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Lee's Famous Recipe Chicken was founded in 1966 by Lee Cummings after he spent years working with his uncle, Colonel Sanders. A storied brand with proven recipes, Lee's aims to continually stay relevant and create a compelling experience for a new generation of customers.
Seeing that Millennial and Gen-Z customers cared deeply about community-engagement, Lee's Famous Recipe Chicken partnered with GiftAMeal to combine local impact with another favorite of younger generations, posting photos of their food. With GiftAMeal, each time a guest takes a photo of their food or drink order from their neighborhood Lee's, a donation is made to a nearby food bank to provide a meal to a family in need locally. After posting through GiftAMeal, guests are invited to share their photos on social media with the incentive of additional donated meals for each platform selected.
“What attracted me to this opportunity was the ability to rally our brand around a singular message while still providing help and impact in the local communities that we serve. To top it off, our customers get to participate and have fun helping their neighbors all at no cost to them."
- Dan Sokolik, VP of Marketing, Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken
In February 2022, Dan Sokolik met with GiftAMeal's team to learn more about the program. With all Lee's locations being independently owned and operated by franchisees, Sokolik wanted to ensure that the program could meet each of their needs while still being a consistent element across the brand.
In May 2022, GiftAMeal presented to the Lee's Advertising Communication Fund Committee which manages a marketing fund that franchisees contribute to for local marketing. The blend of franchise and corporate members on the committee enthusiastically and unanimously approved the partnership.
Later that month, GiftAMeal created Lee's-branded designs for promotional materials to best communicate the message to guests and encourage participation. Materials included: table tents, table stickers, counter signs, drive-thru window decals, card handouts, and posters. The Lee's marketing team gave a few rounds of feedback and GiftAMeal happily made all revision requests. Lee's ultimately decided to launch the partnership with a counter stand sign by the register, table tents, and a window cling.
In parallel, Lee's introduced GiftAMeal to its PR agency, Stone Ward. GiftAMeal assisted in drafting a press release with the agency and helped prepare contacts for the release to be sent to on launch.
All Lee's locations across the United States launched on GiftAMeal on July 1, 2022. The partnership gained Lee's acclaim in industry media such as QSR Magazine, QSR Web, and Restaurant News, as well as local media such as Fox2Now.
Customers loved the program and uplifting photos started to get shared. At the end of each month, Lee's receives a monthly update report displaying how each location is performing on the program, along with a social media graphic to share its impact. Lee's posts about GiftAMeal throughout the month to broadcast that it cares about the communities it serves.
Lee's is going strong on GiftAMeal, providing over 75,000 meals to families in need annually.