Canadian burger chain Harvey’s today addresses the one gap in its reputation for invention and variety by launching a new frozen-beverages menu and summer-long value offer across all beverages.
The “Summer Drink Deals” initiative introduces smoothies, slushies, frozen lemonades and iced cappuccinos in a variety of flavors and at 99¢ and $1.99 promotional pricing.
“This is a big initiative for Harvey’s,” Ken Harrison, Harvey’s brand manager at parent Cara Operations Ltd., told BurgerBusiness.com. “Historically, we haven’t had the same breadth in our beverage program as some of our competitors so it’s a big play for us to ramp up our beverages and add a lot of variety products over a short time frame.”
Harvey’s worked closely with franchisees over the past year, looking for the best way to address a beverage opportunity both of them saw, Harrison said. What helped was finding “one advanced piece of equipment we were able to source” that does all the new frozen beverages. That minimized franchisee investment costs for the program.
“We did some in-market testing and the response has been incredible. So franchisees have been happy to bring it in,” said Harrison. “We started early in 2015 evaluating different options. Towards the end of the good weather last year we began testing. And we knew very quickly that we had a winner on our hands.”
For the “Summer Drink Deals” promotion, 99¢ buys regular-size slushies (Blue Raspberry, Cherry, Lime, Orange and Grape), regular-size frozen lemonades (Original and Peach Passion) and any size of fountain drinks.
Trial sizes of Smoothies—made with real fruit, real yogurt and natural cane sugar—in Strawberry Banana, Peach Passion and Mango will be $1.99 until September. So, too will be snack-size Iced Cappuccinos (Original, Salted Caramel and Mocha) and regular-size servings of Harvey’s already-on-the-menu Handspun Shakes.
“I expect the Strawberry Banana Smoothie and the Blue Raspberry Slushie to be our top sellers,” said Harrison. “They are fantastic and guests have loved them during our test.”
Beverage variety was “something guests were constantly asking for. It has become quite a standard within quick service to have a strong beverage category, and we saw that it’s something the younger demographic, especially, looks for” he said. “We knew we needed to have better quality than what we see in the marketplace as well. We’re known as a better-burger [concept] within Canada so we wanted our beverages to be a step above as well. That’s why we went with real fruit, real yogurt and cane sugar in our smoothies.”
The 271-unit chain launches TV, radio and social-media marketing support for the new beverages and summer price promotion beginning today (May 16).
In addition to announcing an enviable 9.9% increase in Q1 same-store sales (after jumping 11.7% in last years Q1), Shake Shack CEO Randy Garutti announced the chain will have a new LTO in the second half: the Bacon CheddarShack.
Garutti described it to analysts last Friday as “a classic cheeseburger topped with all-natural bacon, melted, aged, white Cheddar cheese sauce that we’ve priced at $6.89 across all markets.” Visit Food & Wine to see the new burger.
He credited the healthy sales in part to an 11% decline in beef prices since last year and popularity of the now-national Chick’n Shack sandwich, which he said has “driven traffic growth and created an entirely new way our guests can enjoy the Shack.” The Shake Shack hat opened in March in West Hollywood, Calif., has been “one of the strongest openings in our 12-year history.”
The other locations are doing pretty well, too. Garutti said, “we now expect the first year AUV for Shacks to be open this year will be approximately $3.6 million, which is an increase of $300,000 from the $3.3 million that we previously discussed.” Per-store operating profit margins should be at least 23%, up from a forecast of 20% previously.