Success of Cape Town Special Restaurant Month signals end of set menu deals
The Cape Town Special Restaurant Month was launched this October as an initial teaser to the group restaurant club which will be taking place over winter next year. The concept is simple, diners register for free at www.capetownspecial.com, print off a card, book directly with one of the participating restaurants and present the printout when paying to qualify for the 25% discount off their food bill or selected dishes. Yet the response from the public has been overwhelming.
“We broke all our targets whether it be the number of registrants, visits to the website, Facebook likes or competition entries within the first week.” says Andrea Desfarges, owner of Publicity, the creative marketing company who is running this as a not for profit economy boosting initiative.
“I would like to say that it was our interactive street campaign, which included six flash mobs and colourful chalk art around Cape Town, that generated all this interest but the truth is that the feedback we’ve received from Capetonians is that people are tired of set menus. They are tired of smaller portions, lesser ingredients and dishes that sometimes aren’t even on the normal menu.”
It hasn’t been easy. With the popularity of food and shows such as MasterChef the gourmet bandwagon is full of new coupon deals and restaurant promotion sites springing up.
“We had around 20 restauranteurs pull out because they had recently been burnt and didn’t believe that there was no cost involved. We lost others because of a copycat company that started poaching from our list. But we believe in the idea and are still the only restaurant club that is free for the public, free for restaurants, totally independent of partners, involves no set menu, smaller portions or minimum spend, just 25% off food.”
So what is the plan for next year? “All these separate restaurant specials during winter are getting out of hand. It’s creating a false economy and undermining the industry. Our goal is that restaurants join and benefit from a collective marketing strategy over winter that offers restaurants a chance to increase turnover and give the public what they clearly prefer, a set discounted rate instead of a set menu.”
Lynn Mostert owner of Cafe D’Arts in Diep River says, “I think it’s great what Andrea is trying to do for the industry. She is genuine about supporting your business.”
Cape Town Special Restaurant Month will be running until the end of October and includes a mix of restaurants and cafes such as Simon’s, Indulge, B.B.Ques, Borracho’s, Bentley Oyster Bar & Bistro, The Vasco Da Gama Taverna, Cafe on Greenmarket, Cafe D’Arts, The Larder, Catch 22 Beachside Grill, Al’s Place and Towerbosch Earth Kitchen.
- To register for your 25% discount on food visit www.capetownspecial.com