Carl’s Jr. has over 1100 locations with 772 in California. They have no locations in my current home state of Florida. However, because of my business consulting experience in the restaurant industry along with a controversial video commercial released by Carl’s several years ago, I became aware of this restaurant business. I learned it was founded with the purchase of one hot dog cart for less than $500 in 1941.
While reviewing a Facebook application recommended by a friend I noticed an ad on the site for Carl’s. Of course I remembered the original video that was absolutely outrageous and wondered if they had posted it on Facebook. (They did not.) What I did notice was they have almost 68,000 fans, they are promoting a new sandwich, offering an incentive coupon and their fan page wall is extremely active.
I went a little deeper and clicked to their website. I stayed there maybe 5-8 minutes watching all their video commercials. They are very entertaining. I registered for their newsletter. The visuals, sounds and messages of the videos and the images of the graphics are terrific. If there was a location nearby I would be a customer. I also feel that the next time I visit the West Coast I will look them up. Their presentation is that good.
Carl’s Jr has links to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flicker on their website. I am not sure if they have expanded onto other social media sites. If asked I would recommend they be on every major social media venue. Clearly the visuals and sound are huge assets for their messages about their food.
Food isn’t the only attraction as evidenced by one YouTube video with Audriana Partridge in a hot gold bikini eating one of Carl’s Jr.’s famous sandwiches. This video has already been viewed over 545 thousand times with most others by Carl’s Jr. being viewed in the range of 20 thousand. Think about the value of one YouTube video being viewed over one half million times.
I did a brief review of Facebook to see if key competitors are using social media. Facebook members have activated McDonald’s and Wendy’s fan pages. Neither company seems to have an active Facebook presence.
I am a major advocate for using social media to build business profits. But here is the key as demonstrated by Carl’s Jr.: you have got to have a hook. Carl’s is kicking butt in their ads for size, quality and price vs. McDonald’s. Then they add amazing visuals, incentives, and are definitely on top of their game when it comes to strengthening social relationships. So they are hitting on all cylinders including the use of a well toned body wearing little excited about a huge order of food. What an amazing contrast and Carl’s Jr. pulls it off marvelously just as they did a few years back with a famous celebrity promoting their food wearing near nothing on the hood of a car. It was amazing.
On video and in pictures, Carl’s Jr. looks like great tasting food. I assume that is the case with more than 1,100 locations. Of course that is key for sustained growth in same store sales as well as sustained growth in the number of locations. Somehow I suspect the food experience is great and I will confirm that one of these days. If you have eaten at Carl’s Jr. please share your experiences including what you ordered.
Great example Carl’s Jr. of executing very well on fundamentals.
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