, wrecked credit, and good food. This dream was far from over. Only doing $5,000.00 a month in revenue, Chris knew he was not going to qualify for much of anything. Rick looked at the menu. In a community that is very political, and very divided, Rick noticed he had sloppy joes on his menu, consequently the headline dish and what Chris is known for. The community is over 75% republican, and the trump supporter flags fly in front of many of the 24,000 homes in the community.
"This is going to sound crazy, and risky," Rick said to Chris, who is also a self-proclaimed red kingdom supporter, Rick came up with a marketing concept that neither Chris nor Rick knew would take off like wildfire. We built a coupon and Chris hand-delivered all 5,000 copies of it door to door. With a social media commercial from Videostars, and the coupons the restaurant found its self busier than it had ever been. Chris was able to make money selling his sloppy joes with a campaign called "don't be sloppy" where the social media commercial showed an actor that looked a lot like Joe Biden with sloppy joe sauce on his face with a catchy jingle singing "don't be sloppy, don't be hungry either" campaign. The commercial had over 100,000 hits on TikTok and Facebook but the ad was pulled because someone complained that it was "too political". However, it was too late for the censorship to stop the comical video from getting around, it was also pulled from YouTube. Chris said he is reposting the commercial as often as he can but it keeps getting flagged through the censorship of the internet that many businesses are fighting with lately. What saved Chris here was there was no way to stop him from distributing his coupons to people in person using door hangers, and flyers under windshield wipers throughout the community.
The whole campaign cost under $1,000.00 and Chris is still seeing lines out the door and was able to run his restaurant without a second job thanks to a $2,000.00 small advance issued by Metromedia Funding Solutions, Chris was able to fund his marketing that jumpstarted his restaurant and manage the payments with no issue. The "don't be sloppy joe" sandwich is selling more and more.
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