Fast Food Group Buying Campaigns: 3 Potential Operational Problems and How to Avoid Them

Group buying campaigns through websites like Groupon or LivingSocial have become popular and effective as a way to bring more people into your fast food shop, but they often lead to inaccurate reporting. Many businesses rely on the group buying site to keep track of the campaign. The staff collects or scans the vouchers without reflecting the transaction in the point-of-sale (POS) system. While this may look like the fastest way of operating, it can create an erroneous view of the business, which can result in operational problems.


The POS system will not include the group buying transactions in the total sales and customer count. The shop will appear not as busy as it actually is and if the person responsible for rosters goes by the POS report, they may not roster enough staff to operate in the most efficient way.


When you're selling a meal to a group-buying customer, your POS system will not reflect that the stock required to prepare this meal has been used. As a result, you will see higher stock levels in your system than what you have available. If you've automated purchase orders that go out to the suppliers once the stock reaches a certain level, you will be ordering too late and may run out of key ingredients.

Unless you keep a close eye on how many vouchers go through your system, the discrepancy between the reported and the actual levels of stock may lead you to suspect theft, which wouldn't create a nice working atmosphere for your staff.

Extra time spent on reporting

To produce accurate reports for management purposes, you will need to add figures that come from two different sources: your POS system and your account with the group buying site.

Simple solution

You can avoid these problems easily if your POS system accounts for the group buying customers you're serving. To set this up, all you need to do is add the voucher to your POS menu as a separate item. If you're promoting more than one offer, create items for each deal or have a multiple choice question to reflect the stock you're using. Have a shortcut to your new item on your POS screen, so that adding the voucher to the system doesn't slow down the service. Train all your stuff to use the point of sale equipment correctly and enjoy the benefits of accurate recording.