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Borrowing promotions from the big chains

Ideas to build profitable lunch sales
customers eating restaurant

The average American spends more than $2,700 a year eating lunch away from home, averaging one or more visits per week. Is it any wonder why national restaurant chains have targeted people who work near their locations for decades?

One of the big chains’ most popular promotional tools has been to deliver a packet of offers—enough for every employee—directly to businesses in a tight radius around their restaurants. These workplace offers consistently get new customers through the doors more frequently and at a lower cost than direct mail or coupon books.

For its programs, chains generally use outside experts with extensive business databases and the staff to manage all the program details. In the past, this option was simply too expensive for independents. Now, web-based technology has changed that, and independent restaurants across the country are taking advantage.

Results on a Budget

WorkPlace Local is one of the leaders in making effective at-work promotions affordable for independents. Building on three decades of success with major chains, they’ve developed a simple, affordable web-based process specifically for this sector of the restaurant industry. “Now, for under $600 per campaign, independents can plow a trough from their restaurant to the at-work consumer, just like the national chains,” said Tim P. McCarthy, WorkPlace Local’s CEO. “Our program guarantees a restaurant’s offer is delivered to 2,000 workers within a 3-mile radius of a location.”

“In less than 10 minutes, you can launch a program with WorkPlace Local,” said McCarthy. “A manager enters the restaurant zip code, chooses a promotion and uploads a food image and logo. It’s that easy.” 

WorkPlace Local takes care of printing and then handles the geo-targeted delivery using their multimillion-name database of businesses, schools, hospitals and other organizations. “We have key contacts inside workplaces nationwide who have opted-in to the program for their company. We guarantee the offer will reach at least 2,000 workers,” said McCarthy.

At-work programs are one of the lowest cost ways of getting new customers. They’re a fraction of the cost of traditional direct mail and typically get a much higher response rate. “It [the program] puts an offer in front of people with a paycheck at a time they’re deciding on food,” said McCarthy.

Independents Make Their Move

Independents and franchise groups of 10 to 18 locations are adding workplace programs to their promotional mix, said McCarthy. “We’re working with a number of one-location businesses, including restaurants and even a coffee micro-roaster. And there’s a regional franchise group running programs with their managers, testing different offers every month,” he said.

Driving Results

Workers are—quite literally—hungry for lunchtime promotions. Workplace couponing is a way to generate new customer trial and to bring current customers back more often. The big chains have proven it, and technology has made it affordable for independents. What could a stronger lunch business do for your bottom line?


Keys to Winning at Local-Store Marketing

  1. Know your neighborhood. Up to 80% of customers are local.
  2. Be yourself; emphasize what makes you unique.
  3. Make an offer; it gets people in the door.
  4. Be consistent and keep building.
  5. Track your efforts and know what works.

Find more ideas in the Local Store Marketing Kit at www.workplacelocal.com. Questions? Call us at (800) 206-2863.

This post is sponsored by Workplace Local

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