Most successful Coupon/special you have ever ran?

I am going to test the waters with couponing and would love to hear some of the best results you guys have had.

Personally I like to give items away for free rather than “$4.00 off” coupon, I’d rather a “Free cheesesticks”.

Hi Grokster,
In my opinion there is not one best coupon that will fit all businesses. My suggestion would be for you to create multiple different offers, test them, track them and then tweak based on that feedback. I would suggest diversifying these offers, eg, not just offering one type of coupon like bundle deals only as you will only be appealing to a narrower audience. Here is my suggestion.
Create 1-2 generic dollars off coupons.
Create 1 coupon that offers something free with the purchase of another item, typically the free item is a lower food cost item.
Create 1 coupon that offers something free with the purchase of a certain dollar amount.
Create 2 bundle deal coupons at two different price points.
Etc.

Based on the above you will have a coupon type that will appeal to a broad audience. From here you can see what people are reacting to the most and make changes from here.

Josh Davis
Vice President of Sales
Mail Shark
4125 New Holland Road
Mohnton, PA 19540

Direct: [U]484-948-1611[/U]
www.TheMailShark.com

I’m afraid to get stuck in “Coupon Hell” so the only thing we do is offer discounts through high school clubs, a cartoonish map to get first timers here, and stuff like that.
Years ago we did “Local Half off dining deal” through a TV station, where the purchasers get $50 in gift certificates for $25.00, I will NEVER do that again! I’ve heard horror stories from Groupon restaurants, and realized near the same thing. All that showed up was bargain hunters, who we’ll never see again without a coupon in their hand, “Coupon Hell”

I understand and can agree with you GotRocks, thing is… In my area they do a School coupon book which students sell for $20.00 each, they are a very big hit and it’s a decent deal to grab a page even with the multitude of competitors advertising in it.

This is the only reason I am considering it, every competitor in my area advertise bundles/packages and they seem to do better than coupons here… Maybe something to do with a high average income in my area.

From my experience you don’t have to heavily discount you just have to show value with your coupons. Always make sure you’re still making enough money off the deal. I do this by targeting all my coupons with a high profit margin item this way I can discount the item or bundle and still have around a 30% food cost. Then like Josh said track which one work and replace the ones that don’t work with another offer. Everyone uses coupons and they drive customers in.

Not quite on point but I have a client who has now bought magnets for several years…They offer free bags of ice with pickup pizza orders…They distribute them at local campgrounds…Costs about 35 cents a bag…They have attempted to find advertisers for bags but were not using enough to warrant the costs…

When I had my shop, my business partner decided to print up 10,000 pages of coupons with exceptional deals. When him and I split up, I dumped the coupons and people were not happy. Some people do not offer coupons at all. Others do it forever which means they are always discounting their food. I personally feel it is great to get people in the door the first time and wow them with the product so they keep coming back. If it is good, people may not care about the cost.
Bundling is good, it gives the appearance of a discount. Groupon is not good for pizza. I used it for the limo service and I had to work to make any money off of them. Free breadsticks or a lower cost item is also good. Try to stay away from giving away your items with the largest margin. Your profit will go out the door.

My best coupons have always been free breadsticks/knots/etc with purchase of specialty pizza or sometimes I switch it up and make it any family size pizza. It gets the high profit items you want to sell into the hands of the customer while still making good money on their purchase, and hopefully next time they order they won’t be able to leave the store without ordering breadsticks or whatever it is they tried.

Another popular one is 9.99 for 16 piece boneless wings… (usually 5.99 for 8). Oftentimes I put one of our knots or one of our cheese breads on a coupon at regular price just so people that will never look at a menu will see what we sell and what we sell it for. I think the only discount I’ve ever given is $1 off any family size pizza and I don’t think I got much response on that. Everyone here beats into everyone’s head not to discount your food, and I am a firm believer in that as well. Don’t ruin the perceived value of your product.

Many years ago before I owned my own place, I worked for Pizza Hut’s field marketing department. Back then the standard store special in the Los Angeles area was 2 medium 2 tops and wings for $17.99. We changed the wording to 2 medium 2 tops for $17.99 and a FREE order of wings. I don’t remember the exact numbers but sales of the special increased significantly. Food for thought.