Tomatoes and Duke's Mayo.
Name a more iconic duo.
These days there are lots of “holidays” that seem ready-built to pad out social content calendars. National Squirrel Appreciation Day, anyone?
But in the South, summertime is officially Tomato SZN, as people from Virginia to ‘Bama bust out the mayo and maters and go to town. As THE mayo of the South, we decided Duke’s should own the season.
And so, “Hot Tomato Summer” was born.
For the event, we partnered with 13 restaurants across Richmond, VA to create specialty mayo and tomato dishes ranging from the classic BLT to mayo ice cream (sidenote: it was delicious).
The goal was to show Duke’s love and appreciation for the RVA restaurants that love and appreciate them.
Tasty, right? The results were even tastier.
Duke’s Hot Tomato Summer landing page received over 1,300 pageviews and their Instagram engagement rate for that week rose to over 17% which is … insane. #HotTomatoSummer was used on Instagram 135 times, and Duke’s gained 290 followers in one week. We even received requests from fans to buy merch and swag that we created specifically for the restaurants. So that was cool too.
The Internet loved it, and so did the press. Hot Tomato Summer got pickups from Richmond Mag, BizSense, WTVR and BusinessInsider.
Spreading the mayo-love.
Most importantly, restaurants in Richmond had more people coming through their doors and eating their food—and each said they’d love to participate again.
And it turns out, they did participate again!
In fact, Hot Tomato Summer expanded in its second year to include 50+ restaurants in RVA and 13 restaurants in Greenville, SC. Resulting in more tasty tomato and mayo meals and even more consumer engagement.
Check out some of our coverage below. We'll continue to grow the event even more in the coming year.