The Lunchbox Laboratory is a small restaurant chain with locations in Seattle, Bellevue, and Gig Harbor. I have been frequenting the Seattle location for a couple years now after a fairly exhaustive search for the best burger in town. So, what makes me a repeat customer; why do I keep going back; is this actually the best burger in town? For me the answer is simple, Lunchbox Laboratory offers a high quality experience that is unique. They are a burger joint focusing on people looking for an upscale burger experience, by offering a menu of items you might find in a child’s lunchbox, but very well done and with a laboratory flair (experimental offerings, beakers for drink glasses, and unique science/school based names). While it may not be the best burger I have ever had, the unique, experimental menu, the interesting décor, and the fun environment all put The Lunchbox Laboratory on my short list for the best burger place in Seattle.
The primary way the company has stayed in contact with me has been through email; I have received an email from them on a regular basis about events or specials they are having that week. For example, over St. Patrick’s Day, if you came in dressed as a leprechaun you got a free burger. I got on their mailing list to begin with by dropping my card in the bowl for a contest, but now the regular specials keep me coming back. I have also seen them advertise through Groupon. In fact, this is one of the few companies that have captured me through the Groupon business model; I keep buying them and coming back for more.
Ways the company has engaged me with others have been pretty limited. I have liked them on Facebook and have told others about the restaurant, but there has not been much commons creation by the company in any virtual space. Unless I forward the special events email or buy someone a Groupon, basically I tell others about the Laboratory through word-of-mouth. So there is definitely an effort by The Lunchbox Laboratory to create a social presence and connect with others online, and their retention program has been pretty effective for this burger fan, but there is very little referral happening. A referral program is definitely something they should explore. Maybe a refer-a-friendandget-a-freeburger program? I would probably make use of that.
MBA Candidate, Class of 2016
Foster School of Business, University of Washington