Category Archives: Discounts and Promotions

The Disloyalty Card Concept

3D Card Loyalty Crossword
The vaunted loyalty card is a tradition at many restaurants, despite the fact it might not be the best thing for them. It seems that a pair of Washington, DC people have come up with the opposite: the disloyalty card.

Eater has reported on a new concept. Encouraging customers to go to different coffee shops and try a variety of drinks from various baristas, customers will be rewarded with a free drink once they’ve gotten their card stamped at Blind Dog, Chinatown Coffee, The Coffee Bar, Filter, La Mano, and Peregrine Espresso. They’ll take the card to (ideally) the place where they had the best-tasting coffee, bestowing that coffee shop with the visceral feel of being best out of six.

I think for baristas, one of the things we want to do well is connect with customers over coffee in a way that makes customers excited, and that makes them feel good about going into coffee shops,” she said. “I hope the card is a fun way for D.C. coffee lovers to sort of explore different shops and engage with the people making coffee.

It’s an interesting proposal, as it effectively encourages restaurants to drive sales elsewhere. At the same time, it works because it’s a major community-builder; no restaurant or coffee shop exists in a vacuum, and while you may be out for yourself, there’s no harm in making friendship and allies with competitors. You never know when your restaurant might need help from a competitor, whether it be buns in a pinch, a stack of cups, or even work together with a competitor to have a live event that no one restaurant can support by themselves.

Now, the disloyalty card has the same problems as the loyalty card. Stores don’t keep a track of what kind of drink they’ve ordered, what they might have eaten with it, and more. It does come with the benefit of being a clear marker of which place might be the favorite.

Is this a concept you could introduce at your restaurant? Naturally, you’d have to work with local businesses, and ideally for competition sake, some of a similar kind. If anything, it’s a way to encourage at least one purchase at each restaurant, and the cost is rather low, as you only would have to invest in the cards and the occasional free drink for someone who chooses yours as the best.

Naturally, the concept does not have to be limited to coffee drinks; it would work the same if you decided to use it for sandwiches, burritos, tacos, and more. Find something that you’re really proud of at your restaurant and that enough local restaurants focus on that it’d be a fun competition between restaurants.

If anything, if you end up giving the most free product away, then you’ve got a nice bit of pride for your restaurant.

Customizing Your Restaurant Menu

Quick: what do chains like Subway, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Blimpie, Chipotle, Five Guys and the like have in common?

Customization. While you can easily order a standard default sub, sandwich, burger, or burrito in these locations, such as the ones Subway focuses on every month, you have a whole menu of ingredients that can go on each item. A fan of Sriracha sauce over ketchup? Do you like grilled onions or crispy regular ones? A lot of pickles or a little, stacks of jalapenos or not, and even the variety of cheese you use are all up for choice.

These simple choices, while they may slightly delay the speed of production, vastly allow consumers to make personalized choices, endearing them to your brand and making the sandwich and more they’re buying exactly what they want, not just good enough. It leads to a higher-quality product for the consumer, and less complaints from the chef. If he’s crafted the perfect burger and the customer doesn’t want mushrooms, it’s an insult to their craft. Instead, if the consumer is designing their dream burger and don’t like it, it’s their own fault for thinking sharp cheddar would pair well with spinach salad topping.

The concept is simple enough, but different and at odds for older institutions who may go by the mindset of Ford with the Model-T: “You can have any color you want, as long as it’s black”. McDonald’s, the originator of the fast-food hamburger concept, has decided to give this concept a shot. The Huffington Post reports that a California restaurant is attempting a “build your own burger” concept, after a previous test in Illinois. At the heart of the change is new assembly tables that can feature many more ingredients. Customization will impact speed, something that McDonald’s aims for, so the chances of a national rollout are up in the air. If it impacts speed too much, it won’t likely be nationally adopted.

It’s not too hard to see how McDonald’s could handle this concept; the new assembly table would feature all of the ingredients they would offer on the burger, ranging from standards of ketchup, mustard, pickles, chopped onions, tomatoes, lettuce, and more to eccentric options such as tortilla chips, jalapenos, BBQ sauce, and other items they occasionally sneak into limited-time offerings. This would allow customers to perfect their burger of choice alongside resurrecting old special burgers that they may miss, but McDonalds doesn’t have on their menu.

Customization is something that may be default in many pizza restaurants, but might be unheard in other types of food sales. Is there any sort of item on your menu you can easily offer up for customization? You might want to see offering one basic item and let the consumer chose their toppings; you might even find a few special combinations that really hit it off, and have your consumer base help form your menu!

How To Honor Veteran’s Day In Your Restaurant

This upcoming Monday, November 11th, will be Veteran’s Day in America. This is one of the many days that you can take special advantage of and treat both the veterans that have defended your country and show your pride and part of the community with discounts, promotions, and more. How can you celebrate your heroes in your community?

Follow The Big Guys

Foodbeast has collected a list of ten notable chains running notable specials throughout the day.

  • Krispy Kreme will be offering all active, retired, and veterans a free donut and a small coffee.
  • Shoney’s will be offering all veterans and active a free All-American Burger.
  • Champps will be offering all veterans and active a free hand-crafted burger with fries.
  • On The Border will be offering a free meal from the Create Your Own Combo meal, alongside donating 15% of purchases (with a flyer) to Carry The Load.
  • Paciugo’s is offering veterans and active a free Gelatte.
  • Menchie’s is offering free frozen yogurt to active and veterans.
  • Little Caeser’s is offering free Crazy Bread to those who have or are serving.
  • Twin Peaks will give a free meal to all service women and men.
  • Olive Garden is giving a free entree off of a special menu, alongside 10% off the receipt for members dining with them.
  • Red Lobster will be offering a free appetizer from a limited menu as well.

All these large companies are offering free dishes, ranging from a small donut to an entire meal. Looking at your menu, you can undoubtedly come up with some equivalent concept; if you sell hamburgers, a free hamburger is a traditional American option. None of the menu items given out for free are high-ticket items, but decidedly improve the mindset of your company for those who have served. If those in service play it right, they may go from restaurant to restaurant and load up; we’ve all done it on birthdays.

Honor Your Staff

You may have had people on staff that have served, and you might want to treat them in a way that works for your restaurant. It could be anything from taking them out for a long lunch break to the movies, simply giving them a free meal that day, giving them a gift card, or even just offering them to have the day off, to leave early, or to come in late. Little things like this might not make a major dent in the budget, but for an employee, can possibly be a large improvement to their day.

Donate to Charity

You may wish to simply include a donation box near the front, or be ambitious and donate a certain percentage of your tickets (or even the entire price of certain items) to a veteran’s organization of your choosing in your local area. Customers may even chose to spend more in your restaurant if they know their money is going to a good cause.

Veteran’s Day is a day meant to honor those who’ve served; you have more than enough opportunities to do so in your own restaurant.