As long as you’re not in a “Throw Momma From The Train” situation, Mother’s Day is one that you should enjoy, a celebration of the woman that brought you into this world. As a restaurant owner, you should also know that Mother’s Day is the largest day for people to eat out at a restaurant. The math is simple on this one; culturally, mom is the one who traditionally made dinner in decades past, and to celebrate her, you’re not going to make her make her own dinner, are you? Take her out to a nice restaurant.
It’s a simple idea to capitalize on this holiday, but there’s a small problem: there’s no “traditional” Mother’s Day meal. There’s not a long-standing tradition of apple pie or catfish or Asian fusion meals. Ideally, a fancier meal works better than a hamburger or pizza, unless Mom really has a love of the local hamburger joint.
Still, there’s promotions to be had, and despite the founder of Mother’s Day spending her later years fighting the commercialization of the holiday, money can be made off the holiday. It’s all about getting people in the door.
- Offer a host of freebies once mothers and children walk in the door. See about having a bounty of carnations to hand out, or offer the mom a free drink of wine (or whatever her usually-more-expensive-than-desired drink of choice is). Make sure you have some ways to display flowers, while you’re at it.
- Promotional meal deals are a good idea, and can help you get rid of excess inventory. As the holiday isn’t tied to any particular meal plan, you may take this chance to hand out some of your lesser-selling items.
- Price cuts on special combinations. Say, if the children are getting one meal, mom can get
With the arrival of summer, it’s naturally time for restaurants and stores to start focusing on promotions that get their drinks out the door that keep you a bit chilled. Nevermind the fact that it’s not breaking 60 degrees, and there was a threat of hail this week at our offices in Georgia, it just might actually be summer elsewhere in the country.
Starbucks is encouraging customers to try out their new Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccinos, as from now until May 12th from 3-5PM, Frappuccinos will be half off, according to Brand Eating. Your selections include
- White Chocolate Mocha
- White Chocolate
- Vanilla Bean
- Tazo Green Tea
- Tazo Chai
- Strawberries and Cream
- Mocha Light
- Mocha Cookie Crumble
- Java Chip
- Java Chip Light
- Double Chocolaty Chip
- Coffee Light
- Cinnamon Dolce
- Cinnamon Dolce Light
- Cinnamon Dolce Creme
- Chocolate Cookie Crumble
- Caramel Light
- Caramel Ribbon Crunch
- Cafe Vanilla
- Cafe Vanilla Light
Sonic, on the “we’re not going to even claim these are anything but a milkshake” side, will be offering half-off hand-mixed ice cream shakes after 8PM, Brand Eating reports. Their shake selection consists of
- Fresh Banana
- Hot Fudge
- Chocolate-Covered Strawberry
- Chocolate-Covered Banana
- Chocolate Cream Pie
- Coconut Cream Pie
- Banana Cream Pie
- Strawberry Cream Pie
- Peanut Butter
- Peanut Butter Fudge
- Peanut Butter Cookie
- Peanut Butter Banana
- Peanut Butter and Jelly
- Peanut Butter and Bacon
- Chocolate Cheesecake
- Strawberry Cheesecake
- Cherry Cheesecake
- OREO Cheesecake
I think I may have to get a Peanut Butter and Bacon shake.… Read the rest
What Are We Talking About?
Loyalty programs are, at their heart, an outright cause for returning clientele. Without a loyalty program, even if the food and value are good, consumers may start to veer elsewhere in search of something better. Depending on your loyalty program, this might actually encourage visitors during less-peak hours. The cost to institute a program is so low that, unless it interferes with your brand image, it an only be a win.
Who Should Do This?
Any restaurant that desires returning clientele.
How Do I Start A Loyalty Program?
- Figure out the cost of what the promotion would be. You may want to offer a “frequent eaters” discount, or offer a free meal with a variable amount of purchases, or even free drinks or dessert with each dinner. Make sure your costs are within your promotional budget.
- Institute the policy: print membership cards if that’s the plan, or if you have a smaller clientele (or the technological means for a larger one), you may want to keep a record of purchases on a computer.
- After a set amount of time, check and see if it’s working. Have sales gone up? Have you noticed trends you like (more people buying soda, for example, if that’s how you rack up “points”)?
- From there, revise and continue.
- … let your staff abuse the membership for friends and family, such as “double-stamping” people they like.
- … when wording your promotion. “Free soft drink once you reach 10 pizzas ordered” might imply to customers that they will get free pizza in perpetuity, not just a one-time deal (restarted at the beginning of their next pizza). “One Free Soft Drink” noted with “for every 10 pizzas ordered” makes it clearer.
- … and never let the promotion exceed your budget;
Subway has had a massive hit on their hands in recent years with their $5 Footlong deal, offering a foot long sub of a special variety every month (and February becomes Februany, where you can get most normal subs for that flat price). Soon after they received viral flack for the mighty footlong only measuring 11-inches (and commitments to ensuring proper length at all of their franchises), they’ve decided to offer up a new value alongside their $5 footlong; half the sandwich for 3/5ths the price.
Some may contend that this move is to brace the world for the day where at $5 Footlong isn’t a sustainable deal for the sandwich company, while others may look at it as a value-conscious, budget-conscious, and waist-conscious move when things are tight (on the other hand, people may point out that it’d just be cheaper to buy a footlong and save half for another meal if you’re really worried about your diet).
This month sees the launch of the program with the Oven Roasted Chicken being the deal of the month, with the program scheduled to run through June at least, Huffington Post reports.
Are you satisfied with only six-inches of sandwich at this lower price point? Is it a quantity or a quality issue? Given that a six-inch subs is more of an ideal serving size than a full footlong, maybe this deal will help America realize what it means to actually overeat. Michael Phelps and other Olympians were in promotions for the brand eating footlongs, but they also burn more calories than most.… Read the rest
It’s 2013, and many of your current and potential customers use smart phones in their daily life. Two popular apps, OpenTable and Foodspotting, will now be under one banner, as OpenTable has bought Foodspotting for $10 million.
What is OpenTable?
OpenTable is an online restaurant reservation, offering free reservations for customers (in exchange for monthly and per-reservation fees for the restaurant). Customers can also receive points after reservations, to be redeemed for future discounts. These points can be offered at certain times, allowing restaurants to encourage patrons to arrive at less-frequented times. OpenTable is also integrated with Siri, allowing iPhone users to place reservations via their personal digital assistant.
What is Foodspotting?
Ever eat at a place, and receive a dish that just doesn’t look like it did on the menu? Foodspotting hopes to rectify that problem, allowing patrons to take pictures of their food and upload it. Other patrons can log into the service and see what food they want might actually look like.
CNET reports that OpenTable has purchased Foodspotting for for $10 million, but will continue to run Foodspotting as it’s own. These two apps might have flown below the everyday restaurant owner, but this major purchase might have caught their eyes.
How to Use Both Services
Foodspotting is really simple. Just go onto their site and see if you’ve been snapped. If so, make sure your food is meeting your own personal expectations. If nobody’s taken any pictures of your business, think about ways that you can make your food more visually appealing, or if you’re confident enough as it is, encourage customers to post pictures of it (such as a “We Encourage Foodspotting” sign).
PepsiCo and Anheuser-Busch InBev N.V., the people behind Pepsi, Doritos, and Bud Light, have decide to combine their powers in the face of evil. Well, “evil” in this situation is Coca-Cola and others.
Combining their powers in anticipation of the Super Bowl, the three brands will be displayed in the same store standees with the moniker “Super Bowl. Super Team. Super Party.”, letting shoppers grab their soft drinks, beer, and snacks in the same station, with mail-in rebates rewarding those that do.
This, naturally, presumes a few things:
- You’re not watching the game at a bar (or you’re watching the game at all)
- Your friends enjoy Bud Light, Doritos, and Pepsi (instead of the valid alternative of Miller Lite, Tostitos, and Coke, or Killians, Takis, and Dr. Pepper… or any other variation)
- If you do like those brands, you like those specific variations.
If anything, it will be a great display for people just running in and out for accessories to bring to a party, as nobody will honestly complain about any of them.
The tactic should undoubtedly work out in favor for the two parties involved, but they won’t be advertising or otherwise combining their efforts more than usual: Pepsi and Busch are just bundling the brands together, Ad Age reports.… Read the rest
Until December 9th, that is.
Celebrating the 55th anniversary of the Whopper, Burger King is offering Whoppers for 55 cents, with the purchase of any Whopper that’s not the Whopper Jr. The Whopper premiered in 1957, and the Home of the Whopper is both Burger King and it’s Australian variation, Hungry Jack’s.
Over the years, there have been variations ranging from the Windows 7 Whopper, the Angry Whopper, Indy Whopper, and the aforementioned Whopper Jr. Traditionally, the burger features a flame-grilled beef patty on a sesame-seed bun, mayo, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, ketchup, and a sliced onion.
Are you a fan of the Whopper, or do you go to the McDonald’s competitor, the Big Mac? Will you stock up on 55 cent Whoppers?… Read the rest