As Texas natives now residing in Florida, the owners of Cocina 214 set out to develop a contemporary Tex-Mex restaurant concept back in May of 2011. To tell their story and generate awareness in the Orlando and Daytona markets, Cocina 214 sought to create a partnership with Uproar, a restaurant PR firm.
Cocina 214 is located in Winter Park, an area of Orlando packed with top-notch restaurants. Initially to help Cocina 214 make a mark in the Winter Park community, Uproar knew it had to think outside the box. In 2013, Uproar PR created an event to boost awareness, clientele and to celebrate its anniversary. It was also an effective strategy to generate media coverage for the new brand. The event was properly titled “Running of the Chihuahuas” which now takes place every year on Cinco de Mayo. More than 100 Chihuahuas participate in the annual race, shutting down a street in Winter Park and creating a fun spectacle for local residents. Not only does Uproar help coordinate the event each year, but the team continuously executes a successful media relations campaign to garner attention around the event. For example, each year coverage has posted in the Orlando Sentinel, Orlando Date Night Guide, and on IC Florida. In addition, local TV segments included stories on Fox 35, WESH 2 News, WKMG News 6, Central Florida News 13, and Bay News 9. Nationally, it’s been featured on outlets like PopSugar, Bark Post, and Petful. The team’s outreach bolstered attendance to more than 1,000 people, and it was named a “can’t miss” event in Winter Park.
On top of event planning and outreach, Uproar landed Cocina in many top tier publications by focusing on the restaurant’s handcrafted meals and drinks, like its specialty margarita recipe, which raised glasses on National Margarita Day in publications such as, the Winter Park Maitland Observer, the Orlando Sentinel and Examiner.com. The restaurant has also been featured in USA Today, PopSugar, Budget Travel, The Daily Meal, The Latin Kitchen, People, Cheers, Drinkhacker, HellaWella, FSR Magazine and Bplans.com, which highlighted Cocina’s unique Tex-Mex flare and savory cocktails.
Recently, Cocina broke ground in Daytona Beach, Florida paving the way for expansion and growth for the beloved brand. Uproar was instrumental in the groundbreaking media event from planning, executing and hosting media onsite. The groundbreaking took place on the world’s most famous beach in Daytona with local officials including the Mayor and City Manager in attendance. After a margarita and corona toast and official “sand dig” Cocina co-founder conducted interviews with the press. Coverage was secured in key publications including, The Daytona Beach News Journal, FOX 35, WESH, Orlando Weekly, Orlando Sentinel, Tastes of Orlando and Eating Orlando.
Following the groundbreaking, Uproar continued to organize media events leading up to the Daytona Beach grand opening in January 2018. Once construction was fully underway, Uproar coordinated a hard hat tour for the media to come see the restaurant’s progress prior to the grand opening event. As a result, Uproar secured interest and coverage in the Daytona Beach News Journal, CF 13, Behind Daytona and more.
On the heels of unveiling its new menu, Cocina 214 turned to Uproar to generate buzz surrounding its inaugural “Day of the Dead” Halloween event. Uproar worked closely with Cocina 214’s sponsor, el Jimador, to coordinate event day-of logistics and secure media attendees. As a result of Uproar’s outreach, News 13, Tasty Chomps, Orlando Magazine, Soozie the Foodie, Orlando Signature were all in attendance. This resulted in coverage posting in Tasty Chomps and City Surfing Orlando, and social media posts from News 13, Orlando Magazine, and Orlando Magazine.
Because of Cocina’s prime locations in Winter Park and Daytona Beach, which are key travel destinations for many tourist, Uproar has focused on garnering engaging stories in key travel publications for the brand. Cocina 214 was featured in a Tampa Tribune article, as well as Virgin Atlantic’s inflight magazine. In addition, Uproar continues to focus on local outreach, capitalizing on “food holidays.” For example, as a result of pitching National Guacamole Day and National Taco Day, Uproar secured coverage in local outlets including Edible Orlando, Orlando Sentinel and Tasty Chomps. Uproar also capitalized on the Solar Eclipse, pitching out Cocina 214’s solar eclipse drink, resulting in a TV segment on FOX 35 and 101.9 Amp Radio.
In addition to media relations, Cocina 214 brought on the Uproar PR social media team to build awareness around key differentiators that set Cocina apart from other restaurants in the area. To do so, Uproar created a social media campaign that focuses on increasing awareness of Cocina’s contemporary style, high quality ingredients, attention to detail and made-from-scratch menu items, targeting local residents to visit the restaurant.
To highlight the unique menu items and quality ingredients, Uproar visited the restaurant on a monthly basis to take high-resolution photos of the restaurant’s offerings, highlighting the fresh ingredients used on a daily basis and focusing on how the meals are made from scratch. These professional photos are then used on all social media platforms to target customers.
With the new Daytona Beach location, Uproar has created a new Facebook location page. With targeted content to Daytona Beach residents, the page has seen a 100 percent increase in fans with 15,748 impressions and 441 engagements in just under two months.
Since the Uproar team began its social media efforts in March 2017, the Facebook page’s impressions have increased by 32.1 percent. With more than 784,000 users reached, the overall net likes have grown by 11.3 percent with total engagements increasing by 411.7 percent. The Uproar team continues to grow the Facebook page, reaching relevant users through specifically targeted boosted posts and engaging content.
On Instagram, Uproar posts original content ranging from various food options to events happening in the restaurant. Since March 2017, the Instagram following has increased by 100 percent with over 1,000 organic followers and with total engagements reaching 7,449.
Twitter has also grown exponentially since beginning our social media efforts. With 859 total followers, the Twitter account has seen the number of messages received increase by 8.9 percent and sees an average of 30.88 impressions per follower. Twitter has proven to be a great way to connect with local bloggers, foodies and relevant publications to garner interest in the restaurant and brand.