Did you know that you can turn your printer in to a money making machine? Simply buy a groupon and print out 100 copies (keep reading until the end of the post to find out the secret to make this work). You can use the groupon you paid for once over and over at the same restaurant. Give them as gifts. You will never have to pay for food again. Better yet, before you sit down at a table, ask for the tablecloth, napkins, candle, and silverware to be removed. This should save the restaurant owner fifty cents that you can then ask to be taken off of your bill. You can also ask to retrieve your own food from the kitchen to save the price of having a server wait on you. Offer to cook the meal yourself to avoid paying someone else to do it for you.
The scams are not limited to restaurant guests. Owners, stop paying for pesky cleaning chemicals. Just refill that sanitizer bottle with tap water. Your guests will never know the difference. Have you seen how much dishwashing detergent cost? Who is going to know the difference? Refill your premium liquor bottles with your house brands and watch profits go through the roof. Horsemeat tastes nearly the same as beef and costs a fraction of the price. No more paying for pesky USDA inspections. Speaking of inspections, why are you paying for refrigeration after the health inspector comes? There is a 6-month window between visits; you can save a fortune unplugging your refrigerators for 5 months at a time.
Obviously, I wouldn’t recommend following any of the advice in the previous two paragraphs. They are intended to prove a point. If you only find one of the previous paragraphs shocking, then you are part of a problem plaguing the industry.
This post was inspired by the fact that I receive between two and five search engine hits a day for the phrase, “Can I use a Groupon twice?” I also receive the same number for “Free server training manual” and “Free restaurant budget template”. Sometimes the owners will even get picky and name the particular chain that they want to steal the copyrighted handbook from. My site is not that big and I don’t use those phrases often, so I am sure that if I am getting hits, other sites are getting far more.
I wanted to take some time today to answer these search engine queries. Can you use a Groupon twice? No. They are individually numbered and have bar codes on them. Restaurants are given an Ipod type machine to scan the bar code with. If you try to use them twice, they can pull up the exact date and time it was used originally. From there they can pull up the check it was used with. If you make a big fuss, they can even go in the office and pull up the credit card receipt from your last visit. At this point you are going to feel mighty foolish and should probably just pay for the meal before they call the police. You will be charged with “attempted theft of service.” In most states these laws are extremely antiquated and date back to when saloon/inn keepers were powerful constituencies. This means that the punishments outlined for these crimes are far worse than you would expect.
Not so fast restaurant owners. Do you really want a free training server manual? The phrase, “You get what you pay for” comes to mind. Your servers are the people that make the strongest impression on your guests. Training them well is one of the single most important factors to the success of your restaurant. This is not something you should leave to any person willing to throw something up on the net. There are books available for this that can be bought at substantial discounts if purchased in bulk. There are restaurant consulting companies that will write training manual specifically for your restaurant, menu, and clientele. These materials are far better than anything you can download for free and often will guarantee a rapid return on your investment.
The message here is that there is no such thing as a free meal or a free highly satisfied guest. Both cost money, but both are worth it. Restaurants are not in business to give away food and drinks. Restaurant guests will not keep coming back to places that try to pass off inferior products and services in the name of higher profits. Both sides of this equation need to respect what the other does. There is no scam to “get over” on restaurants or guests. When both sides stop searching for one, we can return to seeking and offering the best value possible.