Restaurant and pub operators were today urged to offer special deals to customers during quiet periods in the run up to Christmas.
A number of major high-street retailers have been offering large discounts in recent weeks which means consumers will become reluctant to pay full price for other things, including meals out, according to Peter Backman, managing director of foodservice consultancy Horizons.
"Clever operators are now offering discounts that encourage people through the door but enable them to benefit from higher margins on drink, for example."
Backman suggested offers such as a 'free meal on your birthday', 'two for the price of one', '50% off the food bill', and 'set price menu and a free glass of Champagne'.
However, Stephen Broome, assistant director of leisure and hospitality at consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers, has warned that discounts need to be selective.
"It's about selective discounts that are targeted as opposed to blanket discounts across the board that simply erode profitability," he said.
By Kerstin Kuhn
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