People that frequent fast-food restaurants don’t often think of their receipts as coupons, and most consumers throw them away, but if you start to take notice you’ll find there’s money to be had, just by spending approximately 5 minutes in order to answer a few questions online. I never took the time to do this before, so after looking at my most current receipts, I decided to give it a whirl…realizing there are more ways than one to save money. If you are patronizing a place more than once a month and don’t take advantage of the offers, it’s like letting cash slip through your fingers.

Take McDonalds for instance, their surveys are simple and all it is are a few questions rating your experience. This took me only 3 minutes to do, and at the end they gave me a code to put on my receipt for my next visit, offering me a free sandwich or a premium lunch (buy one get one free); of course it depends on what you purchased. There are other places that do this as well, such as…Chick-fil-A, Dunkin Donuts, Popeye’s, Subway, Sonic, Outback Steakhouse, Wendy’s and Panda Express. Some offer a discount for your next visit, others might offer a freebie of sorts. It’s a matter of saving your receipt and doing a short survey for their businesses. There’s a special team (or persons) that are assigned to evaluate these, in order to find out where improvements need to be made, or finding a resolution for a disgruntled customer. Sometimes they’ll recognize when a good job is being done, going above the call of duty is rare today, but they do exist in some of these places. It is an effective way for them to receive feedback regarding their products and services they provide. Customers shouldn’t complain if they don’t take the time to let them know how they are measuring up during their visit. It’s important to keep your receipts because they have a code on them that needs to be used prior to taking their survey. In return, they will give you a code once you’ve completed the questionnaire, and you’ll write it on the receipt used. It lets them know what location you were at, not to mention… what employee may have been on duty during the time you placed your order. Keep in mind there will be an expiration date as to how long you have to give your survey, which is usually 7 days, as well as receiving your code…giving you up to 30 days to use it.

Approximately 50% of the customers throw away receipts, according to a Toronto based company,  TTag Systems; an innovative telecommunications and IT company using marketing solutions by integrating Voice + SMS +Web + NFC capabilities into existing business systems. They also found the primary reason why customers won’t bother with surveys is that they felt the reward wasn’t worth their time. I believe it is, but restaurants will probably discontinue offering surveys if they’re not benefitting from it. The same might be said for retailers; I shop at Boot Barn and every time I make a purchase over $9.99 they offer a similar deal. They also have a code for a survey… at the bottom of their receipt, and in return they will extend a cash bonus for you to use on your next visit, also good for 30 days. The more money you spend there, the bigger the cash reward.  Whatever you choose to do with your next receipt from a purchase, whether its food or retail items, think about giving a few minutes of your time; it may help a company improve…or better yet, give you something in return for your opinion.

Make your week count.