Tag Archives: specials

Foodservice Industry Week in Brief: 8/31

Looking for some of the week’s top information? Check out these five stories from the foodservice industry from August 27-31.

Hurricane Isaac Could Mean More Bad News for Farmers

From Chicago Tribune, Read Full Story

Over the last couple weeks we’ve continued to see the effects of the drought on the nation’s heartland and have heard many speculations as to how it will impact food prices.  According to U.S. Drought Monitor, updated last on Thursday August 30, many states are still categorized at the D4 level, the most intense type of drought on the scale.  This may change over the next few days as many Midwest states will receive much needed rainfall with the remnants of Hurricane Issac.  However according to a Chicago Tribune article, an agricultural meteorologist said the remnants will stall crop harvests and could cause some localized damage.

National Restaurant Association to Kick Off National Food Safety Month

From Food Safety Month, Read Full Story

“Be safe, don’t cross-contaminate” says the National Restaurant Association, who kicks off their 18th annual National Food Safety Month on September 1.  NFSM is an annual NRA campaign that brings more awareness to food safety.  Through the campaign, NRA offers a variety of tools for restaurants such as training activities and posters.  All materials are free and can be found on the Serv Safe website.

Registration Has Begun for the US Pizza Team Trials and American Pizza Championship

From United States Pizza Team, Read Full Story

Does your pizzaria have something special that others don’t?  Do you have a special technique that puts you ahead of your competition? You can use all the skills that make your pizza place special at this year’s US Pizza Team Trials and American Pizza Championship.  According to the U.S. Pizza Team website, “The U.S. Pizza Team was established in 2000 as a vehicle to further promote the pizza industry and independent pizzerias through friendly competition, live and televised performances, team and individual appearances and more.”  They added attending team members gain a sense of camaraderie with others providing an overall positive outcome for customers.

Last Chance to Sign Up for September’s Dine Out For No Kid Hungry

From The Central Blog, Read Full Story

For restaurants, both independent and multi-units, looking to increase sales and raise money for a great cause, Share Our Strength’s Dine Out For No Kid Hungry™ is the perfect fundraiser.  Dine Out For No Kid Hungry enables restaurants to donate a portion of sales to help end childhood hunger.  There’s no registration fee or minimum donation amount to join and Share Our Strength has literally done all the work enabling restaurants to get started quickly with little effort on their part.  While the official week for the event is September 16-22, Share Our Strength® welcomes and encourages restaurants to participate anytime and for as long as they’d like during the month of September.  The last day to sign up is Friday September 7.  Register today!  Contact Share Our Strength Senior Manager Jessie Sherrer at 202-478-6505 with questions.

Labor Day Weekend Restaurant Sales and Promotions

Looking to dine out this weekend?  We’ve looked all over the web and found some deals going on this weekend so you can dine out, boost restaurant sales and save some money at the same time.

Bahama Breeze Italian Grille: $10 Burger and Beer

Baskin-Robbins: Buy One Cone, Get One Free

Buca di Beppo: $10 Off Dine In and To Go Orders

Burger King: $1 Real Fruit Smoothies

Caribou Coffee: $2 Breakfast Sandwiches or Oatmeal

Carrabba’s Italian Grill: $10 Off and $5 Off of Purchase

Denny’s: Free ‘Nana Bread Pancake Puppies with Entree Purchase

Macaroni Grill: Buy One Entree, Get One Free

Mimis Cafe: $5 off Purchase of $15

On The Border: Free Order of Original Queso

Pizza Hut: Spend $20 or More and Get Free Medium Pizza

Quiznos: Buy One, Get One for $1 and $1 Off Select Menu Items

Red Robin: Facebook Offer–$5 off $20 Purchase

Sonic: Half Price Breakfast Burritos on September 4

Subway: $5 Footlong Faves

Foodservice Industry Week in Brief 5/11

Looking for some of the week’s top information? This week we are giving you five stories from the foodservice industry for May 7-11.

Positive News on Gas Prices…
From Boston.com, Read Article

In an AP article on the Boston.com website, it looks like there may be hope for gas prices this summer.    According to the article, there was a decrease in the price of oil, therefore gas prices “likely won’t set any records this summer.”  Low gas prices are good for the economy; the lower/more consistent gas prices are, the more people are willing to spend on other things such as going out to restaurants.  So if gas prices can stay consistent throughout the summer, it can only help the restaurant industry’s good numbers continue on a positive track.   Read the full article on Boston.com.

Spring: ‘Tis the Season of Gift Cards
From Nation’s Restaurant News, Read Article

Spring is graduation season, which means many families will be heading out to a restaurant to celebrate.  But it isn’t only graduation season, there is Mother’s Day and Father’s Day too.  NRN explained many of the nation’s top restaurant chains are capitalizing on this opportunity by promoting the use of gift cards with incentives such as a free menu item or bounce-back coupon.  Read full article on the NRN website.

Budweiser’s Design Change to Bottles
From HuffPost Food, Read Article

For a limited time, Budweiser bottles will move away from their traditional design and will have a red, white and blue theme as a part of an initiative with the Folds of Honor Foundation.  HuffPost Food reported a portion of sales from May 20 through July 7 (up to $2.5 million) will be donated to Folds of Honor.  Read full article and check out the new design on HuffPost Food.

National Restaurant Association Show: Recap
From Central Restaurant Products, Read Article

The National Restaurant Association Show was held from May 5-8 at McCormick Place in Chicago, Ill.  It’s a huge event that had over 1,800 exhibitors of the foodservice and hospitality industry.  All the latest and greatest were there from innovative equipment and supplies to incredibly delicious foods.  It’s an event for everyone in the industry to gain more product knowledge, network and of course, try amazing food. Check out a photo slideshow of Central’s visit and read our show recap.

Mother’s Day Restaurant Specials

We looked all over the web to find some of the deals going on this weekend for moms on Mother’s Day.  If your restaurant has any special plans or promotions, please share with everyone below!

Baskin Robbins: Mother’s Day Cakes

Bravo: $10 Bonus Offer with $50 Gift Card Purchase

Caribou Coffee: Buy One Get One Free

Champps Americana: Upon Visit, Receive Card for $10 off $25 Purchase

Denny’s: Send Mom and E-Card and Get Coupon for Free Skillet Cookie with Entrees

Dickey’s Barbeque Restaurants: Free Dessert with Purchase of $5 or More

Hooters: 10 Free Boneless Wings

IKEA: Free Breakfast

Kona Grill: Complimentary Red Velvet Cupcake

Monical’s Pizza: $15 Family Pasta Pleaser

Ruby Tuesday: Voucher for Free Ruby Tuesday Simply Fresh Cookbook

Rusty Bucket: Free Sweet Treat to Take Home

TCBY: Free Yogurt

Texas de Brazil: Complimentary Dessert and Non-Alcoholic Beverages

Souplantation & Sweet Tomatoes: Buy One Breakfast, Get One Free

Central’s Week in Brief: October 28, 2011

For this Halloween themed weekend, Central’s Week in Brief is all about Halloween restaurant specials.  Check out some we found and please share what’s going on in your area or at your restaurant below. 


Scary Face Free Pancakes

TGI Friday’s

Frightful Friday’s

Pizza Hut

Trick or Treat

Papa Murphy’s

Jack-O-Lantern Pizza

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts

Krispy Skremes






Using Social Media for Your Restaurant: Foursquare

Image from Social Media Examiner

In our final installment of the “Using Social Media for Your Restaurant” series, we’re going to cover Foursquare.  The sites we’ve covered (FacebookTwitter, Yelp! and Foursquare) were chosen because they are well known, but there are more sites out there. If you find one you think will work well for your customers, by all means pursue it.

We first took a look at Foursquare when our home city, Indianapolis, declared April 16 as Foursquare day.  After looking into it, we realized Foursquare is much more than just “checking-in” a place.  A few weeks later we got in touch with Russ Chargualaf, executive chef of Houlihan’s (Castleton Square, Indianapolis) for a blog and learned how great of a marketing tool Foursquare is through his experience.

What is Foursquare? I think we hit the nail on the head in May’s Foursquare blog:

“The location-based social media site, Foursquare, is gaining popularity among millions of mobile app users worldwide and also for over 250,000 (and counting) businesses—many being restaurants. With over eight million users and over 2.5 million check-in’s per day, this is another great advertising tool for restaurants. Best of all, it’s free and doesn’t take much time at all.”

Image from Foursquare Website

Where to Begin? If you haven’t joined Foursquare, you can go here to get your account. Upon logging in, you will be able to see what your friends are up to, but you will want to look into information for merchants to get working on new things for your restaurant.

First, similar to Yelp and other social media sites we’ve discussed, you will want to claim your venue.  Once you’ve claimed your venue, you can update your bio, other contact information (i.e. Twitter, website, and phone number), categories, tags and more.

While logged in, you can also view your venue stats which will allow you to know your customers better.


Badge Image from Zagat Blog

When you’re logged in on your venue (or any venue) you will notice tips.

“Tips are generally things you’d recommend to others,” the Foursquare support site says.  For example, someone may leave a tip saying, “Try the bacon cheeseburger!” or “Stop in Friday nights for a free appetizer!”

Once joining, you will see people checking-in and writing tips on your wall. In one of Chargualaf’s many marketing strategies, he utilizes Foursquare’s tips on locations in surrounding areas.  We posted in our May blog:

“In Houlihan’s case, at every hotel or motel within a mile, Chargualaf will put in a Tip welcoming someone to Houlihan’s with a short history, specials and hours.  Also, he’s been creative by creating a Tip for Midas and other car repair shops that says, “Just got your bill? Come and share your sorrows with us.  Half off drinks all day, everyday at Houlihan’s Castleton Square Mall.”

Foursquare Specials

Restaurants are one of the key places Foursquare specials are used. These are implemented for both new and loyal customers upon checking into your establishment. Upon checking in, customers can earn badges as a reward.  You can use these badges to then reward your customers.

“Be it a mobile coupon, prizes, discounts, your name on it, we dig it,” Techsterr.com says in their Tutorial on How to Create Foursquare Special for Business.

Steps for Starting a Special (through a Campaign)
Click here for more information on Foursquare’s specials.

  1. Click “Manager Tools”
  2. Click “Campaigns”
  3. Choose “Start a Campaign”
  4. Choose which type of special you would like to run (Techsterr fills you in on all the definitions for which type of special to run here)
  5. Finalize the verbiage, in which you will be able to see on the right hand side of your screen what your special will look like
  6. Just before you begin your special, you’ll reach a screen to show your special and you can choose when the special ends, save it for later if you need to then click “Start Campaign Now” to get rolling

It’s More Than Specials…

Just like Facebook, Twitter and Yelp—there are multiple aspects of Foursquare and ways to use it to grow your business. While it’s free, you must remember these two words: Self promote.  Grab attention by placing a check-in widget on your website, blog, etc.  You can even add in a special tab for your Facebook page or WordPress blog.

We’ve told you in the other blogs in the series, get the word out to your customers in all ways you can, so inform them about your Foursquare presence at your establishment and online. In your restaurant, you can look into printing off “Check-in” signs or get window clings.

By making your presence known on the web, you won’t only be attracting your regulars; you will be attracting people in the area that find you. Via their phone or on a website, customers can search an area and see what’s around them. So by running specials, posting tips and just keeping current, you will attract a new set of customers while remaining loyal to your regulars.


Take a look at these resources to help you through your Foursquare journey. We hope our social media series has been helpful. Be sure to comment below with any of your own tips for using social media for your restaurant.

Foursquare Merchant Platform by Foursquare

Foursquare Marketing Tips for Restaurants by Rebel Marketing Cafe

Houlihan’s: A Foursquare Success by Central Restaurant Products

Top 5 Foursquare Mistakes Committed by Small Businesses by Financial Bin

Why Restaurants Should Be Using Foursquare by Harrison Marketing

Image from Foursquare

Foursquare for Restaurants and Bars by Twitter for Restaurants

Keys to Success with Social Media Marketing: Foursquare by ClickZ