Quaker Steak & Lube is betting that social media can select the right place to open a new restaurant.
The chain, which specializes in chicken wings, ran a contest on Facebook (FB) called “I Want My Quaker Steak & Lube,” allowing “Lubies” — as its fans are affectionately known — to choose the next city to get one of its restaurants. After the vote was tallied, Toledo, Ohio, came out on top, Restaurant News notes.
In the contest, fans were asked to choose among ten cities, assembled from a list of suggestions. More than 2,500 Facebook users voted in the contest, which received in excess of 400,000 impressions on the website. Toledo edged the runner-up by 750 votes.
While allowing Internet users to choose the next location for a restaurant might seem like a chancy thing, Quaker Steak & Lube discovered that it Facebook followers were right on the mark. Once the chain began taking customer surveys in Toledo after the contest, it found that it had an 80% incidence of brand recognition among randomly chosen city residents. The chain has opened locations in cities where its brand recognition was much, much lower.