a new promotional idea for restaurants

I thought of a great marketing scheme for restaurants that have foods with a particular olfactory “signature”.  By that, I mean they have a certain recognizable smell that makes people think of that restaurant.  The example I will provide is Arby’s, where I ate earlier this week with some of the Buffet o’ Blog staff.  Their curly fries are scrumptious, and even the smell of them is good.

So I think places like Arby’s should give promotional (read: free or discounted) meals to a few folks at each company in town every so often, around 11:15, with the restrictions that they eat it at their desk.  Imagine the smell of Arby’s curly fries wafting over the cubicle walls, causing co-workers to drool over the appealing aroma.  This would surely increase sales at Arby’s, because some people would go that day because “it just sounds good” (even though they were unknowingly coerced), and some people would get the idea in their head and start looking for the next convenient time to stop by there.

I think this would work.  They spend a lot of money on TV commercials and other ads, and they have their place, but the smell of curly fries and one of their famous roast beef sandwiches would bring in more people, I think.  It’s easy to overlook TV commercials and radio jingles, but it’s difficult to put aside the idea of Arby’s after smelling those curly fries.

I volunteer the services of the entire Buffet o’ Blog staff (all 3 of us) to participate in this venture.  We will conduct market research and report the effectiveness of our campaign.  Arby’s just needs to provide the food on a recurring basis.  (So if any Arby’s rep is reading this, have your people contact my people.)