Promotional strategies are the lifeblood of any retail business—quick serves are no exception. Promotions create news that attracts consumer attention, and that attention usually drives sales and traffic. But promotions also shape brand perceptions, and those perceptions are equally important.
Since taking over the burger giant, which now has 32,000 restaurants worldwide, CEO Jim Skinner has restructured McDonald’s, redesigned the restaurants, and revolutionized the menu. Aside from the addition of premium coffee offerings, McDonald’s menu also features healthier choices such as Fruit & Walnut Salads and Chicken Wraps. Skinner also earns high marks for offering better value and improved marketing.
His winning strategy, christened the Plan to Win, focused all team members’ attention on improving service, food, and ambience and not necessarily on opening new stores.
Four years ago, the winds of change moved Scott Gittrich, an experience that the Toppers Pizza CEO is appreciative for these days as his Wisconsin-based pizza chain pushes into a new decade with promise and purpose.
While working with an advertising agency, Gittrich and his Toppers leadership team noted their success with teens and twentysomethings, a revelation that sparked a multiyear plan to renovate existing restaurants and build new outlets with a more casual, youthful edge.
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Quick-service operators have a tough task promoting themselves in a market where consumers are increasingly concerned with keeping to a balanced diet. This year began with new healthy eating–based marketing campaigns—a renewed interest in a trend that had taken a backseat to promoting price and value for a while.
On February 2, 2008, Auntie Anne’s hosted Free Pretzel Day at all of its U.S. outlets. For a six-hour window, consumers could enter any Auntie Anne’s location and receive a free pretzel. The promotion had some in the quick-service industry wondering what possible benefit could come from Auntie Anne’s giving away the brand’s signature item—one that many readily purchase—for free.
For those inquisitive souls, Auntie Anne’s was armed with answers.