Larry Williams, McKim’s IGA Mt. Vernon, IN Deli Department Deli, Promotions, Specialty Items, Sales Drivers, Convenience, Value, Grab and Go, Family Meals Difficulty: Easy
Store Size: 10,000-sqft 8ft hot bar, 4ft self-service, 20ft service case, salad bar for the morning-afternoon. Getting ready to offer prepared meals.
The first quarter is generally slow for us, so our wholesaler sponsored a promotion with Golden Plump Chicken to help us drive sales. During our 'Monday Madness’ promo, we offer an 8-piece fried chicken, normally $8.99, for just $5. The first time we ran the special, it was so popular that we had to buy a new fryer. Fast forward four years and we now own the chicken business in our town. Today we host this special offer on the four Mondays of February, and even though we don’t get the promotional dollars from our wholesaler anymore, it’s still well worth it. In a typical week, we sell about 2,400 pieces of chicken. On these four days alone we go through about 6,000 pieces. Not to mention that we also sell lots of sides and soft drinks to go with the chicken. Best of all, we see a boost in our deli sales that can last for weeks beyond the promotion.
~3,500 increase in pieces of chicken sold 2-3 weeks boost in daily sales
WHY IT WORKS
For our shoppers: Value For just $5, you can feed a family of four.
Convenience The chicken is fresh and ready to put on the table.
Good Timing It’s a great time of year because it’s coming off the expenses of the holidays, not to mention the cold weather generally means higher utility bills.
For the store:
Rise in Sales From the chicken to the sides, deli sales go up when we run the Cheap Chicken Monday special. We rarely see customers leave with just chicken in their hands. It is also a good chance to remind shoppers how good our chicken is, and we typically see a boost in chicken sales for weeks after.
Organic Mentions The promotion has become such a community event that we receive lots of activity on social media around the promotion.
Repurpose Existing Processes Other than the new fryer, we didn’t have to buy any new equipment. We already make fried chicken and we already had the space we use. It’s a lot of hard work the day of, but it is otherwise a pretty easy promotion to pull off.
Good Timing The timing doesn’t only work out for our customers, it is also great for the store. During a period in which sales are typically down, we saw increases in both customer count and sales per customer count.
Pricing: An eight-piece chicken is $5.
Promote the Event We use our weekly ad and our Facebook page to announce the next Monday Madness promo.
Start Early It is going to be a big day, so we get our fryers started at 5 AM.
Make Sure You are Properly Staffed We add an extra employee or two to the deli department for the day.
Keep the Fryer Going We are constantly frying throughout the day. We start by loading the fried chicken up in the rotisserie chicken space. If there’s a break in demand, we take advantage of it to load chicken up in boxes and stock our warmers.
Show Your Appreciation We appreciate how hard our employees work to make the promotion a success, so in March I always take everyone out to dinner as a thank you.
Be Careful When Ordering Chicken sales can vary, so it can be difficult to order the right amount of fresh chicken. We make sure to have some frozen chicken available to thaw if needed. We can also freeze fresh chicken if we order too much.
Keep Good Records By tracking what you bought and how much was leftover, you can learn from it for next year.
Ask for Help Promoting This is one of the few times that I ask my employees to get on the phone and tell their friends about the special.
Plan to be Busy The first time we ran the promotion, we were inundated. Now, we take steps to prepare ahead of time and staff appropriately.
Have a best practice of your own? We want to hear it!