Mendocino Farms

Eat Happy at Home

A Recipe for Capturing Attention and Driving Sales


With the COVID-19 crisis crippling the restaurant industry, elevated fast-casual Mendocino Farms found itself navigating new challenges in every aspect of its business. A restaurant brand with the majority of orders coming from in-store traffic, Mendocino Farms needed to pivot its marketing strategy as the pandemic continued to limit customers’ willingness and, in some cities, ability to dine at restaurants. While dining out plummeted, screen time did the opposite – soaring among consumers during 2020 – with time spent on mobile devices increasing by 14% among adults ages 18 and over according to an analysis of Nielsen data. Once on-premise dining left the picture, purchasing takeout or delivery food became an essential way of life for 53% of adults as reported by QSR Magazine 

The answer was clear: shift business to prioritize off-premise dining by reaching consumers where they are, prioritizing convenience while not jeopardizing safety.  

Mendocino Farms tapped Jackson Spalding in the summer of 2020 to develop and execute a paid media campaign that would drive online carry-out orders from both new and existing customers. Meant to supplement its organic content efforts, this was the first advertising campaign of its kind for the brand. Our ultimate measure of success was increasing the volume of digital sales with a focus on minimizing the cost per conversion.  

Services Provided

  • Marketing Strategy
  • Creative Concepting
  • Paid Media Planning & Advertising

Developing Our Strategy

Mendocino Farms recognized it had a unique opportunity to balance both business and guest safety through this campaign – while embracing the brand’s accessibility and set it up for brighter days in the eventual wake of COVID. A dynamic where dine-in would return to some degree, yet digital hurdles were already overcome to adapt to the shift in desires for delivery and takeout, ensuring Mendocino Farms’ promise to “Eat Happy” was only a convenient order away.  

Creative Concepting 

JS’s integrated team of paid media specialists and creative minds developed and presented an initial two-pronged approach to drive sales and position the brand as a convenient, safe and delicious option for carry-out among current and new customers. The campaign focused on offering a free deli side with any online order, and in a time where darkness seemed to live in every corner, the creative was rooted in the brand’s tagline, “Eat Happy,” with a pandemic spin on it – “Eat Happy at Home.”  

Accordingly, the campaign leaned into the signature friendly hospitality experienced at the restaurant’s locations. Messaging, including words like “craveable, “farm fresh” and “contactless” were strung together in ad copy to support Mendocino Farms’ commitment to using good-for-you, high-quality ingredients and carefully packing orders for travel.   


Reaching Our Audience

With a focus on increasing overall revenue, we utilized a mix of two different platforms to reach audiences and drive online orders: Google Display Network, which reaches over 90% of people on the internet, and Facebook Advertising platforms, with 2 billion active users each month.  

This proved to be the right recipe for success. Banner ads allowed us to capture someone's attention early in the buying cycle, introducing them to Mendocino Farms before they were ready to place an order. These banner ads on GDN also kept Mendocino Farms top of mind by remarketing to people who've previously visited the company’s site or app. Advertising on social platforms provided a strong sample for targeting based on interest, demo and psychographics. That meant we could reach current customers, new customers and people interested in Mendocino Farms.  

The Results

The campaign proved more than effective in meeting our objective of driving online conversion. Over just two short months, the response was overwhelmingly positive for Mendocino Farms, indicating the proof was in the pivot: 

  • The uptick in online orders drove a 5% revenue increase compared to the previous period, and the advertising effort resulted in a 400% overall ROI 
  • Every dollar invested in Facebook advertising returned $41.72. 
  • The campaign successfully reached our target audience and drove clicks on banner ads at 68% lower cost per click than the average cost using the Google Display Network to efficiently increase traffic to the Mendocino Farms website.
5 %

Revenue Increase From Online Orders

400 %

Overall ROI


Lower Cost Per Action on Facebook

The Eat Happy at Home campaign enabled Mendocino Farms to pave the way for what post-pandemic success looked like as it reimagines fast casual dining in the rise of the convenience revolution. A pandemic pivot turned permanent tool in the restaurant’s marketing war chest, the campaign has evolved to a 360, full-funnel marketing campaign in both Texas and California, leveraging Facebook/Instagram, Google Display Network, Google AdWords, YouTube, streaming audio and events to reach customers at all possible points.  

The Team

Meet the hungry JS team that worked to bring this shift to life.