We eat local 24/7.
So when Covid-19 went from global to local, we started thinking we needed to do something to help our restaurant community. First, we made a website that served as a hub for all of RVA's restaurants, sorted by neighborhood. There you could buy gift cards, donate or go directly to their takeout/delivery pages. Making it not just a resource for hungry Richmonders, but also a simple way for restaurants to stay visible and viable during the pandemic.
Then we did what we do best: advertise. Working with local restaurants and food influencers to share our content on social channels, and running paid ads across Facebook and Instagram as well as local banners.
The press took notice. Including local news outlets Richmond Times Dispatch (who generously donated ad space to our cause), BizSense and DC's Capitol Communicator as well as national outlets like Reader's Digest and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
We also partnered with local business Bonfire to sell restaurant tees, with 100% of the proceeds going to the restaurants themselves.
While the ground...started to swell...we teamed up with our compadres at local production agency Spang to create a video of the Keep Calm logo comprised of actual food from RVA restaurants (which was hard to smell because we were all masked and 6 feet apart).
The site had 16,000 users in the first month on a non-existent budget. Restaurant owners and restaurant fans sent us lots of emails, and lots of love (and custom creature cupcakes).
And our most humbling moment came when we learned of a similar initiative in Alaska called "tAKeout," who stated they were "inspired by the incredible efforts of Keep Calm and Nom Nom."