For the residents of Huntersville, N.C., Thanksgiving and Black Friday wouldn’t be the same without Famous Toastery’s Thanksgiving sandwich. The limited-time offer sandwich, with ingredients such as fresh turkey and classic cranberry sauce, “tastes like Thanksgiving,” says the brand’s CEO and co-founder, Robert Maynard.
Given Famous Toastery’s longstanding presence in Huntersville, where the restaurant was first opened, the company relies on the Thanksgiving sandwiches’ popularity rather than heavy advertising. There’s such a built-in awareness in that market that it’s become a source of nostalgia for customers during the holidays.
Seeing how well the restaurant was received in North Carolina, Famous Toastery’s Maynard and co-founder Brian Burchill evolved the business into a franchise system in 2013. Famous Toastery projects to have 35 restaurants open by the end of 2016, which can be found across eight states. Since franchising, the brand has continued to grow steadily year after year.
What’s even more enticing, from a business standpoint, about Famous Toastery’s limited-time offer is that it keeps the restaurant from feeling pressured to create discounts, which has become the norm, if not the expectation, for restaurants and stores during Thanksgiving weekend. Discounts are a draw, but perhaps relying on them is actually holding companies back from potential revenue spikes in the fourth quarter.
CNN reports that while more consumers shopped on Black Friday and the day after this year than in 2015, less money was spent overall due to discounts. And according to a National Retail Federation survey, 3 million more people went out to shop this year than in 2015.
“NRF officials attributed the difference [of more consumers but less money spent] mostly to heavy discounting brought on by a ‘promotional environment’ in stores,” reports CNN. “According to the organization, about 36% of shoppers this year said all of their purchases were on sale, compared to 32.5% last year.”
The convenience of staying at home to shop online during the holidays certainly has its appeal. But this year has shown that consumers are clearly still making the effort to leave the house. Now, it’s up to stores to continue giving consumers a reason to venture out. Going to brick-and-mortar stores and restaurants has become less about necessity and more about novelty, which is a concept Famous Toastery has taken note of with their Thanksgiving sandwich.
“Leaving the house to shop and dine on Thanksgiving and Black Friday has become the norm for American families,” says Maynard, on why they continue to embrace the limited-time offer Thanksgiving sandwich. “We measure our growth by how many people come through our doors, and it was definitely up from last year.”
That’s the beauty of limited-time holiday offers: they don’t have to be complicated, they just have to be good.