Good morning!

Good Morning Friends,
I hope everyone had a successful evening. I wanna start with a quote if I may.

“You’ve done it before and you can do it now. See the positive possibilities. Redirect the substantial energy of your frustration and turn it into positive, effective, unstoppable determination.”

OK, we are up 16% in November and December, January is starting out strong, this is my challenge. Because of the economy and intense competition locally I have run a dynamic discount program, but with expiration dates and limits. I never gave the house away. I just began a menu mailing campaign that will stretch until the end of the month and will see a huge number of new guests. Hmmmm, I may have just answered my own question. Well let me finish anyway, how do I gently ween my guests of the coupon crutch, or do I just morph the coupons into packaged meal deals. You know, I believe I just answered it. OK gang, chime in with similar challenges. let's get the new year off to a great start! 

                                                                        Love you guys have a successful day, Willi

I would go with package deals. That has worked well for me. When I started my menu mailings I saw very small increases the first mailing but when we sent them out again it was record breaking time. Just to give you an idea of how effective it is. I started mailing in November 2008. 10 weeks and an average of 1,000 houses a week. After the first 10 weeks there were no records broke. February 2009 started the second 10 week cycle. We broke weekly sales records 4 weeks in a row in February! And I mean all time weekly sales records! Since then we broke the weekly sales record 23 times in 2009. Keep mailing! It will work!

Its a hard thing to balance the ‘amazing deals’ to encourage sales with ‘business as usual’.

As I’ve posted before I use very aggressive deals at the quieter time of the year and I know full well that there are some people who only order at these times of year. I limited these deals to the times when we are normally slower and avoid aggressive deal at the busy times of year.

In your situations you are going to have to wean your customers off these deals over a period of time and the best way IMO is to go with packages each time a little less aggressive. You can of course change the ‘package’ each time so price increase isn’t as transparent. I normally do my main price increase during the aggressive deal season so that the price increase is initially offset by the deals.

I am removing one of my very long standing ‘aggressive collection deals’ shortly based on a restructuring of my deals. I may well lose some customer because of it but unfortunately that’s the way of the world.

Good luck!

Hi, Willi. If you get affiliate emails from Pizza Marketplace, you may have seen the article we sent out Monday on package deals (you can ignore the demo form and just download the article if you’re interested).

It’s a short read, but makes a few points you may want to think about:

[list]Coupon/deal sales were up 14% in 2009 – in a year where restaurant sales overall were flat or down. People are looking for deals more than ever right now.

The other important statistic in the article came from an NPD report on Q3 2009 restaurant sales. NPD found that weekend “deal traffic” was up 49 percent, compared to 13 percent on weekdays. [/list]

I’m a big believer in fishing where (and when) the fish are biting. If you can handle the volume, that trend seems like a great reason to come up with a great Date Night or Family Feast package to generate more visits and higher ticket averages on the weekends.

On the deals themselves, a couple of suggestions:

[list]Create the perception of a bigger discount by including low-margin items in the meal deal like soft drinks, breadsticks, salads, etc. Basic, I know.

But the part a lot of people forget is this: people naturally spend more on package deals, but you can encourage more add-on sales by designing the packages carefully in your POS menu: with upsizing options, package choices, add-ons, and upgrades. [/list]

Some operators do this really well. In your POS menu and on your website, think about where you could add upsizing options or add-on choices: upsize a soft drink, choose a salad, add on dipping sauces/extra toppings, or suggest a dessert. When you build the script into your menu this way, it gets your staff upselling consistently. And gets your website selling more for you.

Good luck with your new promotion.