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Five Times Restaurant Chains Used Marketing to Their Advantage.


When you're trying to attract customers to your establishment, you have a lot of different options. You can offer a better product or service than the competition, expand into new markets, or simply offer something that people like. But how do all these options translate into sales? For many restaurants, marketing is key. Some brands have implemented unique strategies and techniques that have helped them stand out from competitors over time—and it's no surprise that these techniques frequently involve food!

1. Free Food - McDonald's.

McDonald’s has been using free food to promote its brand since the 1950s, when it offered a dollar in coupons (around $10 today) to customers who ate at their restaurants on Fridays.

The fast-food chain also used giveaways during its “Big Mac jingle” campaign in the 1960s, which included a prize of a trip to Paris for 1,000 people who listened to an hour-long radio spot featuring three notes from the song. The ad was so popular that it caused several people to call into local TV stations asking what they could do to win their own McDonald’s vacation package.

2. Censorship - Starbucks, Papa John's.

Starbucks and Papa John's have both used censorship as a marketing strategy to their advantage. In 2016, Starbucks issued an apology after it accidentally censored the name of God in a printed cup sleeve. The company claimed they were unaware that the names of God had been written on the cup sleeves and apologized for any offense caused by the gaffe. This quickly became viral news around the world and was also used as anti-gay propaganda against Starbucks for several years afterwards. It seems likely that this incident helped increase sales for both companies; people who were offended by their actions possibly felt compelled to go out and buy something from them just because they wanted to show support for their moral cause or demonstrate disapproval at being censored themselves!

3. Promotion - Taco Bell, Pizza Hut.

  • Taco Bell has a strong social media presence. They use Instagram and Facebook to announce new menu items, talk about current promotions and events, and engage with customers. For example, when the chain announced their new queso dip in September 2016, they posted a video of customers trying it for the first time. The video was shared over 80k times on Facebook alone! This type of content is important because people want to feel like they're part of something or know what's going on with their favorite restaurants—and if you can get them involved in some way with your brand through social media, then that's even better!

  • Pizza Hut

  • Pizza Hut has an online ordering system called Order Up which allows customers to place orders through their website or mobile app instead of calling in their order over the phone. This helps improve efficiency while also allowing Pizza Hut employees more time to focus on other aspects of running their business such as preparing food or talking with customers as they arrive at restaurants since there are fewer calls coming in during busy hours (when everyone wants pizza!). Additionally if someone decides not go out tonight after all but still wants some delicious pasta dishes like lasagna parmesan chicken Alfredo spaghetti marinara carbonara fettuccine alfredo ravioli meatballs meat sauce sausage parmigiana ziti zucchini zucchinis…

4. Sustainability - Arby's.

As a brand that has been around for over 50 years, Arby's has certainly learned a thing or two about marketing.

To drive home its commitment to sustainability and being environmentally-friendly, the company has taken these practices to the next level. Arby's was the first national restaurant chain to use 100% compostable packaging in all of its stores. They also use recycled materials for their signs and cups. And finally, they have several products with biodegradable packaging which allows them to go beyond simple recyclability -- it actually helps reduce waste!

5. Innovation / Adaptability - Chick-fil-A, Burger King, Popeye's.

You've probably heard of Chick-fil-A, Burger King and Popeye's. What do they have in common? They all specialize in chicken sandwiches, burgers and fried chicken respectively. By focusing on one thing and doing it well, these restaurants have created an identity for themselves that customers can easily recognize.

Here are some examples of how these chains have used marketing to their advantage:

  • Innovation/Adaptability - Chick-fil-A is known for its chicken sandwiches but has expanded into other areas such as salads and wraps as well as breakfast foods like pancakes, waffles and eggs benedict to attract different types of customers.

  • Innovation/Adaptability - Burger King has introduced new items such as nuggets (chicken), fish sandwiches with tartar sauce on a pretzel bun along with fries instead of regular fries which gives customers more options when ordering food at the counter or drive thru windows at locations around town where there aren't any tables available during busy times like lunchtime rush hours."

To make a name for itself in a competitive market, a restaurant has to find an effective marketing strategy.

In order to make a name for itself in the competitive restaurant market, a restaurant has to find an effective marketing strategy. They can't just rely on word-of-mouth alone or expect their food quality to speak for itself—they need to take an active role in getting their name out there and making people aware of what they have to offer. And once customers do come through the door, the restaurant needs effective marketing strategies that will keep them coming back again and again.


In summary, the five examples we’ve discussed are just a few of the many ways that restaurant chains have found success with marketing. By thinking outside of the box and experimenting with new ideas, these companies have created campaigns that stand out from their competitors. It’s important to keep in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to good marketing—what works for one company may not be right for another. So if your favorite place needs help brainstorming an engaging promotion or finding new customers, give us a call! We love working on challenging projects like these.

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