Voice of the Restaurant Industry
Coupons - love 'em or hate 'em, it's hard to get away from them in the pizza industry. Most pizza restaurants issue coupons to grab the attention of their customers, to encourage new customers to try the restaurant, to compete with the other pizzerias in their area, to introduce new products, and to encourage 'bundling' of products together. But what's the best way to know if your coupons are effective and working?
Your pizza point-of-sale system can help you track coupon effectiveness. Most systems let you set up different coupons, with various details that enforce when that coupon can be used. When you are setting up these coupons, be sure to use a system of organization that helps you distinguish the "2 Large Pizzas for $19.99" that you sent out as a fridge magnet vs. the one that was published in the high school newspaper.
Many restaurants will color code their coupon screens to help employees choose the correct offer. Some will go so far as to hide the name of the coupon on the button, and just use a numerical code that is printed on every coupon, or a barcode. This helps prevent mistakes when picking the right coupon to apply. Don't forget to incorporate the same coupon tracking in your online ordering system, so that customers can enter the proper code to redeem the offer.
Use the built-in features of your point-of-sale system to properly configure coupons against misuse. If your coupon specifies a free 2-Liter with the purchase of a Large 3-topping pizza, don't lose out when employees try to apply it to a small 1-topping. If your coupon is only valid on Dine-in orders, don't let it go out the door on a delivery. It make take a few extra minutes to set up all the parameters in your pizza POS software, but it's worth it in the long run.
It's also helpful to designate certain offers as "every day specials". This way, when the customer calls to order and asks the employee "What kind of coupons do you have?" the employee won't just be browsing a list of available offers and suggesting any old one. Give them a script with the specific coupons you wish to offer in this case.
Treat your coupons like cash - as they are coming out of your bottom line! Use your point-of-sale system's driver close out process to enforce the total # and type of coupons expected based on the orders that driver took for the day - and hold your drivers accountable for retrieving the coupons from the customer. Check system reports to see if coupons are being added when the driver returns, indicating possible fradulent use.
Once you've gathered this data, you should be able to get valuable information from your pizza software's reports. Check how many coupons were redeemed and compare to the cost of distributing those coupons. Certain offers work better than others as do certain distribution methods. From doorhangers to fridge magnets, e-mailed rewards to newspaper inserts, you'll have the power to hold your marketing efforts accountable to results!
About Granbury Restaurant Solutions: Innovative restaurant technology, including point-of-sale software, online and smart phone ordering solutions, in-store self-serve ordering, and automated customer loyalty and marketing solutions make Granbury a leader in the field.