By Published On: March 7, 2024Categories:

When Heartland Restaurant Group (HRG), owner of over 70 Dunkin’ locations across the tri-state area, sought to enhance visibility in the competitive QSR recruiting and staffing market, The Consult Box presented an innovative solution.

“We began discussing ways to set ourselves apart from other QSRs in late 2021,” said Chelsea Halker, Marketing and Guest Services Manager for HRG. “We aimed to engage prospective employees in a unique way.”

As NIL (Name, Image, Likeness) deals gained traction and media attention, they remained somewhat unfamiliar to many brands. “Considering their target age and demographic for potential hires, partnering with student-athletes seemed like a perfect fit,” explained Kim Bogesdorfer of The Consult Box. “Having student-athletes work shifts at local Dunkin’ locations offered a fun and engaging approach to boost brand visibility.”

The campaign featured 15 student-athletes from the University of Pittsburgh across eight sports. Each athlete spent time at the Forbes Avenue Dunkin’ location in Oakland, where they learned to ice donuts, prepare specialty drinks, and distribute free samples to passersby.

“Our approach emphasized showcasing their personalities,” Bogesdorfer noted. “NIL allows for a rich diversity among student-athletes, creating authentic connections that resonate naturally with the brand.”

The campaign unfolded in two phases: initially, student-athletes announced their shifts on Instagram, followed by the release of videos documenting their experiences a week later.  We followed up with a basketball athlete posting in March.

“It’s been a fantastic experience. The Consult Box managed everything from start to finish, requiring minimal oversight from my team,” said Halker. “I’m eager to explore the next phase of this campaign and discover additional dimensions The Consult Box can bring to our strategy.”