Small Iowa town begs for HuHot

Years ago HuHot Mongolian Grills put a location suggestion link on its website which produced about one request per day.

"We were shocked when we came back to the office after the holiday to find over 1,000 requests for a HuHot to open in Fort Dodge, Iowa," Laura Sporrer, director of franchise development, said in an email to FastCasual.

After tracking the requests, HuHot's social team found it all started with one person sharing the link and snowballed until more than 1,000 unique visitors had made the request online.

"There was no organization or campaign; it went viral organically," Sporrer said. "To put this in perspective, the population of Fort Dodge is 24,441, meaning almost 4 percent of the town is asking for HuHot."

When HuHot posted to Facebook asking about it the crowd wasn’t shy. One person posted "We shared the heck outta it and we all voted!!!!! We need it!!!"

Another wrote "You should listen to the poll! We are tired of driving hours away to enjoy amazing food!!!!"

As of now, the closest HuHot location to Fort Dodge is in Des Moines, about one and a half hours away by car.

HuHot opened its first restaurant in 1999, in Missoula, Montana, and has more than 60 locations in 17 states.

Topics: Marketing / Branding / Promotion

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