What is in this article?:
This article is part of the 2012: Year in Review series from Nation's Restaurant News, which recaps notable news from the restaurant industry over the past year.
Mobile scavenger hunts
Two other chains demonstrated that location-based social media could ensure successful promotions. Denny’s and Dairy Queen both encouraged customers to team up and visit as many different locations of their restaurants through contests housed on their smartphone apps.
In June, Denny’s launched the 50 State Challenge (pictured right) app to promote its Tour of America menu offered in the summer.
Users were invited to visit one of Denny’s nearly 1,700 locations and check in on the mobile app to receive digital badges and other incentives to check in at a Denny’s in all 50 states. Incentives and rewards included bill discounts and free menu items redeemable in the restaurants.
The first person to reach 50 different states was eligible for the grand prize of free Grand Slam breakfasts for life.
Similarly, Dairy Queen ran a similar campaign from April through August, the Oreo Blizzard 100. The promotion leveraged the 100th anniversary of the Oreo, which the chain said is its most popular Blizzard topping.
Teams of fans used Facebook’s check-in feature, and those that successfully checked in to 100 total Dairy Queen locations by the end of the summer were eligible for a grand-prize drawing of $100,000. Like the Denny’s contest, Dairy Queen’s competition kept people engaged with mobile badges and other incentives.
“Our franchisees loved our previous campaigns, but there was a question of how we would transfer it to driving transactions,” vice president of marketing communications Tim Hawley said. “We built awareness and affinity for two years; our challenge for 2012 was taking that knowledge and driving sales. … We can measure engagement while getting [guests] to purchase a Blizzard they otherwise might not have bought.”