Fresh from the runways, here are the spring fashions that truly diehard restaurant fans are yearning to have in their closets this party season. Restaurants are betting the promotional novelties will draw a few more sales along with the oohs, ahs and chuckles.
Here’s what the well-dressed fanatic will be wearing.
Running literally on Dunkin’
What could be better for entrants in the Boston Marathon than footwear specially designed for doughnut fans? To understand, it helps to be from Beantown, where Dunkin’ Donuts units seem to be more prevalent than street signs. The hometown brand is partnering with local athletic shoe manufacturer Saucony to offer a Dunkin’-themed sneaker for a limited stretch that overlaps the Marathon, a sure sign of spring for locals (the race is held on Patriots’ Day, or the third Monday of April).
The Dunkin’ Kinvara 9, a riff on the Saucony shoe chosen as the year’s best by Runner’s World magazine, comes in a box that looks just like the one used by the chain for a dozen take-home doughnuts. Pictured on the footwear’s back is a strawberry glazed doughnut surrounded by sprinkles, and the sockliner depicts splashes of hot and cold drinks. A Dunkin’ logo adorns the tongue, and the laces borrow the chain’s signature black, orange and magenta colors.
Saucony is accepting preorders starting today through its website. Sales will start on April 3 at Boston athletic wear stores that stock the Saucony brand.
Pizza Hut’s kicks for a cause
The pizza specialist hopes to start a March Madness footwear dynasty with its second-edition Pie Tops sneakers. As we reported at the start of the NCAA playoffs, the Yum Brands operation resurrected the shoe after last year’s apparently successful college hoops tie-in. The 2017 kicks featured a button on the shoe’s tongue that automatically placed a delivery order for a Pizza Hut pie when an app user pressed it. The updated version also enables the button pusher to pause a March Madness game on TV via Bluetooth.
The twist revealed this week: Pizza Hut is auctioning off the four remaining pairs of Pie Tops II on eBay to coincide with the Final Four stage of the playoffs. The winning bid for each of the four pairs will be donated to The Literacy Project, a charity affiliated with Pizza Hut. In addition to the shoes, the top bidder will get a year’s worth of free pizza.
At the time of the posting, the top bids for the shoes ranged from $1,025 to $1,525.
Pancake PJs from IHOP
Customers’ morning fashion statements led IHOP to follow the lead of such brands as McDonald’s, Denny’s and Arby’s in giving the rags trade a try. Earlier this month, the chain showed off a new line of breakfast-themed pajamas and comfort apparel: PancakeWear by IHOP. The items introduced for the spring include socks, one-pieces and lounge pants for both children and adults.
“Breakfast and laid-back loungewear just go together at IHOP, so we thought it would be fun to design a limited-edition merchandise collection,” said Stephanie Peterson, executive director of communications for the Dine Brands Global operation.
The clothing is being sold on eBay for Charity, a special section of the virtual marketplace, with proceeds donated to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, a child-help organization supported by IHOP. The initiative is part of an effort by the family chain to raise $5 million in 60 days for combating childhood diseases.