An activity, material, or technique that stimulates interest, trial, or purchase by offering added value to or incentive for the product to resellers, sales people, or consumers. Promotion activities are generally other than advertising, publicity, and personal selling. There are at least four types of sales promotion activities in the hospitality industry.
1) Sampling: This is an attempt to pre sell the activity or service to the patron. For example, the base restaurant may want to promote a new dessert menu by providing an opportunity for patrons to sample a small piece of the ‘dessert of the evening,’ free of charge.
2) Coupons: Coupons are used by 70% of American retailers in promoting products. A coupon gives the patron the opportunity to participate in an activity at reduced or no cost.
3) Contests: Contests usually provide some form of prizes. An example of a contest to promote enthusiasm and interest in a particular activity is a chili cook off, held at the snack bar, judged by the staff, and a featured menu for a period of time.
4) Demonstrations: A good example would be a cooking demonstration arranged at the exchange mall or at a booth during a festival, in hopes to create interest in menu specialties or new Chef.