The “million dollar question” that all restaurants with food challenges had back when the show Man v Food was around, was how to get chosen to be featured on the show. If you actually go back and look at all of the challenges that were featured on the show during the the 3 seasons of Man v Food and 1 season of Man v Food Nation, how many of them were the same? There were a few pretty similar spicy wing challenges, but other than that almost all of the challenges were completely different. The midwest United States is loaded with burger challenges but the only burger challenge selected was in Memphis, Tennessee at Kooky Canuck. A milkshake challenge was chosen in St Louis, Missouri, a massive barbecue sandwich was chosen in Kansas City, Kansas, a catfish challenge was chosen in Oklahoma, a burrito challenge was selected in Knoxville, Tennessee, and a spicy BBQ sandwich was chosen in Arkansas. Viewers of the show did not want to watch the same challenges over and over, so producers had to keep switching things up to make each episode different. The lesson that you should take from this is that the key to getting known around your community is to create a very UNIQUE challenge!!

For a more up-to-date example of this theory in action, check out a few recent news articles about different food challenges that have been floating around the internet. I guarantee you that each challenge is just completely outrageous and something that you have never seen or heard of before. Things that are different spark an interest and people love to share interesting things. You never really see anything involving a 72oz steak challenge because there are almost 100 massive steak challenges around the world, and there are only so many ways to set up a steak challenge. Also, each steak challenge is simply viewed as a copy off The Big Texan’s 72oz Steak Challenge down in Amarillo, Texas which made steak challenges popular along with the Old 96’er steak featured in the movie “The Great Outdoors” starring John Candy. You don’t really see anything about 6lb burrito challenges either because there are over 100 big burrito challenges and there are only so many ways to set up a burrito challenge too. You do still see burger challenges being posted, but there really are over 100 different ways to create a burger challenge. So if you are going to set up a burger challenge at your restaurant, or a different type of food challenge, figure out how to make it extra different from everybody else around you!!

If you want to guarantee that your challenge doesn’t ever reach it’s full potential, just find a challenge around you and copy off that. If you want to give your challenge a chance to really put your little restaurant on the map, spend some time searching around and checking out all of the other food challenges around you. Once you have a pretty good idea of what your competition has, create something different that is totally unique. As you learned in Use To Promote Your Challenge, you want to work together with the other restaurants around you so that you all can grow together as one rather than “barely staying above water” by yourselves working twice as hard. You are not working together if you are copying off another restaurant because you are just hurting both restaurants in the end and mostly yourself, so don’t step on anybody else’s toes. Remember that in the marketing world, uniqueness makes all the difference, and your life will be so much easier if your challenge is different than everything else. Man v Food may not be coming to feature your challenge anymore, but because “the movement” is going to continue to grow larger, food challenges will continually grow more and more popular as more people jump on the bandwagon and learn how to do them and where to find them. Set yourself up for future opportunities by making your challenge unique and different.

To go back and view other Marketing A Challenge articles, click here.