Toasting to 18 years of business, it’s been a busy year for the San Francisco-based af&co. team. The agency, which has nearly doubled in size, continues to help hospitality clients overcome the pandemic’s indelible impact on the industry, gracefully navigating a new set of challenges such as supply chain issues, staffing and a looming economic crisis. Their expertise speaks for itself: in the first half of 2023, the agency helped launch 10 new restaurants, hotels and wineries. af&co. also expanded their digital practice with full social media management, content creation and paid social media advertising services this year. Carbonate, the af&co. co-founded brand communications strategy and design agency, continues to grow, bringing on 10 new team members across three states. On the client front, af&co. Has expanded to represent clients within the CPG and Wine & Spirits categories, along with taking on professional chefs and working to position them as personalities in their own right. Now in its 16th year, af&co.’s highly anticipated Hospitality Trends Report has become an industry standard, and showcases the team’s talent for identifying lifestyle trends and keeping on the cutting edge of hospitality.
Andrew Freeman, Founder
Anais Smith, Vice President, Public Relations & Marketing
Malia O'Connor, Director of Marketing, PR and Digital Strategy
Rachel Keigley, Account Director, Public Relations & Social Media Marketing
Noteable long-term clients:
James Beard Foundation Taste America, Ramen Nagi, Gott’s Roadside, Neighbor Hospitality Group, Evolution Hospitality
New client wins:
The Matheson and Chef Dustin Valette, Cavaña, AC Hotel® San Rafael by Marriott and Above Fifth Rooftop Bar, Thistle, Small Vines, Parche, CIA at Copia, MINA Group
Explain how your agency is pushing the boundaries of PR and communications by integrating innovative strategies, tools, or technologies to enhance your offerings and benefit your clients.
“af&co. has always championed innovation within the industry with its integrated, multidisciplinary approach. The further fragmentation of the media landscape in 2023 proved to be a year where the silos that previously separated PR, marketing and social media were dissolved and it has become evermore important to have an promotional strategy encompassing all three disciplines to ensure successful client campaigns. We also have a deep belief in cause and partnership marketing, encouraging our clients to partner to support important causes in their community and leading by example for our clients.”