How Restaurants Can Get New Customers Without Offering A Coupon

large_4223475406I’ve been talking about new businesses and how someone starting out can take advantage of barter.  However, established businesses find a lot of benefit in the barter program as well.  One of our newest members of the IMS network is Frances with Vnam Vietnamese Restaurant.  Vnam is part of a family of Vietnamese restaurants all over the metro, including Vina Highland in St. Paul and Vietnam Star Restaurant in Maplewood.

Every restaurant puts out a coupon at some point.  They are great for getting people in the door to try their food in hopes of gaining a loyal customer.  In recent years restaurants have been turning to couponing sites like Groupon and Living Social, however are finding it difficult to turn a profit using those programs.

With Groupon, for instance, a restaurant puts out a fifty-dollar gift certificate or coupon.  The customer pays $25.00 cash for the fifty-dollar gift certificate.  Half of what the customer pays must go to Groupon, leaving the restaurant with only $12.50 cash left.  The restaurant then has to give the customer $50.00 worth of food but only receives $12.50, which is probably not even enough to cover the cost of the food, much less their other overhead expenses.

Let’s look at the same example using IMS Barter dollars. The restaurant issues the same $50.00 gift certificate.  Instead of $12.50 cash they get $44.00 IMS dollars that they can use to pay for items that they now pay cash for like website design, cleaning, vinyl repair on booths, or even a remodel. IMS members will buy these gift certificates and come to the restaurant to redeem them.  They will enjoy their meal and recommend the restaurant to their friends, family and business associates who all are additional cash paying customers.  In this way the establishment will receive new barter business and new cash business.

IMS Barter is a win/win for the restaurant and the customer! The restaurant gets new customers that pay the full retail price and the customer gets a great restaurant where they can spend their barter dollars.

If you’re a restaurant owner and are interested in learning about promoting your restaurant without the use of coupons, contact me, David Carroll The Barter Guy.  You can also connect with me on Facebook and LinkedIn where I share barter success stories and different ideas on how you can use barter to expose your business to thousands of other businesses you wouldn’t have met otherwise.