The best restaurant promotions are those that have a very clear and specific objective, not the broad ones like “I want to increase sales”. It is better to have several targeted promotions than one for all cases. Why? Because otherwise the discounts (or other incentives) would be wasted on clients who just don’t care about them, that would have ordered anyway and/or that are sensitive to a whole different type of benefits.
The promotion engine offers a set of rules that may be applied to any promo deal from the list available. Such settings are available and almost identical in any promotion template from the Marketing section.
Here’s how to use them to tailor the promotions to specific business needs.
Happy hour – allows the restaurant to show the promotion only during certain days and time intervals. Use this to increase activity in the slow, unprofitable hours. It is also possible to use happy hours for the contrary effect — to focus all orders in a shorter program and close kitchen earlier.
Note: if there are some items in the menu that should be available only during certain times (e.g. lunch, happy hours), an extra step is to hide them from the menu.
Delivery Area – limits the promotions to those in a specific delivery zone. It’s worth considering for: areas newly open for delivery, areas with high competition, areas with certain demographics (example: businesses special campus for which the restaurants could run ongoing lunch menus) and so on.
On the other end, choosing to do a promotion only for pick-up is a good option for rush hours to stimulate pick-up when the drivers are anyway overloaded. After all, the discount could be the cost the restaurant would anyway have for the delivery. Plus, the delivery clients will be served faster by the less busy drivers.
Cart value – offer discounts depending on the order value to increase the average value/order. Test some thresholds and find the sweet-spots. Works every time. These promotions allow such setting;
Payment – at the beginning, most of the clients may prefer paying with cash or card on swipe device, but not necessarily online. To encourage clients to order and pre-pay online, think about incentivizing such behavior.
Client type – allows restaurants to set a promotion only for new clients or only for returning ones. This is most useful to convince more of the website visitors to order. However, don’t forget to reward the loyal customers as well. It is 6 times cheaper to keep an existing client returning than attracting a new one so…it’s really worth to do something for them. (e.g. 10% off on their 5th order).
Frequency – define how many times a promotion can be used by a client. While most of the times it is fine to leave it set to “unlimited”, there are cases when the restaurant will want to make sure it’s used only once per client. An example might be the reward campaign for the loyal clients mentioned above.
Exclusivity – the promotion will not be combined with others on the same order. There are two types of promotions: applicable for the entire cart or only for certain items.
- exclusivity on cart promotions is usually used to mark that they cannot be bundled with other cart promotions (e.g. block the possibility of accumulating 15% off on entire cart AND 10$ off on the entire cart)
- exclusivity on item promotions is usually used to mark that a promotion involving several items is not used with a promotion making a discount on the cart (e.g. block the possibility of accumulation 2+1 pizza promo AND 10% off cart)
There are also some additional settings to make sure things don’t get out of control:
- stock – limits the number of times the promo is redeemed. Should be used for stock or workload limitations
- expiration date – will automatically expire on you desired date, so that you don’t have to remember and do it yourself.
The easiest way to learn about promotions is to start creating one right now. The interface will provide guidelines every step of the way.
When finished, it is also possible to preview the promotions and see how they work in the menu.
There are a number of testing scenarios possible: set the date at a different time in the future, preview as a new or as a returning client etc.