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Putting Butts In Seats

Putting Butts In Seats

I had to tell you how happy I was after reading, “Are You Training Guests to Be Cheap?” [Editor's Space, August]. You hit it out of the park with your comments. In today's economy people are tightening their purses and wallets, but that does not mean they want to be bombarded with cheesy commercials and gimmicks that constantly remind them of the state of the economy.

You asked to hear from those of us who are still filling seats without compromising our brand integrity and food sensibility. So here is what we are doing at The Kelsey Roadhouse in Lake Barrington, IL.

We introduced “Kids Eat Free,” which includes an entree, side, drink and dessert that normally costs $7.95. For every adult in the party, one child eats free. We started the Kids Eat Free program in June on Monday and Tuesday, but we received such great feedback from our patrons we added Wednesday to the mix and have seen a huge return. Empty seats in our 5,000-square-foot facility our now full again.

We also introduced “1/2 Past Five” from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday. Patrons can order deep-dish pizzas, wings, tostadas, tacos and baked potato skins at half price. This promo, along with our daily beer specials, has brought in an after-work crowd that knows they can get great food and service without spending a fortune.

Lastly, our newsletter is now sent out like clockwork and always features a coupon that is good for a free birthday dessert or 10 percent off a check totaling $50 or more, excluding tax, tip and alcohol. We started with 125 subscribers and now we are close to 300. When times are tough people don't splurge, but they still eat and I know The Kelsey Roadhouse will still be around long after many others are gone.
Luke A. Slowik
General Manager
The Kelsey Roadhouse
Lake Barrington, IL.