Lenny's News and Interviews

Lenny's grabs guests with 3-D TV giveaway

November 16, 2010

By Mark Brandau
Nations Restaurant News

When Lenny’s Sub Shop officials reprised last year’s
Scratch & Win promotion this fall, they decided a contest prize consisting of a 3-D home entertainment center was the best way to reach out and grab customers’ attention.
“With technology evolving, 3-D TVs are the thing people want to have but won’t go out to get till prices drop,” said Brent Alvord, president of the 170-unit Memphis, Tenn.- based Lenny’s.
The home entertainment center, which replaced a
$100,000 cash prize offered in 2009’s Scratch & Win
contest, was one of several major tweaks that made the promotion a “fantastic success” its second year, Alvord said.
During the contest, which wrapped up Oct. 31, same-store sales increased between 5 percent and 6 percent most weeks with an 11-percent spike one week, Alvord reported, thanks to a few moves meant to simplify the process for customers and franchisees.
Customers received scratch-off game pieces with the purchase of regular subs at all Lenny’s locations and won bounce-back rewards for free subs, chips or drinks. The chain worked with ADM Marketing and Robust Promotions to execute the contest.
“It’s nice to reward guests with a surprise and generate excitement,” Alvord said. “If you give them the bounce-back on the Scratch & Win, if they’re a once-a-week person, maybe we get them in two extra times over the course of four weeks. It drove profitability, because they’d redeem a free drink and buy a sandwich, or they’d bring somebody with them, and that more than covered food cost.”
Not only did the entertainment center pique players’ interest, he added, but it also was easier to award than the $100,000 grand prize offered in 2009’s Scratch & Win contest. The cash prize went unclaimed last year because players had to register codes from game pieces online, and whoever had the grand-prize-winning code didn’t do so.
“This is something you buy insurance against, and the insurance company won out,”
Alvord said. “They gambled that a certain percentage of players wouldn’t register [their pieces], and they got that gamble. We got 20,000 names for our mailing lists and newsletters, but it was more complicated than it was honestly worth, and that’s why this year we focused on driving traffic rather than having an electronic component.”
Lenny’s also supplemented the in-store game pieces for Scratch & Win with a business-to -business mailer sent to 250 local businesses located near each of the company’s restaurants. The mailer had detachable Scratch & Win pieces meant to boost trial. Lenny’s recorded more than 32,400 redemptions on 38,000 game pieces contained in the mailers, Alvord said.
“For our business, 74 percent of our customers come in before 4 p.m., making surrounding businesses really important to us,” he said. “We needed to get behind the doors of those initial receptionists, and having a mailer like this that somebody posts in the break rooms is an important resource.”
Though Lenny’s improved the results of Scratch & Win with a simpler execution, the chain hasn’t stopped investing in digital marketing. It is exploring a big giveaway on Facebook to bolster its social-media numbers, and since launching its Substantial Rewards Program in April, Lenny’s has signed up more than 60,000 customers to the loyalty club. The chain also is developing mobile-phone apps for the iPhone and Android, Alvord added.
“The reality is we’re engaging customers on multiple levels,” he said. “If they come in with the bounce-back, we can sign them up for the loyalty club or get them to follow us on Facebook. With several different impressions, we’re able to increase the uptake on participation with us.”

Contact Lenny's Public Relations:

Jenna Duett
Marketing and PR Manager
(901) 753-4002