Buckhead restaurant keeps business growing with innovative cards


Hostess Megan Strabo makes reservations for guests at Chops Lobster Bar in Buckhead.
Hostess Megan Strabo makes reservations for guests at Chops Lobster Bar in Buckhead.

Chops Lobster Bar has increased sales and the average ticket price for customers this summer by implementing new incentives for customers, the Ultimate Dining Card and the Gold Card.

Even though the economy has been improving in recent months, many Atlanta restaurants are failing due to the lack of people who are willing to go out for a meal. Chops Lobster Bar, which is a part of Buckhead Life Restaurant Group, has begun to implement two dining cards that allow customers to earn credit when eating at Chops and other Buckhead Life Restaurants.

The Ultimate Dining Card works like a debit card. It is rechargeable, easy to use, and never expires. Customers who sign up for the Ultimate Dining Card receive 10 percent off of their meal every time they eat at any Buckhead Life restaurant, including Chops. Since Chops’ average ticket price for a party of two ranges from $100 to $150, customers usually save at least $10 to $15 on a meal. Customers have realized the benefits of this card, and hundreds are already owners.

“On average, customers are spending 10 dollars more each time they attend the restaurant,” said Adrian Phillips, the general manager of Chops Lobster Bar.

Phillips attributes this increase in average check directly to the implementation of the Ultimate Dining Card.

“My family of four comes to eat at Chops at least one a month,” said Megan Strabo, a hostess at Chops. “If we used the Ultimate Card every time we came in for the next year, we would save at least $200.”

While the Ultimate Dining Card has been linked to increasing average ticket price, the Gold card has increased the average sales for the summer quarter by giving new customers a $25 credit toward their meal.

Similar to the Ultimate Card, the Gold Cards are mailed to people who live within 20 miles of the restaurant, and are completely free.

Chops sends out one Gold Card per month to customers, and the promotion lasts from June until September. Gold Cards expire on the last day of each month and cannot be used with any other promotion deal.  During the month of September, members will receive two $25 cards that can be used at any Buckhead Life restaurant. Buckhead Life restaurants, located in Atlanta, include: Atlanta Fish Market, 103 West, Bistro Niko, Buckhead Diner, Veni Vidi Vici, Corner Café, Kyma, and Pricci.

“So far, our sales are 9.6 percent higher this summer than they were last summer, which is huge for our restaurant,” said Phillips. “The goal for the Gold Card was to bring in new business and it has done just that.”

The $25 credit is an incentive for people to come in and try the restaurant’s menu of steak and seafood. The idea for the card is that once new customers try the restaurant, they will keep coming back for more.

“Even though it is still only the month of June, I have already noticed more and more people coming back to Chops after they have received the Gold Card in the mail,” said Strabo. “As a hostess, I can see when a customer’s first reservation was made at our restaurant, and it’s amazing to see how many people have already made second reservations since their first visit.  The Ultimate Dining Card and the Gold Card will definitely help turn our new customers into regulars.”

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