Dan Barash Online


Burritos at Moe’s Take a Victory Lap
October 25, 2010, 7:59 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

2010-10-25 — As the nation gears up for the pandemonium of the holiday season, Moe’s Southwest Grill wants to be a shoulder customers can rely on.

The fast-casual chain is bringing back three of its fan-favorite burritos for an encore. The chicken club burrito, the steak Philly burrito, and the chicken fajita burrito re-launched in mid-October and will stick around until Dec. 31.

“The last couple of months of the year tend to be hectic, lots of running around, due to the holidays,” says Joel Bulger, vice president of marketing at Moe’s. “After a hectic day, we want people to go into Moe’s. Seeing favorites they haven’t seen in a while puts a smile on their faces.”

Moe’s has a two-fold strategy to spread these smiles across customers’ faces. The first step covers in-store restaurant signage, Bulger says.

The second step, slightly more intricate, aims for customers who may not already be Moe’s regulars. The company just wrapped a new television commercial that not only reinforces Moe’s signature southwestern flavors, but also celebrates the new campaign.

With the commercial, “new guests get excited to come into the restaurant,” Bulger says. Once inside the restaurant, Bulger is confident that customers will like what they see.

This assurance comes from Dan Barash, Moe’s director of research and development. “There’s a lot of testing that goes on operationally in our organization. We do a lot of counter testing,” he says.

Barash says customers’ knowledge of the flavors adds to their enthusiasm. “There are familiar products. On most menus, people know what the chicken club is. They recognize the food, and know we serve it with a southwestern twist.”

By the time a recipe hits the menuboards at Moe’s, it has been tested, sampled, and reworked to please the taste buds.

“We know for a fact, in launching a product, that consumers are going to have a positive reaction,” Bulger says.

He says customers asked specifically for these items to reappear on the menus, reaching out via Twitter, Facebook, and in stores. Their return marks an unusual turn for the company.

“This is the first time we’ve rolled out a limited-time offering with three different favorites,” Barash says. “Typically, we’ll do a trio: burrito, quesadilla, nacho. This time we did three burritos.”

There is a bit of company history to be made, as well. “This is only the second time in company history, in 10 years, that we’ve brought a product back,” Bulger says. “But when the customers say they want something, we’ve got to listen.”

By Sonya Chudgar

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