“We have an activity which is among the least profitable in France and if we do nothing within five years, we no longer exist”, estimated Philippe Jean, general manager of Del Arte restaurants, on BFM Business this Tuesday morning. So the chain of Italian restaurants Pizza Del Arte decided to innovate, by launching a subscription formula in France.
Since the beginning of October, for 34.99 euros per month (29.99 the first month), you have the right to a free dish per day in the Pizza Del Arte restaurants participating in the offer. 13 of the brand’s 200 restaurants currently offer this formula.
Customers can choose between a pasta dish or a pizza from seven products selected from the menu. In Le Figaro, the general manager of Del Arte indicated that this offer mainly targeted “students and blue-collar workers from the south”, in a context of declining purchasing power. According to INSEE, inflation was up 6.2% in October compared to a year ago.
This tense economic context is not helping the business of Del Arte restaurants, which have still not returned to their 2019 level of attendance, before the arrival of Covid-19 and successive confinements. “We are testing a new form, an innovation, we are keen to find people in our restaurants”, explained Philippe Jean, on BFM Business.
A viable business model?
The consumer who subscribes to the subscription agrees for a period of six months. He is the only one who can benefit from his subscription and the offer is only valid on site and not to take away. Finally, if the dish is free, any additional order, be it a drink, a dessert or a coffee, will be charged extra.
“The idea of the test is to consider that people are not going to come every day to eat. When they come to benefit from their free dish, they will probably buy something else and be accompanied, that’s what we are counting on, ”said the general manager of the restaurants on the chain.
The subscription formula has already proven itself, in restaurants and elsewhere. In the United States, you can benefit from a free tacos per day at Taco Bell, in exchange for a 10 dollar per month subscription. In France, the Prêt-à-Manger chain offers a subscription at 25 euros per month allowing you to benefit from five drinks a day. At the cinema, or to listen to music, the “subscription” formulas are also very successful, mainly among young adults.
According to an Ipsos study for papernest* published in October 2021, the French accumulate an average of 10 monthly subscriptions and 40% of them continue to pay for subscriptions that they no longer or barely use.
Everyone knows that eating pizza is good for your health, provided you don’t eat it every day, our customers are not devoid of common sense.
At Del Arte, the subscription is currently being tested until mid-December. For Philippe Jean, an average of two meals a week would be a success. If the operation were to be extended and extended to other restaurants, the general manager of Del Arte promises that the formula will be extended to protein dishes and salads.
* ”Consumption by subscription: New consumption habits and impact on the monthly budget of French people”, Ipsos study for papernest