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Restaurants starting to phase out discount vouchers

Published:  12 October, 2012

High street restaurant operators are phasing out discount deals in order to return to standard pricing, says Horizons.

Horizons' Voucher Tracker, which monitors restaurants' online money-off deals, has noted the first signs of a decline in discount offers. The discounts are now being offered with restricted availability and while other deals are being withdrawn.

Kids Eat Free vouchers, which in 2010 were offered by high street restaurants throughout the year, were only on offer during the summer holidays.

The deals have gained popularity since the economic downturn, with many being downloaded via sites such as But the downside was a risk to a restaurant's image and a dent in operating margins. It has also meant that many customers have become used to paying less for meals, and operators face a major challenge in withdrawing voucher deals without losing custom.

Peter Backman, managing director of foodservice consultancy Horizons, said: "In September our Voucher Tracker research noted a shift away from discounting, particularly family-orientated discounts. Two-for-one deals and money-off vouchers are now being replaced by offers such as 'free dessert/starter with every main course' or discounts available at restricted times.

"It seems that we are at last seeing operators trying to wean themselves off the discount deals, which are expensive for them to run, but which consumers have become very reliant on."

Horizons offers data and trends into the foodservice market.