- Frito-Lay brand Flamin’ Hot Cheetos is opening The Flamin’ Hot Spot, a pop-up restaurant in Los Angeles with chef Roy Choi and a menu full of items inspired by the snack, according to a news release.
- The menu will feature appetizers, main courses and desserts inspired by Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, including elotes, chipotle ranch wings, sweet and spicy meatballs, hot Cheetos burritos, Flamin’ Hot fries, XXTRA Flamin’ Hot rice bowls, steak, Sweetos hot cakes and “hot” chocolate shakes. The three-course menu will be be priced between $11 and $32.
- Diners can book at table at the restaurant, which will be open Sept. 18-20, via CheetosFlaminHotSpot.com using OpenTable. Cheetos is releasing the recipes from the event online. And, Los Angeles-based Walmart online grocery consumers can nab a gift box filled with Cheetos items, recipes and ingredients for the Flamin’ Hot menu items. Additionally, ingredients for select dishes can be ordered for delivery from AmazonFresh and Walmart Grocery.
Cheetos’ new restaurant pop-up was inspired by social listening, consumer trends and dishes using the Flamin’ Hot snack finding their way onto restaurant menus, according to the brand. Additionally, the marketer saw success with a similar event last year when it opened The Spotted Cheetah, a restaurant pop-up in New York City with recipes by chef Anne Burrell featuring the traditional Cheetos. Online reservations booked up in less than two hours and about 500 guests attended, according to Adweek.
Focusing the new pop-up on Flamin’ Hot Cheetos could be an even bigger hit, as the snacks are highly popular, especially among milllennials, who tend to be spicy-food fans and also enjoy authentic ways to interact with brands.
Younger consumers are also more likely to snap selfies events to post on social media, especially when food is involved. Sixty-nine percent of millennials take photos or videos of their food before eating, according to Maru/Matchbox research cited in a HuffPost report, and presumably post the photos on Instagram or other social sites. Giving fans access to recipes served at the event will extend the reach of the campaign and boost social media traffic. Cheetos is also encouraging consumers to follow @Cheetos on Instagram and @ChesterCheetah on Twitter for announcements and upates about the Flamin' Hot pop-up.
Consumer packaged foods brands in general have struggled to draw in younger consumers, who are showing a preference for fresher foods. Cheetos isn’t alone in creating experience-focused campaigns and recipes to showcase products in unique ways. Kellogg’s regularly embraces this tactic through its NYC Café. For the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in May, Kellogg’s hosted a watch party with a themed cereal-inspired menu and cereal box fascinator hats. The brand also posted recipes and how-to videos online.