What Your Restaurant Can Do To Generate Revenue During Thanksgiving

What Your Restaurant Can Do To Generate Revenue During Thanksgiving

Each individual has their own personal explanation of what Thanksgiving means to them. The general, modern celebration of Thanksgiving however, is characterized as an opportunity to enjoy quality time with friends, family, food, the occasional beverage, large parades, and yes, often the game of football.  

It’s also a time to reflect, set aside political and corporate related agendas and turn a blind eye to the negative news surrounding us from around the world. Smiles, laughter, and memorable experiences are often shared over the course of the long weekend.

With so much focus around food, drink, and togetherness; what does all of this mean for restaurants on Thanksgiving?

Well, restaurants aim for a similar experience each and every day— offering food, beverage, smiles, laughter, and memorable moments with friends, co-workers, family, and loved ones.

Depending on the restaurant concept and its location, there likely lies a large opportunity to generate awareness, increase revenue, develop repeat customers, or hopefully, a combination of the three.

Here are six elements to consider for your restaurant around Thanksgiving:

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Marketing Genius?— McDonald's Szechuan Sauce Media Takeover

Was the McDonald’s Szechuan Sauce promotion a marketing fiasco or success?

Depends on how you look at it.

Then again, here we are... talking about it.

Earlier this month, McDonald’s announced on their Twitter account that they would be bringing back the infamous Szechuan sauce— glorified on the Adult Swim show Rick and Morty— for just one day.

The news came after McDonald’s Chef Mike had sent Justin Roiland, one of the show's creators who is obsessed with the condiment, a jug full of the ketchup and teriyaki sauce mix after it was revealed to be part of the series arc for Rick and Morty. This took place two months before they decided to bring the sauce back.

People proved to be overly excited to take part in this one-day promotion by the fast-food giant.

Fans were so excited, that they were driving across state lines and camping outside the participating locations of the burger chain to get their hands on the promised Szechuan sauce.

Because there was a very limited supply available, not only did it not go well for some customers that were left without the sweet, tangy taste of the condiment, but also for the McDonald’s employees who were left to deal with demanding, upset customers.

Even the police were called in Los Angeles, Ca. due to riots that formed outside of one McDonald’s location.

Some good things did come out of the “failed” promotion, though. A woman was able to trade an old packet of the Szechuan sauce for a car, according to “The Drive.” Also, concert goers got a taste of the sauce thanks to Canadian music producer Joel Zimmerman, better known as deadmau5, when he shared his $15,000 jug of Szechuan sauce with his fans.

Needless to say social media was on fire and news outlets could not stop talking about the poorly planned promotion, calling it a “hysteria.”

But, was this really a failure for McDonald’s?

The fast-food giant managed to attach its brand to a popular show, mobilized people to visit their restaurants and after things didn’t go well McDonald’s was able to guide the conversation positively by releasing a statement apologizing, calling the events “not cool” and finally announcing that plenty more Szechuan sauce will be back this coming winter.

The way this was handled in the aftermath left some wondering— Was this planned all along? Or, did the company just do a good job capitalizing on the social media buzz?

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Chipotle Caters to Nurses with BOGO Promotion

Chipotle Caters to Nurses with BOGO Promotion

By Kerri Adams, Editor-at-Large

Today any nurse that presents a valid ID at any Chipotle location will be able to get the buy-one-get-one BOGO promotion. 

Starting at 3 pm local time until close, nurses will be eligible to get either a free burrito bowl, salad, burrito or tacos with a purchase of another menu item.  

“Nurses are selfless individuals who go above and beyond every day to take care of their patients, working tireless hours and long shifts,” said Chris Arnold, communications director at Chipotle in a press release. “Nurses go the extra mile to ensure the best care for their patients, and we are thrilled to be able to recognize and celebrate their dedication by providing them with a delicious meal on us.”

This is not the first time the brand has participated in a giveaway like this. The chain did a similar BOGO offer on teacher appreciation day. 

Why There are More Freebie Promotions to Come

Ever since the E.Coli outbreak last fall, Chipotle has experienced a dip in sales. The 2,200 Chipotle stores have been experiencing less long lines than usual.

So starting in February, the brand started a free giveaway campaign in attempt to recover and win back their customers. 5.3 million downloaded the coupon from Chipotle’s app to get a free burrito. Only 50% of the coupons were redeemed.

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