Three major casual dining firms are all offering significant discounts this month, as they continue to use vouchers to draw customers into their restaurants.
Last month, The Caterer reported that casual dining restaurant groups are offering consumers the largest array of discount vouchers in two years.
While the use of vouchers is still lower than it was at its peak a few years ago, the start of October has heralded more offers from some of the major players in the market.
Prezzo is currently offering 50% off its mains until 12 October through website vouchercloud.co.uk, while vouchercodes.co.uk boasts an exclusive offer of 40% off the entire food bill at the same chain, in a deal that expires next week.
Meanwhile rival PizzaExpress is offering 40% off food or set menus from £9.95 until 8 November, and Frankie & Benny’s, owned by embattled The Restaurant Group (TRG) is offering two for one on mains or set menus from £9.95 from Monday to Friday in an offer that also expires in November.
TRG has recently launched a cheaper fixed price menu (£9.95 for two courses) at its 258 Frankie & Benny’s restaurants and said it had invested in improved food quality, all of which is art of a plan to turn the group around.
At the end of August, TRG hailed early signs of improvement since it outlined its strategy in March, although like-for-like sales still dropped 2.2% in the 26 weeks to 2 July 2017. It admitted that sales in 2017 were likely to be under pressure, during what it regarded as a transitional year.
And it has already conceded that it had resorted to discounting at its Coast to Coast brand, where like-for-like sales continued to be challenging in order to improve its “trading trajectory”.
Meanwhile, the latest Market Growth Monitor from Alix Partners and CGA Strategy found that small- and medium-sized restaurant businesses were growing by up to six times the rate of their larger rivals as competition in the sector remained fierce.
Alix Partners managing director Paul Hemming said: “2017 has already proved to be a challenging year for operators. The past 12 months have left the industry battling unprecedented levels of competition, unrelenting price pressures, and an evolving retail market.”
No-one from Prezzo or PizzaExpress were available to comment before this story was posted online.
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