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May 29, 2014


RELEASE DATE:                  May 29, 2014                                                                       
 
CONTACTS:                  
Kelly Strenge                  
(337) 232-3737              
kstrenge@LafayetteTravel.com                  
 
Julie Calzone
(337) 235-2924 ext 18
 
It’s Time to EatLafayette™
Summer long celebration of locally-owned restaurants

LAFAYETTE, LA – For the tenth year locals and visitors alike are invited to EatLafayette™ during this summer-long celebration, June 16-Sept.1, that gives locally-owned restaurants the opportunity to showcase their unique dining experiences.
 
More than 80 of Lafayette’s local restaurants are participating in the campaign, offering various specials throughout the summer to encourage everyone to EatLafayette™.

"LafayetteTravel is excited about the 10th anniversary of our Eat Lafayette™ campaign,” said Ben Berthelot, President and CEO of the Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission (LafayetteTravel). “Our food is a key component of our brand in Lafayette Parish, and it is important that we continue to invest in bringing awareness to and sending traffic to our locally-owned restaurants so that they can continue to be successful. That’s what EatLafayette™ is all about, and we want to encourage everyone to support our locally-owned restaurants not only during the campaign, but all year as well."
Ten years ago, Eat Lafayette™ was created by Charlie Goodson, original owner of Charley G’s, and LCVC’s former executive director Gerald Breaux in an effort to expand the marketing dollars of Lafayette’s locally-owned restaurants. Their vision has created a successful campaign that now drives business to over 80 restaurants in the summertime. These months were once the slowest times in the restaurant business, but now restaurants report record sales.
 
“A city is known by its restaurants,” said Goodson, EatLafayette founder and restaurateur. “It is the one-of-a-kind and two-of-a-kind restaurants that reflect an entrepreneur's dreams and the city's soul.”
 
Often these spots are highly artistic and representative of the owner's special creative sense, or they are tributes to something special about the community – a local artist, local cuisine or a beautiful and sometimes historic locale.
 
“Lafayette is indeed fortunate to have many restaurants that could do well in any city in the country,” said Goodson. “The blend of local fare that takes advantage of Louisiana's shellfish and the spices and cooking styles associated with Cajun culture have combined with an assortment of diverse ethnic restaurants for a unique rich local landscape.”
 
Both Berthelot and Goodson indicate local restaurants say combining their resources in a campaign of this nature helps them have much greater economic resources for advertising and promotion.
 
According to the Lafayette Economic Development Authority, Lafayette has more full service restaurants per capita than New Orleans and three times as many restaurants per capital than New York City (verified with ReferenceUSA and Claritas population estimates). Restaurant sales in Lafayette Parish have continually grown over the past four years, from more than $321 million in 2010 to nearly $366 in 2013.
 
"We have a strong brand here and we need to make sure it continues. Our Cajun/Creole cuisine is still a hot commodity,” said Goodson.
 
Promotions will take place throughout the campaign with the intent to maintain momentum and interest with the dining public. These promotions include:
 
Travel Machine & Fly Lafayette Club Giveaway
Every time a customer patronizes one the EatLafayette restaurants they can enter to win two (2) round trip plane tickets from Lafayette, Louisiana and four (4) nights at a Hard Rock Resort in the Caribbean. No purchase is required, just a visit to the restaurant.
 
“We are very excited about being able to giveaway this trip to a lucky EatLafayette customer,” said Maegan Sonnier, manager/owner of the Travel Machine. “We have truly enjoyed be the trip giveaway for the entire EatLafayette campaign. We know it helps bring customers to the locally-owned eateries and it has been good for Travel Machine.”
 
“We are honored to be a long time partner with this great campaign to support locally-owned eateries,” said Sonnier.
 
The Fly Lafayette Club is the EatLafayette title sponsor for the fourth year and is also purchasing providing the two round trip tickets out of Lafayette.
 
Follow the Bottle
Coca Cola and Louisiana Hot Sauce are making Tuesday and Wednesday lunch time a whole lot more fun. The companies’ towering inflatable bottles will be on display at area restaurants that will offer additional specials during thepromotion.Townsquare Media will let listeners know where to find the bottle as well as Lamar Outdoor billboards posted around town.

IND Dish of the Day and Dish of the Month
If you need help deciding which dish to order,The IND is here to help! The publication is featuring dishes at all of the EatLafayette restaurants throughout the 2014 campaign in the specialEATS section. The monthly editionfeatures the “Dish of the Month” along with EatLafayette features.
 
KLFY TV 20 Restaurant Gift Certificate Giveaways
KLFY will give away eight lunch and eight dinner gift certificates to winners chosen through­­­ their Rewards Program. The contest will run the weeks of July 8- Sept. 6. A winner will be chosen weekly.
 
KADN FOX 15 Restaurant Gift Certificate Giveaways
KADN will give away ten gift certificates to winners chosen through their Watch & Win Program.
 
DJ Dine Around
TheTownsquare Media D.J. Dine Around is in its tenthyear, too. KTDY’s Debbie Ray and KPEL’s Bernadette Lee were the sole diners the first couple of years. Once the list of participating restaurants expanded dramatically, it became a seven-station effort. YouTube videos profile the experience. Stay tuned to Townsquare to find out where they are dining.

Food, Wine & Spirits Experience
New this year is the birth of a food, wine and spirits experience week, Aug. 2-9. The week helps promote the last month of the EatLafayette campaign while at the same time bringing Schilling Distributing Company, Inc., Republic Distributing/Constellation Brands and Rank Wild Cat Sweet Crude Rum products for special pairings and dining experiences in the participating restaurants. Some Lafayette Parish districts are planning events to tie into experience.
 
For a complete list of restaurants and more information on EatLafayette, go to www.eatlafayette.com.
 
###

About EatLafayette™
What started as a conversation between two local businessmen in Lafayette has evolved into a successful promotions campaign that provides a unique opportunity for people to experience local cuisine in Lafayette. Charlie Goodson, original owner of Charley G’s Seafood Grill, and Gerald Breaux, former executive director of the Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission, got together in early 2005 to discuss how locally-owned restaurants could gain visibility in a market flooded with big-dollar franchise restaurant advertising. The result of those conversations was a summer EatLafayette campaign that is now in its tenth year. EatLafayette is a two-and-a-half-month celebration showcasing the restaurants that make Acadiana culture so appetizing. www.EatLafayette.com
 
EatLafayette™ Sponsors
EatLafayette by LafayetteTravel is brought to you by the Fly Lafayette Club. Sponsored by: Schilling Distributing Company, Constellation Brands, Acadiana Waste Services, Rank Wildcat Spirits, Louisiana Hot Sauce, Hilton’s Restaurant Supply, Lamar Outdoor, Lamm Food Service, Coca-Cola, AT&T, Travel Machine, LUS Fiber, Atmos Energy, CMIT Solutions, KADN Fox 15, Cox Communications, KLFY TV 10, WVLA, The IND Media, and Townsquare Media.
 
About LafayetteTravel
LafayetteTravel is the marketing identity for the Lafayette Convention & Visitors Commission (LCVC). LCVC is a marketing organization created in 1974 to promote Lafayette Parish as a destination for visitors, meetings, conventions, tours and sporting events. LCVC is funded primarily by a four percent occupancy tax paid by visitors to Lafayette Parish. In 2008, LCVC was the first tourist commission in Louisiana to be awarded accreditation from the Destination Marketing Accreditation Program. www.Lafayette.travel

About Fly Lafayette Club
The Fly Lafayette Club™ is the Lafayette Regional Airport’s way of thanking you for flying Lafayette. Members have the opportunity to win rewards from their sponsors including free meals, services, Fly Lafayette Club™ merchandise, gift certificates from local merchants and more. http://flc.lftairport.com/FLCWeb/
 
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