The concept of a weekly (or daily) restaurant special is certainly not a new one, but its benefits are as true today as ever. If you’ve never offered these kinds of regular deals at your eatery, here are some reasons why you might consider doing so—and some tips for how best to market them.
Some Advantages of the Daily or Weekly Restaurant Special
Daily or weekly specials allow you to focus on making only a few dishes, maybe even just one, which needless to say can smooth out and speed up operations in the kitchen.
If you’ve got a surfeit of a certain ingredient, meanwhile, a special can be an easy way to use it up: an economical tactic, obviously, and also one that decreases the food waste that’s all too common in the restaurant industry.
Specials can also draw new customers in—and keep longtime patrons interested—by mixing up your offerings without the time- and labor-intensive process of completely overhauling your menu.
Specials: An Opportunity to Market the New or the Old
While many restaurant specials feature a dish not found on the normal menu—a great way, again, to keep returning customers happy and maybe snag some brand-new ones—you can also use them for regular entrees as well. Making a daily or weekly special a staple menu item offered at a discounted price, or maybe with a limited-time ingredient or a side dish included, is a low-effort way to spice things up.
A Happy Hour menu is a familiar example of a recurring restaurant special that often features regular menu items at a reduced price.
Effectively Marketing a Restaurant Special
Be strategic about when to apply a restaurant special, as this Chef Works blog post notes. If your restaurant sees its slowest business at midday and early afternoon, offer a lunch special.
Great as social media and restaurant websites are for advertising specials, there’s still plenty of good reason to put out the traditional sandwich board or window sign to let passersby know about that day’s dining deal.
Consider syncing up a restaurant special with a major event: from the big game to a festival or convention in town, which you might highlight with a relevantly themed or named dish or drink.
Going the Specials Route
All things considered, daily or weekly specials are fine ways not only to boost business at your restaurant but make your operations more efficient and sustainable—and keep things interesting for you and your staff, to boot!