As restaurants begin to open dining rooms, we will inevitably see some increase in sales. But at the commonly mandated 25% or 50% capacity limitations, many restaurants will still be far from hitting their normal sales goals.
Below, we have outlined several tools and insights to maximize revenue with the new seating limitations and safety in mind. While revenue is important, your guests’ safety and comfort should never be sacrificed—and their confidence in your brand and its actions will pay dividends in the long run.
Menu (Re)Design is Key
- Featuring photos of guest favorites and high-margin items will encourage boosted sales of those offerings
- Highlighting value-based offers on prime real estate within your printed menu and other in-restaurant signage will appeal to guests who are price-sensitive
- Using your best imagery of add-on items like beverages, appetizers and desserts will encourage guests to crave these offerings and increase overall check
- Printing menus in color vs. black and white will draw more attention and drive craveability—and therefore higher sales
- For better safety and sanitation, switch to disposable, one-time-use menus. Guests will be more likely to return if they see your brand taking this type of precaution
Optimize Your Menu Mix
- Promoting dishes that are faster to produce will reduce time-to-serve and turn tables more quickly
- Adjusting your menu offerings to use the fewest SKUs possible gives your kitchen staff a chance to be creative with ingredients and allows for operational and financial efficiency
- Your menu mix should account for dishes and beverages that travel well to accommodate curbside and/or delivery orders so that guests are satisfied and want to order again in the future
- And while you’re at it, make sure you have “safety seal” stickers on your to-go packaging to drive home just how cautious your team is being with their food
Value, Value, Value
- Placing extra emphasis on offerings that give guests the best bang for their buck will encourage return visits
- Offering discounts, like free dessert or 10% off full orders, to off-premise orders for dinner times or busy weekend dayparts can alleviate stress on traffic while continuing to drive sales (for example, a free dessert promo or a discount for 10% off any full entrée order)
- Offering discounts on alcoholic drinks while guests are waiting for their table will encourage bar traffic and sales
And finally, don’t neglect the power of gift card sales and the intrinsic and financial value they provide, especially during these days when revenue is oxygen. Guests continue to want to support your brand, but in ways that feel safe for them. Ordering gift cards online allows those guests who are not ready to leave their homes for in-restaurant dining to support you and your team in a comfortable manner.