How to Increase Restaurant Check Average

What if every customer who walked through your door spent an extra dollar? What if it was two dollars, or three? Add it up and think what that would mean to your income. Increasing the average check amount is one of the least expensive and most effective ways to impact your profits. It can be accomplished with your current customers, within the walls of your restaurant.

No need for expensive mass media marketing campaigns — just some sales and promotional efforts added to your daily routines.

Anything you do in-store can help increase check average. Following are some methods you can utilize to increase check average:

• Turn Order-Takers into Salespeople: Your wait staff has immense opportunity to increase the check average. Instead of just taking an order, they should be selling the products. Do they describe the specials of the day? Do they offer alternatives, such as “our famous double latte” instead of just a cup of coffee? Teach them to sell, sell, sell.

• Suggestive Selling: The age-old “would you like fries with that” isn’t just a custom that’s done to honor Ray Kroc. It works! Customers often say yes to suggestions you make to them. It can be hard to get the employees to always do it, but the results are worth the effort!

• Appetizers and Desserts: These two items can have a great effect on check average. Create special promotions around these add-on items. Create your exclusive “signature” appetizer or dessert. Start each table with a free appetizer “sampler,” with a bite or two of your best appetizers. Create a dessert tray or cart to get the mouth-watering taste treats in front of their eyes.

• Package Meals: Have you ever added up the savings on a “Value Meal.” It’s usually not much, and yet most people choose the convenience of ordering off the value menu in a fast food environment, even if they may not have ordered as much, or a smaller size drink if they had ordered ala carte.

• Merchandising Opportunities: Your customers are a captive audience. Take advantage of this to sell. Placemats, table tents, window clings, ceiling danglers, counter mats, til toppers, coasters, and more are opportunities to sell them on additional items or featured entrees.

• Additional Food To-Go: One of the national buffet chains offers a to-go container to take home your meal for tomorrow for only $2. That’s a great way to increase their check average and has a very little effect on their store. Think about how you can modify this idea for your concept.