A deluge of baseball fans trying to collect free bagels has led Panera Bread to cancel a promotion with the Kansas City Royals. Under the promotion, ticket stubs from a home game in which the Royals won with thirteen or more hits could be redeemed for thirteen free Panera bagels.
Panera expected a redemption rate of 15%, maybe 20% at most. On April 20, the Royals got fifteen hits against the Minnesota Twins. Over the next five days, 8,500 fans tried to collect 111,000 free bagels – a redemption rate of 26.7% – overwhelming Kansas City Panera franchises. Panera responded by saying of the promotion, “We’re definitely pulling the plug.” They hope to work out a different promotion with the Royals.
Bagels for hits is a great idea, but maybe instead of thirteen bagels for thirteen hits, Panera should go with something they can deliver. Maybe they could offer seven bagels for thirteen hits. Or thirteen bagels for thirty hits. Make your promotion work for you; simplify, man. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER