Do you cringe when you hear the words ‘All You Can Eat’? Did you think they were reserved for the likes of cheap pizza places and fast food restaurants? Well it’s time to banish those thoughts to the back of your mind, and consider joining in. Yes, All You Can Eat deals are making a speedy comeback and it could be just what your business needs.
All You Can Eat deals may make you wince, however there’s no denying they’re a great way to get people through the door and introduced to your brand. The deal isn’t about encouraging customers to over indulge, it’s about giving people a taste of what you have on offer so that they return and try the rest of your menu when the deal’s not on the table. It’s about offering something different, something that groups can enjoy together, and something that is memorable.
If you’re considering offering an All You Can Eat deal, you need to be prepared. All good deals need planning. It’s a good idea to set a time limit on customer’s visits. Some All You Can Eat restaurants eliminate excess waste by only delivering new dishes to tables once current meals are finished. It’s equally important for you to offer smaller portions so that less is left on plates.
You may have seen a Wall of Fame in a restaurant before, or watched Man V Food when it was aired. Offering an All You Can Eat competition is not just a gimmick, it’s a great way to honour those (very few) customers with really big appetites and a good way to promote your business. Remember, people love to share their successes on social media. Make sure you’ve got a hashtag!
There is absolutely no reason to lower your standards when you offer an All You Can Eat deal. In fact, it would defeat the object. You want to attract regular customers, so you need to maintain your high standards and high quality ingredients… Customers are savvy and they will know if you are offering a cheaper option!
No business wants to be throwing food into the bin after every customer, so it’s important that you set some ‘gentle’ rules before people order. Politely asking people to “top up” their plates rather than fill them is a good way to avoid wastage.
Of course we all want to boost our income, however an All You Can Eat deal is just as much about building your brand and your reputation than building your bank balance. Upselling to customers will make your All You Can Eat deal more profitable. It’s important to encourage diners to order desserts, alcoholic beverages and side dishes that are not part of the deal to make this worth your while.
All You Can Eat deals can save you from quiet mid-week evenings by increasing footfall. However, and possibly more importantly, they will keep staff busy and motivated. By adding an incentive for people to promote your offer on social media, you will also get lots of free publicity.
All-you-can-eat deals are the perfect way to add something new to your venue, build some fun into your restaurant and attract a new customer.
Most importantly, guaranteeing your product is high quality, your standards are maintained and your rules are set out clearly, are the keys to making your All You Can Eat deal work. Then you can sit back and reap the rewards of an All You Can Eat offer.