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Social Media Could Save Abilene Restaurant from Shutting Down

A social media marketing campaign could save an Abilene restaurant from shutting down.
You can call it a social media surprise.

"All of our online marketing has just blown up."

Seven months to the day after Cattle Baron Cafe opened its doors in Abilene, the restaurant faced certain closure Sunday night, with business staggering and bills piling up.

"We're on the right track, the food has been good and consistent, our service has been good -- it's just trying to share that secret with everybody else," said owner Doug Brown on Monday.

That is where social media and viral marketing came in to play.

A post on Facebook over the weekend saying the restaurant was closing spread quickly, gathering support from regular customers and the community -- and forcing the owners to agree to give it seven more days. 

Robert Morris is a loyal customer himself and now, the man behind the social media marketing push.

"We convinced them to stay open seven more days, it's not a gimmick of any kind. I anticipate if sales are good enough this week, maybe we can get them to commit to another two or three weeks," Morris explained.

Situated in a historic building with food made from scratch, Brown said his restaurant faces the same obstacles many small businesses do when starting out -- but for him, a lack of advertising and what some call an undesirable location might be the ultimate downfall.

"It's been kind of a struggle. Of course, you learn what you're doing as you're going along and having never run a restaurant, it's a lot of trial and error," he said.

Lessons learned, but whether it's too late or not could depend on the power of social media.

The restaurant is now on "Day 2" of the seven-day promise and Brown said they will take it day by day after that to determine whether they will remain open.

Cattle Baron Cafe is located at 3905 S. 1st St. in Abilene.
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