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How a Cafe Chain Rebranded With a Pro Surfer A chain rebrands with a local focus, a surf theme and a celebrity endorsement.

By Jennifer Wang

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

When 11-time world surfing champion Kelly Slater throws his clout (and well-toned six-pack) behind a company, people notice. That was Bill Trefethen's thinking when planning the turnaround strategy for Daphne's Greek Cafe--a bankrupt fast-casual restaurant chain based in Carlsbad, Calif. Trefethen's Wreath Equity purchased the chain in 2010 and has relaunched it as Daphne's California Greek, naming Slater as brand ambassador.

"Every brand needs to evolve, and we wanted to create one that's a little edgy, with a shitload of energy," says CEO Trefethen, who believes getting the perfect celebrity ambassador was critical to that evolution. Now Daphne's has a new look and logo, drastically altered menu, smart social media presence and a transformed reputation as a supporter of local and independent artists and musicians--plus Team Daphne's, a talented youth surfing team mentored by the Slats himself.

The burning question: What does it take to win a celebrity over? We asked; Slater answered.

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