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Fans of Chick-fil-A freaked out a little last week, when the restaurant chain announced that it would be retiring its famous “cow” coupon calendars. But not to worry – if you’re a fan of fast-food southern chicken chains, another is coming to the rescue to fill the coupon calendar void.

In a well-timed bit of playful promotion, the Bojangles’ Famous Chicken ‘n Biscuits chain is now offering its own 2019 calendar, complete with coupons. Bojangles’ announcement never explicitly said that its calendar was a response to Chick-fil-A’s decision to discontinue its calendars – but its motivation is pretty clear when you read between the lines.

“Holy cow!” Bojangles’ announcement read, in a conspicuous nod to Chick-fil-A’s famous bovine mascots. “2019 themed calendar gone missing? We’ve got you covered.”

Bojangles’ “calendar” will actually come in the form of monthly printable pages featuring “beautiful imagery of cuddly barnyard animals”, sent via email to everyone who signs up at www.Bojangles.com/calendar. Aside from the fact that it’s free, the big draw is the accompanying coupons, which will be sent each month along with the calendar pages.

Bojangles’ has more than 700 locations, mostly in the Southeast, which also happens to be Chick-fil-A’s home base. So while Bojangles’ may not be well-known nationwide, it was well-placed to pounce on a bit of self-inflicted bad PR by its better-known competitor.

Chick-fil-A has been selling calendars each year for two decades. Some loved the calendars to see what Chick-fil-A’s cow mascots were up to that year. Others just wanted the coupons.

At eight dollars apiece, a cow calendar would more than pay for itself with monthly coupons for free drinks, sandwiches and sides. At first, the calendars featured tear-off coupons at the bottom of each page. But several years ago, the paper coupons were replaced with a plastic card that contained a full year’s worth of offers. And by last year, it had incorporated the monthly freebies into its mobile app, so neither a paper coupon nor a plastic card was required anymore.

The app already offers plenty of freebies, which you can earn with frequent Chick-fil-A visits. So the cow calendar offers had kind of become redundant. So no one would miss the calendars if Chick-fil-A decided to retire them, right?

Except for those customers who appreciated the coupons but actually liked the calendar itself.

A week after Chick-fil-A announced it would be sending its cow calendars out to pasture, customers are still complaining about it on Chick-fil-A’s Facebook page. “I have bought one for myself, and several for Christmas gifts, for many years. I don’t think that this was very well thought out on your part,” one commenter wrote. “Your customers don’t want to use the app and they do want to continue to purchase cow calendars. Are you listening?” another asked. “I know you are trying to drive our attention to your app but that app is cumbersome and needs to be more user friendly,” a third customer commented.

Chick-fil-A is actually promising a “new and improved” app soon, featuring “a lot more chances to redeem delicious free food rewards”. But that may not be enough to placate cow calendar fans.

So there’s always Bojangles’ version. And Bojangles’ fans are already looking forward to it. “What a great response to the Chick-fil-A backlash!” one commenter on Bojangles’ Facebook page wrote. “Moooooove over CFA!!” added another.

So if you have a hankering for some Southern-style chicken, and you don’t like paying full price, you can earn Chick-fil-A freebies through its app, or you can get Bojangles’ coupons for free. And if you haven’t visited a Bojangles’ before, maybe now you will. The Bojangles’ marketing team certainly hopes so.

One Comment

  1. Richard Bauguess says:

    I am sorry, but Bojangles is not the answer to the Cow calendars, for several reasons. Bojangles does not carry the taste and quality of food that chick-fila-does. For one thing, Bojangles chicken is spicy, unless you buy their chicken tenders or strips and everyone does not like spicy bone in chicken. Besides, Bojangles has now decided to drop some of their food items because their sales was down last quarter. Also, they are prone to put on their coupons that they are only good at certain locations limiting where a customer can use them. If Chick-fila does away with the cow calendar, they had better replace it with something better, or I believe it will lose sales. It seems to me it is not too late for Chick-fila to reverse its decision. I eat often at their locations in 3 different nearby towns, and each time I go there, there is constant traffic in their drive-thru( some locations now have two lanes) that are busy anytime they are open as well as customers waiting to get served inside. You know, it is the same old story—if the operation is running well and you have more business than your employees can handle, hire more employees. In other words, if it ain’t broke, don’t change it.
    Now, do you want to know what my business is? I am an engineer that businesses hire to find “Better Business Solutions” for their operations.

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