Charleys Philly Steaks

Charleys Philly Steaks has been synonymous with their famous Philly Cheese Steak for the last 30 years, but there’s so much more on the menu for customers to love. 

In 2015, Charleys enlisted Approach to develop a strategic PR campaign to help raise awareness for some of their other menu offerings, specifically Signature Lemonade and new Chocolate Chunk Cookies, while engaging with potential customers in an authentic way. The brand also wanted to target a new segment of guests – moms and children. 

Approach developed the “Charleys Lemonade Stand” program to position the brand as an authority on all natural lemonade and snacking. Under the creative direction and management of Approach, a pop-up Lemonade Stand traveled across the country to sample product and help train kids on how to host a best-in-class lemonade stand.

The event visited four priority markets across the U.S. throughout the summer, attracting young entrepreneurs and parents alike. Attendees learned how to host their own lemonade stand from the experts at Charleys, had an opportunity to sample product, and walked away with a custom Lemonade Stand Kit to use at home. The branded kits featured tips for setting up a lemonade stand and promoting it to friends and family. It also included signage, fun lemonade-themed activities and Charleys Philly Steaks coupons. 

Approach encouraged guests to share their own lemonade stand photos on social media using the hashtag #CharleysLemonadeStand. Online, Charleys launched, which housed downloadable kits and information about the Charleys Lemonade Stand Tour. The site also incorporated Tagboard technology, allowing social posts tagged with #CharleysLemonadeStand to be featured in real-time, and creating a collage of Charleys inspired lemonade stands across the country. 

A national press release first unveiled the Charleys Lemonade Stand program, which traveled to Columbus, OH., Scottsdale, AZ., Greenville, SC. and Cleveland, OH. Approach secured national media coverage for the program launch in national trades like QSR Magazine and Nation’s Restaurant News featuring interviews with Charleys Chief Marketing Officer. Approach later pitched local market media and events calendars in each market to secure advanced and on-site coverage throughout the summer, resulting in 45 total media placements and 13.5 million media impressions. 

The Charleys Lemonade Stand program reached nearly 1,000 event attendees in four priority markets, garnering 100% positive feedback from children and parents. Charleys also had the opportunity to serve nearly 1,500 glasses of Lemonade and cookies throughout the summer window, surpassing the initial sampling goal by 440%. 

As a result of the Charleys Lemonade Stand, 100% of the event markets experienced significant sales lifts, and more than 50% of event attendees visited their local Charleys following the events.

Approach continues to support all PR initiatives for Charleys Philly Steaks

About Charleys Philly Steaks

In 1986, Charleys redefined the Philly Cheese Steak. Today, more than 550 locations in 45 states and 20 countries in North America, South America, Asia, Africa and Europe serve up the World’s Number One Philly Cheese Steak made with fresh, quality ingredients grilled-to-order the Charleys way. Also known for its loaded gourmet fries and refreshing natural lemonades, the restaurant franchise is quickly expanding to serve the world’s favorite Cheese Steaks across the globe. For more information on Charley’s Philly Steaks visit or follow us on Facebook and Instagram at @charleysphillysteaks and Twitter at @charleys.