The CMO Council reported that in 2016, 71% of consumers in the United States were influenced by coupons and discounts when weighing purchasing options.
Offering coupons in your restaurant can be an extremely effective sales tool for increasing your profit. Not only will coupons appeal to your current customer base, they will draw in new customers as well. What a fantastic way to create more brand ambassadors for your restaurant! Tie those coupons into your point of sale software for better data and actionable insight into your consumer behavior.
Are Coupons Actually Effective?
Coupons are still an extremely effective customer loyalty programs resource for restaurants to utilize to drive business. The CMO Council reported that in 2016, 71% of consumers in the United States were influenced by coupons and discounts when weighing purchasing options.
While coupons may appear to cut into a restaurant’s profit margins upfront, the long-term benefit of gaining new customer loyalty strongly outweighs this risk.
Start Advertising Early
Begin a brainstorming session with your management team. What products or services allow your restaurant to stand out amongst competitors? Which dishes seems to be the most popular? What is your restaurant famous for? These are the areas to target when deciding what type of coupon discount to offer.
Spreading the word and getting your coupon out on the market is the most important part of your coupon campaign. Begin circulating your discount 4-6 weeks prior to when your special will start.
Designing Your Coupon
Making your coupon attractive to consumers is vital. Your coupon should be eye catching and visually appealing to grab the attention of restaurant goers.
Include the details about the promotion, making sure nothing is vague or up for interpretation. Always include the expiration date for the coupon so consumers do not feel tricked, which can discredit your brand’s reputation.
Marketing Your Coupon
- Social Media: The average consumer has 3 social media accounts. Does your restaurant have a Facebook page? An Instagram account? A Twitter feed? It’s time to create social media platforms if you haven’t already done so.
- One fantastic perk about marketing via social media is that your coupon can be “shared” between users. Consumers can easily help you spread the word if you include discounts like, “Dine in with 2 friends, and receive 20% off your total bill”, or “Receive 30% off when you refer a new customer.”
- You also have the option to boost posts on social media to gain more visibility!
- Your Website: Your promotion should be on the main home page of your website for ALL to see. Design a new banner, or include your special in large, bold and colorful font so no one misses your upcoming special when visiting your website.
- Newspaper/Magazines: While digital coupons are most popular amongst consumers and easiest to redeem, the CMO Council reported that printed coupons still represent 44% of the coupon market. Coupons displayed in the newspaper or magazines are still advantageous, and one study even showed that 70% of consumers still search for and use traditional print offers in newspapers and magazines.
- Email: Targeting your current customer base is just as imperative as targeting new customers. Offering coupons via your loyalty program ensures your current customers will keep coming back. Even something simple such as “Take $5 off your next purchase” will maintain your current customer loyalty, and even lead them to referring friends.
- Be creative with ways to increase your restaurant profit. Set yourself up for success with these coupon best practices!