What It's About
A service industry PR consultant launches a foodie operation in Long Beach.
Words of Wisdom
Elizabeth says anyone wanting to run a restaurant week has to be prepared to convince restaurants that they need this—that the minimum investment will yield exposure and new guests. She has to be a salesperson, marketer, trainer, problem solver, and her own cheerleader.
The side hustle is successful in large part because it taps into her natural strengths, experience, and connections that she’s built while handling PR for many restaurants in her day job. The fact that she enjoys good food doesn’t hurt, either.
Long Beach is home to the only restaurant in the United States that serves Chianina beef (an Italian breed of cattle). The restaurant, Chianina Steakhouse, also breeds and raises its own herd. The Great Society Cider & Mead is one of a few restaurants around specializing in cider and mead (an ancient form of wine made from fermented honey).
Notes from Chris
Today’s story comes from Elizabeth Borsting in Long Beach, California. By day, she’s a public relations consultant representing hotels, restaurants, and destination venues. But Elizabeth’s main side hustle is an annual week-long event called Dine Out Long Beach, Restaurant Week 2.0. For one week, the city’s chefs and restaurateurs offer value-oriented menus reflecting their culinary style at a discount: two-course brunch and lunch menus are available for $10, $15 and $20 per person, while three-course dinners are offered at $20, $30, $40, and $50 per person. Unlike many other cities, Long Beach did not have an organized restaurant week, and Elizabeth thought the chefs and restaurants there could benefit from having one. So in 2012, she started one with a partner. She then rebranded it on her own with the local weekly newspaper to make it bigger and better. Since she runs her own PR firm, Elizabeth’s workday entails working on various accounts-and she sort of views Dine Out Long Beach, Restaurant Week 2.0 as a client. She works with restaurants throughout the year but really starts courting them to participate in the event from October through January. (Restaurant Week is in February.) Elizabeth is constantly networking, so most of her sponsors continue to be part of the event year after year. She adds new ones, too. The startup costs for her (getting the domain name and web hosting) were minimal, and the annual profit is about $20,000.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Dine Out Long Beach, Restaurant Week 2.0: Elizabeth's website that highlights her annual event
- Grunion Gazette Newspaper: The local newspaper that Elizabeth partnered with to help promote Dine Out Long Beach, Restaurant Week 2.0
- Friedmans Home Experience: The upscale home design and appliance center that hosts an annual Chefs' Cooking + Tasting Kick-off to help promote Restaurant Week
- Dine Out Long Beach, Restaurant Week 2.0 | Sponsors: Take a look at all of the sponsors for Dine Out Long Beach, Restaurant Week 2.0
- The Siren Call of Restaurant Week, and How It All Started: Interested in learning more about this trend? Check out this piece by the New York Times covering the foodie sensation
- FindRestaurantWeeks.com: Take a bite out of a dining week near you!
- London Chocolate Tours Lead to Sweet Success: Banking on a universal love of chocolate, a former temp worker creates a unique side hustle leading guided tours that allow tourists to eat their way through London’s chocolate shops
- Epic Scavenger Hunt Becomes 6-Figure Income: An event planner creates a competitive scavenger hunt game that takes place across Boston. Can you really make money while having so much fun?
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