The Esquire Tavern 2022 Annual Case Study - Embark Marketing
Restaurant Marketing, Food and Beverage Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Social Media Marketing for Restaurants, Web Design, Web Development,
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The Esquire Tavern 2022 Annual Case Study

About The Esquire Tavern

Exterior Sign of The Esquire Tavern in San Antonio

The Esquire Tavern, located in the heart of San Antonio opened in 1933 to celebrate the end of Prohibition. After taking a short hiatus from 2006 to 2011, the beloved San Antonio watering hole was reborn & is now locally owned and operated by Christopher Hill. The oldest bar on the Riverwalk, holds the title of the longest wooden bar in Texas where locals & visitors can enjoy a mature and refined libations. For more information about The Esquire Tavern, please view their website and social media links provided below. 

The Esquire Tavern

155 E Commerce Street 

San Antonio, TX 78205

(210) 222-2521

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok


The Esquire Tavern advanced with Embark Marketing in October 2021 to reclaim their title of being the go-to spot on the Riverwalk. Embark Marketing developed a strategy to freshen their social media presence & increase brand awareness. Upon our arrangement with the client, a game plan was refined to modernize their upscale tavern with a Texas twist. This included strategy development & implementation, content creation, social media management & public relations. 

Social Media Management


In order to revamp the brand’s social media, Embark Marketing focused on two social platforms: Facebook & Instagram. These platforms are beneficial to develop in the restaurant industry to reach the desired audience. With setting our goal to establish new engaging content with professional photography & videography that resonates with our target audience. Additionally, we established a digital ad strategy on all social media platforms to bring The Esquire Tavern back on the map. 

Content Creation

After internal research, Embark Marketing determined that the best way to get the greatest engagement for The Esquire Tavern was to incorporate photo & video strategy. Due to videography dominating all social media platforms, we pumped out more video content to stay on top of social media algorithms.

Prior to working with Embark Marketing, The Esquire Tavern worked with more organic content meaning those in house would post from time-to-time about the operational standpoint of the bar, however its engagement was stable but no growth was shown. Once the new strategy was developed, we saw a rise across all socials. 

Interior of the Esquire Tavern

Social Media

With the focus being on Facebook & Instagram, Embark Marketing made its goal to increase overall brand awareness & gain more followers on Instagram specifically. Below you can see our overall improvements & engagements of the local bars social media.


Over the past year, Instagram followers increased by 2,866 users which has an increase of 2,505% from the year prior. Along with its engagements skyrocketed with a reach of 13,796 which increased from the previous year by 153.1%. 

What does this mean? An increase in followers on Instagram contributed to The Esquire Taverns growth by showing loyalty to the business from previous and new patrons, users are engaging with the content that’s being posted frequently, and it has shown improvement overall in the business.

Charts: This chart will help to visualize the growth of the Instagram account.

Chart depicting the Instagram growth of the Esquire Tavern in San Antonio


Over the past year, The Esquire Tavern’s Facebook pages grew by 1,352 likes.

What does this mean? An increase in followers on Instagram contributed to The Esquire Taverns growth by showing loyalty to the business from previous and new patrons, users are engaging with the content that’s being posted frequently, and it has shown improvement overall in the business.

Charts: This chart helps with the visual representation of the Facebook account over the past year. 


While we did not put a focus on Twitter, we did organically post to the platform when posting to other platforms for SEO purposes. In the last year, The Esquire Tavern’s Twitter followers increased by 24 followers.  


While we did not initially plan to implement a TikTok strategy, the rise of the platform’s popularity encouraged us to create an account for the brand. Beginning in February 2022, we began posting 1-2 per week based on video content developed. The Esquire Tavern has increased in followers by 99 users with 247 likes. On average each video receives over 200 views. Specifically looking at posts from February 2022 – October 2022. Below you can see which posts performed the best. 

Reputation Management

In the food & beverage industry it is important to maintain a brand’s reputation online through review platforms such as Yelp, Google for Business & Facebook, as 94% of diners research a restaurant’s reviews online before going. Additionally, this is an important factor in a brand’s SEO score.

The Esquire Tavern, being a high-volume restaurant for tourists & locals alike, receives reviews on their platforms nearly daily. Embark Marketing actively responds to both the positive and negative reviews in a timely manner in an effort to maintain a positive customer sentiment online. In 2022, the establishment ended the year with 4 stars on Facebook, 4 stars on Yelp, and a 4.4 rating on Google.

Public Relations

While public relations services were not included in The Esquire Tavern’s retainer contract, there were instances where we felt that a public relations effort was necessary & we provided this service as a way to increase brand awareness, and generate more backlinks for increased SEO.

Throughout 2022, we campaigned through social media for several local publication awards in which The Esquire Tavern won MySA’s Reader’s Choice Award for Best Bar in San Antonio, as well as second place in the San Antonio Current’s Best of the City Awards for Best Bar Food & Best Bartender, which highlighted craft cocktail bartender Stephan Mendez.

In December 2022, The Esquire Tavern hosted the world-renowned Miracle Pop Up Bar, in which the speakeasy bar Downstairs at Esquire was transformed into a Christmas experience destination with unique decor, and speciality holiday-inspired craft cocktail menu. Embark Marketing executed a press release campaign for the promotion, which resulted in numerous press articles, two television segments, and visitation from many local San Antonio social media influencers.

In total, The Esquire Tavern achieved 16 press articles across 9 media outlets in 2022.

Cocktail at The Esquire Tavern in San Antonio

Sales Analysis

The Esquire Tavern suffered greatly due to the global pandemic of 2020. As a result we feel it is necessary to consider both pre-pandemic & post-pandemic sales when measuring success.

In 2019, the year prior to the pandemic, The Esquire Tavern performed $4,926,067 in total sales. In 2020, the establishment suffered a 73.8% decline in sales, ringing only $1,288,024.

Embark Marketing was hired in October of 2021, so for the sake of this case study we chose to evaluate 2022, cross-comparing sales data from 2021 to 2022. When evaluating 2021, The Esquire Tavern performed $2,789,951 in total sales, and in 2022 the establishment rang $3,857.721, which was a 99.8% increase from the previous year.

While we acknowledge that this drastic increase in sales could have been caused by economic factors such as the rise in tourism to downtown San Antonio, post-pandemic – we feel that our approach on social media did help to increase brand awareness both among tourist looking for enticing places to go along the Riverwalk, as well as increase brand awareness within the San Antonio community, contributing to an overall increase in gross sales.

Want to see what we can do for your food and beverage brand? Contact us to schedule a meeting with us today!