Need a place to take your beau this Valentine’s Day? Maybe you should consider White Castle.
The fast food chain is transforming itself into “Love Castle,” which will see the chain’s 400-plus restaurants undergo a special makeover for the day — replete with table service, linen tablecloths, candlelight, musical orchestras and take-home keepsake menus — in a bid to compete with fine dining restaurants that attract lovestruck twosomes in hoards.
“It’s fun, and it reinforces why we do what we do which is nourish people — and nourishment can be food, but it can also be for the soul, ”Jamie Richardson, White Castle’s vp, told Digiday. “ We know that some people might prefer fancier spots, but some will appreciate the humor. We are not afraid to have a little fun at our own experience.”
The brand has been actively promoting its Valentine’s Day endeavor digitally on Twitter and Facebook, encouraging its clients to make reservations and eventually share pictures of their dates from the day using the hashtag #MyCrave. It is also advertising on local radio, trying to lure in clients through its doors between 4 and 10 p.m. next Saturday. It began taking reservations a week ago.
— White Castle (@WhiteCastle) February 3, 2015
This is not the first time that White Castle is celebrating Valentine’s Day in this manner — it is a strategy that has worked well for the brand for over two decades. It is also not the only casual fast food brand to jump on the Valentine’s Day brigade, albeit it’s cashing in with a tongue-in-cheek tone. Starbucks, for instance, has partnered with Match.com for “Meet at Starbucks” — which enables Match users to invite others for a coffee-date at Starbucks just by clicking a button.
Richardson did, however, add that this year would be grander in scale for White Castle. The brand is launching a new dessert item, for example, and hosting eight Valentine’s Day weddings across different cities in the country, including Detroit and New York.
Additionally, the brand is also extending its fund-raising campaign for the American Red Cross from last year. It is inviting users to purchase Red Cross icons and put them on display on the walls of its restaurants in an effort to “Turn White Castle Red for Valentine’s Day.” The goal is to raise $100,000 for the American Red Cross.
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