Case study

Outer Banks favorite, Pigman’s BBQ, grew in 2020 by embracing digital

From managing payroll to pulling pork, Pigman’s Bar-B-Que owners and operators Richard Bruce and Top Palmer work every job as needed to run their restaurant in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. They had been getting the word out about their barbecue specialities through traditional media products like paper and pamphlets, but once COVID hit, fewer people were picking them up. When agency partner Virginia Media suggested leaning into digital solutions including Waze, this barbeque shop duo was eager to test and learn.

Growing business during a pandemic

With new people coming into the area, Pigman’s looked to increase awareness to attract new customers and locals alike.

As Covid threatened small businesses like Pigman’s, Richard and Top doubled down to drive visibility for its local flavor -- and options for both drive-through and pick-up services.

Barbecue en route

Together with Waze, Pigman’s set up an advertising campaign to highlight its location to drivers looking to pick-up barbecue for the road — and eventually, those looking to dine in.

Pigman’s worked with Waze to develop a creative with basic branding  — a good photo and a catchy slogan that’s simple, effective and safe for customers behind the wheel.

We’re definitely up since last year. And last year was a normal year, so something’s definitely working.
Top Palmer, Owner, Pigman’s Barb-B-Que

A push in the right direction

Top says that though he isn’t often up front working the cash register, he’s already heard several customers say that they’d passed the restaurant on their way down the Outer Banks many times, and only just noticed it that day, through Waze. In fact, business this year, says Top, has been better than last, even with dine-in regulated at 50% capacity.

Pigman’s still plans to continue advertising through traditional media but will increase its investment in online advertising. “Every now and then you need a nudge, and Virginia Media has nudged us in the right direction by bringing about a great platform in Waze,” says Richard. “We’re grateful for that.”

Get started

The Goal

Develop a branded campaign to increase navigations to the restaurant and attract new customers for dine-in and pick-up.

The Approach

Implemented ads on Waze to attract local and visiting drivers nearby.

The Results

Drove over 800 navigations with a $.41 cost per lead.


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