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Famous Toastery Says ‘Happy Holidays’ With Artful Pancakes


Social media is a bit of a bear to wrangle—it’s hard to measure ROI, it’s hard to create content and it’s hard to get solid customer engagement without embarrassing the brand in a viral way.

Famous Toastery opted not to put too many guardrails on a holiday campaign, instead having a little fun with a hypnotizing pancake artist, Daniel Drake of Dancakes.

“You always want to engage people, that’s the goal. But sometimes you just want to have fun and give back, everything can’t be about making money—that’s the truth,” said Famous Toastery CEO Robert Maynard. “It’s about having fun and giving back to the customer base.”

Drake, the first (and possibly only) professional pancake artist, created holiday-themed portraits from the Grinch to Buddy the Elf—even Clark Griswold made an appearance in partnership with Famous Toastery. The campaign also had fans voting for their favorite holiday portrait to get a chance at gift cards, an iPad and other swag. A custom portrait from Dancakes was also in the mix.

(Take a look at one of Dancake’s video creations below.)

“The cool thing about the art, I don’t think there’s any other art that you don’t see what it is until the reveal,” said Hank Gustafson, business manager at St. Louis-based Dancakes.

And despite the brand’s reluctance to attach engagement goals or pour over the metrics, the fun campaign certainly made a strong impression on fans, who contributed hundreds of likes and a lot of positive comments.

“It’s actually been great, it’s been new and exciting, we got a lot of customer engagement,” said Maynard.

Ultimately, even without a clear picture of the ROI or how it translates to customer visits, the campaign was a delightful (and affordable) little holiday gift to fans. It got them talking to the brand and will keep it top of mind next time they’re looking for breakfast—and that’s exactly what social media should do.

“The goal for any campaign is in store traffic, but for this one, it was a little more celebratory, there wasn’t a lot of expectations,” said Lauren Moorman, VP of digital at No Limit Agency who helped with the campaign. “How that translates to in-store sales, we’re not sure yet, but we hope it keeps them top of mind.”

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The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Tom KaiserTom Kaiser is senior editor of Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3209, or send story ideas to tkaiser@franchisetimes.com.
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is editor-in-chief of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is managing editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at




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