This is a topic close to my heart. You will find many blogs on this topic coming up here, and also on my personal blog. Early yesterday evening I walked past a lunch bar in Queen Street, Auckland and I saw they had a merchandising display full of food, with a sign saying 50% off pies and sandwiches.
I wished I had time to stop and talk to them. Having a merchandising display told me a number of things about their business at a glance.
- This was a regular occurrence. They had a sign, they had a display set up to maximise the sales opportunity.
- The display was chock full of food on a Thursday evening. This told me that their food must always be fresh, because they didn’t keep it and try to sell it again the next day. Note to self, good place to buy fresh lunch.
- This is a cost factor and their profit has to come from compensation for discounted food, or left overs that they can’t sell at all.
- Whilst they get great foot traffic being in Queen Street, buyers are surrounded by choice and unless they can’t afford to pay full price for fresh food, are probably more likely to skip the left overs. This was evidenced by the busy fast food retailers on either side of this one.
Here’s a couple of thoughts for this lunch bar.
- Wouldn’t it be great if you could sell more of your food at a higher margin and not have to either give away, or heavily discount food at the end of the day?
- Wouldn’t it be good if those sales at higher margins went to people who were in the neighbourhood but weren’t necessarily passing your store using proximity based marketing?
- Given that you have good quality fresh food, wouldn’t it be good if people that bought from you encouraged others to do the same?
- You could use a tool like Foursquare to get word out after your last afternoon peak (don’t discount food during your busy times) and use social media to promote deals based on people’s proximity.
- How about mixing and matching to help move other high margin products? For example drinks such as coffee, (don’t forget some of your juices have use by dates too), offer a half price sandwich with a full price coffee but only at certain times, which can be pre-planned, but can also be switched on in real time when you need it.
These are just a couple of ideas for your lunch bar, but they could make you more profitable, visible and popular. Foursquare is free and all you need to manage it is a web browser.
Lots of people using tools such as Foursquare’s ‘Explore’ function which is like a radar where you can look for specials, food, coffee and lots more.
Check out other businesses in your area that are using it. Here’s an example at Rutland Street Espresso just around the corner from the lunch bar I was talking about. Check out the feedback that people have left. They are telling their friends about it.
Want more ideas unique to your business? Leave a comment or contact us at SoLoMo Consulting.