Carl’s Jr.

Tuesday, 26 April 2005 at 6:27 am Pacific USA Time.

There are five things the fast-food chain Carl’s Jr is doing correctly. In no particular order, they are:

  • Bringing food to your table rather than making everybody wait by the cash register. Reduces that crowding, and makes you feel almost "served" by a waiter or waitress.
  • The menu is completely pictorial. Rather than the other fast-food chains, who only list everything you can buy, there is a photo of every item. That way, if the "Western Burger" interests you, you can see exactly what is on it. This saves everybody time in that you are not asking the counter staff what is on or in certain items. Additionally, if you’re not good with English, you can still determine what you want and use the number each item has to communicate it.
  • These pictures actually look like the food you will get. The chili burger is shown as a sloppy thing with the chili oozing all down the burger. The amount of meat shown in the picture is the amount of meat I’m actually served.
  • Accordingly, each sandwich is double-wrapped. It is folded into a piece of paper that says what you ordered, but beneath that, approximately three-quarters of your sandwich is wrapped tightly in paper so that you can eat it without everything getting everywhere and on your hands. So they are assuming that it will be messy when they serve it to you.
  • They sell a local and national newspaper all day. That means if Carl’s Jr is your breakfast stop, you do not have to make a second stop to get that morning paper. If that second stop is your first stop, that may turn into your breakfast purchase as well, and Carl’s Jr loses that business.

All of these things are total upgrades from the typical fast-food experience. This is why I will drive past other fast-food chains to satisfy my burger craving here. I like the flavour and I like the price, but the above strongly-differentiating factors are excellent marketing. What does it cost them to do all of these things? Probably little to nothing.

What could you do that would cost you little to nothing that would change your customers’ experiences?

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Categories: That's Good Marketing

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