How to Run Profitable Promos for Your Restaurant

The pandemic has affected everyone in the F&B industry. But with crisis comes opportunities. This guide will teach you how to pivot the COVID-19 crisis with profitable promotions that entice customers.

Leverage Promotional Strategies that Increases Profit

In 2020, Jollibee had to permanently close 486 of its physical stores due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown.

And it’s not just Jollibee that’s feeling the pressure.

Even Shangri-La Finest Chinese Cuisine in Quezon City had to close its doors after 37 years of service and operations.

The pandemic has affected every industry, but it took an especially heavy toll on the F&B sector, as the lockdown prohibited dine-in services for months and limited the maximum capacity allowed. Owners have been forced to close down their businesses, and the prolonged lockdowns have severely hurt those that remained open.  

Owners have been looking for more ways to increase profits with their current setup, creating a more competitive industry landscape than ever. To remain relevant and thrive in the Philippine restaurant industry today, you need to have a marketing plan that focuses on increasing sales. This plan would benefit from promotions that will help make your restaurant stand out among other restaurants in your area.

In this article, we answer several key questions about promotions, including the importance of promotions themselves, how effective they are in marketing your restaurant and products, and how to run profitable ones that encourage customers to buy more on each visit.


1. Use an effective promotional structure

Using effective promotional and profit-generating activities can help you succeed in your niche and stand out among the crowd.

And here’s something you likely already know: Studies show that promotions and discounts have a huge impact on diner behavior.

Strategic promotional activities that are known to generate large profits include:

  • Offering discounts during holidays or special occasions
  • Giving large discounts during off-peak times
  • “Get them in the doors” promotions, which give a huge discount on items that are best paired with other menu items, leading customers to buy more full-price items once they order the discounted ones

How you design your promotions depends on where your restaurant is situated, its target market, and the availability of your menu items. 

To get that optimal design, you should have access to accurate and real-time data to make data-driven decisions for your business. Your assessments of these factors will allow you to optimize your menus based on margin analysis and utilize predictive analysis to improve your sales forecasting and inventory procurement. 



2.  Offer exclusive deals for specific platforms

With the continued implementation of quarantine restrictions, more of your customers are undoubtedly choosing to order via online food delivery apps, such as GrabFood and FoodPanda.

According to Statista, the Online Food Delivery industry in the Philippines is expected to grow by $312 million this year. Due to the pandemic, restaurants are currently earning 60-80% of their revenues from take-out and delivery services. Meanwhile, FoodPanda Philippines’ user base grew by eight times compared to February 2020 after community quarantine was implemented and the demand for food delivery surged.

With take-out and delivery in high demand, you can increase your profits by offering additional services and focusing on selling to customers who can’t dine in at your restaurant. 

It’s also important to be aware that many users are loyal to one delivery platform or another, whether due to familiarity, perceived better service, or because of an existing subscription or loyalty program. To take advantage of this, you can run platform-specific promotions that help you attract more customers.

In order to select the best platform for a new promotion, you’ll need information about which delivery platform is getting the most traction for you. You’ll need in-depth data about user purchasing habits, and some way to tag orders as being for a certain platform. You can then choose whether to support users on that platform, or to attract more users from the competing platform. 

Once you have your answer, you can create promos based on the normal discount behavior for your platform of choice.

For example, FoodPanda’s Pro subscription is a great way to take advantage of existing loyal FoodPanda customers in your area, as you’re featured on the Pro discounts menu. Meanwhile, Grab more frequently highlights large discounts on individual dishes rather than flat discounts to entire menus, so you can put a discount on a popular menu item and it’ll catch Grab users’ attention.



3.  Accurate and timely data = profitable promos

With access to accurate and timely data about your business, you’ll be able to design profitable promos that engage your customers effectively. 

By looking at customer spending habits on a day-by-day and month-by-month basis, you can look for regular dips in your revenue and identify how to attract people during these off-peak days. You can then apply discounts to low-cost, high-margin items, such as:

  • Fountain drinks
  • Soup
  • Dessert
  • Breakfast items

This way, you’ll be able to attract more customers without having to lose too much on your bottom line.



Increasing cash flow through promotions is more important than ever, as restaurants compete for the attention of customers who might not yet want to dine in. Knowing how to implement these promos by deriving insights from customer analytics is key to doing this.

With Mosaic, you’ll get access to all the data you need in one platform. Our platform integrates POS, inventory management, and analytics all under one roof, providing you with a better understanding of sales volume on a day-to-day basis with clear margin interpretations. Mosaic can help you understand your customers better, and evaluate the performance of your campaigns to see what’s working and what needs reworking.

Get in touch with us today to get started with data-driven restaurant decisionmaking. We’d love to work together to see how our platform can serve you.