Entrepreneurs are constantly faced by challenges, but in today’s landscape challenges don’t have to be handled alone. Partnerships offer a great opportunity to merge the strengths of two or more businesses for a positive outcome for all involved.
This is exceedingly relevant in the foodservice community, where partnerships can provide something unique and exclusive to customers. One high-profile example comes from the fast food community when Taco Bell partnered with Doritos to create the Doritos Locos Tacos.
This campaign was a huge success because of the relevance and ingenuity of the product. It has now expanded into three different types of tacos and led to the launch of a quesadilla dipping relationship with Fritos. Without the name recognition of Doritos, the product launch would not have been as popular as it was. Taco Bell was able to leverage the name recognition in a simple, approachable idea that brought big results.
While this is a popular example, many chains have been doing this for years. For example, many of “Dairy Queen’s Blizzards are co-branded with candy and cookie brands like Heath Bar and Oreo because these brands improve quality perceptions and make the products more special,” according to Denise Lee Yohn at QSR Magazine.
Partnerships should promote the ideals and characteristics your restaurant wishes to showcase, which means success starts with carefully selecting a partner. If you are a restaurant specializing in salads and healthy living, your dressings and drinks should reflect that.
Partnerships don’t have to involve the menu, many restaurants add partnerships unrelated to food in order to better their consumer experience. Burger King recently upgraded their Wi-Fi system, dubbed Whopper Wi-Fi, to bring “plug-and-play Wi-Fi to all U.S. restaurants.” Some restaurants will even offer to babysit for their customers. Olive Garden partnered with My Gym, a chain of child activity centers, for a “one-night-only deal to promote its two-for-$25 special” by allowing parents to drop their kids off for a few hours or free.
Whatever partnerships you are planning, you will need to pick your brand partner strategically. Partners should align with your restaurant seamlessly, whether for short- term promotions or long-term relationship. No matter the direction, a partnership should provide value to everyone involved and drive consumer interest.