Cashing In On College Kids
At a time when a year's private school tuition for one of my children is more expensive than the five years tuition it took me to graduate college (1988, I'm not that old), know that college students today and their parents are strapped for cash. This can prevent a great opportunity to lock in business for those restaurants close to college campuses.
Most college students cringe at the thought of a semester's diet of cafeteria food. With the proliferation of gift cards for restaurants, it makes sense to create your own unofficial school meal plan. One restaurant close to Vanderbilt University gives students two hundred dollars in food credits when a thousand dollars is pre-purchased on their gift cards.
A twenty percent bonus goes a long way to pleasing the parents' pocketbooks, and the thought of regular restaurant meals thrills the student. At what first may appear to be a large discount that swallows profits, is actually a financially sound move. The twenty percent premium only cost you about seven percent, because you only have to cover your hard costs.
By locking in business and cash in advance, you not only receive an interest free loan, you are able to better predict sales patterns for the school year. Finally, you can expect a certain percentage of these sales to go unredeemed due to lost or forgotten cards. All these factors add up to a bonus that will cost you next to nothing to fulfill.
Marketing of this manufactured meal plan is best accomplished by educating your current customers via signs, banners and table tents. The more pro-active restaurant marketer will promote this program through college newspapers and the rental of names of local college students and their parents.
Michael Attias, the countries foremost expert on high return, low cost direct marketing strategies for restaurants, speaks from experience in the trenches. He operated a close to $3,000,000 a year restaurant in Nashville, TN that he used as his marketing "laboratory". He now helps restaurant owners increase their sales by adding or expanding a catering profit center through his company The Results Group. You can download his FREE Report: Tapping Into Your Hidden Catering Profit$ and subscribe to his free e-zine: The Restaurant Marketing Minute at www.ezRestaurantMarketing.com.