Fresh and Raw Tour 2022 – An Inside Look!
Shuckin’ Shack is serving something special in 2022, and it’s not only fresh oysters on the half shell. This year, our restaurant and bar franchise is doing something unique that none of our competitors are even thinking about. Since the start, we’ve always looked for ways to separate ourselves from the usual seafood places, so get ready to jam out to some live music at Shuckin’ Shack during the Fresh and Raw Tour 2022!
“I’m an avid fan of live music like most people,” our CEO Jonathan Weathington said. “The thought of doing something outside the normal marketing approach while attempting to tie everyone’s love for live music into it. That has always been appealing to me,” he explained during a recent interview.
“The Fresh & Raw Tour 2022 came about over a number of years (and beers) of thinking about shifting the marketing approach and doing something fun for our customers, our brand, and our franchisees,” Jonathan added. At Shuckin’ Shack, we’ve put a lot of effort into finding ways to sail into those uncharted waters that scare everyone else. If you ask us, that’s how you keep a restaurant concept fun, refreshing, and successful over the long haul.
You still have to offer restaurant guests something new and different to earn their loyalty, and our concert tour perfectly fits those lines. There’s really nothing like a jam session in an intimate venue and a relaxing atmosphere, but we didn’t stop there! Check out what else you can expect when the Fresh & Raw Tour 2022 comes to a location near you.
How the Fresh & Raw Tour 2022 came together
“Shuckin’ Shack has built its reputation on what we serve and how we serve it, but beyond that, we’re also known for our great atmosphere.” Jonathan continued. “All of this happens because we try to put great people into everything we do. When you add in a tour like Fresh & Raw, it’s major icing on the cake.”
Initially, the idea for the tour came together during a NIL (name, image, and likeness) conference attended by our VP of Marketing and Creative – Darren Keeler. “Darren made the right connections to make this tour happen. He attended a NIL conference in Dallas about a year ago and met the Truist folks there. They loved the idea, and here we are,” Jonathan revealed. That’s the long story short about how we started working with Truist to make the Fresh & Raw Tour a reality.
As Jonathan explained, “everyone knows Truist for personal banking; however, they also offer a line of products for commercial banking, wealth management, and investing. Their partnership as co-sponsors has been very valuable thus far. We’re working with their wealth management office out of Nashville. They’ve been great and willing to help us work through some of the details on getting this tour launched!”
Some restaurant owners may dream about adding live music to their repertoire, but we made it happen for our franchisees because we’re bold enough to try new approaches and invite people to experience something special. Combining great food with great music is a natural fit. The hard part is bringing it all together in a single event, and it boils down to encouraging a festive, energetic vibe.
“Few things repeat the feelings you get when walking down Broadway in Nashville during any night of the year. While we can’t exactly repeat all those feelings, we can bring a little bit of Nashville to each of our locations,” Jonathan said. What are you waiting for if you’ve never been to a music town like Nashville? It’s an electric atmosphere like no other when fellow music lovers surround you, and we want to bring that vibe to Shuckin’ Shack.
Expect a few surprises on the tour
With some heavy hitters already booked to perform like CJ Solar and Warren Garrett, this year’s tour promises to be a blast, especially when you chow down on great seafood while sipping an ice-cold beer and boot-scooting around the place.
“We connected with CJ and Warren through Mark Addison Chandler at Grindhouse Nashville,” Jonathan said. “Mark and Darren met via our Truist connections, and it still exists as a lot of ‘right place-right time’ moments, all culminating. While CJ and Warren aren’t exactly Shuckin’ Shack regulars, they might be once we open up a spot in Nashville.” Spoiler alert: bar franchise opportunities are available!
But what makes this concert tour unique is that each stop will showcase a local opening act to get the community genuinely excited. We don’t pay lip service to our guests. We work every day to earn their business, and special events like the Fresh & Raw Tour 2022 are only the beginning. The hard part is finding great local performers who deserve a shot at performing at bigger venues.
Not so long ago, these types of cross-promo campaigns were nearly impossible for restaurants to pull off with any semblance of success. The organizational challenges always throw newcomers to the music scene off course. There are so many things to account for that a new restaurant owner doesn’t have time to plan everything alone, so that’s where we stepped in to give them a boost.
Pulling back the curtain a bit, Jonathan confessed, “we’re working with our individual Franchise Owners as a part of the selection process. This helps us a lot on the buy-in portion locally from Franchise Owners. The marketing team is then vetting the acts, making sure they’re not of the Milli Vanilli variety, and adding them to each show’s individualized tour poster and lineup.”
“The coolest thing about this Battle of the Openers,” Jonathan added, “is that it happens throughout the tour whereby attendees and fans will vote on their favorite opener. The contest winner (rules found on our website) will get a trip to Nashville, where they’ll play their original music on Grindhouse and Broadway! On top of that, we’re sending the Franchise Owner who chose them along for the ride, too!” Pretty awesome, right?
It’s one thing to fire up a concert tour and get on the road again like Willie Nelson, but it’s a whole other deal when you combine live music with free goodies and show new restaurant owners what’s possible – and it isn’t always about money.
According to Jonathan, “certainly, there’s a revenue aspect to this, but one-time events aren’t something you can hang your (cowboy) hat on. We hope that our franchise owners benefit by making the initial connection with a new customer base. We’re bringing in big names with big followings since our customer base is incredibly broad and willing to travel. We want to make sure that all of our franchisees benefit from that dynamic.”
We always strive to make authentic connections with the community at every location, and supporting up-and-coming artists is something we believe will fit our brand perfectly. But why not add another layer of intrigue and make it a friendly competition too? Our guests are the ones who will vote on the acts we send off to Nashville. It’s our own mini version of “America’s Got Talent,” which will make these events a blast to attend. Nothing energizes a concert like a crowd participating!
Special events, unique partnerships
Without a doubt, we expect the Fresh & Raw Tour 2022 to be a hit at every location. Why? Aside from the entertainment value, we’ve also partnered with non-profits like the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS). Instead of buying a concert ticket the usual way, we’ll ask our attendees to pay what they can with a donation of their choosing. We want people to enjoy themselves from the moment they step into the bar and not worry about inflated ticket prices.
“LLS has become an indelible part of Shuckin’ Shack history,” Jonathan said. “Their work has personally impacted several folks within our brand. Their research has saved lives, and we’re honored to continue to support their efforts.” Going to our shows will be a unique experience where food, music, and charity all meld together into a shuckin’ fantastic concert tour.
But as if that wasn’t already enough, we also plan to bring along our Shack-letes sponsors. “We’re currently working on some of those appearances too! School is back in, so that makes it a little challenging since our athletes are also students, but we hope to bring them in too,” he added. If it weren’t for the new NIL rules and promo opportunities, we wouldn’t have been at the right place at the right time to make this tour happen.
So, what do you get when you combine everything into one event? You get a down-to-earth, bustling vibe with great food, great people, and great music. What’s not to like about that? Restaurant guests are yearning, nearly begging, for fresh experiences, so why not give it to them raw and authentic and feature undiscovered artists?
Even if music isn’t your thing, you can’t help but tap your toes when a crowd gets loud, couples start dancing, and the pitch of laughter climbs and climbs until you have no choice but to turn up the speakers a few decibels.
The restaurant business was already tricky before the disruptions of the last few years turned everything on its head. Today, there are more hurdles than ever because a sizable portion of restaurant goers are still leery of returning to their old haunts. The Fresh & Raw Tour 2022aims to pull those guests off the sidelines and get them back in the flow.
After all, you have to give people a clear reason to choose your bar and restaurant over another. Live music may not be revolutionary in your area, but the variety of entertainments – the free giveaway, the voting, the up-and-coming performers – is what will turn heads and fill the bar.
“If people show up, show out, have a good time, and want us to do it again, we’re game to keep the tour going,” Jonathan wrapped up. “We’re already talking about how we can do it bigger next year! CJ, Warren, and the other performers are all legit. This show is just going to be a lot of fun.”
Visit our franchise website if you want more details about opening up a Shuckin’ Shack in your community.