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Restaurant Marketing, Can Be Simple, Inexpensive, And Effective

There is a perception that effective restaurant marketing (or any marketing, for that matter) has to be expensive and elaborate to be effective. Here’s a current example that demonstrates being meaningful and relevant can propel an idea.

A local burger restaurant, BGR The Burger Joint, has 20 locations up and down the east coast. In addition to tasty hamburgers, they serve what they call “gold standard” french fries. Delicious fries named after the Yukon gold potatoes with which they are made.

Like most of America, owner of BGR, Mark Bucher and his family had been watching the Olympic games in London.

Restaurant Marketing Idea

The idea hit… We’ve got stores in the home town of two Olympians. Matt McLean (from Sterling, VA) and Katie Ledecky (Bethesda, VA). To celebrate and honor our local Olympic heroes, let’s re-name the fries “Katie Gold Standard” and “Matt Gold Standard.”

That’s a clever idea, but… what takes it from clever to brilliant and more meaningful…

When a customer orders the honorably renamed fries, money from sales goes to benefit the USA Swimming Foundation.

A press release was written to let people know this was taking place, and the next thing you know CSR Magazine picked-up the story.

Katie (@KatieLedecky), spotting her name on the internet, tweeted to Matt (@MattBMcLean6F) who let Mark (@BGRBurgerJoint) know that the first thing home from London, he was heading to BGR in Virginia. How neat!

(Click images for larger, clearer view)

BGR Twitter Screen Shot

The special Gold Standard fries are on sale this week.

What great restaurant marketing. BGR already had a product called “gold standard.” With a twist created a great link to the highly-relevant Olympics. What luck to have BGR locations in the hometown of two Olympians. And, who knew they were already fans of BGR?

BGR could have simply posted a sign stating “we support the Olympics.” But, more meaningful to rename a product and make a donation to swimming.

BGR will have a cost of donating money to the USA Swimming Foundation, but some of those funds will be offset by incremental traffic and sales of burgers and other products. (Heck, it is probably a tax deductible donation.)

Other than that, this brilliant, awareness-building, restaurant marketing idea costs nothing and is a win-win! Nice work BGR! And, America is proud of you Katie and Matt!

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