Avoid the scramble
Managing busy and quiet times is always a big challenge for a caterer and so it was interesting to see two signs this week that did exactly that. The first was in the lift of the Premier Inn at Euston. They showed the different times that breakfast was served and then showed which times were busy and if you were in a hurry are best to avoid. They just marked the times with a green or red spot. I found this really useful as I was able to manage my time much more effectively and have my breakfast in comfort. I am certain other customers found the same. The hotel benefited by reducing pressure on both the facilities and staff, and could manage the service more effectively.
The second sign was outside a pub in Darlington. It was promoting Fathers’ Day and offering a free steak to every father. The offer was qualified as being available after 5pm. I thought this was an excellent way of attracting extra business at the time of day the pub wanted it. It is also a great offer to every Father and I would expect it to be a successful promotion.
Both of these promotions are good examples of a sales promotion. But too often I see sales promotions that are badly thought out and are reducing profitability. There are many reasons for running sales promotions, such as: deflecting customers’ concerns about price; increasing sales at quiet times; launching a new product or service; and adding value to the service on offer. You must decide what you want to achieve from the start.
In today’s economic climate you see sales promotions everywhere and the customer can be spoilt for choice. In my opinion you need to manage your sales promotions much more effectively. You must: set a clear measurable objective at the start; make the offer clearly visible to customers; monitor take up of the offer; look at sales overall and evaluate the promotion before deciding on your next one. Sales promotions are effective in a recession where value for money is so important but never forget their job is to increase profitability. You don’t want to be a busy fool.