5 Free Ways To Get Customers Talking About Your Brand

Image result for brand“Most fast-casual operators believe that competency creates conversation. That being “good” equals word of mouth. But it often does not, because almost every competitor is at least good. If you want customers to tell others about your restaurants — and you do — you must be different in addition to being excellent.

Talkable generosity
In this style of Talk Trigger, you give your customers a little something extra, Five Guys Burgers and Fries is legendary in this area, as they provide each patron a substantial volume of “bonus fries.” Social media chatter about this largesse is constant, propelling the chain’s growth.”

See more here.

How to Create Facebook In-Stream Video Ads

“Because Facebook in-stream video ads interrupt what people are viewing, your video needs to capture your audience’s attention quickly.

One way to do this is to tell a story and make the narrative something that your audience will respond to. If the first 5 seconds of the story grabs their interest, they’ll likely want to know what happens at the end. To go one step further, include a call to action so people can visit your website to find out what happened next.

Another tactic is to show something that’s a shock/surprise in the first 5 seconds. Teach your audience something, make them laugh, or say something controversial and explain it (if it’s appropriate for your brand). At the beginning of the video, explain the problem and promise a solution.

Consider using text overlay for viewers who are watching your video with the sound muted. This may also be a good solution if you don’t have the resources for an expensive media production. You can create a video slideshow instead.”

Read more here.

Chipotle Invests in Delivery

Off-site orders are the future Chipotle sees. So much so, in fact, that the new CEO, Brian Niccol, has spent some $3m outfitting stores with new flatscreen ordering systems.  So far, Chipotle as outfitted about 300 stores with these $10,000 platforms–and expects to roll out to another 600 stores this year.

The platforms are the brand’s effort to streamline and lean in to the mobile and delivery segment of the business.  Employees see images of an order’s ingredients, instead of words, and labels are printed automatically instead of handwritten. The new system makes it easier and quicker to train workers, and orders are more accurate according to Chief Digital and Information Officer Curt Garner. The move will improve the additional production lines — dedicated to digital, online and catering orders — that Chipotle has added to supplement the front lines that serve in-store diners.

Taco Bell, KFC and McDonald’s are all now offering the service in some capacity, while Panera Bread has built its own network with 13,000 drivers. Chipotle, meanwhile, is eager to prove it can recapture growth.  Chipotle has said about 8.8 percent of orders go to its second production lines. The chain is working to boost its delivery capabilities — in April it announced a partnership with DoorDash Inc. to add the service to 1,500 restaurants. It also delivers at some locations through Postmates Inc. and Tapingo.

To read more, click here.

 

8/15-8/17: CONNECT Mobile Innovation Summit

Registration is open now for the CONNECT Mobile Innovation Summit, to be held from August 15th to 17th in Chicago. In their own words, the event is an opportunity to explore the many opportunities that retailers, restaurants and other B2C enterprises have for leveraging mobile and digital channels to build their brands, increase sales and improve customer engagement, experience and loyalty.

Registration is limited to managers and executives of restaurants, retail and other business-to-consumer organizations.

To read more or register now, click here.

Food52’s New App Wants Us to Move Beyond The Recipe

d515f71c-7b45-46cd-b072-faab5fbfdd36--2015-0609_enchilada_assembly_bobbi-lin_1344.jpgIn today’s interconnected world, there are more and more ways to decide what’s for dinner (or lunch, or breakfast, or brunch, or a midnight snack, or…you get the idea). There are brick-and-mortar bookstores riddled with cookbooks from seemingly every popular restaurant or bakery, not to mention every food network star and popular blogger. It’s also easier than ever to Google a dish and find countless recipes for it, each with a rating, time estimate, detailed instructions and lengthy comments section. Or you can subscribe to one of the many meal kit companies like Blue Apron, and have the ingredients delivered to your door along with the recipe.

While we love the exchange of ideas and inspiration that happens across all these channels, there are times it can be a bit overwhelming – and doesn’t necessarily reflect the way we cook on a daily basis. The app (Not)Recipes, released by Food52 last week, acknowledges this divide, and aims to bring us a new way of sharing food inspiration. (Not)Recipes is a sharing platform for images and short descriptions dishes, of the sort that you might email to a friend to let her know how to make those cookies you’ve been whipping up forever. The pictures themselves are beautiful, with filters inspired by famous chefs from different eras, and a simple hashtag system makes them all easy to search. Just don’t call it the “Instagram of” anything – users can’t follow their friends or favorite chefs, and that’s by design. Cofounder Amanda Hesser explains that they “wanted to get the message [out] that this really is about the cooking, and the social element will follow. It’s not a popularity contest.”

We still recommend hanging on to all your favorite cookbooks (we certainly will be), but consider adding (Not)Recipes to your rotation for some easy weekday inspiration. To read more, click here.

Sweetgreen Expects a Full Half of Sales to Come from their App this Year

The fast-casual salad chain Sweetgreen had a big year this year, opening 3 new stores in New York alone, moving their headquarters to California, and being dubbed “the next Chipotle” by CNN and others. One could argue that their success is built on many things – timing, a growing demand for healthy, sustainably sourced foods, their youthful aesthetic (one of their limited edition salads last year was named in honor of a Kendrick Lamar song) – but it would be a mistake to underestimate the role mobile has had in that success.  So far, 21% of Sweetgreen’s sales come through their custom app, and they expect that number to jump as high as 50% this year.

The appeal of mobile ordering is understandable: with lunchtime lines out the door, the Sweetgreen app allows guests to order from the office and pick up immediately, and once downloaded, a rewards system makes it more likely for them to keep visiting. Additional features like the ability to flag dietary restrictions, add favorites, and integrate with the iOS health app, add an additional layer of appeal.

Of course, for many small chains it simply isn’t feasible to build out this kind of ordering system. Sweetgreen has had the benefit of $95 million in total investments in recent years, and they’ve clearly dedicated a fair amount of that to building their mobile presence. But they do serve as a reminder of the kind of return such an investment can have.

To read more, click here.