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Restaurants to phase out discounts

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A new report from Horizons has noted that many UK restaurants are attempting to phase out the discount deals and two-for-one offers initially conceived of as a means of attracting customers put off by the effect the recession has had on leisure spending.

While this may have kept tables full, experts have warned that deals of this kind can have a negative impact on restaurants' reputations and lead to falling profits if consumers do not purchase extra drinks or sides while having their meal.

Horizons' Voucher Tracker, which monitors the volume and type of online money-off deals issued by restaurants, has noticed the first sign of businesses moving away from promotions.

Managing director Peter Backman said: "In September our Voucher Tracker research noted a shift away from discounting, particularly family-orientated discounts."

"It seems that we are at last seeing operators trying to wean themselves off the discount deals, which are expensive for them to run, but which consumers have become very reliant on."

However, he suggested that retailers appear to be replacing these offers with context-specific vouchers offering a free starter with every main course, or discounts that are only available at certain times of day.

With the recessionary climate making trading especially difficult for many hospitality and leisure businesses across the UK, some firms are attempting to save cash by looking for cheap kitchen equipment or returning to full-price menus, but these offers indicate that tempting customers into the restaurant is still a key part of their business model.

The latest report from PricewaterhouseCoopers indicated that the recession is still having a major impact on UK eateries, although the industry is still performing better than many of its counterparts in other sectors.

This is because eating out remains something that consumers are keen to spend money on despite the pressure they are under, according to the company.ADNFCR-16001031-ID-801468518-ADNFCR

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