While still a large period for overall sales, the holidays are a crucial time for Chuy’s and one of the few times of year where digital sales take a marketing precedence over restaurant traffic. With holiday gift giving in mind, Chuy’s offers both physical and digital gift card options online, as well as several of the quirky, pop-culture t-shirts they are known for. The challenge was to tie social efforts directly to sales across three separate digital shopping carts–each with different tracking capabilities–and show a measurable impact from the previous holiday season.

The Game Plan

Social Strategy / Branded Content / Paid Social Promotion / Campaigns 

Aimed at driving customers to purchase gift cards and t-shirts as presents for friends and family, Social Distillery developed an integrated campaign leaning on nostalgic holiday themes with a Chuy’s twist. While ROI was at the heart of a majority of the campaign content, several elements were designed for pure engagement in order to expand the overall reach and create memorable moments for the community.

The Execution


A large part of Chuy’s success is their comfortable and fun atmosphere. The goal of our holiday campaign was to expand on that concept by tapping into fun themes from seasons past and present, all with a Chuy’s spin. Iconic holiday designs tied together the various elements, including a hand-made “tortilla-bread house”, giftwrapped chips, and a stocking full of queso.


Insights from previous campaigns helped showcase the impact of pure engagement components layered on top of sales driven initiatives. These elements are designed to encourage the community to share campaign content, enticing potential customers to follow along and eventually take our desired action. For the holiday campaign, these pure engagement components came in the form of “social holiday cards” highlighting common seasonal sentiments and attitudes.


The main hurdle in the holiday campaign came from the back-end setup of Chuy’s digital shopping carts. Physical gift cards were on a separate 3rd-party shopping cart from digital gift cards, and t-shirts were featured on their own in-house system–each with their own tracking nuances. In order to attribute sales to our campaign, Facebook tracking pixels were leveraged to measure the number of items that were “added to cart”. Additionally, real-time cart conversion rates were tied to social attributions to accurately portray ROI.


In order to further the understanding of the impact of our holiday campaign, we partnered with Professor Gary Wilcox from the University of Texas. Dr. Wilcox developed a Social Media Predictive Model that analyses data from organic and paid social against sales data to clearly determine what elements are most successful in driving a given action. For this campaign, the most poignant takeaway was that every $1 spent on Facebook resulted in $2.09 in revenue.

The Results


unique engagements


add to carts




in revenue for every $1 spent on Facebook

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