Competitors Coupons

I Checked the FAQ’s, cant find anything in a search, so I will ask this question even though I know it has been discussed before.

Do you or have you ever excepted your competitors coupons?

I have 1 competitor that is a local chain and are known for their cheap pizza. I was thinking about for 1 month excepting their coupons. The ad would be worded to not name them by name, but say local competitors only.

What do you think?

What is your product like? If it’s somewhere in the same ballpark, you could do it. If your several notches above, you will cheapen your product and brand by taking those coupons. I’d spend the money on a rewards program instead of discounts.

Well, just to play devil’s advocate. Maybe you are just alerting more people to your competitors if you do that? Maybe they start thinking since you take their coupons your product is comparable to theirs? I think they will associate your product with whomever you do this with. Without explicitly saying it you are saying “same product/same price”.

Imo, if your product is about “price” then I think its probably a good tactic generally speaking.

I have heard of unique situations on this board where people have used competitors promotions to their advantage but not as a regular practice.

I have accepted competitor coupons, but at my discretion. I have never publicly let my customers know about this, but when someone comes in with a PH coupon and asks if I’ll match it… absolutely.

But if someone comes in with $5 Large Pepperoni Pizzas from LC and want the same deal, I say “No, our pizza is too good to sell for $5”. I have to draw a line somewhere.

I’m not saying that our pizza is only as good as PH, because I know it’s better. But if I can take a PH customer and still make money at it, then it’s worth it.

We tried this for 3 months and oddly didn’t get a single one. We boxed topped and put it on our huge sign outside…nothing. Maybe it is because our prices were actually better…who knows. I thought we would get slammed from it.

Try it for a month…even if they come in with a ridiculous coupon for 5 bucks or whatever …I am sure you will still break even and the prospect of a new customer is priceless.

Kris

Well, maybe the prospect of a new customer is exciting, but does this strategy weaken the perceived value of your product to non coupon clippers?

To me, it is a numbers game. I would want to draw new customers to my operation who had not tried me before. I suspect that 90%+ will be price 'hoes looking for a the best they can get for the cheap pricing. Somewhere in that pack will possibly emerge a coupe or four customers who are quality customers who just had an excuse to try me with a coupon. If I attract four customers who become loyal/long term, then it will be a huge score. Remember that a loyal customer is worth something like $800+ per year (don’t remember the number or the source).

There are many other ways to attract customers . . . but, as a piec of a strategic marketing plan, this could be a keeper. Don’t do it as a gimmick or you’ll get burned. Part of a well conceived PLAN that ahs several facets and very clear GOALS for what you want to accomplish with the coupon promotion. Even set your POS to track which people bring in those coupons so you can see if you are getting skinned by one or two people.

Aggressive marketing is Dave Ostrander’s mantra. 100% guarantee on the OTHER guy’s pizza is one he used. Offer to your customers a chance to try the other guy, and if it isn’t up to YOUR quality they’ve come to love, then replace it with an equal pie . . . ONCE. No one should suffer poor pizza, but going back again is just dumb. Yopu gotta be top of the market with taste, quality and service before offering these kinds of deals, though.

Make that plan and see if the accepting of competitor coupons fits into the overall plan and identity of your shop.

Be careful about advertising that you take a competitor’s coupons, I’ve heard stories of small operators fighting that tactic by printing special coupons for ridiculous discounts and giving them to their friends and family to use at the offending shop. I think if you were subtle about it and made sure to allow a discretionary policy on accepting other store’s coupons it would be fine, but as has been noted it may send the wrong message about your store or provoke a price war with the local competition.

Be careful about advertising that you take a competitor’s coupons, I’ve heard stories of small operators fighting that tactic by printing special coupons for ridiculous discounts and giving them to their friends and family to use at the offending shop

I would happily accept these as I am certain I would convert some of these friends and family to my product. Assuming these coupons were priced at a loss, I would laugh repeatedly as I redeem them at the store that printed them in the middle of dinner rush on Friday nights. If they wouldn’t accept them, I would make a point to make sure that all of their other customers in there knows that they won’t accept their own coupons.

Tried it. Didn’t work. I was getting the “other guy’s” “difficult customers”. Not worth the pain in my head I got from trying to make them happy. I ended up sending them back to him. (coupons and all) He uses cheap stuff, I use the good stuff. I get paid for quality. I found myself using less ingredients trying to make up for the $$. Which is what he does. That’s not what I want to send out. If a customer only has $5.00 to spend they can go to the guy in the dress. I did it when the kids were young. It’s the old “80/20” rule.
One of my regulars asked why the other guy has an ad and coupons in the paper every week, we hardly ever do, and we are always busier. (advertising by not advertising) I asked him why he orders from us and not them? He just laughed and gave my daughter a $5.00 tip when she cashed him out. They order about twice a week…I like him :stuck_out_tongue:

I have been accepting competitions coupons for about a year now
We are a small town of about 3000 and 3 shops. 1 is a full service rest and bar though. The other shop spent a furtune in advertising(full print attack box toppers,mailed out menus with coupons) and would mail coupons out every 3rd week so I figured why should I pay for the advertising costs just let him print and I would accept! We have same size pizzas with similar styles/prices. I have not been out anything and gained a lot of customers willing to give mine a try at the “discounted price” and then stayed on my customer base not his! If you are similar in costs and product on your menus then I would DEFINITLY DO IT if they are way lower in quality nad price-regular menu THEN DON’T

VERY good advice! :slight_smile: “Let them pay for your advertising”
hmmm… think I read that here somewhere

funny story here, I helped a competitor on this one. I am on one side of town and he is on another. One day I noticed he had a Huge sign up that said We will BEAT and accept ANY competitors coupons.
SO I flooded his neighbor hood all around is shop with Large 2 toppings for 3.00, on the back it says see store for details.
first my larges are 14 inches his are 16, and this was about 2 years ago when cheese was through the ROOF.
I figured my cost I wasnt making anything but he was LOOSING LOTS, I got several a day and from what I was told he got dozens…but the details in store were I had a huge sign that says ask me about our 3.00 pizza, when they came in with the coupon I told them this is our internet special and they had to sign in (we have a laptop on the counter) and be added to our email group to get the special.
long story short in less than 45 days he pulled his sign and had a new sign that says we no longer can accept competitor coupons…oh and I have about 2000 email address in his backyard that I email every friday…
so becareful…I usually take most competitors coupons but leave room for discression

If you did take competitors coupons would it be feasible to say on the advertising for it “some restrictions may apply” that way you don’t have to take the ones that say a “large one topping for $5.00”?

How would a potential new client feel if they showed up with a coupon they thought they could use and you put conditions on it when they arrived…I think that would do more damage in the long run than the high food cost in the short term…Remember the “lifetime” value of a client is worth something…

oe the coupon I had written with a valid email address, so it should not have been a shock coming to the restuarant…

Yea you could put restrictions apply if your worried about something like the $5 deal. In my area though we use the same suppliers and price ranges so our costs so I didnt have to worry about that

We offer to meet or beat any local competitor, which includes 2 chains (one popular for a 5-5-5 deal). I have only had a few customers even challenge this because our pricing is very affordable. We also have small print that says ’ some restrictions may apply". Such as if you call to get the competitors BOGO special, we will honor it if you pay their menu price for the first pizza(their menu prices are higher, it makes the total the same as if you went to them). Also, we will not deliver the other guys ‘pick up only special’. So far it has worked pretty well.