(April 14, 2011)—The American Express Market Briefing report for April lists the types of restaurant promotions that consumers like best. Buy One Get One takes the top spot, and that hasn't changed since 2009.
The types of restaurant discounts, coupons and special promotions that were most popular among consumers almost two years ago, in June 2009, are still the most popular. However, most types of deals are less popular than they were previously. One potential explanation is that third-party restaurant coupons have leapt into the limelight in the past couple of years—and their deals are sometimes better, or just more exciting.
Consumers still feel that buy-one-entrée-get-one-free offers are the most appealing restaurant promotion around, but the appeal of such offers has diminished by 12 percentage points over the past two years. A set-price sandwich or entrée dropped the most in consumer appeal between June 2009 and March 2011, by 15 percentage points. Combo meals from an FSR diminished in consumer appeal by 10 percentage points, as did the option to add a side item for $1. The appeal of a free appetizer or dessert with the entrée held steady; this type of offer appealed to two-thirds of consumers (66%) in both periods. Free food or beverage giveaways proved slightly less popular this time around, dropping by five percentage points.