Zizzi top: a multichannel first for the casual dining industry

We’re delighted to announce the national launch of Zizzi’s ground-breaking referral programme, following a successful trial earlier this year. As of today, Zizzi customers will be able to recommend the award-winning Italian restaurant chain to their friends and family and, thanks to Buyapowa’s unique multi-channel referral system, Zizzi will be able to track successful referrals the moment those friends settle their bills in one of their 144 branches across the UK.

It’s an exciting next step for Zizzi and for the casual dining sector as a whole - a sector that understands the value of incentives when it comes to acquiring new customers, but is looking for an alternative to the indiscriminate way discount codes are pumped out by affiliate giants like vouchercloud and VoucherCodes. Ideally, these codes would only ever get picked up by customers who were going to eat elsewhere but, in the real world, they often cannibalise visits that were already going to happen (even ones that have already been booked), skimming away profits and eating into margins in the process.

Zizzi cleverly looked at the way brands like Uber and airbnb became multi-billion-dollar businesses by using a totally different way of distributing


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Time to cure your brand's Discount Code addiction

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How to wean your customers (and your marketing team) off vouchers and discount codes…

Seeing how 2015 has started with announcement after retailer announcement that excessive discounting severely dented margins in Q4, it's a good moment to consider another type of rampant discounting: ‘Discount Codes’.

Vouchers as Class A Drugs?

Indiscriminate scatter-gunning of discount codes cheapens your brand by creating a class of customer that always expects discounts.

This problem has been particularly pronounced in the casual dining industry where vouchers have been compared to Class A drugs and research from Mintel (1) found a third of British diners regularly use vouchers and a huge percentage say they will only visit chains if there is an offer.

It's just too easy for marketers to turn to the ‘quick fix’ to boost sales, but the fear that customer numbers will drop the minute the discounts disappear means it’s hard to quit. What we get is a real ‘tragedy of the commons’ where competitors discount away their margins chasing price sensitive switchers.

I am sure we all see evidence of this. How many of us have a wallet stuffed with a couple of ‘30% off’ coupons alongside some


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Singing for their supper: why casual dining needs to change

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In my wallet, I have two 30% off coupons for Pizza Express. Alongside them, I’ve got some random membership card that entitles me to 40% off at Pizza Express. Oh, and… hang on, yep, here it is: another Pizza Express saver - this time a £10 voucher earned with supermarket loyalty points. That’ll keep the toddler in “Pat A Pony” pizzas for the next few weekends (he seriously needs to learn how to pronounce the word “pepperoni”).

Thing is, I didn’t have to do anything to get these coupons. I didn’t scrub dishes in their kitchens, or win some kind of competition. I didn’t even have to like pizza (I’m ambivalent). Pizza Express just gave them to me because that’s what casual dining chains do these days. They discount. Relentlessly. Aggressively. Dementedly. To the point where it’s no longer about attracting new business or inculcating loyalty, it’s simply a matter or keeping up with the Jones. Or, to be more precise, the Garfunkels, the Carluccios and the, um, Nandoses.

The rest of retail already went through this and - thank god - is finally starting to come out the other end.


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