To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Ruth’s Chris Steak House, DEVENEY worked closely with the brand to develop and implement a public relations campaign that would elevate awareness of the brand’s history, growth and future. The campaign’s primary goal was to share the story of the brand’s legacy and how that helped build the foundation for the guest experience at Ruth’s Chris Steak House.
While the yearlong campaign led by DEVENEY included many components such as: Ruth Fertel Memorial Day Celebration, New York City Media Mission, proactive media relations campaign – it was the national influencer campaign and anniversary dinner at the James Beard House that produced the greatest impact.
DEVENEY wanted to continue the tradition of Ruth’s Chris Steak House being an industry leader. Ruth Fertel was the first person to franchise fine dining and was later dubbed by the founder of Morton’s Steak House as “The First Lady of American Steak.” Therefore, DEVENEY felt it most impactful for the brand to host its 50th anniversary dinner inside the James Beard House. Ruth Fertel set the standard for the American steak house, so who better to partner with than the James Beard Foundation, whose primary purpose is to preserve American food heritage? The event was held in October 2015 and sold out within two days. To add to their lists of first, Ruth’s Chris Steak House was the first guest at the James Beard House to serve food on 500-degree sizzling plates.
While important to commemorate the brand’s milestone, DEVENEY also knew the 50th anniversary was a good platform to help attract new guests to experience the legendary service and food. To reach these potential guests, DEVENEY engaged three digital influencers with large national audiences interested in food and executed a 90-day influencer campaign. The narrative of the campaign covered the full 50-year history of the brand, Ruth Fertel’s story of entrepreneurship, and ended with the release of a new recipe to the public. The recipe was one from a small list of new dishes added to the Ruth’s Chris menu – their most significantly reimagined menu in the brand’s 50-year history. The campaign reached an audience of more than 4 million.
All of these efforts produced the perfect mix of tactics that allowed DEVENEY to successfully meet the goal of Ruth’s Chris Steak House. Not only was the anniversary celebrated, but a new generation of potential guests was introduced to the brand and given the opportunity to create their own memories on 500-degree sizzling plates.