A Place at the Table, a popular pay-what-you-can cafe in Raleigh, aims to provide community and healthy food for everyone, regardless of ability to pay. It’s part of a global movement of cafes that seek to end food insecurity while strengthening local communities.


APATT has a loyal base of customers, volunteers, local businesses, and community members. But for first-time customers, the pay-what-you-can model can be confusing. In order to get new patrons on board, we had to show them how it works.

Our Solution

We created a video that explains APATT’s pricing model in a simple and direct way while showing viewers what to expect during their visit. Our goal was to gain and inspire new customers while also strengthening current community support.

Working alongside the talented team at Reify Media, who provided the script and graphics, we created a short video that captures the spirit of APATT while explaining the options for paying for both diners and supporters. Sean Maroney, a former anchor for WNCN and a current supporter of APATT, added local flavor by appearing in and narrating the piece.


Our succinct, engaging brand video rapidly spread, reaching 27,000+ people on social media.

Open Eye Creative, Reify, and APATT Executive Director Maggie Kane used the video as an opportunity to celebrate the cafe’s six-month mark and honor the community that had helped make it a success.

We organized a video launch party hosted at the cafe, which coincided with Raleigh’s popular First Friday event. Kane built excitement for the video by posting the event on social media and including it in her monthly newsletter. She primed a handful of supporters by sending them a “sneak peek” link to the video — but asked them not to share it yet.

The video made its debut at the party, where it was shown to more than 100 attendees. The next day, Kane posted the video on APATT’s homepage, YouTube, and social media channels. She asked her followers to “like and share this video so we can spread the word about the mission behind APATT!” The results were dramatic.

Facebook engagement

More than 1,800 people engaged with the video post on Facebook, meaning they commented on, liked, shared, or clicked on particular elements. The post received a much higher level of engagement than other APATT video posts on Facebook.

Facebook reach

Because the post was shared generously, the video appeared in the news feed of more than 27,000 people — greatly surpassing the reach of any other content (photos, videos, links) that APATT shared on Facebook.

New Facebook followers

The number of APATT’s Facebook followers has increased steadily since their launch at the beginning of 2018. In an average week, they gain about 66 followers. In the seven-day period after our video was shared on Facebook, they gained 222 followers.

Newsletter click rate

After the video launch party, Kane sent a newsletter with the video to all of her subscribers. While the percentage of subscribers who opened the email was roughly the same as other newsletters in the period from June to October, the data suggest that readers were significantly more engaged with our video content.

Perfect timing

Just a few months later, producers from the TODAY Show on NBC flew to Raleigh to film at APATT. The segment, which aired on Nov. 19, brought unprecedented attention to Kane and her team. Fortunately, new website visitors could watch a video on the homepage to easily learn more about the enterprise.

Header photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

Interested in learning more?

Open Eye Creative specializes in documentary-style video storytelling for mission-driven organizations and businesses. We create versatile, timeless work for multiple uses and platforms. Interested in having us create a video for your campaign? Contact us now.