The Adrian Loveridge Column – Time to Discover re-Discover
One of the biggest challenges to expanding the already successful re-DISCOVER dine-around initiative has been the failure to better explain the concept of revenue control to some of our restaurants. Just ten customers each evening, ordering the re-DISCOVER menu six nights per week and 50 weeks per year generates almost $300,000 in additional revenue, per establishment annually.
While this portion may not be the most profitable part of their turnover, it goes a very long way to meeting basic operating costs including paying utility bills, land taxes, insurance and rent. The most engaged restaurant partners control the bookings to encourage early diners occupying 6 pm or 6. 30pm tables, which they can they re-sell at 8pm or 8.30pm.
Effective revenue control is now one of the most practiced and managed component parts of the entire travel, hospitality and tourism industry. Nowadays when you board a plane, the chance that the passenger in the next seat and similar class is paying an identical fare is almost unknown. Likewise with most hotel chains, even when you compare the same room on the same floor. Hire cars are another classic example, where the final rental price paid can even depend on which (country) you are resident in.
So why certain eating establishments believe that a one fixed- price for all offering is the only thing they should have to proffer is a complete mystery. Timing of booking is also a critical factor in pricing with many tourism providers, often matching the most attractive rates to around three weeks prior to when the service or product is used.
And while re-DISCOVER was initially launched back in 2002 with our cherished visitors in mind, roughly 50 per cent of all those using it frequently are locals and why should we even consider not trying to entice a resident population of almost 280,000 people?
It costs absolutely nothing for dinner restaurant partners to join the re-DISCOVER programme and a token $50 per year for lunch inclusion, so you would think every one of our eateries would want to be onboard. Of course we encourage patrons to report back their experiences and to post comments on the various social media platforms. A common response is that how can some restaurants not turn a $6 portion of fish into a $99 menu and in the process, make money?
Having thirty years in the industry on Barbados I am personally fully aware of all the costing challenges, but I largely share this view and know that targeted pricing can contribute enormously to profitability, increased volume and returning clientele.
It is one of the many reasons that Groupon has been so successful. Almost daily I receive their special offers and have frequently taken advantage, either for personal consumption or as gifts. In the last reported quarter of 2017, the daily Groupon deal site had 49.5 million unique customers who had bought at least one ‘deal’ during the trailing 12 months according to Statista, the statistic portal.
Quite simply this is how business is done in a millennial age and not to adapt and exploit these ways is like burying our heads in the sand.