Taco John's puts a big marketing push behind its Apple Grande dessert

Marketing Bites: Restaurant chains continue to push holiday promos. Meanwhile, White Castle launches affordable promos and other chains celebrate National Pickle Day.
Taco John's holiday collection.
Taco John's holiday merch collection features an Apple Grande candle and an ugly holiday sweater. | Photos courtesy of Taco John's.

Marketing Bites

From ugly holiday sweaters to winter flavors, restaurant chains continue to spread holiday cheer. Taco John’s just launched its holiday merch collection, which celebrates the return of its Apple Grande dessert. And Krystal unveiled its Holiday Streamer Pack design. Also, White Castle launched a series of promos designed to help diners deal with inflation.  Restaurant chains are also celebrating food-centric holidays like National Pickle Day.

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

Holiday promos

Taco John’s has a number of holiday initiatives underway, including the comeback of its Apple Grande dessert, which the company describes as “weird yet delicious.”

The layered dessert features warm apple pie filling, shredded cheddar cheese and a sprinkle of red candy seasoning on top of a cinnamon-sugar tortilla. Fans have apparently been requesting the return of the Apple Grande since 2019, and as such, Taco John’s decided to put a big marketing push behind the initiative.

In addition to the dessert, the taco chain has also launched a collection of holiday merch, including an ugly holiday sweater and an Apple Grande-inspired candle. And Taco John’s has brought back its annual limited-time promotion, Nachos Navidad, which is nachos featuring red, green and yellow chips. In the past, Taco John’s franchisees have donated proceeds from the Nachos Navidad promotion to causes within their local communities.

In another effort to give back to diners, the chain is offering a buy-one-get-one for $1 offer on three popular menu items. Diners can score the deal on the meat and potato burrito, super burrito or Taco Bravo.

Krystal is also getting in the holiday spirit with its launch of its new Holiday Steamer Pack design. The design is akin to a gingerbread house but featuring the restaurant chain’s branded red color. In addition, it features Krystal’s slider stuffing recipe.  The recipe was introduced in 2014 and since then has become a fan favorite, according to the company. The Holiday Steamer Pack can be filled with 24 Krystal sliders or Chiks.

Krystal's holiday promo The Holiday Steamer Pack design features Krystal's slider stuffing recipe. | Photo courtesy of Krystal

Win with White Castle

White Castle wants to help consumers deal with inflation with its new Win with White Castle promo. The slider chain has a number of promos underway, designed for customers who are looking for  more affordable options. The promotion kicked off on Nov. 5 with an offer for a Cheesy 10 Sack for $7.99 plus tax and a buy-one-get-one double cheese slider. The next deal is free small cheddar cheese rings with any purchase, which runs from Nov. 19 through Dec. 2. And in honor of National Fast-Food Day on Nov. 16, White Castle is offering five Original Sliders for $1 for members of the chain’s loyalty program

Chicken dance for free chicken sandwiches

Shake Shack is giving out free chicken sandwiches. That is, if any football player celebrates a touchdown with a chicken dance in the end zone on Nov. 12.  If any player does do the dance during any of the games on Nov. 12., diners will be rewarded with free Chicken Shacks through Nov. 19.

Greatest of All Tenders

Speaking of chicken, Huey Magoo’s just dropped a new commercial where it described its chicken tenders as the GOAT, or the Greatest of All Tenders. The commercial featured a family dining at Huey Magoo’s, discussing the tenders and why they’re the Fillet Mignon of chicken. It concludes with the grandma declaring they’re the “greatest of all tenders.”

The commercial was produced by global marketing agency InnoVision Marketing Group. According to a press release, the strategy was to highlight its positioning of its chicken as the Filet Mignon of Chicken and showcasing four generations at the restaurant which highlights that there’s something for everyone at Huey Magoo’s.

Customer appreciation day

PrimoHoagies is celebrating its own customer appreciation day on Nov. 14. The sandwich chain is offering a few menu staples at the price of $6.99. Diners can choose between Italian, turkey and cheese and ham and cheese sandwiches.

National Pickle Day

Several chains are celebrating National Pickle Day on Nov. 14 with limited-time offerings. Jimmy John’s is launching its first-ever limited-time chip flavor, the Pickle Jimmy Chips. The chips will be on offer through Nov. 26, while supplies last. In addition, any pickle super fans may want to check out the sandwich chain's newest merch collection, which features a Jimmy John’s pickle sweatshirt, pickle socks, and a pickleball paddle set.

Meanwhile, Sonic is bringing back its Pickle Fries, in honor of this day. The pickle fries are dill pickles cut into a fry shape, battered and fried and served with a side of ranch.

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