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Share the Love.

February 14, 2013

Valentine's DayEvery Valentine’s Day, restaurants big and small attempt to boost their sales by offering deals and bundles or increase their popularity or audience using social media and email campaigns. With an estimated 70 million people throughout the U.S. dining out tonight, it only makes sense for restaurants to try and get their fair share. The smart chains and restaurateurs won’t cut their prices significantly or offer something for nothing; they have thought long and hard about how to get good publicity for cheap, entice you with new menu items, or get something of value for giving something of value. Valentine’s Day is an opportunity for the wise — it is a reason for the restaurants to celebrate themselves and connect with their customers.

In the “southern smile” of America, Pizza Inn motivates its guests to Share the Love of pizza with their friends and family. Pizza Inn’s email subscribers received an email asking them to invite five of their friends to join the Pizza Innbox e-club which gives free pizza upon joining. In return, the e-club subscriber also gets free pizza. Everyone wins here. Pizza Inn grows their email database with little effort or cost and their customers get free food. In the words of my old boss, “Done and done.”

FroYo giant, Pinkberry, did something pretty cool from a marketing perspective — pun intended. They have created the Chocolate Box Collection: three of their most gratifying seasonal and vault flavors offered at once. In addition to their “new” menu items, customers who purchase five items from the collection with the Pinkcard, Pinkberry’s multi-faceted loyalty program and mobile app, will receive either a free frozen yogurt or double points — that part is a little unclear. All in all, they haven’t really given anything away or discounted their prices. They’ve only offered returning menu items and given customers a reason to make multiple purchases. It’s pretty darn smart to me.

What takes the cake, though, is the simple and virtually free tactics of Chipotle’s rival, FREEBIRDS World Burritos. This edgy “burritoria” wants only one thing from their customers. They want to know if customers “did it” or not. With a simple yea or nay, customers will receive double reward stamps. Diehard FREEBIRDS fans love their stamps and it’s free to give out. Stamps are redeemed as follows:
•    5 stamps = a cookie, pot brownie or a bottle of our very own Death Sauce
•    10 stamps = a Hybird burrito, a Freebird (the original) burrito, a burrito bowl, nachos or a t-shirt
•    15 stamps = a Monster burrito or Monster nachos
•    20 stamps = a Super Monster burrito, a hat or limited edition t-shirts

Freebirds Valentine's Day

Marketing folks, take notice! If you work smarter, not harder, you can make a killing without giving the farm away.

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