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March 19, 2020

5 Menu Items You Have Never Thought Of To Increase Restaurant Sales

If you’ve analyzed your sales, you must know which of your menu items are hot sellers.

And you must be thinking why they sell so well… so much more than your expected top seller.

It’s because specific menu items pair very well with each other and increase value or devalue other menu items.

The customer’s choices are highly influenced by how you have your menu items placed and highlighted.

So are you going to keep digging to find out if there are more menu items you can add to inflict change on your revenue?

If so, here are 5 ideas that I know will boost your revenue without devaluing your other menu items.

1. Merchandise

Initially, people come to your restaurant for your food and your service. Over time, they start to come back to your restaurant because they trust your brand. Did you know that you are selling your brand more than you food as time goes on?

Well, now you do. You’re trustworthy. And your customers love it. They come back for the same great taste and service everytime. And now they are loyal to you.

Now that you’re perceived as a brand and not just a food service business, you can sell like a brand. You can sell merchandise just like any name brand does.

The trick to being successful with selling merchandise is to find the perfect product-customer fit for your merchandise. You have to be on-brand and sell something you know your customers will love (if you get constant compliments on your decor or plating, you might have some good ideas already!)

2. Cookbooks

People love your food, but they’re not very keen on going out to your restaurant all the time. And they do love doing some extra-cirricular activities at home with their loved ones.

So why not

3. Grocery

People love your food, but they’re not very keen on going out. Nor do they want to gather groceries to cook the same great taste you offer. So why don’t you package some groceries for them into a set where they can make your food at home?

4. Digital Assets

One of the easiest and most lucrative (literally 100% profit) items you can ever sell. You never have to worry about stock because it is digital and always in stock. You never have to worry about profit because once the product is made, it is 100% profit from there.

So what are digital assets?

Digital assets are digital versions of media.

Think of a kindle book as a digital asset. It is just like a physical book but in digital form.

So the first idea for a digital asset would be to sell a cookbook in digital format.

However a cookbook takes a lot of time to plan and write. So you can sell individual recipes!

You can sell any kind of knowledge or entertainment in these assets. A very cool one would be to add a kid’s placemat for $1.

5. WiFi Access

Most restaurants are offering free WiFi now. It’s almost as if customers are not only demanding it, but they expect it nowadays. But if they expect free WiFi, why you ever offer a paid version?

You can still offer free WiFi at a specific speed, but also offer premium speeds as premium prices. This model is proven to work at other hospitality buildings such as airports and hotels. Why not try it too?

Another way to monetize your WiFi is to shut off free WiFi outside of normal business hours. Before your restaurant is open and after your restaurant is closed, you still might have people nearby who are looking for public WiFi access. You can make this a paid service.

Bonus: Memberships

You have loyal customers who spend over $1000 per year at your restaurant. They’re probably looking for even more benefits and savings from you more than what your loyalty program already offers.

So what is something you can give your most loyal customers to make them even more loyal while also creating a recurring revenue stream for your restaurant? A membership!

You can give special benefits and to people who are in your members program. I’ve seen some bars give automatic upgrades from 16oz to 22oz beers if their customers are part of the membership. If you don’t sell beer, you can automatically give bigger portion size or added sides to any dish they order.

You can also give priority or private access to events that you hold including local celebrities that you host and cooking classes.

Lastly, you can make secret menu items only available to members.

Here’s an example of a membership program:


And here are some more ideas for increasing value of your membership:

  1. Extend happy hour times
  2. Lessons on mixology
  3. Access to tickets to special community events
  4. Group dinner with the mayor
  5. Hands-on cooking lessons from your top chef
  6. Access to a more secluded, romantic dining room
  7. A separate line for counter orders
  8. Group dinner with a local celebrity
  9. Seconds!
  10. Free soft drink with every order
  11. Annual members club dinner with special menu items

Last thing: Don’t overpromise! You always want to stay on-brand with anything you offer your customers. So don’t compromise the great brand you already have.

Oh, and one more idea. All of the menu items I listed above membership can be added into your membership program. Your members can have “All Access Passes” to any of the assets I described above. Once they aren’t subscribed anymore, they will lose access.

That way, you can really measure the value and effectiveness of your membership program.

Well, those are all the ideas I have for menu items you can add to increase revenue. If I think of anymore, I’ll be sure to add to this post.

Which of these do you have in place already or are thinking about implementing now?

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Wilson Muh

Wilson Muh

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