No such thing as a free lunch? Think again!

Customer holds free cheese and onion slice

To encourage customers to sign up to the Woodlands Local Rewards Club and give us a chance to sample our new hot food range from Cuisine de France, last month saw Free Lunch Friday for Rewards Club members.

by Antony Begley

Killing two birds with one stone last month, we decided to run a sampling day for our newly installed Cuisine de France hot food range and make it absolutely free to anyone who was already a member of the Woodlands Local Rewards Club (WLRC), or who was happy to sign up on the day.

We promoted the event heavily before the event on the Woodlands Local Facebook page (which we’re planning to make much more of in 2016). Our recently created Twitter feed also pushed out the news. We also displayed posters throughout the shop explaining directly to shoppers in-store how they could get their hands on a free lunch. Finally, there were also personalised messages for existing WLRC members.

The results were fantastic with lots of new members signing up beforehand and another dozen signing up on the day. To boost recruitment, we had an iPad set up in the store to allow customers to sign up there and then in under 30 seconds before collecting their free lunch.

Cuisine de France was excellent in its support for the event, sending along Development Chef Gordon Downie to give Melissa and our Foodservice team all the help they needed to ensure all of the products were cooked and presented to perfection.

Key Account Manager Anne-Marie Canale was also in attendance to help hand out lunch and assist with a few last minute issues to ensure the day went to plan.

While we will be introducing a broad savoury and sweet range, we settled on three favourites for the free lunch giveaway:

  • Steak Slice
  • Cheese & Onion Slice
  • Sausage Roll.

Cuisine de France also threw in a few gingerbread reindeer to hand out to customers and brighten up their Friday lunchtime. In total we gave away around 70 hot food items. Not a bad lunchtime’s work.

The feedback we received from customers on the products was entirely positive, as was the feedback from our team at the store who also ‘kindly’ agreed to sample the products and tell us what they thought. The product quality is exceptional, the packaging is practical and attractive and the POS is bright and welcoming.

Needless to say we have high hopes for the wider range which we’ve already started to introduce, and those hopes are already materialising into sales – with the new counter adding incremental daily unit sales of 35-40 within its first week!

It will take a few months to fully get to grips with how many lines we should stock, how many of each line we’ll need each weekday and so on, but the initial signs are positive.