Baltimore Sun reporter Liz Kay tracked down Boston Market CEO Lane Cardwell to get him to answer to his restaurants’ muffed $1 meal coupon promotion. Boston Markets were unprepared for the deluge of customers who wanted to take advantage of the deal, and stores ran out of food.
Kay posts a message from Cardwell, who says one problem was the promo ran too long:
Our mistake was in thinking that we were making things better by having the promotion run for a week, instead of 2-3 days. We never would have done a 1 day promo like KFC since it makes your guests jump through too many hoops to take advantage of it.
However, by the third day it was clear that instead of making the situation better from a guest standpoint, it make it worse. It allowed the coupon to take on viral properties and spread throughout the country. It gave time for people to come back a second, third, and fourth time, which we were okay with, but it made the lines longer, not shorter
Another issue, Cardwell says, is that Boston Market deals in fresh food, not frozen. He also said workers doled out rain checks to disgruntled customers who couldn’t get in on the $1 lovin.’