skip to Main Content

turtle jack's salmon
Turtle Jack's Salmon

The Power of a Good Brand Story

Tiffany Simkins

It’s commonly said that we eat with our eyes. But with so many choices confronting us at each meal – gluten-free, high protein, low sodium, sugar-free, organic, responsibly farmed, locally sourced, vegetarian, vegan – nowadays we must also eat with our minds and our collective conscience. And nobody recognizes this more than those who work in and market for the food and hospitality industry.

Especially in the QSR segment (quick service restaurants) the demand to address nutritional and ethical concerns with the foods we all love has grown astronomically over the past few years. And the most innovative companies have taken this to heart, faced it head on, and found great success in rising to the challenge.

Take A&W as an example, with their recent launch of the Beyond Meat Burger featuring a patty made from 100% plant-based protein. The A&W brand has spent millions in TV commercials, digital media buys and PR strategies to promote its commitment to source simple, great-tasting ingredients farmed with care… and Canadians have responded, hungry for more. The Beyond Meat Burger sold out across the country in a matter of weeks* and continues to outsell their classic beef burgers at many locations. Their investment is paying off in spades.

Another great example is a company that proves you don’t have to have massive marketing dollars to win at this strategy. Since they opened their first location in 1992, the Turtle Jack’s Muskoka Grill brand has always been committed to serving fresh, house-made ingredients prepared with care. But they weren’t always strong at communicating this passion with their guests.

With the help of the Creative Guild team, Turtle Jack’s has found great success over the past few years tapping into its customers’ desire for healthy, eco-friendly alternatives in a classic family restaurant environment. We recently worked with Turtle Jack’s to photograph some of their signature menu items, such as their sustainably sourced True North® Atlantic salmon, their antibiotic-free and humanely raised chicken, their award-winning baby-back ribs made from Animal Care Certified pork and their tasty gluten-free menu. We then developed a ‘Food Stories’ series for them, posted it online (see, shared it via email with their loyalty program members and promoted it in-store using cost-effective menu inserts, lobby banners and posters. In a short period of time and with minimal investment, Turtle Jack’s has seen the sale of their food story menu items increase over 50% on average since launch.

So what’s the lesson here? In today’s day and age, we all have an appetite for better, higher quality food options. And whether big or small, when the restaurants we frequent can clearly show us what they’re doing to support healthy choices for our bodies and our planet, we will support them.