Celebrity Endorsements: A Powerful Tool for Fast-Food Franchisors

Celebrity Endorsements: A Powerful Tool for Fast-Food Franchisors

Getting the Stamp of Approval from Influencers and Athletes can Increase Sales and Social Media Buzz

Fast-food franchisors have several tools in their arsenal to attract attention and increase sales. These include offering fun promotions on national food holidays and having lively mascots to add personality to and humanize their brands. But an undeniably effective way to attract fans (especially younger ones) to a fast-food restaurant is with a celebrity endorsement.

From Dunkin’ and Wendy’s to Burger King and McDonald’s, popular fast-food brands have enlisted the help of celebrities to sell new products and generate social media buzz. Below, we look into fast-food franchisors that have benefited from coveted celebrity endorsements.


Celebrity Endorsements: A Powerful Tool for Fast-Food Franchisors

Over the past few years, Dunkin’ has been focusing on recruiting Gen-Z customers by catering to the group’s coffee tastes and the influencers and artists they follow most. To attract Gen-Zers, Dunkin’ rebranded in 2019 and enlisted TikTok superstar Charli D’Amelio to launch new menu items: “The Charli” and “The Charli Cold Foam.” And the brand benefited handsomely from partnering with TikTok’s most followed female creator — on the day that “The Charli” was released in 2020, Dunkin’ app downloads increased by 57% as compared to its previous 90-day average.

But Dunkin’ didn’t stop there. They also recently teamed up with actor Ben Affleck and rapper Ice Spice for the Ice Spice Munchkins Drink. The new fall menu item was inspired by the rapper’s name for her fanbase, which serendipitously is the same as the popular donut holes.


Celebrity Endorsements: A Powerful Tool for Fast-Food Franchisors

If there’s a fast-food franchisor that loves sports and endorsements from famous athletes, it’s Wendy’s. During this year’s March Madness tournament, the popular fast-food brand partnered with former NBA player Reggie Miller to promote its square burgers. As the 2023 NFL and college football seasons kick into high gear, Wendy’s enlisted college football star Caleb Williams (right) and former NFL great Matt Leinart to promote its new Loaded Nacho Cheeseburger. Talk about scoring big!

Tim Hortons

Celebrity Endorsements: A Powerful Tool for Fast-Food Franchisors

Beliebers couldn’t get enough of pop sensation Justin Bieber’s partnership with the Canadian-based Tim Hortons franchise. In addition to limited-edition “Timbiebs” timbits, the QSR franchise released merchandise, including fanny packs, hats and tote bags emblazoned with the Timbiebs logo. Tim Hortons executives have expressed excitement for more collaboration with the pop star in the future, and Canadian-born Bieber, a lifelong fan of the fast-food franchisor, never says never to more delicious donut holes!

As you can see, when famous artists, athletes and influencers endorse a fast-food brand, the impact is undeniable. Not only do sales increase, but brands can attract a new customer base and create a social media frenzy. It’s a winning recipe for restaurants that leaves everyone craving for more.Celebrity Endorsements: A Powerful Tool for Fast-Food Franchisors

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