Is This Offer Too Good to Pass Up?

Last week, I got this email from Smashburger (they have excellent burgers and are one of the few casual food joints that I eat at anymore).

Never one to pass up what seems to be an interesting deal, I checked out their offer:

With the Holiday Smash Pass, you’ll be able to treat yourself to ANY entrée for just $1 every day from November 15, 2017 to January 9, 2018 at participating locations. That’s two months of $1 entrées* and a savings of up to $250. We’re offering our Holiday Smash Pass online only for $54. What are you waiting for?

*(entree’s consists of a burger + fixings)

On the surface, this sounds like a fair deal, right?

I recall something similar to this offered by Olive Garden every year. I think their offer was something like unlimited pasta for $100 for a period of time.

Analyzing the deal

I think it’s a good idea to analyze offers now adays. Especially when they seem “too good to be true” and marketing folks need to be more creative to get people through their doors. Not that this one is such – but the offer of $1 for an entree would cause many folks to perk up.

It’s important to remember that most deals are designed to get customers to spend more than they would typically.

But, let’s just assume a couple of scenarios to figure out if this is a good deal. Because a deal is only a good deal, if it’s something that benefits your regular spending patterns.

I generally go to Smashburger about 1x a month. Given the deal is for 54 days and I have to pay $54 upfront for the pass + $1 each time I order, and my typical entree consists of the following (fig 1), let’s look at the numbers:

Fig 1. $7.39 total bill at Smashburger.
Pass  $                54.00
Meal  $                  1.00
Meal  $                  1.00
TOTAL  $                56.00
Meal  $                  7.39
Meal  $                  7.39
TOTAL  $                14.78

So if I were to grab a burger at my regular rate of about once per month – I would spend about $15. If I purchased the pass, I would spend $56, at a loss of $41.22.

Let’s just say that I bought the pass and planned on going a little more frequently than usual (my arteries probably wouldn’t be happy about this decision).

How many times would I have to frequent Smashburger to make it worth my while? Remember they tout this pass is a savings of $250!

Pass  $                54.00
Entrée  $                  1.00
Entrée  $                  1.00
Entrée  $                  1.00
Entrée  $                  1.00
Entrée  $                  1.00
Entrée  $                  1.00
Entrée  $                  1.00
Entrée  $                  1.00
Entrée  $                  1.00
TOTAL  $                63.00
Entrée  $                  7.39
Entrée  $                  7.39
Entrée  $                  7.39
Entrée  $                  7.39
Entrée  $                  7.39
Entrée  $                  7.39
Entrée  $                  7.39
Entrée  $                  7.39
Entrée  $                  7.39
TOTAL  $                66.51

So after 9 trips to Smashburger, it would start making it worth my time / money.

That means that over the 54 day period the pass is active, I would need to increase my burger intake from one Smashburger per month to one per week (and throw in a couple 2x a week trips).

Is it worth it?

I guess this is a personal decision. But for me, I’m passing on this one.

Could it ever be worth buying the pass? If you frequent Smashburger 1-2x+ a week and are a hard-core fan, it could be. But, it’s really not saving you that much. My guess is that most customers of their establishment aren’t visiting this often.

What are your thoughts? Ever participating in an offer like this. How do you analyze deals that come your way?

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