04 March 2009

More Value at Your Fast Food Restaurant

Actually, this blog is more about retreat. We wondered how fast food restaurants could afford to discount food although we understood the purpose. Keep us in the fast food habit, even in tough economic times.

Sonic is keeping its Happy Hour but, at least in my neighborhood, retreating on some other promotions. Of interest, the notice of the change begins with Sorry for the inconvenience, but due to rising food cost, our happy hour, and the addition of the new dollar menu, we are no longer accepting....

Kentucky Fried Chicken found reason to join the dollar menu crowd but with a bit of self-protection. The Ultimate Value Menu features 10 items that begin at 99¢. That causes a let-down for the value meal seeker. Enough so that a friend actually called me to report this menu as not worth the drive-through.

And the retreat that made the news in my town (yes, the news) was a local Quizno's that stopped honoring the free sub intended to be part of the Million Subs Giveaway. This would be akin to Denny's give-away last month of the Original Grand Slam Breakfast during an 8-hour period. The Denny's promotion was a marketing success: the restaurant made Google's top 40 searches list and Twitter's top spots at #1 and #7.

The lessons might be: set your give-aways for a limited time that all your stores can tolerate, sell something for less than a dollar and don't try to lead the customer to slightly higher prices on the same promotional menu, and offer only dollar items that you can maintain for a long while. If the purpose is to maintain the loyal base, hunker down with your customers for the duration.

Actually, I wouldn't mind a Recovery Menu. Maybe tie it to the market. But not yet.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

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