Restaurants (and most businesses) are struggling in the current economy, so promotions seem to be running high to get people in the door. But can these promotions actually keep a customer from coming back?
Recently, my husband and I went to a chain restaurant because they were advertising $5 burgers or chicken sandwiches. It seemed like a pretty good deal seeing as the regular price was around $8-10. I ordered a Coke and my husband ordered a beer. When the check came, I was very surprised. The sandwiches were $5 each, but my Coke was $2.80 and the beer was $2. A Coke costing more than a beer? Obviously, I felt ripped off. I've never had a soft drink cost more than 50% of the entree price!
Things like this seem to be happening all too frequently. In a recent casual dining study by Intellaprice (a market analysis company), side dish prices are up 8%, desserts 7%, and bar beverages 2%.
casual dining article http://www.supermarketguru.com/index.cfm/go/sg.viewArticle/articleId/806
As a customer, are these bait-and-switch tactics leaving a bad taste in your mouth? As a restaurant owner, have you raised your prices on "extras"? How do you keep customers coming back after promotions?