The social media pages for Toppers Pizza are filled with photos of guests’ creative combos, says Bridget Vetter, manager of marketing. “We continually monitor images and comments posted by our fanatics and bring the ideas to our menu innovation team,” she says. So the chain mined its social feedback to come up with a riff on its signature breadsticks, Topperstix. The result is 3-Cheese Garlicstix—initially offered only with online orders, adding to the “insider” intrigue and buzz.
1. A call to action
Toppers reacted to its more than 140,000 Facebook fans’ call to ramp up the flavor of Topperstix, allowing them to create the new iteration. “When you crowdsource ideas, we learned that it’s important to take action quickly,” says Vetter. “We would have disappointed our customers if they felt we didn’t listen to their suggestions.”
2. Leveraging the Web
Because 42% of Toppers’ business comes from online orders, the chain felt comfortable, for the first time, offering the new LTO online only, turning it into a kind of “secret menu item,” Vetter says. The offer was played up with a cover image on the toppers.com
home page, and promoted through email blasts to loyalty club members and social media.
3. An extra boost
To generate more buzz, the marketing team invested $300 in boosted Facebook posts, promoting the 3-Cheese Garlicstix as the chain’s $9.99 Wednesday Topperstix Flavor (WTF). The effort reached almost 110,000 people and garnered 344 comments, helping to make it the second best-selling Topperstix flavor, Vetter reports.
Future menu additions likely will involve more crowdsourcing through social media, Vetter says, because it connects Toppers to its fans, and it’s (mostly) free. “I’d like to use Instagram and Snapchat, too,” she adds. “It’s a way for customers to show us what they want.”