discount strategy for restaurants
by Laura-Andreea Voicu

Everyone loves a good discount. Creating a discount strategy for restaurants is the first step to drawing more customers to your establishment and gaining their loyalty with regular promotions and special offers.

Today, you’ll learn what to consider before creating your discount strategy and what types of discounts you can offer. Plus, I’ll show you how you can create your first discount promo in minutes.

Discount Strategy for Restaurants: 5 Key Considerations

Determine what your goals are

Your business goals will inform the type of promotions and discounts you offer. For example, if your goal is to attract new customers, you can offer a 15% discount on first orders.

On the contrary, if you want to reward loyal customers, offer a discount for people who have already ordered a few times.

Learn more about who your customers are

Knowing thy customers is rule number one in any business, but particularly when you want to target them with offers and promotions.

If you get many families visiting your restaurant, consider offering a discounted kids’ meal with the purchase of any meal bundle.

If your restaurant is located near office buildings and you want to attract the office crowd, create fixed-price lunch menus. Think about what your target demographic would like to see on your menu and give them just that.

Experiment with different types of discounts

You won’t know what works until you test multiple types of discounts and promotions. Don’t limit yourself to percentage discounts.

Offer free items with large purchases, create limited-time promos, put together meal bundles, and so on. Then, you can continue bringing back the promos your customers loved best.

Track the success of your discount strategy

Testing different types of discounts will yield no results if you don’t track their performance. You need to measure how well your promotions are performing to determine whether they’re winners.

Detailed reporting module for restaurants Instantly track the success of your promotions & discounts

Time your promotions just right

While general promotions like 10% off the total cart value work in any situation, take advantage of special holidays or times of the day to maximize your profitability.

For example, offer targeted Mother’s Day promotions or Valentine’s Day offers on those days to attract more customers. If your restaurant is always empty around 11 AM, add a brunch combo to the menu to fill those seats.

Download our free Food Holiday Calendar to discover multiple promotion ideas for every major food holiday of the year.

7 Types of Restaurant Discounts You Can Implement

1. Discount on cart

This is one of the most common types of discounts that work without fail. Set a minimum order amount and offer a percentage discount on the total cart value. This will motivate customers to order more to reach that amount and benefit from the promotion.

discount strategy for restaurants: percentage off cart

2. Discount on selected items

If you want to highlight some of your menu items, like desserts for Valentine’s Day, create a selected items percentage discount. You can do the same with pizza on National Pizza Day or burgers on the 4th of July.

discounts on restaurants: percentage discount on selected items

3. Buy one, get one free

For couples or friends who want to celebrate at your restaurant, create a buy one, get one free promo where they purchase one main dish and get a second one for free. Consider making this promo for new menu items to generate excitement around them.

Promotion strategy for restaurant: buy one, get one free promo

4. Discount on orders paid online

Another way to reward customers and encourage them to pay for their food online is to offer a discount on all orders paid online. This is particularly useful if you want to minimize the amount of cash you exchange with your customers.

discount strategy for restaurants: discount on orders paid online

5. Free menu item

While not a discount per se, offering a free menu item on orders that surpass a certain amount is an excellent way to motivate your customers to add more items to the cart. Focus on desserts and drinks so that customers get a full meal whenever they order a main dish.

restaurant promotion ideas: free drink

6. Meal bundle

Offer a nice selection of dishes at a fixed price to encourage customers to order together as a group. For example, you could offer any two appetizers, two main dishes, and two desserts, all for $55.

restaurant discount ideas: meal bundle

7. Discount coupon code

Another way to create a winning discount strategy for restaurants is to offer coupon codes featuring irresistible discounts that customers can enter at checkout.

The good thing about restaurant discount codes is that you can generate and distribute them on social media or print them on flyers to attract new and returning customers.

Check out the video below to learn how to create discount coupon codes for your restaurant and see how your food clients can apply the code at checkout.

Video Tutorial: How to Set up Any Restaurant Promotion Within Minutes

Now that you’ve learned about the many restaurant discounts you can offer, watch the video tutorial below to learn how to easily create any promotion you want:

Start Implementing Your Own Discount Strategy Now

All there’s left for you to do now is start creating your promos and discounts. You can do that by following these five easy steps:

  • Sign up for a free account with GloriaFood
  • Fill in your restaurant’s profile (address, opening hours, menu, etc.)
  • Navigate to Marketing -> Promotions -> Overview. Click on “Show me how” and then “Next” until you get to this page:

take away promotion ideas for restaurants

  • Click on “Add promo deal”
  • Select the type of discount or promo you want from the list to start customizing it to your liking

discount ideas for restaurants

Create your first discount promo within minutes Start implementing your discount strategy today

That’s it – you’re all set! You’ve learned how easy it is to create a discount strategy for restaurants and how many promos and offers you can make. Deploy your first one today and watch your customers claim it.

photo of GloriaFood blog writer Laura-Andreea Voicu
Laura-Andreea Voicu

Laura-Andreea Voicu is an experienced content writer with a knack for marketing and SEO. She creates guides and resources designed to help restaurants grow their presence online and boost sales.

She has been featured on the Oracle Food and Beverage Blog and wrote for Search Engine Journal, Clutch, Sender, Venngage, Quickbooks, and many more.

Find me on LinkedIn.