McAlister’s Deli is finding sweet ways for customers to beat the heat this summer by declaring July 29, 2010, “Free Tea Day” and offering in-store and social media promotions that kick-off on July 2. From dishing seasonal menu items to hosting its first ever Tea Town Showdown, the quick-casual restaurant chain’s 2010 Beverage of Summer promotion, Tea Town USA, is its biggest to date.

As McAlister’s declares July 29, 2010, “Free Tea Day,” all participating nationwide restaurants will give away a 32 oz. cup of McAlister’s Famous Sweet Tea with no purchase necessary on the specified day. The promo pairs off with two of the deli’s freshest, seasonal menu items: Harvest Chicken Salad and Key Lime Pie. The Harvest Chicken Salad contains all white-meat chicken, celery, dried cranberries, toasted pecans, and less mayonnaise than the current product, and it can be made served on greens as a salad, on a croissant as a sandwich, and as a deluxe version of the sandwich with havarti and bacon.

Customers can finish off lunch with a cool slice of Key Lime Pie, whipped with citrus flavors and a graham cracker crust.

Both menu items will be featured from the promotional period of July 2 to September 6, bringing the season full circle at McAlister’s.

“Summer is a time to celebrate the flavors of the season, and what better way than showcasing the freshest ingredients and the signature sweet tea that made us famous,” says Annica Kreider, vice president of marketing. “‘Free Tea Day’ is our way of giving back to our loyal customer base during the sweetest season of the year.”

McAlister’s is challenging residents in more than 200 communities to help their city or town earn the title of Tea Town USA. The winning municipality will receive a $5,000 prize courtesy of McAlister’s for new shade trees or park improvements across their community as well as a celebration at all local restaurant locations set for the week of August 16.

Summer Beverage Promotion 2010: Tea Town USA

The competition begins on July 2 in preparation for “Free Tea Day” on July 29. Every city and town with a McAlister’s is invited to compete in the Tea Town USA competition, where residents are asked to vote online daily for their hometowns.

Here’s how the promotion works:

·From in-store displays to Facebook challenges, McAlister’s customers will get to know Tea Town USA through a variety of ways. Targeted Facebook advertising, fun Web videos and ongoing social media updates to McAlister’s fans keeps everyone engaged in the voting process.

·The official McAlister’s Facebook page—which currently has nearly 10,000 Tea Fans—serves as the hub of the month-long Tea Town USA competition. Here, current fans and newcomers alike can vote daily for their towns on its Tea Town USA application. Access the fan site here.

·Customers can easily search for their town by name or zip code and click the vote button to bring their town one point closer to victory.

·Each time a customer votes—or simply visits the application—he/she can share or send the Tea Town USA challenge to everyone within his or her social network.

·McAlister’s Facebook fans will receive updates about the competition throughout the month. Challenges will ask fans to upload photos, write poems, or share stories on why their hometown should be Tea Town USA. Winners will earn gift cards, McAlister’s Tea Tumblers, and big bonus points for their town.

·McAlister’s 1,600-plus Twitter followers can participate in the weekly “Tea Trivia Throwdown” contest every Monday, giving Twitter users a chance to win gift cards and tumblers by being the first to answer questions about tea and McAlister’s on the Twitter website.

·A new YouTube channel will also feature three videos over the course of the Tea Town USA contest: an introductory video, mid-campaign update on current leaders, and a wrap up video about the winning community.

·Customers are invited to subscribe to Deligrams, a weekly e-mail update about the Tea Town USA campaign, encouraging everyone to return, vote often, and share the contest with their friends.

·The city or town with most votes will receive a special celebration during the week of August 16, at all of the McAlister’s Deli locations within their town; they will also receive a $5,000 prize for new shade trees or park improvements within their community.

For more information, visit the McAlister’s website or contact Rebecca Day Kimberling at 601-952-1100.

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