Restaurants are facing unprecedented challenges during this public health crisis. Thanks to Creatives for Kitchens, website updates, graphic design support, marketing needs, and photography portfolios, are no longer one of them. Small independent restaurants in need of graphic design, photography, marketing, communications, website updates and more can now access pro bono help from Creatives for Kitchens, a new service that connects small, independent restaurants with a collective of creatives for marketing, communications, design help.
The service, which launched the first week of May, matches restaurant operators with a team of 4-5 creatives to tackle small, high-need projects from website updates to photography, marketing and communications, and social media assistance. So far a group of 400 creatives have signed up for the chance to help support their current rapidly growing roster of 36 restaurants, including Sweet Chili, owned by former Top Chef contestant Lisa Fernandez, as well as a Chinatown subcommittee which will be aimed at outreach for bringing back those restaurants particularly impacted by COVID.
Clayton cautions that the collective is for small projects, not long term campaigns. “It is for light updates because we are conscious of not putting regular design teams out of work,” she said. “We can help with small one-off projects, so that we are quickly helping facilitate changes while not taking away potential work that freelancers might need. We are not getting bogged down in campaigns or rebranding.” Clayton assures that if a restaurant has a larger project or campaign they need help with, they can work together after the project’s completion.
The idea for Creatives for Kitchens came to Clayton, director of her own design shop, when she was riding her bike around the city at the start of the quarantine. She wanted to find spots along her route to stop for a drink or a bite to eat but found navigating the new hours and takeaway options really challenging. “There was a real communication breakdown,” she said. “People wanted to visit restaurants that were open, but did not know where they were and had no idea of who was open, their new hours, the changes in service were and if they offered to-go alcoholic beverages.”
Clayton found that websites like Eater and GrubStreet tried to publish the information, but that it—understandably—got outdated pretty quickly. Clayton sensed a need to reach out and help restaurants with their basic communications and marketing needs and Creatives for Kitchens was born.
Clayton says she hopes to find more restaurants to work with through the end of the summer, when she may sunset the service. For more information on Creatives for Kitchens, please reach out to Christine here.