Food meets apparel. It’s an interesting twist that many restaurants, specifically quick-service-restaurants (QSRs), have pursued in a bid to diversify their offerings, tapping into a wider audience and expanding their reach.
QSRs are looking to engage customers beyond their dining tables or screens, and fashion collections allow them to do that by creating a new touchpoint for interaction. Whether it’s browsing an online store, visiting a physical pop-up shop, or sharing their fashion-forward purchases on social media, consumers engage with the brand in novel ways.
But why fashion?
Because food is not just about sustenance; it’s about emotions and memories. People associate certain foods with experiences and feelings. By translating these associations into fashion, QSRs tap into the emotional connections people have with their products. When consumers wear clothing that celebrates their favorite QSR’s signature dish, they forge a more intimate and personal relationship with the brand.
One of the driving forces behind the popularity of QSR fashion collections is their limited-edition nature. Just like exclusive drops from luxury fashion houses, these limited-time offerings create a sense of urgency and exclusivity. Consumers are motivated to participate in these events to secure a piece of merchandise that might never be available again.
QSR fashion launches generate buzz and attention. They catch people off guard, sparking conversations and igniting curiosity. That said, the marketing strategy sets these brands apart from their competitors and positions them as trendsetters in the industry. Consumers are naturally drawn to novelty, and QSR fashion collections provide just that.
Furthermore, fashion has always been a means of self-expression. When consumers wear clothing that represents their favorite QSR, they’re making a statement about their preferences and identity. These collections allow people to showcase their love for a brand in a creative and personal way.
McDonald’s has announced it is collaborating with streetwear brand Palace to create a collection of exclusive merchandise as part of the QSR giant’s “As Featured In Meal” offering. The merch collection combines McDonald’s golden arch logo and signage with the distinct aesthetic of the London-based skate and streetwear company.
Starting Monday (Aug. 14), these items will be accessible through a QR code included with the new “As Featured In Meal” line. Additionally, Palace plans to convert the original McDonald’s location in Downey, Calif., into a temporary pop-up shop. This pop-up shop, opening on Aug. 18, will showcase the complete range of items from the collection.
Within the Garlic & Herb assortment is a gender-neutral summer shirt, a bikini and swim shorts, all adorned with the iconic dip’s branding. The collection also includes a plunge pool and a floating pizza box.
Domino’s enlisted personalities from reality shows “Made in Chelsea” and “Love Island,” Sam Thompson and Zara McDermott, to spearhead the collection’s debut. They encourage pizza enthusiasts to visit garlic-and-herb-dip-collection.com, where they can reserve an item from the collection until Aug. 18.
But collaborations and merchandise launches aren’t anything new.
In 2017, Taco Bell teamed up with fast fashion brand Forever 21, a limited-edition collection that could be purchased in-store or online. Customers who purchased the collection were encouraged to submit photos and videos leveraging #F21xTacobell to be featured.
All in all, QSRs venturing into the world of fashion is a strategic move that brings depth, diversity, and emotional resonance to their brand. By tapping into the emotional connections people have with their food favorites and translating it into fashion, these brands create new touchpoints for engagement and self-expression.
So, the question is, are you reserving your merchandise for the Garlic & Herb collection by Dominio’s or does the streetwear collection featuring the iconic golden arches jive more with your taste buds?