Burger King wants to help diners score a date

Marketing Bites: The burger giant launches a limited-edition Homecoming Meal, Panera is paying for dating subscription services and Schlotzsky’s debuts a sandwich-inspired home decor line.
Burger King's Homecoming meal
The Homecoming Meal is priced at $10. | Photo courtesy of Burger King.

Marketing Bites

Restaurant chains seem to be feeling lovestruck.

Last week, Cinnabon and Slim Jim said "I do" in a virtual ceremony on social media platform X. And now, Burger King wants to get in on the action and help diners get a date. It doesn’t end there, either. Panera is giving away free online dating subscription services.

Here’s a look at what’s new in the world of restaurant marketing.

Burger King’s Homecoming Meal

Burger King wants to make it easy for diners to score a homecoming date, as well as an affordable meal. The BK Homecoming Meal features two Whopper Jrs, two milkshakes, one small onion rings, one small fries and two crowns. The meal is priced at $10. In addition, diners in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago and Oklahoma City will receive a limited-edition homecoming-themed bejeweled crown, while supplies last. The meals will be at participating restaurants, beginning Sept. 21, for a limited time.

Panera plays Cupid

Panera recently launched a new Crunch Time Ordering feature, which allows diners to order their meal at the same time each day with just one swipe. In honor of the new feature, the chain will pay for three months of an online dating subscription service to encourage diners to continue swiping, either on dating apps or on Panera’s app itself.

Sandwich-inspired decor

If you’re a fan of sandwiches, and also happen to be looking to redecorate your home, this next promotion is for you. Schlotzsky’s just launched its Sandwich Studio Line, a limited edition, ’70s-inspired home decor line, taking inspiration from the chain’s first sandwich, The Original.

Schlotzsky's Sandwich Studio Line. The Sandwich Studio Line. | Photo courtesy of Schlotzsky's. 

The collection features a bun pod chair with sesame seeds, a table lamp, a sandwich pillow, a ‘nice to meat you’ doormat and wallpaper, among other items. The products run from $8 to $500 and will be offered while supplies last.

National Quesadilla Day

Chipotle and DoorDash are teaming up to offer free quesadillas in honor of National Quesadilla Day on Sept. 25.  The two are delivering 20,000 free quesadillas to DashPass members who place orders of $25 or more. TikTok creator Alexis Frost will reveal the promo code for the offer the day of.

Chains raise money for cancer ... 

Breast Cancer Awareness Month kicks off in October, and some chains are supporting the cause. Hungry Howie’s, for instance, is holding its annual Love Hope and Pizza campaign to raise money for and awareness of the National Breast Cancer Foundation. The pizza chain will serve its flavored crust pizzas in pink branded boxes and will donate a portion of the proceeds from each pizza sold from Sept. 25 through Oct. 30 to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Diners can also opt to make an additional donation to the foundation while checking out.

Newk’s Cares, the philanthropic arm of Newk’s Eatery, is honoring the legacy of its cofounder Lori Newcomb and her fight against ovarian cancer with its third annual Lori’s Day. On Lori’s Day, taking place on Sept. 26, all Newk’s Eatery locations will donate 20% of sales to the Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance. In addition, throughout September, which is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, Newk’s location have been decorated with the color teal, the signature color of ovarian cancer awareness.

and support neonatal care staff

Great American Cookies and Marble Slab Creamery are teaming up with March of Dimes, a nonprofit focusing on the health of moms and babies. On Sept. 28, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Staff Appreciation Day, both chains will surprise select NICU teams around the country with Cookie Cakes and Ice Cream Cakes. In addition, in honor of NICU Awareness Day on Sept. 30, the chains will donate $1 to March of Dimes for every purchase made in store or online.

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