Cousins Subs

Cousins Subs Beefs Up Cheese Steak Offerings

Bada-bing, bada-boom! Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin-based Cousins Subs is beefing up its Cheese Steak offering with four new subs featuring 50 percent more meat.

The new East Coast-style subs include the original Cheese Steak, the Italian Cheese Steak (formerly known as the Philly Cheese Steak), the crowd-pleasing new Philly Cheese Steak, and the robust Double Cheese Steak. The new Cheese Steaks feature tasty Wisconsin cheese, freshly sliced vegetables, and thinly sliced steak. 

Celebrating 40th Year, Cousins Subs Revamps the Brand

Cousins Subs is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year by revamping its franchise growth, marketing, and menu, an effort that its president and chief operating officer says is a balance of satisfying customers old and new.

Christine Specht, whose father Bill opened the first Cousins Subs unit in 1972, says the 150-unit, Wisconsin-based concept is using its big anniversary to jumpstart growth so as not to stay “stagnant.”

New Menuboards Give Cousins Subs Fast-Casual Look

There’s a fresh new way to order at every Cousins Subs store in the country. Wisconsin-based Cousins Subs rolled out nearly 170 new indoor and outdoor menuboards throughout its system. The vibrant new menuboards will help establish consistency and increase margins at all Cousins Subs locations.

Buyer Beware for Supply Chain Management

Recent national news about stolen meat making its way into restaurants causes most quick-service operators to shake their heads. It’s hard to believe that operators would take such risks with the safety of their customers and their own business hanging in the balance. But misguided trust in questionable suppliers does happen.

“When you count on people who are looking for ways to curb costs, an opportunity might present itself,” says Michael Werner, vice president of design and operations at Leap Hospitality, a Kansas City, Missouri–based restaurant consultancy.

Celebrity Spokespeople: Not Just for the Mega Chains

Most consumers can recall a celebrity-driven fast food marketing campaign, whether it’s Michael Jordan and Larry Bird shooting hoops for McDonald’s or Michael Phelps bringing gold to Subway.

But celebrity spokespeople extend beyond the mega-famous endorsing for the mega-chains.

Take Penn Station East Coast Subs, for example. The Cincinnati-based brand has used regional celebrities such as Indianapolis Colts center Jeff Saturday and Cincinnati Reds outfielder Jay Bruce to support various campaigns.

Is Your Brand Star Struck?

Zaxby’s has Doris Roberts, Terry Bradshaw, and Ryan Stiles. Subway has Apolo Anton Ohno, Michael Phelps, and Blake Griffin. Now Starbucks and Lady Gaga are teaming up. The question remains, however, whether star power in a quick serve’s marketing efforts can add up to big sales.

To fully harness the powerful influence of a celebrity, experts say, quick-serve operators must clearly define the role of that celebrity, not just go for the instant name recognition.

Say This, Not That

As Berry Chill founder and CEO Michael Farah implemented his plans to open the first of his three Chicago-area locations, he took a bizarre step for a business yet to open: He set up a Facebook page before ever selling its first treat.

“I wanted to build buzz on the brand,” he says. “I wanted to target a younger audience, and Facebook was an easy way to find our customer base.” His friends initially comprised the majority of his fans, but thanks to strong word-of-mouth, the Berry Chill page had 500 fans before the grand opening. 

Hot Spot

It’s 9 p.m. on a Friday in Hillsborough, North Carolina, and the Cedar Ridge Red Wolves just won their men’s basketball game. Naturally, just as they do with every other home game, most in attendance migrate down the road toward the town’s Bojangles’.

Tommy Haddock, owner of the store, says the crowd is business as usual, as the Bojangles’ is also overrun on Friday mornings before school, when the local high school students stop by to grab breakfast before first period.

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