Case Study: Selling More Burgers ‘N’ Shakes To The Tune Of 9.18x Return On Investment

burger crush marketing case study

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Back in the spring of 2022, Burger Crush—a well-loved burger and milkshake concept in Victoria, BC—approached us with a challenge: “We have solid momentum and steady growth in the market, now we want to add fuel to the fire and accelerate growth.”

Problem / Challenge

“We don’t have the bandwidth or expertise to market our business the way we know we can. We can be doing much more.”

So here’s the process we went through to find out how we could best help:

Step 1: Key Activities Audit

In Great By Choice, Jim Collins outlines his concept of the 20 Mile March:

If you tried to march across North America without a plan you would fail. Enterprises that prevail in turbulence self-impose a rigorous performance mark to hit with great consistency—like hiking across the United States by marching 20 miles a day, every day. The march imposes order amidst disorder, discipline amidst chaos, and consistency amidst uncertainty. The 20 Mile March works only if you actually hit your march year after year; if you set a 20 Mile March and then fail to achieve it, you may well get crushed by events.

Jim Collins

Our Key Activities Audit is a comprehensive overview that helps clarify the following:

  1. Every business needs a plan, broken into achievable steps, like a 20 Mile March — otherwise you leave growth to whimsy. What does or what could your 20 Mile March look like? The audit helps you figure this out.
  2. Where’s the low-hanging fruit for you to take immediate action on to generate quick wins?
  3. What’s possible? When prospects and clients see how comprehensive the audit is, they can’t help but see new possibilities for their business—should they consistently implement the activities we go over.

Based on the Key Activities Audit, we decided the best first system for us to implement together is the Guest Magnet Method.

Step 2: Create Goodwill / Magnetic Offers

The framework that houses the systems we create to help restaurants get more guests is called the Scale ‘N’ Sell Model. It’s made up of three concentric circles that represent outcomes marketing should help us achieve, over time:

  1. Get attention and awareness
  2. Bring guests in, repeatedly
  3. Engineer word-of-mouth from happy guests

(If we’re distilling this down to the most essential outcome, it would be: Happy Guests)

The Guest Magnet Method, put simply, is the following:

  1. Magnetic Offers extended to a local audience via Facebook and Instagram ads
  2. When they click the ad, prospects are invited into a conversational sequence where we retrieve their data (name, phone number, email, birthday, etc.). It’s a barter — we trade a great offer for their contact details (so that we can continuously market to them).
  3. They get access to the offer in their phone. When they want to redeem the offer, they simply show it to their server / clerk. We follow up asking them how much they spent.
  4. We track the results as accurately as possible with the understanding that there is some margin for error given there’s nothing forcing them to enter their check total.
  5. We report on attention,

For Burger Crush, we decided to come up with 3 offers to encourage repeat visits. Here are the 3 offers:

Free Milkshake

Buy One Get One Burger Free

Buy One Burger GIVE One Burger

Barter Offers To Build Rolodex (aka “owned” media channels)

When someone clicks SEND MESSAGE, an automatic messenger sequence is triggered. We collect their name, phone number, email address, and birthday.

This “rolodex” is a powerful marketing asset that enables Burger Crush to follow up with these folks again and again.

The 15 / 85 law states that 15% of buyers from the last 2 years take you up on your offers within the first 90 days. The other 80% of buyers do business with you after 90 days. So our job is to stay in front of prospects and customers – for the long game – as much as we can. To show up like no one else!

This method is not “fire and forget” like other marketing approaches. This is about building and nurturing contacts that can be monetized.

Add Deadline + Deliver Weekly Reminders

We chose an arbitrary deadline of 30 days. If an offer hadn’t been redeemed, we followed up with prospects once per week via SMS and email reminding them that they had these wonderful offers available (that would expire soon!).

Result: 9.16x Return On Investment

I’ll preface this section by saying that not all marketing can be measured. An ROI can’t always be tracked. But damn, it feels good when it can be!

So here are the tangible results this campaign that showed a positive return generated in 1 month — at a total spend of $1,385:

Attention + AwarenessRolodexGuests In
52,501 Impressions472 New Crush Club Members88 Redemptions (Avg. Check = $16.27)
21,754 Individuals reached472 Emails$1,428 Tracked Sales
1,261 Engagements (page likes, comments, shares, etc.)250 SMS / text contacts collected

We also look at the “sentiment” of the ads — because if the sentiment is positive, there’s a “bandwagon” effect. In the case of this campaign, the sentiment was very positive:

(And it goes on and on and on)

How We Determine ROI: A Matter of Annual Impact + Repeat Visits

Perhaps more than any other business model, restaurants are not in the game of one-time guests. They’re in the game of repeat guests.

Joints that sell items like burgers, pizza, and other ‘fast’ food tend to have the most repeat visitors.

Both the following are extremely conservative estimates assuming an average of 5 or 10 repeat visits per year (I personally went to Burger Crush 17 times last year 🤯):

  • Annual impact based on 10 average visits per year $12,688 — 9.16x ROI
  • Annual impact based on 5 average visits per year $6,344 — 4.58x ROI

Weekly takeaways, straight to your inbox.

🙂 Actionable tips to get more guests…

 😃 Ideas to increase per-head spend…

😍 Value-packed quotes from the podcast…

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Before You Go!

Discover how to turn a small ad spend into new guests and revenue—that you can *actually* measure. Like this:

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