Posts tagged with "Fast Food"

Popeyes’ chicken sandwich is at the top of the food chain, with a $65 million marketing win

August 30, 2019

Watch out, Chick fil-A! America’s largest purveyor of fried chicken sandwiches now has some significant competition. Popeyes, a quick-service chicken restaurant chain that has been serving its own set of fried chicken fans since 1972, soon may be looking at you in its rear vision mirror.

You couldn’t watch a television news program or scour Twitter or Facebook during the past week without spotting some mention of Popeyes fried chicken sandwich. But how did that translate to marketing value? Awfully well, as it turns out, according to an August 28 report by Forbes.

Apex Marketing Group estimated Wednesday that Popeyes reaped $65 million in “equivalent media value” as a result of the Chicken Sandwich Wars. The firm, based outside Detroit, defines that as the price a company would have to pay to purchase the attention it received for free. Apex takes into account television, radio, online and print news reports, as well as social media mentions.

The evaluation was conducted from Aug. 12, when the sandwich went on sale nationally, through Tuesday evening, August 27—yielding 15 days’ worth of data.

The $65 million figure is nearly triple the $23 million in media value that the sandwich generated in its first few days on sale, according to an earlier Apex estimate.

On Tuesday, Popeyes announced that the chicken sandwich would be sold out by the end of the week at its U.S. restaurants, the business news outlet said..

But the restaurant chain says that it intends to bring back the chicken sandwich as a feature of its regular menu, not simply a limited-time offer.

“It is a permanent menu item,” Dana Schopp, a Popeyes spokesperson, told Forbes on Wednesday.

Eric Smallwood, the president of Apex Marketing, says the chicken sandwich’s media value built relatively slowly in the days right after it went on sale. The big jump in media value came when news outlets began running taste tests comparing the sandwich with other fast food companies’ chicken offerings.

“Popeyes is not top of mind when it comes to fast food,” Smallwood said. But thanks to the chicken sandwich, “now everybody’s looking and asking, ‘Where’s the closest Popeyes?'”

The attention that Popeyes received could not have happened a decade ago without social media, Smallwood said.

As soon as a company launches a promotion that is noticed in Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, “it picks up, and it explodes from there,” he told Forbes.

Research contact: @PopeyesChicken

As McDonald’s loses EU trademark, Burger King slyly advertises, ‘Like a Big Mac, but actually big.’

February 13, 2019

After McDonald’s lost its trademark for the Big Mac in the European Union on January 15, Burger King in Sweden revamped its menu in a snarky hat tip to the rival fast-food chain. Imitation, it turns out, is also the sincerest form of trolling, The Washington Post reported on February 11.

The trademark was ceded to Irish entrepreneur Pat McDonagh, whose fast-food chain, Supermac’s, won the landmark legal battle against McDonald’s. The Galway-based firm persuaded the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) to cancel McDonald’s’ use of the “Big Mac” trademark, opening the way for Supermac to expand across Britain and continental Europe.

It also left the way clear for Burger King—maker of the grilled Whopper—to have some fun with its global competitor.

In early February, the Post reports, Swedish outposts of Burger King featured menus with names grounded in Big Mac comparisons, including: “The Kind of Like a Big Mac, but Juicier and Tastier” and “The Big Mac-ish but Flame-Grilled Of Course.

Other options were even more derogatory, the DC-based news outlet said—among them: “The Burger Big Mac Wished It Was” and “The Anything But a Big Mac.”

“It’s too much fun for us to stay away,” said Iwo Zakowski, CEO of Burger King’s Swedish operation, according to report by The Guardian.

Burger King’s marketing campaign was created by Stockholm-based ad agency INGO. The agency released a video of customers awkwardly navigating the newly renamed menu to announce the campaign.

And as for Supermac’s, “We’re delighted,” McDonagh told The Guardian, adding, “It’s a unique victory when you take on the Golden Arches and win.”

In a statement provided to The Washington Post, McDonald’s said it plans to appeal the EUIPO decision.

“We are disappointed in the EUIPO’s decision and believe this decision did not take into account the substantial evidence submitted by McDonald’s proving use of our BIG MAC mark throughout Europe. We intend to appeal the decision and are confident it will be overturned by the EUIPO Board of Appeals,” the statement said. “Notwithstanding today’s decision, McDonald’s owns full and enforceable trademark rights for the mark ‘BIG MAC’ throughout Europe.”

Research contact: taylor.telford@washpost.com

Hen parties: Chick-fil-A tests catering and home deliveries

November 6, 2018

With a growing demand for food to-go, Chick-fil-A—the home of the Original Chicken Sandwich with two pickles on a toasted, buttered bun—is testing a new restaurant prototype. New locations that opened in Nashville and Louisville last month have no dining rooms; and, instead, focus on catering and delivery.

Customers in both cities now are able to place orders at any of the local Chick-fil-A restaurants, but the new locations will serve as hubs for catering and delivery.

One of the things that makes the Nashville hub so unique is the lack of a dining room or drive-thru. Roughly 4,200 square-feet of the restaurant’s 5,800 square-feet will be dedicated to kitchen space. That’s more than two times the size of a normal Chick-fil-A kitchen.

Using the regular Chick-fil-a menu, customers can place a single order for one sandwich and fries either by walking up to the front counter inside the restaurant, or through the DoorDash delivery service. They also can order catering to be delivered or picked up at the restaurant.

There’s just one catch: no cash. The new location will only accept credit/debit, making the Chick-fil-A Mobile App the easiest way to order.

Along with the new location in Nashville, a similar format will be built in Louisville. At 4,800 square feet in size, the new Chick-fil-A Louisville Catering and Delivery location also has no dining room or walk-up ordering; and is focusing solely on preparing catering and delivery orders for Chick-fil-A restaurants in the city’s East End.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to create a better experience for restaurant Team Members and customers alike,” said Bruce Smith, Operator of the new location. “Team Members can stay focused on making sure every customer has the best possible experience at our restaurants. It’s never been easier for customers who are picking up their catering orders.”

According to Thrillist, Chick-fil-A just keeps getting bigger. It’s on track to become the third-largest fast-food chain in America and for the third year in a row, it’s bheen named the nation’s favorite fast-food joint.

Research contact: @ChickfilANews

Why fast food and cashless service are not a winning combination

January 23, 2018

Fast food/quick-service restaurants (QSRs) have been trying to expedite service at windows, counters and tables by going “cashless”—that is, by requesting payment via either debit or credit card. However, a poll conducted by Civic Science and released this month finds that more than one-quarter (26%) of eateries that experiment with this concept could lose money in the process.

In fact, the segment that would turn away from the drive-through first would be the lower-income customers —those who earn less than $25,000 annually—who frequent fast-food outlets.  Of those, 11% would go there less often and 15% would stop going altogether.

“Whether these people don’t have access to credit or debit,  just prefer to pay with cash, or use EBT [electronic benefits transfer] cards, we’d venture to say that moving to cashless would hurt fast food chains,” Civic Science comments.

Independently owned restaurants would suffer the most, with a 34% dip for lost customers and a 29% decrease for those who would patronize them less often.

However, those who use payment cards would continue to frequent the fast-food joints: Civic Science found that 64% of American adults would keep purchasing at the same pace from a cashless QSR, while 10% actually would go more often.

Fast food quick service establishments—McDonald’s,  KFC, Domino’s— would retain the most business, with 29% saying they would patronize the chains more often and 28% saying they would go there just a little less frequently.

Next in terms of retention would be the casual eateries—Olive Guarden, Applebee’s, Denny’s— which would retain customers at a 30% rate but would see less frequent stops from 20%.

Hardly affected at all? Upscale eateries—Capital Grill, McCormick & Schmicks, BRAVO!—would see little change in business.

Research contact: mary@civicscience.com