The restaurant business, particularly fast food and casual dining, is feeling some heat after putting the kibosh on offering customers sales this summer, and it seems set to bring back discounts and other offers to lure in patrons again. This, at a time when food costs are set to rise. But hey, whatever gets those golden customers coming through the door, right?
Everyone in the industry got a little bit nervous, it seems, as consumers haven’t been chowing down as much without those special offers to entice sales. Chains like McDonald’s, Starbucks and Chipotle are now vowing to focus on how to bring in business with special pricing and sales, reports Reuters.
With less-than-happy stock figures and a bunch of investors to please, Starbucks is bringing back morning “treat receipts” that offer a discounted drink to customers who come back later in the day for more coffee.
In another move designed to keep customers happy and hopefully impress stockholders with sales, Chipotle says it isn’t going to raise prices on its menu, which is tough for the company because its food costs are even more likely to skyrocket because it uses so much organic produce and meat.
Experts aren’t sure whether the companies are in more danger of losing out on sales by not offering discounts, or of losing money by drastically discounting their food. And once the big restaurant chains start offering discounts, all the others will likely follow suit or face potential customer loss as their patrons head off for a cheaper meal.
But as long as the national economic recovery remains on the slow but steady upswing, analysts think sales will bounce back this fall, even with the expected food increases.
Discounts back after summer restaurant slump