Sydney burger restaurant goes viral with Squid Game challenges

Burger Patch

(Left to right) Mingyu Jeon, Sujin Kim, Catarina Nguyen and Kieu Ha from Burger Patch. Image: Jason King / @spooningaus.

A Sydney restaurant doubled its monthly sales and reached a quarter of a million people on TikTok by running a Squid Game-themed promotion over October.

The promotion at Burger Patch in Chatswood included a cash prize giveaway — from a transparent piggy bank a la Squid Game — along with the opportunity for dine-in customers to play the games, and buy the traditional Korean candy, popularised by Netflix’s most successful television series of all time, watched by over 142 million households.

 

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Burger Patch co-founder Sujin Kim tells SmartCompany that while the team constantly runs promotions to keep people interested and engaged on social media, the Squid Game challenge resonated in a huge way, drawing in people from as far as Canberra.

“We went from a chilled office crowd to it being really crazy, intense, young kids, lots of families.”

Kim says the business doubled its dine-in visitors, and got to keep more of its earnings than they would have with the delivery apps.

“Being Korean, all these games are easy to do, and it would be something that Koreans do with Koreans,” says Kim.

“Now, because of this international TV show, other people are aware of it. Now we can do it with people that aren’t Korean, and they can understand it and get on board.”

 

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Following almost two years of restrictions and lockdowns, Burger Patch has also been grappling with the general problems faced by SMEs as things return to normal.

“We’ve gained over a thousand followers over the month, and we’ve just started TikTok with the promotion, with one post going viral,” explains Kim.

“The day after that went viral, we sold out for lunch, and had a line out the door. It was a nice way to reopen, but with the constraints of COVID-19 and struggling to find staff, it was hard.”

As for how the team got the promotion together, Kim says she chose people already posting content on Squid Game, who wanted to be a part of it, and wanted to help.

“Then I did my own kind of promotion, did a photoshoot on our Facebook, videos that I put together with the marketing team.”

But what made it successful was combining the videos to attract diners with an in-store event that was equally as entertaining, and marketable.

As Kim put it, “there’s no point in having everything fancy and fun on social media if you come in and it’s not translated in-store”.

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