Leopold's Tavern opened in the spring of 2013 in Regina, Saskatchewan. The founders chose a beat-down building in which food joints, bistros, and cafes had come and gone. There was little fanfare as the doors opened on the classic jukebox-dive-bar atmosphere. The plan was simple: serve what people wanted and let them put a bunch of stuff on the walls. Leopold's has become a treasure trove of memories and experiences that all of their customers can enjoy ... and share on Facebook.
It is this distinctive atmosphere, combined with an aggressive social media presence, that has led to the tavern's explosive growth in the past four years. There are currently three Leopold's in Regina, two in Saskatoon, and one opening fall of 2017 in Calgary. Leopold's grew because the founders used Facebook "from day one" to connect with customers, according to Yaya Wang, the tavern's brand manager. Leopold's uses Facebook to show off its unique atmosphere in posts, but contests are also a big part of the appeal, too. As are customer posts. Fans of the tavern are encouraged to share daily specials and tag friends, all of which helps spread the world about everything Leopold's has to offer.
A few years ago, a bartender created a "Holy Water" cocktail to "bless" Blue Jays during the playoff games leading to the World Series. It became a tradition that expanded through Facebook and Instagram. Former Blue Jays third baseman Kelly Gruber, traveling across Canada with Rogers Sports, "discovered Leopold's via our hashtags and showed up at our bar to be 'blessed,'" Yaya says. She continues, "With Facebook, we have been able to connect with people across Canada and carry our brand into markets that we are not even in yet!"
Leopold's boosts certain posts during key times or events to maximize exposure, all of which Yaya monitors using Facebook Insights. The restaurant chain tripled its staff over four years and attributes a bulk of its success to its off-the-wall approach to Facebook. Moreover, that strategy is working. With 13,000 followers on Facebook and 10,000 on Instagram, Leopold's has amassed a loyal following.