Eiler Success Stories

Knight’s Steakhouse — Jackson, Michigan

Client Background

Knight’s Meat Market opened in 1952 and quickly became known in Ann Arbor for its high-quality hand-cut meat. In 1984, Ray Knight opened Knight’s Steakhouse, which soon gained a similar reputation for its great food and excellent customer service. This family-operated restaurant is renowned for its steaks, fresh seafood and prime rib, alongside its full menu of traditional American cuisine. Knight’s reasonable prices and quality food keep customers coming back.


Knight’s has continued to grow over the years and has become essential to the Ann Arbor dining scene. The atmosphere and friendly service add to the reasons why customers keep coming back. In March 2001, Knight’s opened a new location in Jackson, Mich. Hoping for the same outstanding success as its Ann Arbor location, Knight’s enlisted the help of Eiler Communications.   


Being new to Jackson, Knight’s not only had to build its reputation, but its clientele as well. In the past, Knight’s had relied on word of mouth to attract customers and gain its quality reputation. In this new market, however, Knight’s needed to establish its identity as a quality steakhouse and build awareness of its reputation within the community. Knight’s developed three goals; to become known in the Jackson area; to increase sales; and to acquire and retain customers.


Eiler Communications implemented an aggressive media relations strategy, utilizing local media outlets to increase Knight’s name recognition within the community. To gain media exposure, Eiler distributed press releases on topics ranging from renovations to holiday entertaining ideas and Knight’s involvement with the community. The press release topics were chosen based on their ability to create an image of Knight’s as an expert within the community on fine food, casual entertainment and quality. Additionally, Eiler supplemented its media relations campaign for Knight’s by researching local organizations that Knight’s key figures could become involved with to raise visibility in the community. We also listed the restaurant on review and listings Web sites to help those seeking local restaurants find Knight’s.


Eiler’s strategy resulted in positive press coverage in the media outlets most relevant to Knight’s, including WKHM-FM Radio, K-105 FM Radio, Hour Detroit, Business Review and Jackson Citizen Patriot. To support the initial buzz Eiler helped Knight’s achieve, we provided them with a calendar of continuing speaking and sponsorship opportunities with local businesses and community organizations. As a result of the exposure, Knight’s sales increased 17 percent. Knight’s is now recognized with the same reputation as its Ann Arbor counterpart and is enjoying a continuous flow of regular customers.