Select Registry cook-off builds dining reputation

Select Registry represents more than 400 inns, bed and breakfasts, and small hotels throughout the US and Canada.

Select Registry represents more than 400 inns, bed and breakfasts, and small hotels throughout the US and Canada.

The association wanted to raise awareness that a luxury bed and breakfast or small hotel is not just about a comfortable bed - as some people tend to think - but can be a fine-dining experience, explains Kristen Swan, SAE at Kellen Communications.

Strategy

Select Registry wanted to create an event emphasizing that despite the diverse range of properties, one thing guests can expect from all of its inns is a fantastic breakfast. "We wanted to take advantage of the current interest in the media, shows such as [those on the] Food Network, and in travelers, with the whole 'foody' experience," says Keith Kehlbeck, executive director at Select Registry. The team devised The Inn-Credible Breakfast Cook-Off, which would showcase Select Registry members' culinary talents.

Tactics

The contest invited members to submit recipes, with five finalists competing in a live cook-off. "Getting people to part with their favorite, sometimes secret, family recipes to be put out there was difficult," notes Kehlbeck. Kellen developed collateral materials, worked to secure sponsorships, and conducted member outreach, as well as local and national media outreach pre- and post-event. The team's other challenge was staging the actual event.

Results

"As a first-ever competition, there was a great deal of buzz generated in the media, and Select Registry is now recognized in the fine-dining industry," Swan says. Kellen secured sponsorships totaling a value in the mid-five-figure range. Select Registry also is developing a cookbook with recipes from the cook-off.

Future

Kellen Communications will help launch a second-annual Inn-Credible Breakfast Cook-Off in 2008.

PR team: Select Registry, Distinguished Inns of North America (Marshall, MI) and Kellen Communications (New York)

Campaign: The Inn-Credible Breakfast Cook-Off

Duration: September 2006 to May 2007

Budget: $75,000

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