Consumers love great deals especially when dining out, making discounts an important part of your restaurant’s marketing plan.
When determining the best discount strategies for your restaurant, there is a fine line between creating compelling enough offers that your customers will respond well to and pricing yourself out of profits, all together.
Here are helpful tips to ensure that your promotional discounts both sell and deliver results for your business.
Put a good tracking and metrics system in place:
In order to determine the success of your discounting programs, you need to understand how they are working both in terms of customer response and your bottom line. Make sure that every new coupon or discounted offer has a unique tracking code that can be entered into your POS system once redeemed, so that you can keep a close eye on how it’s performing and then fine-tune, accordingly.
Alternate different offers but avoid offering too many competing discounts:
If you run a couple of different offers simultaneously, you can test and compare how each one is working. Then once you have a better idea about which offers are generating the best results, you can eliminate those that aren’t performing as well. However, you want to be careful not to offer too many competing promotions at the same time, which can not only hurt your restaurant’s reputation, but also dilute your efforts.
Offer 2 for 1 specials:
2 for 1 specials are a popular draw for restaurant consumers, making them a sure bet for your next promotional discount. To maximize your profits on a 2 for 1 special, keep your offer limited to select, lower-cost entrees and try rotating your 2 for 1 menu items every week to see which ones are giving you the best results.
Offer discounts around holidays:
National holidays, such as Mother’s Day, Christmas and Memorial Day are ideal times to launch a promotional discount program. They will help you to better compete during these popular dining out events and give you a creative theme for your promotions.
Discount high-margin items for a limited time:
When determining which menu items to discount, focus on your high-margin items that will lure in customers. But only offer them for a limited time in order to control costs. For instance, consider running a generous discount on your premium entrées, only for one week. Then once your customers are hooked, they will keep coming back for more.
Focus discounts on down times:
Promotional discounts are not only effective during popular holidays and other peak times. They can also be a smart strategy to increase business during notorious down times or days of the week. For instance, if your restaurant is struggling to maintain a steady lunch crowd, focus your discounted specials around lunch time. But be careful not to overly discount your menu items to ensure that you stay profitable.
In today’s competitive restaurant industry, promotional discounts have an important place at the table. With the right plan and execution, they can be a valuable way to boost your business.