©2019 by Curtis Kingrea.

Cook Out

The Objective

Write a creative brief that would allow Cook Out to capture more market share.


The Category

Presently, their primary competition is national QSR restaurants in the Southeast (like McDonalds, Burger King, and Wendys). However, Cook Out has grown to the borders of other regional QSR restaurants, most of which have fiercely loyal followings (like Shake Shack, Whataburger, and In-N-Out). Moving into these new territories would present new competitors and would risk the brand losing its novelty in the Southeast. Rather than directly compete with new competitors in their territories, Cook Out needs to cement a stronger foothold where it is, in the Southeast, and go head-to-head with national QSR restaurants.

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The Research

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Late Nighters

Through secondary Mintel research and on one-on-one interviews, we found that Cook Out, and other late night QSR restaurants, are favorable for young adults with late night cravings. Whether they have been out drinking all night, stayed up late studying for an exam, or binged a new show on Netflix, their cravings can hit at any time.

Numbered Combo Meals

A thorough competitive brand audit showed us that national brand QSR restaurants have menus with numbered combo meals and accompanying pictures, whereas Cook Out does not. At national QSR restaurants everything is pre-set, pre-designed, and thus consumer’s cravings are limited, or better yet, swayed.


But National QSR restaurants think they make up for that because they allow you to customize any of their numbered combo meals. What we found was that few people do. Why?



Because sure, you can customize their #3 meal all you want but it’s still their #3 meal.

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The Opportunity

Cook Out has several different styles, like “Cook Out” or “Out West” or “Cajun.” Their menu has no pictures to sway your cravings and no pre-designed combo meals you have to break down to just build back up based on what you like/want. Everything comes condiment-less at Cook Out. You always order saying “with” never “without.”

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The Strategy

At Cook Out you don’t change what’s pre-set. You create. 

You create your tray, your burger, your hot dog, etc. It’s blasted across the intercom to the entire kitchen and is made right as you order.

At Cook Out:

YOU construct your cravings.


The Team

Kelley Bode (Copywriter)
Anna Kim (Strategist)
Curtis Kingrea (Strategist)
Charlotte Simons (Art Director)