Marketing

Olive Garden launches a holiday merchandise collection starring its iconic cheese graters

Marketing Bites: Olive Garden, Sonic and Jimmy John’s launch holiday merchandise collections. Velvet Taco is giving away free tacos for a year to one lucky diner. And Wendy’s brings back its Frosty Key Tag fundraiser.
Olive Garden's holiday collection
The 'Seasons Gratings' sweatshirt is priced at $47. | Photo courtesy of Olive Garden.

Marketing Bites

This week holiday merchandise collections took the restaurant marketing world by storm, with chains like Olive Garden, Sonic and Jimmy John’s each debuting their own lineup. Also, Velvet Taco launched a sweepstakes giving diners a chance to win free tacos for a year. And Wendy’s pushes its peppermint lineup.

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

More holiday merchandise

You can now buy Olive Garden’s iconic cheese graters. Well, apparently, you could always buy them, per a viral TikTok video where a diner excitedly shares that the waiter sold her a cheese grater. Apparently, the cheese graters even sold out in some restaurants.  

 Olive Garden decided to capitalize on the excitement by making the graters a part of its holiday collection, dubbed the Never Ending First Course collection. They are priced at $15 and even go with a matching “Seasons Gratings” sweatshirt which is on offer for $47. The line also features other themed apparel, including pajama pants and shirts, as well as a breadstick plush for pets. Diners can shop online starting Nov. 20.

Speaking of holiday merch, Sonic and Jimmy John’s just debuted their own collections as well. Sonic’s collection includes cozy branded apparel such as Sonic themed socks. The line even has something for furry friends.  

And Jimmy John’s line ranges from quirky items like a pickle ornament to traditional apparel like Jimmy John’s shorts.

Solve a mystery for free tacos

Velvet Taco is offering free tacos for a year. All you have to do to cash in on the deal is solve the chain’s holiday mystery game and enter its Spirit of Resistmas Sweepstakes. The game asks diners to answer the question, “Who stole the Spirit of Resistmas” by watching for clues in their local restaurant, through email and on the brand’s social media pages. Diners can enter the sweepstakes for a chance to win until Dec. 31.

Wendy’s Frosty Key Tag fundraiser 

In honor of National Adoption Month, which takes place in November, Wendy’s is bringing back its Frosty Key Tag fundraiser, with the proceeds going to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.  To get involved, diners can purchase a Frosty Key tag for $3 and receive one free Frosty Jr. every day until the end of 2024. The key tag is available for purchase in the restaurants, on Wendy’s Mobile app and on the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption’s website starting Nov. 20 through Feb. 14, 2024. 

Speaking of Frostys, Wendy’s is celebrating the return of its Peppermint Frosty with a special offer for rewards members. Fans can choose between a free small Frosty or a free small Frosty Cream Cold Brew. The promotion runs until Nov. 19.

Taco Bell promotes its sauce packet recycling program

Taco Bell is rewarding diners who mail in used sauce packets, through its partnership with TerraCycle. From Nov. 23 through Dec. 23, consumers who mail in used packets will receive 80 rewards points.

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.

Multimedia

Exclusive Content

Operations

Trend or fad? These restaurant currents could go either way

Reality Check: A number of ripples were evident in the business during the first half of the year. The question is, do they have staying power?

Financing

Starbucks' value offer is a bad idea

The Bottom Line: It’s not entirely clear that price is the reason Starbucks is losing traffic. If it isn’t, the company’s new value offer could backfire.

Financing

Struggling I Heart Mac and Cheese franchisees push back against their franchisor

Operators say most of them aren't making money and want a break on their royalties. But they also complain about receiving expired cheese from closed stores. "Don't send us moldy product."

Trending

More from our partners