Up here in the Sunapee region of New Hampshire, things are very slow in restaurants locally. A new PDF out there from Restaurant Revolution, using online restaurant coupons, heavily promotes the use of coupon cuisine. A fantastic idea and well written PDF ad release but also quite expensive in the more rural areas. Is the cost of it per month going to make up for the amount of usage? That remains debatable. http://www.couponcuisine.com/blog/ to access the coupons and http://www.couponcuisine.com/restaurants/ for restaurant info.
A free alternative to it is Merchantcircle, if you have not signed up now for your free listing, now is a good time to do it. You can also offer coupons as part of the free service end. Don’t be dissuaded when you first get on Merchantcircle as it appears you have to pay for it. The paid listings are for more extensive services, they do offer quite a bit for free.
Another easy alternative is using your own website for printable coupons in PDF. Many businesses feel that advertising online can be unsafe as people will abuse the coupons and print them multiple times. The flipside of this is you offer 10% off to a couple that will come once a week. They may not come at all if you they did not have that coupon. So you are buying their patronage for a bit less, but money is money and some is better then none at all!
Restaurants are going to have to start getting very creative with services like online coupons, with new promotion options to draw customers and in general thinking out of the box and if they don’t, they will fail.
The normal fail rate for restaurants, especially new startups is very high. Now in this time and economy, one needs to do everything that they can to promote the restaurant, whether it’s free, whether it’s paid, whether it’s networking, barter or whether it’s just getting out there and knocking on doors.