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Birthday program advice and suggestions please!

Established Member

Birthday program advice and suggestions please!

Hello everyone,


I handle the marketing for a restaurant group. For several years now, we send emails to those on our list celebrating a birthday or anniversary offering them a free bottle of wine ($30 value) when they come in and have dinner with us. While the open rate is good (25-30%), the actual redemption rate is at a very low 1-2%. In the last few years, I've watched these numbers remain the same, or in some months, drop, so it was decided to put this program on hold in the hopes to come up with something better.


My problem is this: If a bottle of wine doesn't motivate someone to come in, what will? We want to avoid the free dessert thing since it is overdone, but maybe that is all our customers really want? What would motivate you? Thanks in advance for your help!

Marketing Advisor

Re: Birthday program advice and suggestions please!

Hello @marketingmaven, while a bottle of wine is enough to motivate many customers it may not be enough to motivate all customers. Being a previous small business owner myself, I always found giving the customers what they want is always the key to success.


Maybe, consider giving your customers the choice in what they would like to receive. You can try to give them the option to get one bottle of wine or a free dessert (for one or two) of their choice. The second choice will obviously save the restaurant money, but this will also allow customers to make a personal choice. Hopefully, that can help to get customers to utilize the birthday/anniversary offer. Best of luck!

Established Member

Re: Birthday program advice and suggestions please!

Thanks for your reply @Trev_S! We have offered alternative solutions to the bottle of wine for those who have asked, but maybe making it a part of the original offer may be worth something. I think I may go about reminding people they have the offer as well. Before it was a "one and done" email. Maybe sending out a reminder 2 weeks after the initial one might encourage more people to use theirs.


Thanks again.

Marketing Advisor

Re: Birthday program advice and suggestions please!

Hi @marketingmaven, I am happy to hear you found the post helpful and my suggestion was something to consider. I like your Idea of sending out a reminder to as well. Not only does that remind your customers, but it also allows for you to stay fresh in their mind of your restaurant. I wish the best success on everything and stay at it, I know it will pay off! Thanks for the great question.

Contributing Solution Provider

Re: Birthday program advice and suggestions please!

Hello @marketingmaven,

Times are changing and so are what motivates people.


The best way to find out what motivates your customers is to ask them.


Have you considered adding a survey to your emails asking patrons how they would like to celebrate their borthday? Instead of limited them to choices you have selected, maybe they have other ideas in mind. One of the restaurants near me discovered through a survey that his patrons like theatre tickets. He has made a deal with a local theatre to offer discounted or free tickets when they dine at the restaurant on their birthday.  Another local cafe donates a portion of the dinner price to a charity selected by the patron.


I have found that when I ask my clients what they want, I can always find something in their answers that will fit my objective and satisfy them as well.


Best of success to you.

Puzzle Master, Solutions Consultant
Niche Marketing Strategy, Solutions & Support for the solopreneurs; small and mid-sized companies.
Publisher, Author, Speaker

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