July 23, 2024

The Queens County Citizen

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Aggressive discounts to attract customers: Restaurants are willing to do anything to save the day

Aggressive discounts to attract customers: Restaurants are willing to do anything to save the day

Indicating that times are tough, restaurants are adopting aggressive promotions like 50% off on many dishes to attract customers during certain periods of the day.

This is especially true for Le Cosmos restaurants in Quebec. From mid-September, a 50% off menu will be offered from 4pm to 6pm, Monday to Friday. This is a solution put in place to avoid layoffs.

Lewis McNeill, co-owner, was inspired by the strategy he observed in western Canada.

“When I came back, I looked at my assessments and the assessments for the month of August were really bad,” he said.

To cope with the drop in traffic

In August, its ridership fell 35%, a historic decline. Mr. McNeil attributes this significant drop not only to the weather, which has not been particularly favorable, but to rising interest rates that have forced many households to tighten their belts.

This Quebec restaurant is satisfied with the public response. He also plans to extend the promotion beyond the holiday season.

“We may end up offering it year-round,” he added.

“We’re going to make less money, that’s for sure. We’re losing money somewhere, but at least we don’t have to cut our staff. That’s the primary goal. »

Pick up somewhere else

By attracting more customers, Mr. McNeil believes he can expand elsewhere, including sales of liquor and desserts.

“You have to have the tools to do it,” he said.

“We were strong and we had to do something. We had to move quickly. »

A risky strategy

Without mentioning a specific case, Robert Dion, the director and founder of the special magazine HRImagPredictably, this strategy is not without risk.

“On days with profit margins, you can offer specials on some days and make up for it on other days. […] Now this is very difficult, because the edges are very small. »

Mr. Dion cites the example of a restaurant in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu that recently advertised its meal for $4.99 (2 eggs, potato and choice of meat) with the purchase of a drink. , Mondays and Tuesdays.

“This is not a strategy I approve of. This is how we are going to create wealth in restaurants. With such a low profit, the loans cannot be paid at the end of the year,” he added.

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