Restaurant operators are ringing in fall with a fresh crop of marketing stunts and promos. As Olive Garden guided Pasta Pass-craving consumers through a digital scavenger hunt and Taco Bell prepared to wish its customers “seasoned beefings,” other restaurant chains were working on creative marketing efforts of their own. Read on for a few.
1. A twist on bagels
For those who aren’t tennis-savvy, a “bagel” is a set that ends in a score of 6-0. Bruegger’s Bagels took advantage of the word play, offering a free bagel and cream cheese to members of its loyalty program if a bagel occurred during the final three rounds of the recent U.S. Open tournament.
2. Kicking tailgates up a notch
McAlister’s Deli is hoping football season will boost catering sales, with help from the launch of its Tailgate Collection. “College football is in our roots,” the promo page states. “We started in Oxford, Mississippi, and were raised on the belief that the tailgate is just as important as the game.” The catering package includes a sandwich tray, a bulk side, 2 gallons of tea or lemonade, as well as optional additions such as a baked potato bar and cookie tray. The site also includes themed tailgating party invitations for consumers.
3. Oktoberfest catering
Auntie Anne’s in select large cities is promoting an Oktoberfest-themed Prost Package. The catering option, available for online orders only, comes with four limited-edition Auntie Anne’s beer steins as well as mini pretzel dogs, cinnamon-sugar pretzel nuggets, two dozen original pretzels and 12 dips. Beer, sadly, is not included.
4. Poster prank gets serious
A couple of college students created a McDonald’s poster that hung in a Pearland, Texas, unit for 51 days without anyone noticing—but they’ve certainly gotten notice since. The goal of the poster, which featured two Asian-American customers of the hamburger chain, was to increase representations of diversity at the chain, the creators said in a video that has gone viral. The poster’s creators, who are both Filipino-American, later appeared on Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show, during which they learned that McDonald’s would feature them in an upcoming marketing campaign. DeGeneres, for her part, gave the students $25,000 each.