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From Kitchen Nightmares to PR Dreams / Abstract Restaurant

Our client’s dream was to open Inverness’s first French fine dining restaurant. Shortly after opening, the owner agreed to appear in the first series of Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares programme.

Kitchen Nightmares is famous for baring its subject's every weakness in front of an audience of millions.

The Brief

To turn around a potentially negative situation for the restaurant, making the threat of bad publicity into an opportunity for positive PR.

What We Did

  • We moved quickly to gather intelligence from previous participants in the show, to try to anticipate the filmmakers’ moves and neutralise possible avenues of attack.
  • We positioned Ramsay’s visit as an opportunity to win a Michelin star – not about rescuing a failing business.
  • Then we mounted a vigorous local campaign highlighting key messages stressing Abstract’s top-rank chefs, quality produce, spotless kitchen and faultless service.

What We Achieved

Following the show, Abstract was immediately overwhelmed with bookings and received a Michelin “Rising Star”. Our client subsequently launched a second brasserie-style restaurant, Contrast. In 2007, Abstract Edinburgh opened in the capital to rave reviews and customer bookings well ahead of plans.

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