- Jimmy John's started selling freshly baked French bread nationwide through its website and mobile app, while asking customers to share on social media what they do with their baguettes. The sandwich chain's "Freaky Fresh Bread on Demand" is available for delivery or pickup at locations offering curb-side and drive-thru service, per an announcement.
- As part of its bread promotion, Jimmy John's is urging fans to post pictures of their homemade bread creations to social media and include the hashtags #FreakyFreshBread and #MadeWithJJBread. Members of its Freaky Fast Rewards loyalty program also can order the bread and earn points.
- Jimmy John's makes fresh bread all day and isn't limiting the number of loaves people can order. However, the sandwich chain is urging people to avoid stockpiling bread so it's available for as many customers as possible.
With reports that grocery stores are running out of breadmaking supplies, including active dry yeast, as people craft their own bread at home during the coronavirus pandemic, Jimmy John's has an opportunity to highlight a signature part of its sandwiches. By offering bread through its mobile app, delivery and pickup, the sandwich chain can connect with customers while also practicing social distancing in accordance with restrictions on restaurants in many areas throughout the country.
Jimmy John's is among the chains seeking to make the best out of a devastating predicament for the restaurant industry as people avoid dining out and officials order the closure of public gathering places to suppress the spread of the coronavirus. Restaurants is some places are still allowed to offer home delivery and takeout service, providing at least one lifeline to their battered operations. Food delivery sales surged almost 40% during the week of Feb. 25 from a year earlier, according to Earnest Research data cited by The Wall Street Journal. Online searches for the four biggest meal delivery services — Uber Eats, DoorDash, Postmates and Grubhub — jumped 53% in a month, per Google data cited by Fortune, an indication of growing demand for food delivery.
For some restaurants, the pandemic has rapidly accelerated a trend toward home delivery service as younger consumers favor dining at home except for special occasions. More than half (56%) of people ages 21 to 38 said they had placed a delivery or takeout order using a restaurant's mobile app or website in the prior year, per a survey by the National Restaurant Association. The industry group found more than 60% of millennial diners want restaurants to use technology that makes ordering and payment easier, and to make takeout and delivery more convenient for their on-the-go lifestyles. However, even restaurants that provide delivery and pickup are likely to face severe challenges as consumers cut back their spending amid a record surge in joblessness.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, Jimmy John's promotions included efforts to boost its Freaky Fast Rewards loyalty program and mobile ordering capabilities. The chain in December said it had expanded the program nationwide after a six-month test, highlighting app features that let members track their rewards and make payments. In October, it launched a multichannel campaign for a new sandwich with a promotion that included its first nationwide augmented reality lens on Snapchat.