Sell More Stuff: Free Food Can Be Good For Your Business

April 4, 2016

Have you ever thought about giving away food for free? Okay, it’s a trick question. Most you who sell food now probably feel that you’re already giving it away.

You’re well aware of deep discounting when products are close to the last code date. It’s impossible to forget the cost of unsold out-of-date food (when you trash it).

We’ve become much smarter at how we stock and merchandise food SKUs. The category, however, continues to be a significant challenge for vending and micro market operators. At the same time, food is an important opportunity for profitable growth.

For now, we skip over the strategies and tactics you will need to use to build a successful food business. That is a more complex subject. It will be addressed in future postings.

An article at got my attention, 55 Restaurants That Give You Free Food On Your Birthday. The benefits are obvious, especially if it’s your birthday – or that of a family member or friend.

Opportunity: Why not offer free birthday food for shoppers at locations you serve? You can do this as part of a loyalty program. But you don’t need to have a loyalty program to offer it. It can be done easily using a separate calendar on your computer, tablet or phone. You will need to register participants so that you can contact them. (There are countless advantages for two-way communications with your shoppers.) 

You can create new trial for your food menu, possibly attracting new buyers. It’s also a way to enhance your relationship with existing shoppers by building repeat sales.  

It’s likely that you’ve enjoyed some sort of special treatment for your birthday. That means a lot to people. It tells us that our business is appreciated. Maybe it’s a free dessert with dinner. Or an airline upgrade on an international flight (yes, it happened).  

Make promotional events a part of your business. Personalize it by celebrating the birthdays of people who shop at your locations. Show them that you appreciate their business.

Use free birthday food to create more awareness of your food menu. The objective is to generate more initial trial purchases. That will, hopefully, lead to repeat sales.

It all comes down to selling more stuff.