Themed Promotions That Work: Simple Steps to Give Sales a Lift

Themed Promotions That Work: Simple Steps to Give Sales a Lift

The recently wrapped National Pasta Month gave savvy operators a reason to connect with guests, and grew sales, too. 

In the first ever year for Barilla National Pasta Month (NPM) this October there were 749 participating operators, across 49 states. Each had their own twist and success story to tell. What makes these themed promotions work is that everyone wins -- operators had a vehicle to connect with customers and garner sales, consumers loved engaging with the contests and prizes on social media, and at the end of the day there were plates and to-go boxes of delicious pasta meals on lots of family tables. Both independents and chains used the occasion and help from Barilla to tackle a pressing challenge or test a new area for growth, like boxed meals or growing a social media following. 

Tips from successful themed promotions:

  • Keep the offering simple. Adding complexity to operations is not what you need right now. And consumers don’t want complicated or lengthy entry forms, either! 
  • Connect your campaign objectives with bigger goals – like building a loyalty database, adding followers on social media, or increasing engagement. You can win today on traffic and sales, and tomorrow with more ways to reach your guests.
  • Work with your suppliers to maximize your offering. Many are looking for ways to help support operator customers in the current environment. Established brands like Barilla have assets and expertise to help with social media and other promotional materials. 

Here are a few examples of what National Pasta Month looked like across the country:

Piada: this Ohio-based 38-unit regional Italian fast casual focused on giving a boost to their catering operations, which went gangbusters, breaking sales records for pasta “boxed lunches” and giving a lift to the boxed lunch category, too. Barilla kicked in an incentive for the catering managers to sell more pasta kits, which always helps!

Johnny’s New York Style Pizza/Johnny Brusco’s: This 50 unit+ regional chain in the Southeast launched two pasta LTOs, an Orecchiette Parma Rosa and an Ultimate Mac and Cheese. Both set records for the most successful LTO ever for Johnny’s, and many stores have decided to keep the new menu items on permanently!

Mary’s Pizza Shack: This central California favorite hosted a month-long contest with gift-cards and cookbooks for prizes. Fan engagement was impressive, garnering over 2,794 entries over the course of the month, bringing more fans into the Mary’s universe and building relationships with current ones.

Pasta Promotion

And that’s just a small taste of all the great ideas and successful NPM promotions! We’d love to see what your promotion looked like, and hear your ideas for how we can make next year’s even better. Speaking of, mark your calendars now for NPM in October 2021!

Good News – you don’t have to wait ‘til then! Stay tuned also for more promotional opportunities to team up with Barilla in the coming months. With a long winter and COVID restrictions likely to be in place for a while, we know our restaurant, hotel and casino customers can benefit from a little extra marketing support to build their businesses back in the new year.

Sign up here to be the first to know about the next themed promotional opportunity.