The rules for “free”
The wonderful blog Consumerist makes great points about the recent snafus in “free” coupon giveaways by restaurants like KFC and Arby’s. It only manages to generate consumer mistrust and cause long-term damage to their reputation.
I’ve identified four rules that chains should follow before giving out something for free (consumers can also check these rules to see whether a certain promotion satisfies):
1. Make sure you’ve got your franchisees on board: Some chains are announcing “free this” or “free that” but not getting the support of the franchisees who own the actual restaurants. When Popeye’s promoted a discounted chicken special but didn’t get its only location in Minnesota on board, it only ended up with angry customers and lots of bad press.