Here is what one of my customers did for a very profitable "giveaway" promotion.
" I ran one of the most successful marketing campaigns to date for my restaurant. Last year, a few weeks after Labor Day, I was at our local Home Depot. While I was supposed to be buying a toilet plunger, I found myself negotiating one incredible deal. I found a bbq, not just a bbq…but a big bad boy…yep, every man’s dream toy…the outdoor kitchen! It was not only the grill, but side burners, granite counter tops, drawers down the front, area for refrigerator all encased in this beautiful stone layout…this stainless steel wonder had me mesmerized! As I was standing there, the number of people that said, “wow, I wish I had that” sent that idea bulb right above my head. Realizing that they had made room for the newly placed snow blowers, I searched out the Home Depot orange vested manager and began to negotiate. That’s right, I negotiated. Here it was nearly October and they still had a couple dozen grills…I looked at the original price of $799, marked down to $699….but after some brief negotiations and a good solid handshake, I found myself a proud owner of the MAN GRILL….well, okay, I guess you could say, I met the “grill of my dreams”…..(sorry, couldn’t help myself). Oh, one thing I forgot to mention…I only paid $389!!
I took this grill back to the restaurant and saved it for the spring. Once spring rolled around, I pulled out the grill and placed it near the front entrance….HELLO excitement!!! I ran an email special announcing one entry every time you dine with us and then ran double entry’s on Sunday….with over 7,000 entry’s in a matter of a few weeks, I doubled my dining numbers, I nearly doubled my database and before you know it, it was the talk of the town.
I set up a night in the banquet room to give away the bbq and invited people to “come watch the live drawing”….and they did! No specials! I ended up handing out gift certificates to those who attended…and the excitement churned. My numbers for this promotion were absolutely incredible. That bbq paid for itself 20x’s over!
So, my advice to you…do what I did…go out and find that season end grill for more than half off and save it for the spring where you too can run the “Grill of my dreams” …dine in to win!"