Although Moe’s Southwest Grill has many new marketing efforts in store for 2010&including an upcoming promotion that has been teased about on its Facebook and Twitter pages—the first is a simple, but necessary, update of the brand’s Web site.

According to Joel Bulger, vice president of marketing for Moe’s, the Web site makeover was due not only for aesthetics, but also for brand transparency.

“We needed to update the Web site, but part of it is we needed to a better job of helping people understand the brand and making the brand more relevant,” Bulger says.

“Also, helping people to understand a lot of great things that we do, a lot of great parts of the brand that they just don’t know about.”

Some of the updates of the new Moe’s Web site include a more user-friendly location finder, an online game, a page that links to the brand’s YouTube channel, and a “Moe Cares” section that focuses on sustainability and community involvement efforts from Moe’s.

Another new feature is an interactive widget that highlights Moe’s menu ingredients and nutritional information.

“We posted our nutritional information long before it was mandated or long before we were asked to do that,” Bulger says. “It’s important for our guests, whether there’s allergens or nutritional information or caloric information or whatever the customer is looking for—just give it to them.”

Bulger says that while social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter have become trendier brand hubs than individual Web sites, the Moe’s Southwest Grill site is an important component that works hand-in-hand with those media.

“Facebook and Twitter are great sources of two-way communication and how to communicate with a guest in ways they want to be talked to right now,” he says. “But if somebody wants to find the restaurant near them or somebody wants to find nutritional information or somebody wants to find out the history of Moe’s or about some of our ingredients, Facebook and Twitter are not the kind of place for those things.

“When [customers] come into Facebook and Twitter, they want quick, relevant, timely information, but the Web site is a way to … find out more about the brand.”

Though Bulger emphasizes that the message of the new Web site was essential to promoting the brand’s burritos, quesadillas, tacos, and other menu options, the manner in which the message was shared needed to reflect the identity of the restaurant.

“It is a lot more engaging and a lot more interactive than it ever was,” he says. “We’re very lucky, because Moe’s is a very cool and interactive brand, and I think people like to engage with the brand.

“We just need to make sure that … we’re telling folks stuff that they want to hear.”

By Sam Oches

News, Moe's Southwest Grill