It’s disappointing — even infuriating — for customers redeeming a special offer to find out that what they thought they were getting just isn’t the case. Confusing or missing language in the promotional piece is often to blame. Say what you mean in your restaurant marketing offers to improve guest satisfaction and loyalty.
Imagine the problems that could arise if a restaurant, trying to build traffic on its most sluggish day of the week, marketed a free appetizer with the purchase of any entree on Mondays, but then failed to mention the day restriction in their email marketing, newspaper ad, table tent, or website offer. That restaurant could end up losing business Tuesday through Sunday each time a motivated guest came through the front doors, only to discover that he or she had to pay full price.
Take steps to ensure your offers read loud and clear paying close attention to these potential trouble spots:
- What size? Say you’re offering a free craft beer in the promotion. Is it 16 ounces, maybe 22 ounces? Make sure your customers know how much they’re getting.
- What kind? If the offer is for a Red Beard’s Red Ale, abbreviating the name – “Red Beard” or “Red Ale” — could cause confusion. Be specific.
- How much? Feature the adjusted price of the offer and remind customers of the savings. Since the Red Beard’s Red Ale is being given away — probably with the purchase of something else on the menu — you might say: “Regularly $6.95!” Also, if there’s a one-per-customer limitation, put that information where customers are sure to see it.
- How long? Clearly identify the duration of the promotion. It’s important to minimize the number of offers that customers try to redeem after the expiration date.
- When? Is the offer good only on Monday through Wednesday or only weekdays before 6 p.m.? Better make sure customers realize the day or time restriction, too.
After you’ve double-checked the clarity of these five important areas, also make sure you’ve explained exactly what customers have to do to redeem the restaurant marketing offer. If they need to have it in-hand to get the goods, say so. Of course, when a sincere person has seen the offer but just forgot to bring it in, honor it anyway. It’s good for business.
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