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Quick Service Restaurants serve supersized holiday deals

Not everyone can live off of Santa’s daily regimen of milk and cookies. To broaden their brand presence to customers who prefer a saltier morsel, several fast-food restaurants launched tasty holiday promotions. Pretzelmaker, for example, launched its Little Bites Go Large campaign to capture customers’ hearts through their stomach.

“It is the holiday season and we really wanted to find a way to celebrate our most popular product, which is our Pretzel Bite, and reward our customers while they’re doing their holiday shopping both in store and online,” says Julie-Ann Reid, Pretzelmaker brand director.

The campaign kicked off Cyber Monday–“a perfect time to connect with our customers online,” Reid says–and runs until Christmas Eve. Pretzel patrons can like Pretzelmaker’s Facebook page for the chance to win one of the 15 Large Bites Combos vouchers awarded daily. On the final day of the promotion, a single contestant will win a three-day, two night vacation to any U.S. city of their choice. Participants can also share their participation on Facebook and Twitter.

“I think Facebook, and a lot of the different social media outlets…are places people will go to share with their friends about some of their holiday shopping, maybe ask for some additional advice,” Reid says about launching the social campaign on Cyber Monday. “We thought that would be a great place to try and engage with them. Where else can you really do that online better than Facbeook?”

Reid says the campaign seeks to reward existing customers as well as draw in new pretzel enthusiasts who may not be as familiar with the brand. “We want to give them a reason to really get engaged with us and visit our stores.”

Additionally, Reid says that Little Bites Go Large aims to drive engagement, in-store traffic, and Facebook likes, and is already seeing success. She says the site has experienced a 29% boost to its number of Facebook likes since the sweepstake’s initiation–soaring from approximately 21,000 to more than 27,000 likes.

Reid says Pretzelmaker is also seeing the benefits of Facebook’s ad buys and promoted posts. “We’ve been able to see a little bit of a bump because of that,” Reid says. “It’s…something that we’ll probably look at doing in the future.”

However, Pretzelmaker isn’t the only food chain offering a side of social this holiday season. From November 14 to November 17, Dunkin Donuts held MMMinty Moments HoliDDay Twitter Sweepstakes in celebration of its Mint Hot Chocolate and provided DD fans the chance to win one of twenty $50 gift cards. Likewise, Culver’s is running its Elfspotting photo contest until December 18, which invites butter-burger enthusiasts to submit a photo with an elf via Facebook, Twitter, or email for the chance to a $25, $50, or $100 gift card.

To entice its customers, Wendy’s teamed up with Toys “R” Us for the second year in a row to provide customers with holiday toys and discounts. Customers can log onto www.ToysRUs.com/Wendys and download a coupon for a special offer: order a Wendy’s Kids’ Meal for $1.99. Customers can also find a $10 off Toys “R” Us gift card packaged with their meal toy, redeemable on the next visit after making a $75 Toys “R” Us purchase.

Similarly, Church’s Chicken partnered with Hasbro to offer customers the chance to win one of 5,000 Hasbro Family games or a top prize of a Carnival Cruise. Customers can enter the contest by either visiting Church’s website or by mailing in an entry form or the required information. Participants can also learn more about the contest by scanning a QR code, featured on particular Church Chicken meals, or visiting the establishment’s Facebook page.  For a limited time, participants can also receive a 10% discount to use at  www.Hasbrotoyshop.com.

“I think that there are of a lot of quick service restaurants (QSRs) that have been doing things like this. It hasn’t been a traditional space for QSR restaurants, but we’re entering it more and more,” Pretzelmaker’s Reid says. “Of course, typically, we don’t have the money that a Macy’s or those stores will have, so I think it’s not as recognizable, but I definitely think we’re all in that space and we’re getting into it more and more.”

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