Spring has sprung, and summer isn't far behind - which means that franchise restaurants across the country are gearing up for festival season, a great opportunity to market the brand, gain new customers, and increase awareness in local communities.
Recently Restaurant Hospitality caught up with some restaurant experts for tips and tricks for approaching this summer's festival season and maximizing the value of the opportunities. Justin Bobin is the general manager of the Buffalo Wings & Rings restaurant in Chicago, and his team has found tremendous success in various festivals - including winning the prestigious “Best of Fest” award at the 16th annual Chicago Wingfest in 2015.
“We’ve participated in Chicago’s Wing Fest for the past five years and look at it as a marketing expense; we’ve even reached out to our food suppliers for food donations.” Bobin told Restaurant Hospitality. “When we do well at the event, the organizers hook us up with local press that helps publicize the restaurant.”
To increase awareness and make the most of the appearance, Bobin's team has worn specially made shirts and held a reception event afterward.
“We invite about 55 of our own fans to a happy hour before the event, hand out shirts, take them on a bus to the event and then they wear our shirt around the event,” he added to RH.
Bobin also encourages those participating in festivals to do their research first to make sure it has a positive ROI, and make sure to document with pictures and video that you can share with your fans on social media and utilize for additional exposure in the press after the fact.
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