272
7 min 27 sec

PR Consultant Launches California Restaurant Week

A PR consultant in Long Beach, California, earns an extra $20,000/year producing an annual “restaurant week” that brings together chefs and new diners.
Event Food Marketing Public Relations Service

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What It's About

A service industry PR consultant launches a foodie operation in Long Beach.

Business Model
Service
Skills Required
Organization & Marketing
Complexity
High
Profit Potential
Medium

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.

Fun Fact

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

Episode 272

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.


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Quote of the Day
"Be prepared to work hard, get rejected, but keep at it. Don't over promise and under deliver, and do not cut side deals—your reputations and integrity are everything. If you're not upfront and honest with everyone, people talk and it can quickly sink you if you're anything but honorable."
—Elizabeth Borsting #SideHustleSchool

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Chris Guillebeau