With burger joints eager to stay current and appeal to varying tastes, guests are seeing a full range of innovative menu items. Some of these offerings contain no meat at all, some feature new ingredients like CBD, and others are being called something other than burgers. As the summer grilling season heats up, let’s explore how three restaurant chains are improving their marketing strategy and reaching new customers by introducing a fresh take on a classic meal.
Burger King, one of the largest burger chains in America, recently announced that all of its locations will be offering the Impossible Whopper by the end of 2019. The name is inspired by the burger’s supplier, Impossible Foods, which is a leading provider of plant-based substitutes for meat. The burger looks and tastes just like the real thing, and stores carrying the Impossible Whopper have seen an increase in foot traffic. Meanwhile, independent and smaller restaurants are experiencing similar demand for plant-based alternatives, but Impossible Foods doesn’t have the supply to meet the needs of large chains and small chains alike. This situation has given rise to direct competitors like Beyond Meat, which is starting to gain much more recognition in the market after reaching agreements with Hooters and Tim Hortons.
Carl’s Jr. is a chain that’s taking a more radical approach to keeping up with the latest food trends. On April 20th, a day that has become associated with cannabis, it tested a CBD burger. The Rocky Mountain High Burger has a typical patty but it’s topped with CBD-infused sauce. Although popular for personal consumption, food and beverages that contain CBD exist in a gray area. The FDA conducted its first hearing on the use of CBD in restaurants this year and will continue to explore all of the pros and cons before either maintaining its illegality or overturning the current regulations.
While Burger King and Carl’s Jr. are adapting the traditional burger to cater to a more health-conscious or adventurous consumer base, IHOP is focusing on creative marketing. After this well-known breakfast chain decided to promote burgers last summer to drive lunch and dinner traffic, it received backlash from those who felt that a pancake place should stick to what it does best. In response, IHOP has begun marketing its burgers as just another category of pancakes. I mean, they’re the same shape, right? IHOP is also keeping a list of social media users who tweeted negative sentiments during last year’s promotion. The only way to get off this “Bancake List” is to tweet something positive about the brand.
In this season of increased burger consumption, you should give some thought to the innovations that are impacting the food industry and how restaurant chains are responding to new consumer preferences. For more information, check out our on-demand webinar, “Grilling Up Plant-Based Proteins on Your Menu,” and consult our data brief for tips on deciding what your menu should feature next.
Delivery has become a hot trend throughout most consumer industries. Amazon Prime Now is delivering more food and other essentials to customers across the country, Starbucks is flirting with delivery, McDonald’s is partnering with Uber Eats, and even 7-Eleven has begun beer delivery in some states.
Given these developments, should convenience stores begin offering delivery? And if so, how should they do it?
It’s no secret that consumer demand is driving the push for delivery. In fact, 52% of millennials would buy from c-stores more frequently if delivery options were offered. And as the generations preceding millennials continue to age, they’ll rely more on delivery as well.
The increased competition comes from both inside the industry – with mega-chain 7-Eleven exploring its options – and outside the industry – with behemoth Amazon moving into the traditional c-store space. Convenience stores may be facing an “adapt or die” proposition, and there are a number of issues that should be addressed before delivery is offered.
First, c-stores need to decide whether to build their own delivery infrastructure or rely on third-party delivery companies like Uber Eats and GrubHub. […]
Convenience stores can’t take advantage of every trend that comes along, but when one promises to be a $2 billion opportunity by 2022 and could easily be stocked in c-stores, it’s time to pay attention.
CBD, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid in the cannabis plant, has been garnering considerable attention and consumer spend over the past few years. Increasingly popping up in things like oils, gummies, and vapes, CBD could also represent a significant opportunity for convenience stores.
Is It Legal for Convenience Stores to Sell CBD?
Passage of the 2018 Farm Bill legalized products made from hemp as long as it contains less than .3% THC. The status of CBD, however, is a little murkier.
Some states have outright banned CBD, some allow it, and others consider it to be in legal limbo. But that’s not stopping major chains from jumping on the bandwagon, as both CVS and Walgreens have announced that they’ll be selling products containing CBD in stores across at least eight states.
The legality of selling CBD at a convenience store depends on the location’s state laws, but with CBD products rising in popularity, it’s likely that many of those laws will be changing over the next several years. It would benefit convenience stores to be ready.
Who Would Buy CBD from a Convenience Store?
Not surprisingly, CBD is largely being purchased by the trendsetting millennial generation, which extols its relaxation, sleep, and overall wellness benefits. […]
Facts and figures are easy to come by for any guest engagement platform, be it loyalty programs, e-club programs, or CRM. But what are the key measures that marketers can rely on to deliver material impact with the customer engagement program? Running more than 350 programs has provided Paytronix with a clear understanding of what works and what doesn’t, telling us where to focus effort for the greatest impact.
To remember the most important measures, use the acronym EAT. It stands for Enrollment, Activity, and Triggering. Plus, there’s an additional measure called Penetration Rate. Consider how these four measures impact your guest engagement program:
- Enrollment: Adding new members drives program impact. Although some members will inevitably move on from your brand for a variety of reasons, the key is to add more than you lose. Enrollment can be encouraged through numerous marketing strategies, including promotions and cashier contests. You should also make it easy for guests to join by offering mobile apps, text-to-enroll, NFC loyalty, and website enrollment.
- Activity: It takes active members for a program to maximize its potential, and the level of activity provides a multiplier effect on the amount of impact. Having a frictionless, guest-centric, fully supported program will result in a high percentage of active guests. Your program should offer attainable benefits and make it easy for guests to interact with the brand. Implementing well-thought-out customer engagement strategies will provide the best results on your program’s success.
- Triggering: The extent to which your team can trigger incremental spending is directly related to the impact your program delivers. Incremental spending is primarily measured in two ways, with the first being an analysis of pre- and post-program transactional data. How were the members behaving before the program launched and what are they doing post-launch? Typically, Paytronix programs see at least a 20% increase in spend after the launch happens.
The other way to measure is by using target-and-control campaigns. These enable the marketer to hold a control group out from the targeted segment. When results are reported, a clear picture of incremental spend and visits comes into focus. The control group behaves as it normally would, while the target group exhibits the behavior prompted by the marketing message or special challenge presented. Target-and-control programs answer the question that CFOs have been asking CMOs for years: “How many of these guests would have visited anyway?”
- Penetration Rate: The percentage of checks associated with a guest who identified as a member is the penetration rate. This is an important measure because the higher the penetration rate is, the more opportunity the brand has to drive impact with the program. If the penetration rate dips below 15%, the brand should be alarmed, as programs with low penetration rates generally underperform on all organization expectations. Paytronix clients routinely achieve penetration rates of 47–70%.
Brands that focus on these four measures deliver the greatest impact to their organizations. Visit us at www.paytronix.com to learn more.