‘Get it off the ground’: How virtual restaurant company Nextbite partnered with Wiz Khalifa to lift brand awareness

Nextbite, an online ordering and delivery management system helping restaurant partners successfully enter the virtual restaurant space founded in 2017 , is looking to boost brand awareness with a partnership with delivery-only restaurant Packed Bowls by Wiz Khalifa and advertising on delivery apps like UberEats, DoorDash and Grubhub as well as.

The partnership formed in May 2022, making Packed Bowls meals available for delivery via Uber Eats, DoorDash and Grubhub in all 50 states via the alliance with Nextbite, which taps into Wiz Khalifa’s vision and personality to create a one-of-a-kind menu that goes a long way in support of helping redefine late-night dining.

Packed Bowls is one of over 20 food brands that Nextbite has partnered with, including Lucky Dragon, The Big Melt and Monster Mac. As Nextbite boosts its own brand awareness it also helps get the word out for the delivery-only brands that use its services which may make partnership more attractive to these brands.

“Our goal is to drive as much traffic and eyeballs to these concepts that we create,” said Alex Canter, CEO of Nextbite. Aside from being part of the process of creating the menu, Wiz Khalifa also taste tested and tried a number of recipes in order to customize this unique menu.

One of the major ways Nextbite markets itself is through the apps it offers for delivery. For example, Nextbite will use search ads and sponsored listings, among other promotions via delivery services such as UberEats, DoorDash and GrubHub to get a NextBite brand or your menu to appear higher up in search terms.

It’s unclear how much of Nextbite’s marketing budget is allocated to the campaign, as Canter would not share spending specifics. Beyond search, Nextbite is also running display ads as part of their campaign.

Aside from the delivery apps, social posts mentioning of the brand on Wiz Khalifa’s social media accounts such as his Instagram Stories and some of his other channels have come following the partnership. Occasionally, he will tweet about new locations popping up across the country to drive consumer awareness.

“The spend itself is dependent on locations and it’s usually a percentage of sales,” said Canter, when asked about the budget to promote a specific delivery-only restaurant. As a result, Nextbite measures this by identifying the locations that perform at a higher order volumes. Furthermore, there are some places in the New York and California that are already performing well organically so they don’t require as much promotion and sponsored listings or ‘buy one, get one free’ plays to keep driving volumes. 

“If we have a location that’s opening up in New York, we want to spend maybe a couple of thousand dollars to get it off the ground,” said Canter. This is done by driving awareness to people living within the three-mile delivery radiuses. Kantar data shows that during the entire year of 2021, Nextbite spent just over $65,000 on advertising.

Like Nextbite with Khalifa, McDonald’s as well as KFC have partnered with musicians to enhance their brand recognition. Khalifa is known beyond fans of his music as he’s a pop-culture entrepreneur and has a fairly big audience in his own right.

“This partnership is leaning into consumer behavior and celebrity notoriety to recruit more ghost kitchen locations for Nextbite along with a product offering,” said Candice Garcia, associate director of social media at global consumer insights and strategic consultancy, Material.

The mission of Nextbite is to create products that consumers love and become loyal fans and followers of the same way that people order a Chipotle or a Sweetgreen once a week, said Canter, adding “We want to build consumer habits with these concepts so that people are coming back and ordering not just for the next few weeks or few months, but for years to come.”

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