For some brands, and especially for restaurants, your best products are often the ones least-identified with your name. For Pennsylvania-based Hoss's Steak & Sea House, that product is its hamburgers.
Sure, Hoss's makes a great rib eye, and its all-you-can-eat soup, salad and dessert bar is legendary, but its burgers are on par with even the best national casual-dining chains. The only problem is that not many people were aware of Hoss's best-kept secret…until now.
So, when the restaurant (with 30 locations throughout Pennsylvania and West Virginia) came to quench to help boost the brand’s buzz, we bit into burgers as the best way to do that. The result was Hossome Hamburger Fest, a six-week promotion (September 29-November 9) that added three new burgers to the line-up and shined a spotlight on the unsung hero of the Hoss's menu.
To choose the three new sandwiches, we let Hoss's Facebook fans get involved in the menu overhaul by tapping into the power of social media. Facebook posts in August featured six potential newcomers, with fans choosing which three would make the cut and join the four existing Hoss's burgers.
Once the winners were chosen (a Philly Steak Burger, a Jalapeño Cream Cheese Burger and a Coney Island Burger), and a hard-to-resist price was set ($5.99, with unlimited french fries), we got to work on promoting Hossome Hamburger Fest.
On-premise signage and paid media — including TV, radio and outdoor — did the heavy lifting, but it was our digital media efforts that brought the entire campaign together. Facebook posts throughout the promotion touted the new seven-burger Hoss’s menu, and paid blogger outreach was also used to activate 10 of the most influential bloggers in Pennsylvania. We even brought quench’s in-house competitive eater out of retirement for a series of videos (see below) posted on Hoss's Facebook Page.
By the end of the campaign, hamburgers represented more than 10 percent of the restaurant’s sales, and reviews on Facebook and in the restaurants were overwhelmingly positive. Most importantly, when people think of Hoss's, they might picture a sirloin steak with a loaded baked potato, but they might also think about a place to get a Hossome burger at a Hossome price.
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