QSR, the fast food and quick service industry magazine, just ran a feature article on Burger King’s successful promotion of its new Satisfries. According to the article, BK’s Facebook fans grew by 40% after the announcement and fan engagement has skyrocketed.
Excerpt from the article:
Unmetric CEO Lux Narayan says the Satisfries social campaign may be the best thing that has ever happened to Burger King.
“The quick-service business does not respond to miniature ideas.”
“It’s fantastic that a brand has the courage to do something that is so big,” he says. “If more and more brands start thinking like people,” they’ll be more successful with social campaigns, Narayan adds.
Gary Stibel, founder and CEO of marketing management consultant New England Consulting Group, says Burger King’s powerful marketing push is not only a positive move for the brand, but also the most logical one.
“It’s foolish to take small initiatives in the [quick-service] business,” he says. “The [quick-service] business does not respond to miniature ideas.”
Stibel adds that many quick-service brands make the mistake of promoting new menu development in a series of small steps. “They’d be far better off focusing on big opportunities and putting the weight of the business behind them,” as Burger King has done with the Satisfries campaign, he says.
Though there’s always the risk of putting too much money, advertising, and other marketing power behind a product that’s unproven on the market, Stibel says, the bigger risk is “that you waste your newness by waiting to see if it’s going to be successful, and then you support it when it’s old news.”
“New is a powerful, powerful word,” he says. “To waste the newness of a new product waiting to see if it’s going to work or not is foolish.”
This is valuable information for the concessions industry, too. Veggie Happy always emphasizes the importance of fan awareness when we facilitate new options on a concessions menu. For many venues, the addition of healthier, vegan options happens under the radar, disallowing customers to become aware that these new options even exist.
At the very least, we tell venues, do these three things to ensure the minimum level of fan awareness: 1) include the new menu item on all online and printed menu listings right away, 2) inform all food workers about the new option, so that they can answer customer questions and direct them as needed to the appropriate stands, and 3) place clearly visible signage for the new menu item wherever it is being sold.
May this article help illuminate what concessionaires are missing by not celebrating new plant-based menu options: an opportunity to heighten fan support and sales.
Link to the article here: “New Fast Food Menu Product Promotion Goes Big”