SUBSCRIBE
Read more breaking news

 

 

Discount dining: Help or hindrance for the restaurant sector?

4 commentsBy Luke Nicholls , 27-Jun-2012
Last updated on 27-Jun-2012 at 12:19 GMT

Many of the major national restaurant chains are falling back on deal sites, coupons and voucher codes to drive business
Many of the major national restaurant chains are falling back on deal sites, coupons and voucher codes to drive business
Loading...

Discount vouchers have traditionally proved an effective tactic by some operators in encouraging consumers to eat in their outlets and have risen in popularity since the recession. But the popularity of these schemes has raised concerns that some operators are now becoming reliant on them.

As restaurant owners look to remain profitable during the tough economic climate, the temptation to lower prices and offer coupon deals can be so irresistible that it becomes a difficult habit to break.

A recent review of discounting activity in the casual-dining sector by Restaurant magazine showed that many restaurant chains who pledged to shake off their old deep discounting habits this year have already fallen off the wagon.

In this short audio podcast, BigHospitality spoke to Peter Backman, managing director of foodservice consultancy Horizons, and Andrew Guy, director of Ed’s Easy Diner – a restaurant that has forever strived to stay away from discounting and daily deals.

We asked them about the positives, the negatives and the potential risks of special offers and deals for restaurants, in a bid to find out if it is actually possible for a large chain to escape from the treadmill of discounting.

4 comments (Comments are now closed)

Good and Bad

There are good points to using voucher sites and also bad ones. Having worked in this media marketing industry business owners are pressured into getting them to believe it will bring customers WHO will return as a full price paying customer!
Really all you get are "Deal Hoppers" just looking everyday where they can get a cheap dining out offer.

Report abuse

Posted by Miss Marketing Dragon
01 July 2012 | 11h51

Good to launch your Business Only as a one-off

I agree with the comments raised - having previously worked in this industry, I dont't think that business owners realise or even know how much damage it can do to a business. They are not taking time to review there own marketing strategy and look at other ways to drive it forward.

Report abuse

Posted by director - marketing dragon
01 July 2012 | 11h47

Breaking the discount habit

I couldn't agree with Peter Backman more - if discounting/vouchers are used tactically they are a great marketing opportunity for restaurants suffering with Monday lunchtime lulls for example. Treated carefully and within a strategic marketing approach, restaurants can create and generate custom through carefully planned discount/voucher campaigns. Peter is absolutely right - if this is done in a blanket fashion and a regular discount, then the restaurant is in grave danger of repositioning itself in the market and will suffer long term consequences by being forced to dilute the service/food and delivery to stabilise profit margins. I would say that if discounting is driving business during down periods, please don't be tempted to dilute the offering. If you are trying to attract a new market or boost monday bookings, don't skimp on the portions or limit the menu. It's your opportunity to shine and deliver outstanding service and food to make customers come back and not just when offers are valid. It's time the industry really got back to the essence of loyalty marketing and relationship building and recognise that whilst the customer has changed, the attitude to good food and service has improved and we demand both at a greater level than ever before. If restaurants charge less for this, the customer will still leave unhappy if the promise hasn't been delivered. Regardless of price. We say bring back loyalty and delivery and only use discounts/vouchers to highlight new menu's, push the down periods and reach new markets.

Report abuse

Posted by Petra Clayton
28 June 2012 | 10h50

Read all comments (4)

Back in business: Hospitality property market outlook

Back in business: Hospitality property market outlook

As the new year gets rolling, now is the perfect time for hotels, restaurants...

Digital restaurant: How to extend your reach with online innovations

Digital restaurant: How to extend your reach with online innovations

The likes of social media, online advertising and mobile loyalty apps allow businesses large...

#SocialRestaurant: How to use Twitter effectively

#SocialRestaurant: How to use Twitter effectively

They’re all on it. Big national chains, high-profile chefs and small emerging brands across...

Dietary requirements: Terre à Terre’s top tips

Dietary requirements: Terre à Terre’s top tips

In the third part of our Dietary Requirements special feature, BigHospitality takes a trip...

How to become a hotel manager: Masterclass with Glion

How to become a hotel manager: Masterclass with Glion

What skills do you need to be a hotel manager? Following a special media...

Budget 2013: What it really means for your hospitality business

Budget 2013: What it really means for your hospitality business

Now the dust has settled on George Osborne's fourth Budget speech, the race is...

UK pub industry pledges more than 400 work placements in just one week

UK pub industry pledges more than 400 work placements in just one week

Long hours, unskilled work and few career development opportunities: the hospitality industry, and pubs...

UK team 'disappointed' by ninth place at the World Pastry Cup

UK team 'disappointed' by ninth place at the World Pastry Cup

Martin Chiffers, president of the UK's Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie club, has described...

Every hospitality business must make job creation pledge, says Ufi Ibrahim

Every hospitality business must make job creation pledge, says Ufi Ibrahim

Ufi Ibrahim has told hospitality businesses across the UK that they must ‘walk the...

How to market your hospitality business better using photo and video

How to market your hospitality business better using photo and video

A picture might tell a thousand words but getting the right photo and video...

First look: Dishoom King's Cross

First look: Dishoom King's Cross

Dishoom King's Cross opens today (20 November) on Stable Street, just off Granary Square....

Scott Hallsworth: Beef tataki with onion ponzu and garlic crisps

Scott Hallsworth: Beef tataki with onion ponzu and garlic crisps

In the second of our videos from the Farm Frites Development Chef Food Forum,...

Scott Hallsworth: Kombu marinated salmon sashimi

Scott Hallsworth: Kombu marinated salmon sashimi

In the first of our videos from the Farm Frites Development Chef Food Forum,...

60-Second Skill: Pizza dough

60-Second Skill: Pizza dough

Making the perfect pizza dough can be tricky: measurements need to be precise, and...

#AHC2014: Top 5 hotel sector trends

#AHC2014: Top 5 hotel sector trends

Hotel experts met last week at the Annual Hotel Conference in Manchester to discuss...

National Chef of the Year Award 2014

National Chef of the Year Award 2014

Organised by the Craft Guild of Chefs, the National Chef of the Year competition...

Adam Bennett: 'We can make a dent in the Bocuse d'Or'

Adam Bennett: 'We can make a dent in the Bocuse d'Or'

Speaking to BigHospitality at The Restaurant Show, Adam Bennett, who is representing the UK...

Tom Kerridge pubs interview

Tom Kerridge: 'It’s not about success, it’s about getting better every day'

In an exclusive interview with BigHospitality at the Restaurant Show, Tom Kerridge explained why...

Dish Deconstructed: Salt baked chicken from Mews of Mayfair

Dish Deconstructed: Salt baked chicken from Mews of Mayfair

Michael Lecouteur, executive chef of Mews of Mayfair, recently told BigHospitality the secrets behind...

James Knappett and Sandia Chang: ‘It’s all down to our staff’

James Knappett and Sandia Chang: ‘It’s all down to our staff’

In another BigHospitality interview at the Restaurant Show 2014, James Knappett and Sandia Chang,...