December 4, 2023


Professional waiter experts

It Doesn’t Pay to Be Cheap When Participating in Promotions – Retail Marketing Tip #8

In the last year or so we have become what we call “mileage maniacs”. We do everything we can to accumulate frequent flier miles with our airline. (Dreams of tropical vacations dancing in our heads…)

A few weeks ago we enrolled in a program that rewards you with frequent flier miles when you eat at restaurants that participate in the program. 

We were excited when we saw one of our favorite restaurants was participating, then disappointed and annoyed when we saw their offer. 

Every other restaurant in town offered 10 miles for every dollar spent – they only offered five. Everyone else offered the program everyday – they only offered it on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

Frankly, they looked cheap. They would have been better off not participating at all. 

Remember, your long-term success is dependent on developing high quality, long-term relationships with your customers. So….


Be generous when you participate in a promotion, particularly if your competition is also participating. Or don’t participate at all.

A local clothing store (now out of business) used to send me postcards offering 10% off any one item. Call me picky, but I felt insulted. 10% on ONE item? Come on… why even bother to make the trip in?

Promotions are a great way to put your best foot forward. Don’t shoot yourself in that same foot by making an offer that’s a yawner and, on top of it, makes you look bad.

Our personal, totally unscientific opinion based strictly on observation is that a 20% discount is where people really get moved to action. Sure you’ll get some response on 10% or 15%, but our theory is, if you’re going to throw a party, do it right.

So please, treat your customers well and they will treat you reward you with their business for many years to come. Be cheap and they’ll find someplace else to go.

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