Secret Menu: a Marketing Technique

Can I talk about something I love more than food trucks? (And I really love food trucks, so this says a lot.)

How about COFFEE?

Who doesn’t love a nice hot cup of coffee? Especially on a day like today where the weather is nippy and everyone is bundled together trying to get warm? Well, everyone but me. Here I am, a lonely frog, hugging my large hot coffee from a popular chain restaurant franchise, trying to stay warm…

But as I was ordering my coffee and trying to pin at the same time, I stumbled across a secret Starbucks menu. Okay, it’s probably not a real coffee menu put out by Starbucks, but it sure is a good marketing technique for a coffee shop, nonetheless. While I was in line at one chain coffee shop getting coffee for the One Fat Frog office staff, I was half tempted to leave my spot in line and head over to the nearest Starbucks just to try the Butterbeer Frappuccino!

But how does having a “secret menu” work as a marketing technique for a restaurant? There are a couple factors that make this a great idea:

People love being part of the in crowd. If you hear a group of friends laughing across a room, don’t you find yourself wondering what’s so funny? How can you not feel a little left out that you aren’t included in the group? Being part of a group makes people want to fit in. Starbucks is famous for their “gold member’s club card“. This borders the same kind of principle. People will go to a restaurant that makes them feel special. (and hey, my starbucks card is gold and has my name on it. If that’s not special, I don’t know what is).

One of a kind items.
Along with feeling like part of a group, people will go where they can get the best quality or an unusual product. I am willing to spend $5 on a cup of coffee if it means I can get a Candy Cane Frappuccino (seriously. best of both worlds. Peppermint is christmas-y, but this is Florida, so I need a frappucinno!)

But Starbucks isn’t the only chain to do this. There was a  chain of burger restaurants in California that has a secret menu for its regular customers. The frogs can’t remember the name of that chain, but if you know, you need to stop in and tell us!

Also tell me this:  are you a Starbucks frog? Will you be joining me next time I go to coffee so we can try the Butterbeer Frappuccino together? Do you think you could ever implament a “secret menu” into your restaurant, coffee shop, or bar as a marketing technique? We want to know!

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