Boosting sales as much as 10 to 15 percent is a breeze—at least it was for Mama Fu’s following the launch of its branded delivery fleet.
In December, the Asian fast casual kicked off its new delivery program at corporate-owned stores in Austin, Waco, Houston, Georgetown, and Braunfels, Texas, as well as Bentonville, Arkansas. Sporting a racecar-like design with numbers and sponsor logos, the motored troupe of 2015 Nissan Versa Note Hatchbacks is easy to spot.
“It actually increases profitability in the stores. … As we do delivery, the cars actually make us money,” says director of marketing, Patti-Lynn Walker. “With the investment of the cars, they pay for themselves.”
Inspired by the Circuit of the Americas—a state-of-the-art racetrack in Austin—the cars play homage to the local enthusiasm for NASCAR while also marketing Mama Fu’s in an unconventional way.
Comprised of 33 cars at press time, the fleet increases brand awareness by exposing drivers around town to the Mama Fu’s concept and its delivery service. The cars are especially popular among the younger demographics.
“That’s one of the fun things about the cars: Kids love them. They can get their pictures taken with the cars or they come out and see the cars when we make deliveries.” Walker says. “It’s a lot of extra-special engagement with the cars.”
Using company-branded cars connotes a certain level of professionalism compared to unmarked vehicles, Walker says. It also makes hiring and scheduling more flexible, as delivery duties are not restricted to employees who own cars.
While consumers might instantly think of pizza when it comes to delivery foods, Walker points out that the service is in line with what consumers expect from Asian concepts.
“The potential was already pretty significant,” Walker says. “Delivery is such a big deal in the Asian market. Pizza is certainly a leader in that category as well. Our food is fresh, and it travels very well, and it’s healthy.”
Customers making an order online or through Mama Fu’s app receive an estimated time quote on the receipt; most deliveries average around 30 to 40 minutes.
The ultimate goal is to have three cars per location and some corporate stores have already reached that number. Walker says that while corporate will not mandate the cars for franchisees, they will recommend them given the profit margins.
Moving forward, Mama Fu’s plans to continue the conversation started by the delivery fleet through social media and possibly special events, such as a tie-in with Central Texas Motor Speedway.
“One of the things that’s really important to Mama Fu’s is being a part of the community,” Walker says.
By Nicole Duncan