Bar and Restaurant: The Daily Deals
Become a daily deal expert, and you’ll not only attract new customers, but also keep them coming back.
You’ve tested the waters of using a daily deal site like Groupon to market your bar or restaurant, and you know how powerful a tool it is to send new customers your way. Now it’s time to multiply that effect and become a daily deal pro. Try these tips to maximize the power of your daily deals.
Work with a well-known and credible daily deal site that offers guidance throughout the process. For instance, at Groupon, your bar or restaurant is assigned to a dedicated account manager who helps you create the best deal for your business and answers all your questions before, during and after the deal. The daily deal site you choose should also guide you through creating artwork and copy for the deal. Finally, they should provide you with a checklist of steps to make sure you’re prepared to manage the results you’ll enjoy when your deal goes live.
Use daily deals to boost sales and capacity when you need it. For instance, if your restaurant is typically bustling on Friday and Saturday nights, but not so busy during the week, consider cooking up a dinner deal that’s good only Mondays through Thursdays. If your bar is a hit at happy hour but empties out as the night wears on, mix up a daily deal featuring enticing drinks available only in the wee hours.
Use daily deals to achieve sales goals. Sophisticated daily deal marketers use deals to attain a variety of sales goals, including moving slow sellers or selling more of certain high-margin items. For example, if your bar has purchased too much of a certain winery’s wine, create a deal for a special wine-tasting featuring that vintner. If you’d like to boost profit margins at your restaurant, craft deals that give customers access to a limited menu of high-margin dishes.
Be prepared. You want daily deal users to say good things about your bar or restaurant, so make sure you have adequate staff on hand to support the extra customers the deal is likely to bring in. If you’re running the Monday-Thursday dinner deal mentioned above, be sure you have extra servers if this is a traditionally slow daypart. Make certain all bartenders, wait staff and hostesses are well versed in the deal details so they can handle the transactions without a fuss. And make sure you’re adequately stocked so you don’t run out of the drink special or menu items you promoted.
Engage. Your bartenders, wait staff and hostesses should engage with daily deal customers to build rapport and relationships. Ask how they heard about your bar or restaurant and whether they’d like to sign up to receive emails and special offers from you. Always remember that the customer experience is paramount to the success of your bar or restaurant daily deal offering.
Use analytics tools. Analytics allow you to measure the success of your daily deal and gather valuable customer information. Reputable daily deal sites provide you with free online analytics tools to track results. For example, Groupon’s Merchant Center, lets you:
- Learn your customer’s demographics (age, gender and ZIP code/location),
- Read customer comments and feedback (based on post-purchase surveys),
- View performance measurement across campaigns,
- Track customer acquisition and incremental customer spending, and
- Determine the ROI from your deal.
Reach out. Follow up after customers visit your bar or restaurant by offering them an incentive to return. This can be done in person along with the check, or via email if they sign up to receive offers from you. Ask your daily deal provider what they offer in this regard. For example, Groupon offers a loyalty program, Groupon Rewards, which helps encourage repeat business.
Get social. Dining out is social by nature. An Ipsos study found nearly three-fourths of Groupon customers bring friends along when redeeming their deals; a Nielsen study found more than half of users tell others about the Groupon purchase. Encourage customers to spread the word about your business by following up with an email offer that’s quick and to the point, and makes it easy for them to forward it to friends. Make sure the email includes links to your social media accounts so customers can connect with your bar or restaurant and stay updated on new promotions, menu items or special events.
Practice makes perfect. A study from Rice University says the more deals businesses run, the more profitable the campaigns become. And the companies that offer deals frequently report that each deal brings in new customers (80 percent), of which 1/3 become repeat customers.
Remember the basics. No matter how many times you run daily deals, always keep in mind that the keys to success are great food, great drinks and excellent service.
|Daily deals not only attract new customers, but they’ll boost sales and awareness of your bar or restaurant.||You must make sure you are ready to handle all the new customers you’ll attract.|
By Rieva Lesonsky