Talking to retailers and getting their feedback on how to to best use Taggo for their social media campaigns provided me with the best insights into the workings of a F&B outlet.  The idea for promotions, discounts aside, came flowing.

When you put it to the service staff to test it out, discounts probably is the best promotion to offer the fans.

Lesson 1: If money is king, the Point-of-Sale machine is the castle.

In the F&B and service industry, speed is of essence. When you go to a restaurant, you expect to be served quickly. When you ask for the bill, you expect it to be send to your table as soon as possible. Wait any longer and you start to grow impatient and call for the service staff to remind them to bring the bill.

As such, any promotions would require working with the Point-of-Sale machine so that it doesn’t disrupt the flow of the service staff. Furthermore, the Point-of-Sale is used as an accounting tool to ensure that sales matches inventory.

Some creative promotions require the service staff to void the entries in the Point-of-Sale and create a new order. This would delay the speed of service and require the service staff to explain to management the reason for voiding that order.

As such, for a promotion to be effective, it has to be something that works with the Point-of-Sale machine.

Lesson 2: Credit card rules

In Singapore, you will find that most F&B outlets come with credit cards promotion. However, did you know that some F&B outlets are bound with an agreement with a major credit card that the F&B outlet cannot give a better promotion with other credit cards or the major credit card will take away the terminal?

As such, if your promotion involves payment and is more than what the major credit card is offering, the F&B outlet would most unlikely go through with the proposed promotion.

However, such credit card promotions don’t come cheap for the F&B outlets. While the credit card prints the name of participating F&B outlet in their booklet, the F&B outlet still have to bear the cost of the giving the discount and the merchants fees paid to the credit card.

Lesson 3: Most customers asked for discount only when bill is served

The service staff will tell you that when customers make the order, the most common question asked is “What’s good?”

It is only when the customers see the bill that they will ask, “Any discounts?”

Surprised? Not really as when an order is made, the mind is thinking of what food to eat to fill the stomach. Hunger overtakes everything.

After the empty stomach is filled, the thought of the cost of filling it comes in.

Therefore, giving discounts at F&B outlets is the most effective promotion in terms of execution.  The challenge is to work around the discount to provide for a creative promotion.

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