Back in 2014, after noticing a lack of good breakfast options in his hometown, Dean and Beth Kessel signed on to open a Famous Toastery in Cary, North Carolina. But as first-time franchisees, the husband and wife business partners wanted to do everything in their power to prepare for a successful launch.
That started with building an audience several months before the café’s doors opened. Dean knew a majority of his prospective customers were on Facebook—so that’s exactly where he decided to target them. To do so, Dean created a Facebook page and started teasing the grand opening of a new better breakfast spot coming to town—even though the restaurant wasn’t slated to open until October.
His goal was simple—to tell Famous Toastery’s story in a more personal way. Because people get so inundated with ads, he wanted to make the story about him and his wife, showing the community that they’re introducing a new locally-owned option to the area’s breakfast and lunch scene.
“I strongly believe in the restaurant space you have to differentiate yourself. Two things intrigued me, and continue to, with Famous Toastery. First, the service model – no one caters to the customers like we do,” Dean said. “Second, the menu allows customers to eat at our restaurant every day. We are not a barbeque, Mediterranean, American or Asian restaurant. We have customers that are able to eat with us every day, some twice a day, and the menu allows diversity where you can have something different every day and enjoy it. I also think the breakfast and brunch category is underserved and the way we differentiate ourselves translates well to success.”
By early June, Dean was posting pictures of the gutted building where his café was going to open. “Demolition starts today!” the caption read. A post of Famous Toastery’s (then called Toast Cafe) new sign followed in July. In September he wrote, “The wait is almost over—we’re putting the final touches in,” drawing over 50 likes.
The numbers of Facebook fans continued to climb. To further build a following for the restaurant’s page, the Kessels also posted on their personal Facebook profiles and promoted it across his LinkedIn network. Whisk, a cookware store that sat next to the Famous Toastery’s future location, even posted on its Facebook page to promote their new neighbor. All told, their page had acquired more than 400 fans.
“Facebook did a lot for us early on—it built anticipation,” Dean said. “It showed momentum and how we were building. Our customer base likes that approachability.”
Today, the Kessels’ location has been open for nearly two years. Their Facebook page has nearly 3,000 fans. And their Famous Toastery restaurant is thriving.
“The Kessels have been a huge asset to Famous Toastery. Dean’s passion for the brand and unwavering belief that there is no ceiling when it comes to serving the local community the best breakfast option around is evident in everything they do. Even his early efforts to promote the brand on Facebook long before the doors even opened shows his true commitment. We’re proud to have him in the growing Famous Toastery family,” said Robert Maynard, the founder and CEO of Famous Toastery.