The Gourmet Society explained

The Gourmet Society is a dining club. We started just over four years ago with less than 20 restaurants in one town, now we partner with over 3,000 throughout more than a dozen counties! In each county we have thousands of members using the Gourmet Society each week with over 100,000 members nationwide. Essentially, our aim is to get more people eating out and more people through the doors of our partner restaurants.

What does it cost my restaurant?

It's absolutely free! As a dining club, we do not make any money from restaurants. Instead, we charge individuals and companies who join the Gourmet Society for a 12 months period. We therefore cover all printing and advertising costs.

How can the Gourmet Society benefit my restaurant?

By promoting your restaurant to professionals and people throughout the region who eat out in restaurants, we can offer to help fill your tables with good quality customers on your quieter periods at no charge.

What's the catch?

There is no catch. We simply ask for you to agree that if we are able to introduce our Gourmet Society card holders to your restaurant, you give them a small discount. Any offer you run is entirely at your discretion and if you want you can put restrictions on it to suit your needs.

I've never advertised as I don't think it is worth it!

We think the same. That is why we are able to uniquely guarantee that if we do not generate any extra covers for you it will not have cost you a penny. You therefore have no financial commitment and nothing to lose.

My restaurant is doing fine without help from anyone else, why would I want to partner with the Gourmet Society?

If you never, ever, ever have an empty table there is no purpose in joining the Gourmet Society. However, we find that it is very rare that a restaurant is completely full every lunchtime and evening of every day. Therefore if we can help fill the odd table with customers for you, at no extra cost, all the better!

How does the Gourmet Society work on a day to day basis in my restaurant?

Firstly, you pick an offer that you wish to extend to our members (please see How it Works and the symbols page). We will then publish this firstly on our website and then in our printed comprehensive full colour directory, which each member receives. Our members will then be able to see your restaurant featured along with the offer you are running. They will then phone you and mention they are a Gourmet Society member and see if you have availability for them to use their card with you.

It sounds great, but I don't need extra business on a Saturday night?

Every single restaurant is different and therefore we only increase your business when you want it increased. Thus you can exclude Saturday night from the offer. You can even exclude Friday night and/or Sunday lunch from the promotion. Bank holidays and the busy Christmas period can also be excluded. All of our members have to phone and book in advance stating they are a Gourmet Society member when making their booking thus giving you complete control.

Does offering a discount cheapen my restaurant?

Not with the Gourmet Society. It is possible that if you advertised half price dining in the local papers or on the radio, this may devalue your establishment. However, any offer you run is exclusively to Gourmet Society cardholders, who have joined specifically because they want to eat out in good restaurants. We also feel that having a good quality advert alongside many of the region's other top restaurants will have only positive effects on your image.

Is this an unlimited offer to the Gourmet Society cardholders?

The offer can be available as a once only introductory offer, or twice, three times or unlimited.

How long will the offer run for?

Our members join for twelve therefore we ask you to honour the offer for at least twelve months. However we find that the vast majority of restaurants continue to run the promotion indefinitely.

What are the offers?

The offers we ask our member restaurants to run are detailed below. However they are essentially:

  • 2 for 1 i.e. buy one get one free on either two courses (e.g. starter and main) or three courses (e.g. starter, main and dessert). Such an offer is only available for the number of card holders and not for the whole party.
  • 25% off the total bill including drinks. However this can be restricted to a maximum number of people e.g. 4 in the party which means you do not have to give 25% off the total bill in the case of a large party, only 4 people.

Experience tells us that these offers are successful when run by our member restaurants and that it is better to have a table of people eating and drinking in your restaurant at a discount on a quiet period, than an empty table.

Are there any other offers my restaurant can run?

All our partner restaurants offer one of the above offers. We feel that these are attractive offers to help bring our members to your restaurant, which is why we are able to attract so many members.

If I choose to limit cardholders to twice a year, how will I know they have been before?

Your restaurant will be allocated 2 numbers, e.g. 213, 214. On the back of the Gourmet Society member card are numbers 1-700. You simply cross off your numbers (e.g. 213 first visit, 214 second visit).

OK, I'm in what coverage will I get?

Our members receive a full colour glossy directory. We will fully feature your restaurant in it (see sample Directory pages opposite) alongside the Gourmet Society website which includes full details of each restaurant and links to partner restaurant's own websites. Initially we will also let our members know about you via our monthly newsletters.

What other restaurants already partner the Gourmet Society?

All of the partner restaurants are good and successful ones. The vast majority are either featured in the national guides, are well known locally or have been recommended to us by members.

So what type of customers will I be getting when Gourmet Society members come in?

Ones who love good food! We are very careful in our targeting of potential members. We use local media partners and advertise in specific restaurant based and local lifestyle magazines. We also work with many of the large companies in the region who buy cards from us for their employees by way of employee benefit schemes. Essentially our marketing is targeted so that the people who become Gourmet Society card holders are likely to spend well as opposed to someone who is simply looking for a free meal. Gourmet Society members are affluent, for instance 23% have Doctor as their title.

What information do I need to give you?

At this stage nothing. We will write in conjunction with you an editorial describing your restaurant and additionally will arrange photographs to be taken.

When will members start coming?

Fax or post back the Free Advertising Agreement and we will contact you within 7 days. We will then decide with you a start date for members to use the offer from. This start date can be as quickly as a week from us receiving your form or you can leave it for up to 3 months - you decide.

What do I need to do next?

Simply complete the online form and return it to us and we will do everything for you from then on. We look forward to helping you increase your trade for free.

Click here to join now!