Must-see TV is back, and while the return of consumers’ favorite shows is not an official holiday, the comeback is stirring up considerable buzz both online and off. Some restaurants are seizing the moment, partnering with television networks or going rogue to engage customers around their favorite programs. Here’s how.
Shaking up a comedy classic
Shake Shack has partnered with “Will & Grace” as the program returns to NBC this fall after an 11-year hiatus. The fast casual has created two shakes inspired by characters from the show. One of the offerings, the Jack & Karen, is being promoted as Shake Shack’s first shake made with wine (it includes strawberry frozen custard blended with prosecco, a nod to Karen’s love of a stiff drink). Proceeds from the two beverages will benefit GLAAD, an LGBTQ advocacy group, which ties in with the LGBTQ focus of the show.
Throwback toppings for a retro LTO
Self-serve frozen-yogurt chain 16 Handles has teamed up with “The Goldbergs,” a sitcom set in the '80s that enters broadcast syndication this fall, to offer throwback toppings with an '80s theme. Those toppings, available for a limited time, include Reese’s Pieces (immortalized in the '80s by "E.T."), Keebler Fudge Stripe Cookies and Nestle Crunch Bars.
Creating a targeted buzz
Chicago bar The Upside Down, an homage to Netflix fan favorite “Stranger Things,” drew massive lines around the block after opening in August. The pop-up, located in the trendy Logan Square neighborhood, spawned a bevy of social media posts, with fans posing for pics inside the bar, which was designed to look like the setting of the popular show. After landing in some hot water with the streaming giant (complete with a cease-and-desist), the concept closed on its originally scheduled end date without extending its run into October, when season two of “Stranger Things” debuts.