November 11, 2022
Finding Diamonds in the Rough on Your Main Menu
One of the toughest jobs today would have to be a restaurant operator. Recovery after the chaos of the pandemic has lingering effects as daunting as the days of March 2021.
Price inflation on key ingredients, labor shortages, and a faulty supply chain has many restaurant veterans seeking new solutions. First to go, the number of problematic menu items where sourcing higher-priced ingredients no longer made sense. For example, last year fine dining restaurants slashed nearly one-quarter of their menu items according to Datassential. This year, another one percent of those menu items were cut.
Thus, for the menu items that remain, operators are finding diamonds in the rough. Easily made items where supply and pricing have stability make investing in awareness a worthy cause.
For fast food icon Pal’s Sudden Service, their Chili Burger had been on their menu for years but was mostly overlooked by their customers until we turned up the heat with an integrated campaign in 2022.
Our creative crew’s take on a memorable message came from Chili Billie Jones, a chili-eating champion who counted on Pal’s to fix his hankering day after day. A talented actor and outlandish elements within the campaign ignited sales for outlandish sales results, a 247% increase in Chili Burger sales during the first month of the campaign, and continued triple-digit growth long after the campaign.
Our crew loves to salvage outtakes from the production session and, you’ll get a kick out of it (it’s worth your time).
The success of this main menu rescue was repeated with another for a focus on a core menu item that hadn’t been overlooked, the chain’s Frenchie Fries. Fries are one of the most profitable items for any restaurant and for Pal’s Frenchie Fries, their savory secret is the salt that’s sprinkled upon them when they’re at their juicy best out of the fryer.
Again, the Pal’s Creative Team of overachievers took consumers into Pal’s secret salt mine to discover the menu item’s point of difference in flavor for the campaign called Discover Deliciousness. The TV spot earned an international Graphis Gold Award and Pal’s saw a 32% increase in Frenchie Fry sales. When you rummage through campaign assets on our site, you’ll find a glimpse at some of the computer-generated imagery we used for the spot that I always find fascinating.
Win-wins are what we do in longtime and trusted relationships with our clients, like our 30-year alliance with Pal’s. The takeaway for restaurant chains is to invest in consumer awareness of not just your limited-time offers, but your main menu gems as well.
If you are a chain restaurant in search of an agency partner, we’re happy to talk about your 2023 challenges.