Even though she is a savvy entrepreneur, Danielle Rosse, the force behind Oceans 234, knows how to have fun. "I like the saying 'Don't take yourself too seriously,'" Rosse says. She explains her playful philosophy was the driving force behind the creation of the restaurant's new, tongue-in-cheek series of informational videos, Don't Fork It Up!
Rosse, who began working at the Deerfield Beach eatery in 2001, purchased the restaurant in 2013 and dove into a $1.8 million renovation in 2015, transforming Oceans 234 from a sleepy diner into an alluring dining destination. Still, she understands success requires not only superb food and service but also creativity and out-of-the-box thinking.
"Social posts or PR stories always feel very narcissistic... I just wanted to come up with something that was exciting, still had relevance to what we do, and had a personality."
Enter Don't Fork It Up, a series of posts uploaded to the restaurant's YouTube channel. The videos are about a minute long and tackle common misunderstandings about dining and drinking etiquette, such as the proper way to eat mussels or order and slice a steak. Rosse chose to use her staff as the talent in the videos with hopes of passing on her mantra of not taking oneself too seriously. She also figured having the faces of the restaurant in the videos would deepen the connection with customers.
"It has that relationship building, using somebody you know, especially for our regulars. They know us; they know these people."
Steve Slaton, Oceans 234's longtime sous-chef, stars in the first video, which shows the proper way to eat mussels.
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"He’s fairly stoic walking through the kitchen, and then, I was like, Whoa, what just happened? He has a lot of personality we had no idea was hidden under that beard."
Oceans 234 has uploaded two videos and has four others already produced. The goal is to upload one a month. Rosse is not short on ideas; she says she has about two years' worth of waggish videos already mapped out. Reception has been positive, and the plan is to continue uploading them and having a good time.
"From a marketing standpoint, it reminds people that we’re here, we’re working on ourselves [and] forever evolving, which we’ve shown throughout the years, especially with our location," she says. "We’re going to be here a long time, so you have to always stay relevant."