The Real Reason You Can’t Refuse a Cinnabon: Scent Marketing


Have you ever been walking through the mall just minding your own business looking down at your hands wondering how the hell you ended up with a Cinnabon? It’s okay, it happens to the best of us. But in that minor moment of “where the hell did this come from” did you ever wonder why exactly you ended up with that warm, gooey, cinnalicious bun of goodness? Besides the obvious fact that those friggin’ little buns are basically the most delicious thing in the mall (sorry Mrs. Fields!) it’s actually the intoxicating aroma of fresh baked Cinnabons that’s luring you to the food court stand.

Scent marketing is a real thing and it’s being used to increase sales and customer experience. Besides Cinnabon other establishments such as Panera Bread and Starbucks employ the use of specific aromas to enhance customer experience and to promote sales. At Starbucks, obviously the first thing you smell when you walk in is the rich smell of coffee beans where as in Panera you’d most likely smell the warm aroma of fresh baked bread. Using this method can be tricky though as it inhibits companies from expanding to certain menu items due to competing scents. For example, if you’re at Starbucks you obviously don’t want to breathe in a garlic and onion breakfast sandwich, it is a significantly pleasant and more pungent aroma than the chain’s usual coffee scent.

In Cinnabon’s case, the franchises are told to purposely purchase weak hoods so the scents waft to back into the store, the ovens are placed at the front of the store for that just baked smell, Cinnabons are baked every 30 minutes to ensure the air is constantly perfumed with the scent of cinnamon buns, and if that wasn’t sneaky enough, some operators even bake sheets of just brown sugar and cinnamon to get that signature Cinnabon scent. I see you Cinnabon. I see you.

While we all appreciate that mouthwatering aroma, it is pretty interesting to see how far this scent marketing thing will play out.

H/T + PicThx Wall Street JournalFirst We Feast


Panera to Roll Out Mobile Ordering and Self Order Kiosks in 2016


No longer will you have to wait 20 minutes in line for your “you-pick-two” meal. Forget being on hold forever and a day trying to order your favorite Fuji Apple Chicken salad. The revolution is coming and thy name is kiosks.

In an attempt to fix their well-known speed issues, Panera has dropped $42 million on technology to bring kiosks and mobile ordering to its locations. With the kiosks customers would be able to customize their meals to their tastes, pay, and take an assigned pager so a Panera associate can deliver your food. Regardless if you’re eating in or grabbing a sandwich to go, the self-ordering system could dramatically speed up the entire ordering process.

With the mobile ordering system customers can grab a booth ahead of time and order from their seat, avoiding the kiosks and guaranteeing a spot, which will be great during Panera’s crazy crowded lunch hour.

Though some people are concerned with the kiosks replacing potential jobs for staffers, Panera assures consumers that their workforce won’t be cut. The plan is to have at least eight kiosks in every location with only one or two cash registers being cut.

The whole thing sounds like a great idea considering how long it takes to get a sandwich and soup, but before you start getting too excited the technology won’t be rolling out until 2016. Womp.

H/T + PicThx Consumerist

Fast Food

Zagat’s 2011 Fast Food Survey

Zagat has released their Fast Food Survey for 2011 with the help of 6,000 fast food fans. The survey includes a huge list of the “top 5 best…” aspects of the fast fast food world. Here is a condensed version of the #1’s for our readers.

Best Burger – Five Guys

Best Grilled Chicken – Chick-fil-A

Best Fried Chicken – KFC

Best Coffee – Starbucks

Best Ice Cream/ Custard – Ben & Jerry’s

Top Smoothies/ Frozen Yogurt – Red Mango

Best Milkshake – Dairy Queen

Best Fish – Long Jon Silver’s

Best Salads – Panera Bread

And racking up the points is McDonalds, who is the winner in these multiple categories: Best French Fries, Best Breakfast Sandwiches, Best Drive-Thru, Most Child-Friendly, Best Value, AND Best Value Menu!


Visit if you would like to see the whole entire survey that includes a summary and a ranking for full serviced chains as well.


Panera: Soup & Sandwich

Today I decided that I didn’t want to suffer the heat in my room so I ventured over to Panera Bread in Orange, CA to steal their wifi and get some food. I had this bowl of tortilla chicken soup and their new cuban panini. Elie then showed up and informed me that the new site is going to be amazing and that he’s a genius; then he left.