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Successful restaurants and eateries have one thing in common, they’ve all increased their spend
per head. From McDonald’s “Is that a large?” to fine dinning ‘Would you like our house wine
with that?” increasing average spend per head is the key to scaling your hospitality business. In
this post, we will go over seven smart ways to increase the spend per head in your restaurant.

1. Sweeten the Deal with Dessert

picture of dessert in connection with increasing spend per head

One of the easiest ways for restaurants to increase the spend per head is to offer amazing dessert deals that are too sweet to pass up. You likely know that simply asking customers whether they want dessert commonly ends with a “no.”

Try bringing out desserts on a tray and presenting them in a delicious way and ask customers which dessert they want to try instead of asking a question that can easily be answered with a “no.” You can also have servers mention the dessert specials before customers receive their meals when they are still famished.

2. Make Your Drink Specials Irresistible

Cocktail picture that is related to increasing spend per head

Another simple way to increase the spend per head at your restaurant is with awesome drink deals. In addition to a fun “drink of the day” or unique happy hour specials, why not offer some wine pairings? A lot of customers may be intimidated by choosing the right wine for their meal, so take the intimidation factor out of it and offer expert wine pairings. You can have the server do this or put a “pairs well with..” Right on the menu beside each meal or special. Let the customers have a free tasting of wines or drinks to encourage them to try more options and pair with more courses.

3. Reward Customers for Spending

customer loyalty leads to increased spend per head.

One surefire way to increase the spend per head is to reward customers for their spending. They will be much more eager to spend more, knowing they will be rewarded for their spending and loyalty. Data shows that loyal diners will spend 23% more on average than non-members.

4. Use Digital Messages to Let Customers Know About Specials

Capture customer email addresses and phone numbers so you can send quick messages letting them know any time you have a special or a new item on the menu. This will not only get customers in your door, but they will be eager to try the new item you mentioned in the message.

5. Create a Separate Takeaway, Delivery Menu

If the COVID-19 global pandemic taught us one thing, it’s the value of offering takeaway and delivery. To increase customer spend per head, offer a special dine out menu. Fill the dine-out menu with items that are easy to prepare and travel well. Also, be sure to avoid any delicate items that could fall apart or melt while being transported. You should also reserve some spots in your parking lot for takeaway customers so they have a dedicated spot to park and can be in and out quickly.

6. Use an App for Easy Online Ordering

These days, some customers can’t be bothered to pick up the phone and place their order. When you use an app or easy online ordering from your website, you are making the ordering process that much more streamlined. Customers can simply choose what they want from the app, place their order, and be on their way. Without the hassle of having to pick up the phone, customers will be much more motivated to place an order, again and again, knowing how easy and convenient it is.

7. Train Your Servers

Servers are the first and last line of communication when it comes to placing orders. When you have an awesome server who is personable, friendly and talks up items on the menu, customers will be much more likely to listen to their suggestions and increase their spend per head.

Make sure your servers know the menu inside and out, can suggest sides, drinks, and desserts that will perfectly complement the meal. Make sure they describe the specials and anything else on the menu in detail that will leave the customers’ mouths watering, and have them suggest post-dinner drinks or an appetizer that sounds irresistible. This will require some training on your part, but it will be well worth it once customers increase their spend per head per your servers’ outstanding recommendations.

An important part of running a restaurant, or any business, is the bottom line. In these challenging times especially, many restaurants are struggling with high turnover.

Deploy some or all of these techniques until you find the ones that work best for you and boost sales.