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Restaurant owners are always on the lookout for fresh ideas to excite and attract new customers & get existing customers to return.

But is this a double edge sword or the secret edge for a home run business? It’s a question that runs in most F&B owners minds. We are going to break this down in this discussion.

What is a discount or promotion?

An offer on a line item or on a menu during a period of time.

A typical discount works like this: Enjoy 20% with a spend of $30 between this period on all Mains.

A typical promo works like this: Today’s Special “Prawn Aglio Olio @ $7.99”

While it’s true that creating a discount or promo helps create interest and orders. How does this fit into your grand plan for the quarter or 6 months? Planning discounts and promo does take some time but it sure pays off in multiple folds when it works in tandem.

It’s very easy to fall prey to running your business purely on discounts because IT WORKS. Issuing one, time and time again on an ad hoc basis with no rhyme or reason, with that we all know how long the business is going to last. No discount, no orders. Has discount, has orders, but margins are going to be ever razor thin.

So how should we do it?

To give an analogy, running discounts and promos should be treated like sports events and occasions. It’s not Christmas every week, but if you can find a reason to celebrate or drive your promotions and discounts with these events it becomes purposeful and relatable.

For example using Mexico’s Independence Day to spice up your menu with a new Entree or Add some Hot Sauce to your burgers.

Lull period of 4 pm – 8 pm, can be given a creative name, build a theme around it. “Early munchers” “Daily Munchers” enjoy 15% off the bill.

You have a theme going, you have something to align your customers to relate to, this creates a behavior for them to look out for you, a talking point, a reason to thumbs up, share on Facebook and more. Even your Chef’s birthday can be an event at your restaurant, you get the idea.

Your customers return or get attracted by reasons such as the following

1. Good food
2. Good ambiance
3. Great price
4. Affinity by customer service
5. Affinity by loyalty programs
6. Location

What you are trying to do by using Discounts and Promotions in this way is to tell a story, give a tempo for your customers to follow and remember, it creates a relation to the place. A talking point when they meet their colleagues, friends, and family. As always too much of something can turn bad, use them wisely.

Impress your customers with interesting menu options, discount, and promotions but at the same time start collecting their data to understand who they are, what they buy, when they buy to identify why they buy. With this, you are building a valuable data set that you can use to better plan promotions that interest your customers, be able to reach out to them directly lowering your cost of marketing, bringing you more orders and revenue. If you need help implementing this for your business, you can use the NinjaOS CRM solution that comes with ordering capabilities to identify these data sets and build a profitable business online. Feel free to contact us at or use our contact us page.

Hope the information helps your business, Happy Hustling!

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