The restaurant game is more brutally competitive than ever, but this year also brought the challenge of harassment scandals into the mix for chef-representing firms. Still, it’s one of the most exciting eras for restaurants in eons, which makes this an especially intriguing time for PR firms in the space—including our choices for the most notable firms in food and restaurant PR (Becca also made this year’s PR Power 50).
Speaking of that, definitely spend some time with the PR Power 50, our yearly effort (which takes, pretty much, the entire year to put together) honoring the 50 PR firms that we feel have made the biggest, most exciting moves over the course of 2018.
Becca Parrish doubled the size of her L.A. office this year, handled Jay-Z’s Chateau Marmont Oscars party, and helped establish Women in Hospitality United in response to much unwelcome #MeToo news in the industry. The firm’s talent clients include superstars Eric Ripert and Tom Colicchio, along with newly minted celeb Antoni Porowski of Queer Eye. Read more about Becca in this year’s PR Power 50
For its 20th anniversary this year, Phil Baltz’s firm expanded its national footprint. Along with an all-you-can-eat buffet of NYC clients, Baltz now handles culinary PR for Bahamas mega-casino Baha Mar, grew its relationship with celeb chefs José Andres, Alon Shaya, and Gabriel Kreuther, and staffed up in Denver (launching hotspots like Tavernetta) and L.A., where the impressive restoration of downtown’s Union Square train station is a client.
Lion boasts eclectic, never-boring food/beverage/hospitality clients in NYC and nationally, from Birch Coffee and Empire Diner to 16 Handles, W Hotels, and Cuba Travel Network. The firm’s got an intoxicating specialty in launching bars, too, like NYC’s Slowly Shirley, Ophelia, and The Rum House, and D.C.’s Quarter + Glory.
Along with a burgeoning sideline helping Japanese brands break into the US—and vice versa—Steven Hall’s respected restaurant and food PR agency expanded into talent management this year for chefs like Roxanne Spruance and Silvia Baldini.
There’s no Mona here, but you will find Eva Karagiorgas and Ilana Alperstein, food-industry pros who launched this fast-growing firm in 2015. Hotspot clients have included Babu Ji, Oath Pizza, Ferris, and Momofuku Nishi. Mona also opened the rebooted, relocated Four Seasons this year.
Sue Chan, who led Momofuku’s brand strategy for years, launched this “restaurant brand management” agency in 2016, and her care has nurtured Cosme Group, Standard Hotels, Vice’s Munchies site, and even Audi and VEVO.