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Maid-Rite Approaches Social Media-Savvy UI Students for Web Revamp

A team of social media-savvy University of Iowa seniors are advising heads of the old-fashioned sandwich joint, Maid-Rite, on how to enhance their online presence.

According to a news release, the five students in the UI Tippie College of Business Marketing Institute are helping the iconic loose-meat sandwich chain create a social media strategy to reach out to younger generations, and attract more franchise prospects. Last week they submitted a professional report to owners Bradley Burt, president and CEO, and Executive Vice President Tania Burt, in front of 22 local advertising executives comprising the UI Marketing Institute Advisory Council.

Headquartered in Des Moines, Maid-Rite restaurants recently opened in Dallas and Denver, as part of an “aggressive growth plan” marketed towards major cities and suburban areas, the release announced.

Although marketing novices, just like a team of experienced professionals the group effectively identified the 85-year-old brand’s biggest problem.

“It’s an aging brand,” said Taylor Fuerst, the team’s student leader.

The team suggested Maid-Rite flood Facebook and Twitter, create LinkdIn accounts for franchisees, and revamp their Web site to make it flash-friendly and “sexy” with scrolling images that rival their competitors, like McDonald’s and Subway, the 22-year-old said.

This is all in the name of reaching out to a younger demographic—and who better to know how than those that have their finger on the pulse of social media?

“Our generation, we have a good understanding because we are the primary users of social media,” she added.

Director of the Marketing Institute, Robert Rouwenhorst, said he thinks the team is doing a fantastic job.

“I think their client would back me on this,” he said.

Fuerst said the consulting team is to submit a final action plan to the company early December.

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