Coupons…Re-thought for Today’s Restaurant Entrepreneur

By: Tim Pincelli

The term coupon  has many connotations in the restaurant industry and from what I’ve observed, mostly negative. Traditional print coupons have  security or fraud potential, require additional auditing at server/bartender checkout  and  could lead to misrepresented offers if not properly explained.  They are  also typically expensive to print,  require distribution to thousands with little to no ability to audit or apply success measurements, and as a result typically turn into more of a customer service disaster than they’re worth.

 The design behind an offer, voucher (good attempt to rebrand the term coupon), or coupon is to drive more business…not to give something away. Remember the days of advertising in the weekly paper with a coupon good for 50% off an entree? Once released into the wild, all the bargain hunters mysteriously showed up at the door with coupon in hand while ordering two entrees and four waters.

Picture this scenario for a single store restaurant entrepreneur:

Jack is the chef, owner, and marketing department of the newest restaurant in the suburbs of Connecticut. Jack has a lot on his plate and is a very busy guy. He is trying to developing a marketing strategy that is easy to launch, easy to distribute, easy to manage, easy to control, easy to understand for his guests, and most importantly effective. Jack’s focus is on generating new business and reward repeat business.

Where does he start? Well, he decides on local news print and directs  his potential guests to his Twitter feed and Facebook business page (great start so far and his followers grow by the day). He can now leverage the social media verbs of wall posting and tweeting to deliver the offers efficiently to existing customers while exposing his offers to friends of friends and followers of followers. He is also now delivering product specific offers that have time of the day eligibility to drive targeted business and provide rewards when the hottest (most profitable) appetizers are ordered.

Unlike a traditional loyalty program, electronic offers can be generated immediately and nimbly. They are redeemed securely with reduced fraud,  making managing and creating offers take seconds with immediate testing ability. Your guests will appreciate that cards don’t have to be carried(only to be misplaced), and points don’t have to build in anticipation of a reward. The guest gratification is immediate….a driving  form of loyalty for the entrepreneur.

I see the restaurant entrepreneur struggling to stay afloat in the enormous sea of today’s new marketing opportunities begging for a life guard to help them. Or worse, sitting on the edge not knowing where or when the best time to dip their toe in is. Well, consider MICROS iCare Gift and Loyalty to be your Hasselhoff of entrepreneurial marketing! Let your local MICROS representative tell you how to get started today.

Find out more about what MICROS can do for you! For more information contact us at Phone: 866.287.4736 (US and Canada)

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