Achieving brand loyalty can be daunting. It’s easy to offer a discount or a one-time promotional deal to bring customers in the door the first time around—but what keeps them coming back for more?
Lennys Grill & Subs knows the answer. On July 8th, 2016 the brand sold its 25 millionth Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich at its location in San Antonio, Texas. This was a major milestone for the 12-year old brand, and it’s due, in large part, to a loyal customer base and a product that people seemingly can’t get enough of.
According to Lennys Grill & Subs President and CEO Kevin Martin, reaching this important milestone did not come from any special deal or even the brand’s loyalty program. In fact, it began the day the brand served its very first sub in 1998 in Memphis, Tennessee. The day that Lennys Grill & Subs opened its doors to the public, they weren’t serving just any sandwich—they were dedicated to serving a superior product that people come back for time and time again.
“What people want is something consistent, so we spent a lot of time thinking about how we can consistently deliver the best sub experience. We worked hard to create something that guests find reliable, and for that reason, they keep coming back because they know they can trust us,” Martin said.
According to Martin, the Lennys Grill & Subs recipe for trust has two main ingredients—neither of which include a discount or a gimmick. The first is good old-fashioned quality. This starts with using only the best ingredients and recipes—and not changing things up once they’ve landed on a combination that works.
“We use the same bread supplier, the same protein supplier, the same cooking time, the same recipe. Everything on our menu is designed with the guest’s preferences in mind. In doing so, we hope that a guest will get to a point where they’re confident enough in our brand that they come back to Lennys Grill & Subs for a great Philly cheesesteak—or whatever their favorite is,” Martin said.
The second ingredient is taking ownership of a product. Lennys Grill & Subs has made the Philly cheesesteak its hero sandwich and the focal point of its menu. Martin explained that once you find that hero product, own it and take pride in it.
“We have really mastered our method, and although over time we may promote it differently, it is still the same recipe that our guests have come to know and love. They really seem to value our commitment,” Martin said. “This product is so important to the people of Philadelphia. We wanted to do it justice, so from the start we made something we knew they would love over and over again.”