If you’re looking to increase your bottom line while becoming more visible in your local community, consider beginning an award certificate program for local schools. Create an award for honor roll students, giving each one a discount on their next visit to your restaurant. You may be surprised at the increase in sales this creates.
Begin by making up an award certificate for a free entree or $10 off a family meal. Make the award substantial enough to impress the parents with the reward that Junior has earned with his academic prowess.
Contact the local PTA, school secretary or principal or other adult organizer in charge of school programs, and let her know that you want to reward kids for their hard work in school.
Print out 500 certificates and deliver them to the school office before report card day. Have each teacher sign every award for his class and hand them out with the report cards.
Give the family over-the-top service when they come in, ensuring a great first impression for any new customers.
The beauty of this plan is that it’s a win-win situation all around. Elementary school students aren’t going to visit your restaurant without their parents, so each tab will more than cover the cost of the free food. Parents who haven’t heard of your restaurant, or who were reluctant to try somewhere new, have a good incentive to choose your place for their next family dinner out. In a slower economy, families are more likely to choose a restaurant if they have a significant discount in their hand, so you’ll convert many more lookers into actual customers.
Roll out your certificate program for the school closest to your restaurant, then track the redemption rate for the next month. Contact another school for the next marking period to increase your involvement, adding one school at a time or go all out and donate certificates to the entire school district. Increase your exposure to the community and you may become the place for families to go when they are looking for a celebratory meal.