# Here's an offer you can't refuse

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.

1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.