Want to get guests' attention? Check out some of these smart marketing moves.
Codes to skip the line
As a perk for loyal guests who want to skip the checkout line—as well as a way to drive repeat visits and go more green—Ohio State University sells reusable soda cups equipped with an RFID code that is scannable at fountain drink stations. The cup comes loaded with 10 free fills, with the option to purchase more drinks after those credits are used up.
New resident love
To court loyal business of new local residents, Chick-fil-A tucks a “Welcome to the neighborhood” message in with the retail coupons that are sent to people who register a move and change their address with the post office. Included is a coupon for a free sandwich or order of chicken nuggets, valid only at that nearby location.
Salt Lake City-based Even Stevens Sandwiches commissions local artists’ renderings of its sandwiches, and offers them as free prints. The graphic riffs create a “sticky” guest experience that follows them home, says COO Michael McHenry. “We’ve identified creatives as stakeholders, and authentic advocates across all markets.”
Blind wine tasting
To appeal to fun-seeking connoisseurs, The Geneva Inn Restaurant in Lake Geneva, Wis., invites customers to test their wine knowledge in a blind test. People can purchase a mystery glass of vino for $10. If the guest can identify the brand from among one of the eight rotating wines on the menu, they win the entire bottle.
Chipotle rain check
When Chipotle shut all 2,000 of its U.S. restaurants earlier this year to review its safety plan, it made sure to console patrons who might have been annoyed to find their lunchtime unit locked up. Consumers were told they could get a free burrito by texting “raincheck” to a particular number before the restaurants reopened. The giveaway also was a pass-along deal; fans could give the number and code to friends who might have been lapsed regulars or lost customers.
Stars outside of Sbux
As a new perk of its much-lauded loyalty program, Starbucks lets members earn points for more than coffee. Via a partnership with Lyft, guests get stars if they use the ride service to commute. And coming soon: a Starbucks debit-style card that awards points for purchases made anywhere Visa is accepted.
Music that matters
When consumers sign up for San Francisco-based The Melt’s ordering app, they can input their favorite songs into their profile. The chain not only uses beacon technology to fire an order when a diner gets nearby, but it adds music that fits within that person’s preferences to its playlist, creating a crowdsourced musical queue that resonates with patrons in the store.