Think a burger joint can’t do something positive for its customers’ health and increase revenue at the same time? Think again.
Since adding a Meatless Monday-based promotion, #MushroomMondays, on Earth Day, Epic Burger, a popular small chain with six locations in Chicago and one in nearby Skokie, has seen sales spike on Mondays.
The chain’s social-media-ready #MushroomMondays promotion encourages customers to opt for its healthy and meat-free Portobello Sandwich on Meatless Mondays, and entices diners further by offering a 20% Monday-only discount. As a result of the promotion, Monday sales of the mushroom burger have jumped 14% and Epic Burger’s overall Monday sales are up 3.2%, reports marketing coordinator Shanley Pearl.
“I appreciate the irony of a burger place promoting a non-beef item,” Epic Burger founder David Friedman tells us. “But we think it’s a great opportunity to promote our super-healthy options. We are committed to making people aware of these options and the positive effects eating them has on their body and the environment.”
“It was our first ever marketing campaign,” a clearly enthused Pearl says. Starting with Meatless Monday was a natural addition to Epic Burger’s already strong commitment to health and sustainability, she adds. The company’s tagline is “A more mindful burger,” and its website highlights that it uses non-processed ingredients free of drugs and preservatives.
“[David] had heard about Meatless Mondays and our main goal of the campaign was to promote an existing menu item and the fact that 3/4 of our menu is actually very healthy,” Pearl explains. Indeed, the portobello mushroom patty that’s the foundation of the mushroom burger is only 120 calories.
Next was getting the word out. Epic Burger did so by latching onto the ever-widening awareness and acceptance of the Meatless Monday movement, and by making #MushroomMondays its own. The marketing team designed eye-catching psychedelic posters to promote the campaign, with lines like “Mushrooms: It’s what the planet would order.”
By all accounts, #MushroomMondays has been a success — both for patrons’ health and Epic Burger’s pockets. And diners have embraced it with gusto. “This sandwich is incredible!” wrote one Epic Burger fan on Twitter after tasting the Portobello Sandwich on a Monday in May. Another fan took pictures of the #MushroomMondays posters and wrote: “Hell yeah, Epic Burger knows what’s up.”
Bringing Meatless Monday to your restaurant is easy. As Epic Burger shows, you don’t need to add anything special — just highlight the meat-free options you already have and promote them to customers on Mondays. Get more details about starting Meatless Mondays at your establishment in our Restaurant Toolkit.