The ladder part came via “The Art of Mellow” campaign. Since most Mellow Mushrooms can only serve at 50 percent capacity, the brand wanted to bring more of the funky art directly to consumers. Every customer who orders online enters a contest to win a piece of art commissioned from more than a dozen contemporary artists. Each entry also receives a digital piece of art and is eligible to win other prizes like T-shirts, stickers, pullovers, coasters, limited edition prints, and more. Art of Mellow kicked off October 26 and runs through January 3.
“It's been our way of saying, hey, we have a fuller experience here inside a restaurant, but let us take it outside of our restaurant and bring it to you in your house,” Mejia says.
The fifth and final bucket of customer engagement was gratitude. Mellow Mushroom put its local neighborhood culture into practice through its “A Pie for a Pie” program in which the brand donated however many pizzas it sold the previous week. Over 10 weeks, the chain gave away more than 20,000 pizzas to 80 different organizations.
“Our local Mellow store owners want to keep this going in the new year because they found it was a really effective way to connect to the folks in need in the community,” Mejia says.
As Mellow Mushroom worked meticulously to maintain its connection with customers, there wasn’t much room for new product news. The brand was working on a pipeline of food and beverage products earlier this year, but it was forced to pivot when COVID arrived. But as more dining rooms reopened and consumers returned, innovation became re-energized.
In the fall, the concept rolled out six new cocktails, including the Peach Buzz, made with Jameson Irish whiskey, Monin peach purée, fresh lime, topped with Earl Grey bitters from 18.21 Bitters, and Sunset in Paradise, a concoction filled with Bacardi Superior Rum, Monin coconut and pomegranate syrups, pineapple and fresh sour, garnished with toasted coconut and a fresh pineapple wedge.