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Quick Serve Restaurant

Chattanooga | Atlanta

When one of the South’s most iconic brands decided to relocate from its heritage market of Chattanooga to Atlanta, our team was called in to plan and implement the delivery of the news as well as to develop a concerted effort to keep a relationship to the brand’s hometown.

Elements of the plan

Crisis Communication Planning (Day of Announcement)
Many employees were long-time employees who would not be making the move to Atlanta and would be told that their jobs were not be transferred with the move; Both the Mayor of Chattanooga and Hamilton County would have to be given the news by the CEO;
The Deputy Governor of the State of Tennessee was a former Hamilton County Mayor who would have to be given the news by the CEO; With the uncertainty of the impact of the news on employees, a plan for security would also need to be developed for the CEO and members of the Executive Team; Counselors would need to be available as soon as the news was provided to employees; and, Employee Assistance Programs would need to be in place to provide assistance in the development of resumes and to connect individuals with area job fairs.

A detailed timed itinerary for the day was developed in ten-minute increments to keep all of the pieces of the plan in place and to allow key individuals to have access to the ‘run of show’ for the day.

Media Planning

Three plans were put into place:
Chattanooga and Regional News that would focus on the news and impact on long time employees;
Atlanta and Regional News that would focus on welcoming an iconic brand to the area;
Industry News Publications that would pull the news off of PR Newswire.

Community Relations

Two plans were put into place:

The company had a large display of memorabilia gathered over the years that was very concentric to Chattanooga. Our team believed that the best home for the collection in the future was at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. The College of Business agreed to accept the memorabilia and the school’s library agreed to digitize important papers and photos. The company established a scholarship in the College’s Entrepreneurial Studies program in the name of the company’s founders that would be funded in perpetuity.

The company’s introduction to her new hometown and state had to be a strong one. Our team met with the Chair of the State of Georgia’s Government Committee and arranged to have the company’s birthday declared as a day of honor in the state. Photo ops of product delivery to the Governor of Georgia as well as members of the Assembly were done.

Plan to Prepare for the Brand’s Milestone Anniversary

With the above in place, plans were made to mark the brand’s milestone anniversary in a very public way. The campaign was launched for one day with product prices rolled back to the cost in at the beginning of the Great Depression with overwhelming turnout by customers and media alike.

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