Posts Tagged ‘restaurant discounts’

Employee Involvement Makes for Successful Community Outreach

July 8, 2010

Reaching out to the community by getting involved in the fundraisers for local and national charities is something many restaurateurs consider to be important. Creating a personal image beyond the doors of the restaurant benefits everyone involved. The question is: How do you get employees involved in the various fundraisers and other charitable activities?

State Employee Expectations Upfront
One way to ensure employee participation is to simply make the restaurants expectations that its employees participate in local charitable causes part of the interview process.

Union Square Hospitality Group president Danny Meyer was quoted in a recent article as saying, “I tell them (new employees) about the charitable work that we have traditionally pursued hunger-related and community-based causes.”

Meyer also allows his employees to choose to participate in the charitable activities and organizations with a different focus.

Charitable Activity as Relationship Building
Meyer has found that when his employees serve others through charitable activities outside of the restaurant.  They return with a greater ability to serve customers within the restaurant well.

Another benefit of being involved in charities is that it builds relationship between the employee and the employer. It also serves to strengthen the employees’ commitment to the restaurant.

Investing in People
Restaurateurs who have placed a priority on an involvement in charitable activities throughout the community have discovered that investing in people is a great way to make an investment in their business. When the community senses a business’s commitment to more than just the bottom line, they respond by supporting the business.

Meyer put it this way in’s article, “People will take exactly the amount of interest in you that you take in them – no more, no less. If we want our communities to take an interest in our restaurants, then we must first take an interest in our community.”

The Joy of a Delicious Dish

July 6, 2010

It’s all about the passion, according to Carnivale’s executive chef Mark Mendez. Great food prepared by a true and dedicated chef can make the difference between something acceptable and something extraordinary.

Doing what You Love
For Mendez and other exceptional chefs like him, cooking is a passion and the experience of investing himself in the production of a truly delicious meal is a basic requirement of his survival. He needs to cook more than he “needs to breathe” it’s that integral a part of who he is.

Great Food
These days as the economy begins to take tentative steps toward full recovery, providing customers with either value or exceptional quality is a necessity. Offering both is even better.

When newspaper and magazine articles feature stories on how to live frugally during a challenging economy, cutting out the expense of eating out is always on the list. So how can restaurateurs best respond to this? Discounts only go so far and cutting prices may force uncomfortable choices between quality ingredients and meeting budget.

Restaurant Discounts
According to a report recently released by NPD Group the number of diners placing high value on deals and discounts is trending down slightly. In 2009, before heading out to eat, 29% of consumers first considered what deals and discounts restaurants were offering. Now, only 22% of consumers place a high priority on restaurant discounts.

In a blog, executive chef Mark Mendez explained, “I love to cook, I love to make people happy with my food.”

As the economy rebounds and diners begin to make eating out a regular part of their lives once again, eating food that is delicious is bound to be a sweet experience and customers return to those places that made them happy.

So, as we begin to put the Great Recession behind us, it seems that focusing on quality ingredients that produce delicious dishes may very well trump discounts and deals.

Restaurant Discounts: The Difficulty of Pricing in a Down Economy

June 28, 2010

As the economy begins to take tentative steps toward recovery, some restaurant owners are beginning to see a resurgence in customers with an appetite for their favorite dishes and less of a regard for deals or discounts. The NPD Group recently released a report that supports this trend.

According to the report, the number of diners placing a priority on deals and discounts has dropped significantly over the past twelve months. Last year approximately 29% of those dining out placed a priority on restaurant discounts. This year that number has dropped to an estimated 22%.

Reaching Restaurant Clientele through Social Media
Even so, Restaurants & Institutions 2010 New American Diner Study discovered that almost 60% of customers place a priority on price over all other considerations. So, what is the best way for a dining establishment to position itself in light of these seemingly conflicting results?

The answer seems to be multipronged and involves, at least in part, the use of social media sites which are rapidly becoming part of many consumers daily routine. In fact, another thing the Restaurants & Institutions study discovered is that 63% of respondents expect to find discounts, deals and coupons when connecting to a restaurants’ Facebook or Twitter page.

Groupon is an increasingly popular site offering subscribers discounts on things to do, see and purchase in their cities. These deals include restaurant discounts. Leveraging this site requires zero upfront costs to restaurant owners as retains a percentage of every “groupon” sold. has over four million subscribers and according to, its clients spend 60% over the value of the groupon on average. As a result, restaurant owners could potentially improve their business with very little time, effort or money spent on marketing simply by offering a restaurant discount on

Portion Choices as a Pricing Strategy
In a recent post, we discussed the issue of portion control and the 70% of diners who stated in a survey that portions are unnecessarily large. For restaurateurs who don’t want to be defined by price, controlling portion sizes may be another option. When portion sizes are reduced, prices naturally drop as well.