Why Your Marketing Should Have a Secret Menu [Cheat Sheet]

marketings secret menu

Has your target audience changed in the last few years?

You’re not alone. Marketers in every industry are struggling to keep up with rapidly changing consumer tastes, especially (and literally) in the restaurant industry. However, as restaurants brainstormed new and exciting ways to interest more customers, they discovered something interesting: what they put on the menu is important, but sometimes it’s what’s not on the menu that really engages consumers.

As any experienced In-N-Out Burger veteran will tell you, the real insiders order off the secret menu. The same goes for Starbucks, Chipotle, and Panera Bread. Although the label “secret” is turning into a bit of a misnomer (you can find most with a simple web search), more and more companies are jumping on the trend of secret menus. So what makes the secret menus such an appealing marketing option?

The Pull of Exclusivity

The secret, as Bret Thorn, senior food editor of Nation’s Restaurant News sums up, is simple: exclusivity.

“If you have a secret menu or if customers know the secret menu, they feel like they’re insiders. They feel kind of a personal connection to the restaurant; they feel they know something that maybe not everybody else does. And everyone loves that.”

You don’t have to be in the food industry to create a loyal troop of insiders. Marketing departments big and small can harness this same psychological pull by creating their own secret menus full of exclusive marketing campaigns. Combining your marketing channels in new and exciting ways creates an opportunity for your audience to discover new channels and content. This also allows you to develop a menu of exclusive cross-channel promotions and campaigns designed to delight and engage consumers.

We’ve put together the secret menu below to help jump-start your creativity and give you a taste of a few easy campaigns that will surprise and delight your audience. Let’s take a look!