Offering your current and future customers coupons, discounts, and other promotions can be an effective way to attract customers to your restaurant and keep them coming back. However, too often, restaurants develop a habit of keeping the same deals and coupons for too long. They lose efficiency and leads because of this.
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Skip coupon websites
Although coupon sites like Groupon and Living Social can bring in flocks of customers, there are many drawbacks that come with it. For starters, most businesses will see no benefit in setting up these deals. Coupon sites like Groupon take up to 50% of the revenue per deal. Adding to this consumer savings of at least 50%, most businesses will lose money on these businesses. Also, these sites have a low conversion rate from repeat customers. So even though you can get customers through your door, you will have a hard time finding them back.
Lastly, offering big discounts like those from Groupon and Living Social can hurt your brand. Once a customer gets a product at a greatly reduced price, they are less inclined to buy at full price. If you want to use these coupon sites, be sure to limit the number of coupons available. This will put a cap on the profit losses your restaurant may face. Otherwise, it is better to offer coupons and discounts through your own website and newsletters, thus drastically reducing advertising fees.
Tips for using coupon sites without damaging your brand:
Offering new menu items on coupon sites is not the best seller.
Offer limit for exclusive sale events
Weigh the cost of advertising and discount against your profit when calculating discount offers
Treat Groupon and other users of the coupon site with the same level of respect and customer service as full-price customers.
Offer value on your social coupon deals, and bigger discounts to larger groups to draw in crowds.
Consider your business model
Before implementing a discount program, be sure to consider your business model first. If you have a good restaurant or full-service establishment, for example, a BOGO dinner deal can be a great promotion that diners would use. Fine and family dining experiences often drive couples out to dinner, who would love a free meal, while still paying full price for one of their entrees.
But, if you have a pizzeria, a large BOGO pizza might be too much food to get customers through the door. You will see that BOGO requests delivery more often than store orders. For fast food and casual restaurants, try sticking with dollar increment discounts, which tend to be viewed by consumers as higher value deals. See how Papa Johns is delivering free pizza without losing customers through his loyalty program.
Focus on the drawing
Whether it’s the dreaded lunch shift or quiet Tuesday nights, every restaurant has a time of week that is slower than the rest. If you are starting a coupon program, try to pay special attention to these times. You might consider offering a weekly $ 1 taco Tuesday night, or BOGO lunch specials to attract customers.
You are also advised not to offer promotions during your most profitable times. So if Saturday nights and Sundays are full, be sure to forgo coupons during these shifts. In this way, you can keep your earnings stable during your most important moments.
When you focus on your restaurant downtime for discounts and promotions, look into host events. Add entertainment to your restaurant to attract new customers with these 13 restaurant entertainment ideas. When new customers come to your restaurant during an event, they are more likely to share their positive experience and return with more friends the next time they visit us.
Even if you offer discounts and promotions, don’t forget about auctions. When advertising restaurant coupons, consider offering different tiers of coupons. For example, you can offer a 20% discount on Sunday brunch as the first level, a 30% discount on Sunday brunch with a glass of champagne as the second level.