Here are some important points about your next coupon or offer:
The other day I received a coupon in the mail from a local Mexican restaurant. They had just started a curbside pick-up service and sent me a $5.00 coupon to use the next time I called in an order. While I don't usually recommend coupons and discounting— I prefer a gift certificate for a specific menu item or beverage — I'll have to admit that this promotion got my attention, and my business.
Why was this an offer I couldn't refuse?
- I'm already a customer, visiting every month or two, so there was no risk. The food quality, portion size, and store location were all known commodities to me.
- I'm familiar with their menu's price points, and a $5.00 coupon is a great incentive. I used my coupon toward a $16 lunch ticket for two people.
- The offer was simple and easy to understand: valid with purchase of $10 or more, cannot be used with other promotions or coupons, and no fine print to get trapped in.
- It was a high-quality marketing piece. The 4-color, glossy postcard made a classy impression. Not something I would throw away without reading.
Now, you may be thinking that's a big incentive to give to a customer who has already demonstrated a willingness to pay full price. But I tried the curb-side service and liked it. Then four weeks later I received another $5 coupon — a "Thank You" for trying the curbside service. And this time the coupon came with a second $5 coupon for me to give to a friend or colleague! Nice touch.
I've visited three times lately, and the curbside service is becoming a habit with me. (I think that's exactly what this savvy restaurant owner had hoped.) The result? Consider your own operation.... If your average customer frequents your restaurant once a month (12 times a year) and you can increase that frequency to 13 times a year, you will experience significant improvement in gross sales.
Do the Math:
$16 (average per cover)
x 12 visits
=$192 + $16 (bonus visit) = $208 - $3* = $205
That's a 6.8% increase in sales. For a $500,000 operation that's $34,000
— an offer you shouldn't refuse!
* Average cost of the promotion and coupon per cover. Most coupons are credited against more than one cover.