Increase Sales with Back-to-School Promotions


Some parents will celebrate – and some will cry – but all will prepare for the back-to -school season. Here are a few ideas that will help you maximize sales in your operation as the summer comes to an end:

  • Hit the ground running. The start of a new school year is a positive and important milestone for any student. Run a promotion where you invite customers to “start the year right” with a celebratory dinner at your restaurant. Offer catering discounts or free appetizers to large parties.
  • Go local. If you have a college near you, market to parents a “Feed Me” fund. For the punch card of ten paid meals (courtesy of Mom and Dad), you provide one free. You’ll gain new customers – and their friends – while easing Mom’s worry that junior will eat right while he’s gone. Market to these parents by purchasing a mailing list (often available at universities) or contacting the school’s promotions department. Often there are opportunities to insert ads in outgoing materials or sponsor (and even cater!) parent-student orientation events.
  • Be kind. Back to school supplies are a drain on many parents’ budgets. Offer discounts — free appetizer or drink or 25 percent off the entire check — for parents or students who bring in the receipts for their school supplies.
  • Set up signage. Promote your business at colleges and universities near you as well as high schools. Offer job interviews and lunch discounts. You’ll attract new customers – and they may become regulars if they’re new to town – and you may even gain new employees.

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