MaxEx Public Relations Takes On Ambassador Role with the World Food Travel Association

For an industry that’s constantly on the move, keep up with the latest news from industry insiders whose job it is to keep their fingers on the pulse on the region’s exciting hospitality scene. 

MaxEx Public Relations Takes On Ambassador Role with the World Food Travel Association

July 8th 2015

July 8, 2015, Fairfield County, CT: 

The Fairfield County Connecticut restaurant scene is one of the most exuberant in the country.  As originally reported by Chief Economist Jed Kolko of the Huffington Post, Fairfield County has one of the highest restaurant saturation versus population standings in the country, right up there with San Francisco (2012 – present).  Even so, the Fairfield County restaurant scene is often overlooked by national media outlets. It is traditionally looked upon as an over the border New York City suburb, while conversely, many national media outlets discount Fairfield County as a Connecticut destination because of its New York demographic and sensibility. It is indeed stuck between a rock and no place at times, and yet, it continues to make its mark on the restaurant world.

MaxEx Public Relations has been promoting this thriving culinary scene throughout Connecticut for more than 18 years, contributing to the county’s undeniable restaurant popularity, providing the underground and behind the scenes layers that restaurants need to remain relevant in an ever changing tide of food trends, real estate developments and fickle consumers.

Telling the story and shouting it from the rafters is former chef turned restaurant publicist Linda Kavanagh, the Owner of MaxEx Public Relations, LLC. Linda left the kitchen side of things and transitioned into being a supporter for the industry, trading her apron in for the almighty press release.  Linda’s first client was the  Barcelona Restaurant Group, a relationship that would sustain well into 6 locations, a cookbook and a new [bartaco] concept.

“It was their first restaurant in the company and my first PR client on my own after leaving my firm in New York, “she recalls, “There weren’t nearly as many media outlets back then and social media wasn’t an option. We relied on pure tenacity and customer relations.”

And the rest is history as Barcelona went on to be one of the biggest restaurant success stories in the state and MaxEx became the go-to firm for restaurants and chefs looking to make a name for themselves. MaxEx has since worked with over 250 Connecticut restaurant and food and beverage companies, as well as national and international brands such as Morton’s The Steakhouse, Ghirardelli Chocolate Company and WTC Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy. Regionally, MaxEx clients run the gamut from 

Frank Pepe’s Pizza,  Aaron Sanchez’s Paloma, Rizzuto’s Restaurant Group and SKAL Restaurant Group, to South Norwalk’s popular Mama’s Boy and Washington Prime.  This year her team opened the uber-popular Brick + Wood all-tap wine bar and Italian street food restaurant in Fairfield, and World Pizza Champion Bruno DiFabio’s Amore Cucina & Bar in Stamford. They are currently in the process of re-launching Stamford’s rebel child, The Fez and a Greenwich Avenue institution, Bistro Versailles & Patisserie, now Bistro V. Over the next year MaxEx will be introducing new restaurant developments coming into Connecticut from across the country, ready to make their mark on the local food scene.

MaxEx as a firm continues to evolve, adding Senior Associate Andrea Viscuso in 2012.   Andrea, a public relations dynamo, worked her way up the ranks in New York City at boutique travel and hospitality PR agencies, executing campaigns for some of the world’s most celebrated brands. Andrea’s media relationships have enabled her to secure placements in outlets of all facets, including; The Boston Globe, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Food & Wine, Robb Report, Condé Nast Traveler, SAVEUR, GOTHAM, Hospitality Design, The Wall Street Journal, and NY1 News, among many others.

“Our focus is working with our clients to establish their identity, disseminating the right information to the right people (media and the like), smartly managing their strategic partners, events and community involvement, and keeping our clients relevant in an ever-changing industry,” says Andrea, “Nothing stays the same. We keep our finger on the pulse of our industry; from consumer feedback and a shifting social culture, to the buoyant media landscape and cringe-worthy dated practices that need addressing.” 

Linda is an award-winning food and travel writer, contributing to such national publications as VENÜ Magazine and Act Two Magazine, and regional outlets including Woman 2 Woman and Great Restaurants. Linda is the Co-founder of the New England Culinary Group, a 501(c)(3) networking and support arm for the hospitality industry. Her immersion within the hospitality trade is what has laid the foundation for MaxEx’s longevity and success in this fast-paced industry.

“We are thrilled to be aligned with the World Food Travel Association, the world’s leading authority on food and drink tourism “beams Linda, “There’s no denying the synergy between the food, drink, travel and hospitality world and the role it plays in our economic development. Our role within the WFTA will be two-fold, affording us access to tremendous resources that will enhance our ability to communicate, educate and grow Connecticut’s culinary scene and establish (reinforce) various towns/cities as culinary destinations, as well as contribute our resources and lend our expertise to WFTA affiliates from across the globe.”

MaxEx Public Relations, in conjunction with brand name sponsors, has developed a series of campaigns that will support a variety of culinary destinations throughout the county. These initiatives are group / town based and will be available to restaurateurs, local artisans, brewers and distillers, specialty markets and farms, cooking schools, hotels, events, and culinary based activities that comprise a marketable and desirable travel destination.

“It’s been proven time and time again that the best results, media and consumer retention wise, originate from a group effort – where a town rich in culinary diversity comes together to promote and demonstrate its validity as a vibrant culinary destination, “Linda reiterates, “It is a team effort and MaxEx is excited to be the one to manage this process and bring this information to the masses.”

Read more about World Food Travel Association, food travel  and Fairfield County tourism stats.