Welcome to RB’s weekly roundup of the latest developments in restaurant marketing.
Raising Cane’s recently launched its biggest marketing campaign in its history, starring what the chicken-finger chain says is its biggest asset:
The three-month “One Crew. One Love.” campaign features more than 6,000 Cane’s crew members— some from every one of the fast casual’s 622 locations. They’ll be featured in local TV spots, as well as restaurant-level point-of-sale materials, social media and more.
The ads are a not-so-subtle way of saying Raising Cane’s is a great place to work and the chain is always hiring, AJ Kumaran, co-CEO and COO, said.
“It was fun. It was really fun,” said Kumaran, who appears in the ads with Raising Cane’s founder and co-CEO Todd Graves. “We’ve worked on it since the beginning of the year.”
Raising Cane’s workers took cell phone photos to submit to the campaign. The chain currently has more than 52,000 employees and is planning to hire up to 8,000 more by the end of the year, he said.
“We always are looking for great people to join in our journey,” he said. “We’re not directly speaking about that at all … But, obviously, once we start talking about our culture and our crew members, it would eventually drive recruiting channels as well.”
Raising Cane’s certainly isn’t the first chain to feature its employees in ads. But it’s likely something the industry will see more of as the labor pool remains tight and restaurants look to play up their fun, unique culture and benefits.
Earlier this year, Domino’s Pizza launched a new TV ad that tries to directly recruit workers by showing how an entry-level gig there can pave the way to franchise ownership. In the ad, the chain points out that 95% of its franchisees began as delivery drivers or store employees.
Waffles on the soles of her shoes?
Waffle House is the latest entrant in the catalogue of ridiculous restaurant-fashion mash-ups.
In this case, the all-day breakfast chain teamed up with shoe-maker Adidas on a limited-edition Waffle House shoe, in honor of the Masters golf tournament.
Adidas bills the shoes was “batter-like” in color, with a waffle texture embossed around them. There’s a bright yellow Waffle House logo on the heel.
And on the soles? A playful splash of syrup.
“Who knew our famous, sweet cream waffles could also be so much fun to wear?” Waffle House President and CEO Walt Ehmer said (hopefully for the first time ever) in a statement.
The Tour360 22 X Waffle House golf shoes go on sale Thursday ($200 for women’s sizes, $210 for men’s).
If you’re headed to Restaurant Leadership Conference in Phoenix next week, be sure to stick around for the final session. I’ll be moderating a star-studded panel with Kieran Donahue (IHOP’s CMO), Tana Davila (P.F. Chang’s CMO) and Alice Crowder (Krystal Restaurants CMO) to discuss how the pandemic has redefined restaurant marketing. Please say hi if you’re there.
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