11 golden rules for increasing head spend at your restaurant

September 16, 2022
min read

1. Remove $ signs from your menu 💲

Did you know removing $ signs from your menu can increase your head spend? A Cornell study showed that diners in restaurants spent about 8 percent more without a dollar sign next to the item. Show people a coffee for ‘3.5’ rather than ‘$3.50’ and see the results!

2. Add merchandise and gift cards to your menu 🛍️

There's only so much people can eat and drink, but that doesn't mean you can't sell them more. Gift cards, shirts, cookbooks and totes are a great way for happy customers to show their support.

Around special days like Father & Mothers day, Christmas and EOFY, this can be an especially effective way to bring in extra cash.

Pro tip - Include these as upsells on your desserts, it's likely the last dish they are going to order.

3. Sell takeaway food & drink items 🥡

Depending on your liquor license, you may be able to offer takeaway drinks or bottled cocktails. Some successful venues also sell sauces and take-home meal packs that customers can store in their fridge.

4. Upsell within your menu 🥓

If you haven't already added upsells for your items, now is the time to do it. Ensure upsells are added to your digital menu, to achieve upselling online as well as by your staff.

Caesar salad? Add chicken. Burger? Add fries + bacon! Desserts? Add a coffee or liquor.  Make sure you tailor your upsells to the item. No point in selling bacon to a vegan. 

5.  Product positioning on your menu 🔝

Seems like an obvious one, but venues usually sell the most of what’s at the top of the menu!  Make sure you put a high margin item at the top. Oysters, anyone?

6.  Customers love chips 🍟

Yep, that’s the whole tip. At some restaurants using Mr Yum, over 80% of orders include chips!

7.  Price Anchoring ⚓

Price anchoring is a technique of placing more expensive items next to the items you want to sell. Having a $99 set menu next to the $69 set menu makes the cheaper set look more appealing. Genius.

8.  Bracketing 🤏

This is when you offer an item with two sizes. It's similar to price anchoring, when the larger size makes the smaller size seem more reasonable. Works great for chips, salads and curries.

9.  Popular tag 🏷️

Adding a popular tag is another great way to draw a customer’s attention to an item. Don’t Be careful not to overdo it though, if it's on every dish the your customers will disregard them and the Special won’t seem so special.

10. Sweeten the Deal 🧁

Easily one of the best ways to leave a lasting impression on your diners. Simply asking “what dessert would you like” might tempt just about anyone into trying your tiramisu.

Pro tip – Pair all of your desserts this with a photo on your digital menu - customers eat with their eyes!

11. Promotions ⏰

Customers love to feel rewarded, offering upsells and upgrades at discounted prices is a great way to win them over. Promotions are also an effective method to drive sales at non-peak times, think Happy Hours, Mon-Wed discounts and more!

So, that’s that. With these 11 tips in your back pocket, you’ll have more money in your pockets.

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