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New marketing campaign to support restaurant revitalization in Boston

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Economic Development

The campaign, which will launch next week, promotes employment opportunities and dining experiences at local restaurants.

As part of her efforts to ensure an equitable recovery, Mayor Kim Janey today announced a new, multilingual marketing campaign to inspire the public and revitalize Boston’s diverse restaurant sector. Developed in partnership with ThinkArgus, a local minority-owned and woman-led marketing agency, the two-pronged campaign to support the City’s pilot Restaurant Revitalization Program will encourage job-seekers to pursue opportunities in restaurant work, and encourage diners to take advantage of the local restaurants that give Boston neighborhoods their flavor.

Restuarants

“Restaurants are cultural and economic hubs with diverse employment opportunities that help keep our communities strong,” said Mayor Janey. “This campaign will inspire Boston residents and visitors to rediscover all that our City’s restaurants have to offer – from rewarding work to memorable dining. Investing in our vibrant restaurant sector will make our City’s continued economic recovery more equitable.” 

The first phase of the marketing campaign, which celebrates the benefits of restaurant work, will highlight a three-month worker recruitment period from November 1, 2021 to January 31, 2022. Prospective restaurant workers can visit Boston.gov/RestaurantJobs for further information about incentives and participating restaurant employers. The second phase, aimed at diners, is slated for December. Altogether, the worker recruitment campaign will encompass radio, digital, social, and print formats, along with ads posted in MBTA trains, buses, and transport stations. The campaign will appear in English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Russian, with additional languages forthcoming on Boston.gov/RestaurantJobs

“As a Boston-based small business, we are deeply invested in the success of our fellow small businesses. It is our honor to help highlight Boston restaurants, especially those that are committed to leading the way as respectful, responsible employers with a commitment to equity, diversity, and employee advancement," said Lucas Guerra, Founder and CEO of ThinkArgus.

The architect behind the campaign, Boston-based marketing agency ThinkArgus, was selected as part of a public Request for Proposals (RFP) process in September 2021. The minority-owned and woman-led firm has previously designed campaigns for such clients as the Mass Cultural Council, ArtsBoston, and the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism.

The campaign is one piece of a larger restaurant recovery initiative called the Restaurant Revitalization Program – a pilot program led by the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development (OED) and the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development (OWD). In September 2021, OED began soliciting applications from restaurants to participate in the program. Selected restaurants will receive grants for business expenses (such as rent, payroll, or inventory), as well as incentives to attract and retain quality workers. Employee incentives include a $900 retention bonus and up to $5,000 in tuition assistance for college or career training.

The creation of the program originated from a roundtable discussion Mayor Janey and OED held with restaurant owners in June 2021 to learn what support their industry needed. Hiring help and re-engagement with customers emerged as top priorities. Using this feedback, the City of Boston has partnered with City Councilor Lydia EdwardsOne Fair Wage, and High Roads Kitchen to launch the Restaurant Revitalization Program. 

​​“The thing we like to stress is that we are a local economy,” said Luther Pinckney, director of operations at The Pearl, a seafood restaurant in Dorchester. “We are your neighbors, your friends, your relatives. Your community needs your support.”

ABOUT THE MAYOR’S OFFICE OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

The Economic Development Cabinet's mission is to make Boston an appealing and accessible place for working families, entrepreneurs, businesses, and investors to innovate, grow, and thrive in a way that fosters inclusion, broadens opportunity, and shares prosperity, thereby enhancing the quality of life for all Bostonians and the experience for all visitors.

ABOUT THE MAYOR’S OFFICE OF WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

The Mayor's Office of Workforce Development (OWD) is an innovative agency within the Boston Planning & Development Agency that seeks to ensure the full participation of all Boston residents in the city's economic vitality and future. OWD funds and oversees programs that promote workforce development through education, jobs training, apprenticeships, financial coaching, career pathways, literacy initiatives, and the like.

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