If you run a fast-casual restaurant, a fast-food chain, or a full-service restaurant, having the right discounts will draw loads of new customers. Often even fine dining restaurants offer discounts disguised as specials. Here are 3 effective types of discounts that you can consider offering to your customers.

1. Buy One, Get One

Buy One, Get One is, for a reason, a classic discount. It's quick to implement, very easy to measure, and customers view it as massively valuable. 66 percent of shoppers state in a report from Wiser that BOGO is their favorite discount promotion. They also found that 93% of shoppers say that they have at least once taken advantage of a BOGO promotion. These types of deals can be arranged in a variety of different ways and the outcomes can be seen directly in your Point of Sale system. Here are some examples of some BOGOs to try out: Buy one, get one free of charge, ex. "Buy one bowl of ramen and get a free second bowl." Or, buy one, get half off, ex: "Buy one grilled cheese and get half the price for the second."

2. Combo Deals

Combo deals, popularized by valuable meals at fast-food restaurants, bring advantages to both restaurants and their guests. According to Business Insider, on average, combo deals account for approximately one in four quick-service restaurant customer visits. Now, however, an average of 35 percent of visits to fast-food chains by consumers were to buy a bundled promotion. Guests want a complete meal, and most restaurants are pleased to offer a mix of food and a drink that is priced in a way that saves a little money for the customer but allows a larger ticket size. Basically, it's an embedded upsell. Combos can be an effective deal for your customers regardless of what your restaurant serves and how it serves (i.e. dine-in or come and go). You can also change the wording, offering, and presentation to suit your style, whether you brand it as a combo, a lunch or dinner special, a price fixe menu, or something else.

3. Implementing Time-Based Discounts

Bar owners are profoundly familiar with happy hour discounts: a tried and tested way to draw in the after-work crowd is to lower food and drink rates. Oh, not a bar? Oh, no worries. For your restaurant, a happy hour plan will work even if it doesn't serve alcohol. Plus, Happy Hour food prices are currently more important to customers than drink prices, according to Technomic and Statista. For off-peak hours, you can also use this discounting technique, maybe from 2:30 p.m. From 4:30 p.m. on weekends for a more structured workday to even out the busier and slower periods. Time-Based Discount Pro: When your day is sluggish and can catch the famous after-work crowd, happy hours can bring in foot traffic. Time-Based Discount Con: Visitors can become accustomed to cheaper food prices and only want to visit at cheaper times. Why pay more at other times for what they can get cheaper? Another way to implement time-based discounts is to have limited time only item menus. Many fast-food chains offer these types of deals and they encourage your customers to come to your restaurant more often in a certain time range in order to ensure they don't miss out on the limited-time opportunity you’ve given them

We hope you'll try to implement some of these discounts in your restaurant plan, and remember, while discounts are great and can give you a big boost, choosing the right discounts for your restaurant is crucial. Being too lax with discounting will easily affect your bottom line, so make a strategy, stick to it, and track the outcomes through the point of sale of your restaurant.