How Bareburger is using AR on Snapchat to drive people to its restaurants

Bareburger is progressing in how it uses Snapchat. Instead of using the platform for one-off influencer promotions, the restaurant chain is experimenting with technical features on the platform to drive people to its restaurants.

Nabeel Alamgir, CMO of Bareburger, said Snapchat has evolved to the point where the restaurant can actively use it in ways beyond the typical promotional post.

“Before, [Snapchat] only had geofencing and other minor functions for brands,” he explained. “It was either that or huge campaigns that cost $10,000 minimum for a month.” In 2017, Bareburger used the platform primarily for influencer campaigns. For instance, Bareburger worked with Snapchat influencer @eatingnyc on a post that garnered 104,000 views and 5,100 shares in three days.

Now, Bareburger is taking advantage of Snapchat’s new Lens Studio, released at the end of 2017, to set up campaigns with geotargeting and augmented reality, features that deliver interactive elements that are key to getting people into the chain’s 44 locations around the world, Alamgir said.

Starting April 16, the restaurant chain is running a contest on Snapchat, giving away free burgers, fries and shakes to people who scan Snapcodes they receive in takeout and delivery bags. To redeem their prizes, people post a Snapchat Story using Bareburger AR images and then bring the Snapcode to any Bareburger location.

Bareburger is also running an AR filter people can access using the same Snapcode, which shows the menu items users can win and helps customers visualize menu items — including portion size and ingredients — before ordering, whether that’s for take-out, delivery or at a restaurant. The contest will run for a week, but the AR menu filter will remain available.

Alamgir explained that Snapchat gives Bareburger the power to specifically target people that live around the chain’s locations and track how the campaign is driving people to them. With the contest, for instance, Bareburger will be able to see users’ proximity to their nearest Bareburger location, the number of impressions its lenses receive and how often someone uses the Snapcode to view the menu items and take part in the contest.

And, for a brand that manages most of its marketing in-house, Lens Studio also provides a cost-effective and easy way to deliver these localized campaigns, according to Alamgir.

“We aren’t McDonald’s,” said Alamgir. “We aren’t located nationwide. So targeted marketing is not only cost-effective, but it just makes more business sense.” While a typical billboard cost Bareburger around $10,000 in the past, Bareburger’s upcoming Snapchat campaign is running for less than $5,000, according to Alamgir, although he wouldn’t reveal the exact price. However, the price to create the AR filter (Bareburger worked with Kabaq 3D Food, a division of VR and AR company The Glimpse Group), likely has a higher price tag than how much it’s costing to run the campaign on Snapchat. Bareburger would not reveal the exact price.

Overall, Snapchat has become a key platform in the restaurant chain’s overall push to cut spending on traditional advertising channels like TV, print and billboards and place more money towards digital. In 2018, Bareburger will spend $25,000 on the platform — amounting to 5 percent of the company’s overall ad spend — compared to the $4,200 it spent in 2017, which was less than 1 percent of Bareburger’s ad spend. Bareburger also plans on spending more in 2018 on Spotify and Waze, due to their geotargeting and interactive abilities.

Alamgir envisions a future where customers will be able to order directly from AR menus via channels like Snapchat, and hopes to replace all physical menus at the restaurant’s locations with virtual ones. This, said Alamgir, would save money on producing physical menus, which cost Bareburger $10,000 a month, and help the restaurant be more eco-friendly. With Snapchat working with retailers like Nike to sell products directly from the app, that future might not be too far off.

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