Restaurant chains want diners to feel lucky on Friday the 13th

Marketing Bites: Restaurant chains continue to get into the spooky spirit. White Castle debuts new merch. And chains celebrate other food-centric holidays.
Scooby-Doo doughnuts
Krispy Kreme's Scooby-Doo doughnuts. | Photo courtesy of Krispy Kreme.

Marketing Bites

If you can’t wait until Halloween to cash in on restaurant chains' spooky specials, don’t fret. Some brands are making diners feel lucky with promotions celebrating Friday the 13th. Meanwhile, this week, White Castle teams up with Fat Joe on a merchandise line. And a variety of chains celebrate food-centric and non-food-related holidays, like National Space Week.

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

Superstitious specials

In honor of Friday the 13th this week, Krystal is serving up a superstitious special. The slider chain is offering diners who buy a 12-pack of the chain’s Krystals, a 13th one for free.

Krispy Kreme is also getting in the spooky spirit with the launch of its Scooby-Doo Halloween doughnuts, which debuted on Oct. 9. In honor of Friday the 13th, the doughnut chain is also offering a 13-cent dozen when diners purchase any dozen at regular price, the day of.

White Castle and Fat Joe team up on a merch line

Fat Joe logo The new collection features a shirt, a pair of shorts and a hat. | Photo courtesy of White Castle. 

White Castle and Fat Joe have teamed up on a new merch drop. The line of “Night Castle” merchandise highlights the slider chain’s place as a late-night spot for diners. The logo takes inspiration from street fashion, according to a statement, and the line highlights the hip-hop artist. The first item on offer is a black shirt with the words, “Fat Joe” written across the left with an image of Fat Joe emceeing and sliders on the back. The line also features a pair of shorts with Fat Joe written in White Castle’s staple font on the right knee. And the last item on offer is an all-black trucker hat with Fat Joe written in White Castle’s cursive. 100% of the proceeds will benefit Renaissance Youth Center, a charity chosen by Fat Joe.

“White Castle was a staple of my childhood, so it’s a full-circle moment to team up with them on this Night Castle clothing collection, “said Fat Joe, in a statement. “I remember growing up in the Bronx and grinding to make a name for myself, so I’m glad that we’re in position to pay it forward and use a portion of proceeds from this collaboration to support the next generation of young leaders from my hometown.”

Swig’s ‘Save the Cups’ campaign

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which takes place in October, soda chain Swig is hosting its fourth annual Save the Cups campaign. All the proceeds will be donated to fund the medical bills of women fighting breast cancer. Customers can participate by purchasing featured drinks, specialized merch or by making a donation at a Swig location. In the first three years of the campaign, Save the Cups raised more than $500,000 and has helped more than 35 women pay their medical bills, according to a statement. In addition, this campaign is a personal one for Swig founder Nicole Tanner, who battled breast cancer in 2009 when she generously had her medical bills paid for. The fundraising goal for 2023 is $250,000.

“It’s impossible to quantify how important Save The Cups is to me. I know exactly what these women have gone through, and to be able to support them in the same way I was helped has been profoundly meaningful,” Tanner said, in a statement. “Four years in, I know this is so much bigger than me. I often say that Swig was born so it could lead us to Save The Cups.”

National Boss’s Day

If you’ve been debating on what to get your boss for National Boss’s Day this year, this next promotion may be for you. BurgerFi is offering the CEO Burger, which it calls, “The Boss of all Burgers” for just $5 with a Freestyle Beverage, in honor of this day.

The CEO Burger is a blend of two Wagyu patties, topped with homemade candied bacon-tomato jam, garlic aioli, truffle aioli and melted aged Swiss cheese. Diners can use the offer on Oct. 16 while dining in at participating BurgerFi locations.

National Pulled Pork Day

Several chains are serving up promos for National Pulled Pork Day on Oct. 12 this year. Sonny’s BBQ, for instance, is offering a pulled pork sandwich with a side and a soft drink for $5.50 on the day. And Dickey’s Barbecue Pit is offering pulled pork sandwiches for the price of $4.99 in honor of the day.

World Space Week

If pulled pork isn’t your thing and you’re looking for a promotion that’s a little more out of this world, look no further than Johnny Rockets and Starry’s latest sweepstakes. The burger chain is teaming up with the soda from PepsiCo to offer diners the chance to win a visit to the U.S Space and Rocket Center’s Space Camp. Diners can enter online, and will also receive a $5 off any order of $15 or more or $5 off the burger chain’s limited-time World Space Week Meal. On offer is the Rocket Double, Johnny Rocket’s signature burger topped with cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and Special Sauce. The sandwich is paired with onion rings and a Starry fountain drink.

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