How to Increase Restaurant Revenue Without Raising Prices

Kadence Edmonds
15 Nov 2023

Generating sales ought to be the ultimate objective of any business owner in the hospitality sector. Sales are vital not just for your revenue, but also for ensuring that you have access to sufficient cash flow. However, when attempting to increase revenue and maximise profit, many restaurateurs are guilty of ignoring this rule, choosing instead to increase prices. 

At first glance, an additional £2.00 per customer over the course of a month could potentially increase revenue by thousands. But in reality, the inclination to raise prices can have the opposite effect, negatively impacting sales and repeat business. 

A price hike, moreover, could have a knock-on effect that can negatively impact your reputation, customer satisfaction, and even your future. In many cases, raising your prices can alienate your loyal customers, or the budget-conscious clientele. So, unless your margins are decreasing due to a hike in supplier cost, then raising menu prices is rarely advisable.

How to boost restaurant revenue

With this in mind, let's evaluate some creative ideas that can help raise profits without having to resort to a price rise.

Review your Portion sizes

Portion size is one of the first things to check out when looking to increase profit margins. As much as some customers are all about large oversized plates of food, more often than not, you'll have consumers that leave food uneaten on the plate. Over time, this uneaten food can become costly. In fact, in the UK alone, £682 million is thrown away every year by restaurants in the form of food waste.

One way to review your portion sizings is to do an overall audit of how often food is left behind; what it is; and by how much. This way, you can clearly identify which items you may be serving too much of, allowing you to make small changes that most patrons will not even notice. These changes can bring the overall cost of your menu items down, increasing profitability.  

Increase sales with cross-selling 

One of the best ways to sell more is the classic upsell, “Do you want fries with that?”.

The simple fries upsell is an effective model to implement within your business to increase your customers' average purchase size. 

Nearly every item sold at cafes and restaurants and even in retail stores can be offered with an upsell. The reason your store may not be successfully completing these upsells could be because your staff are just simply forgetting to offer the customer the add on.  

TIP: Set up auto prompts in your Epos Now Point of Sale system that pops up when the employee is entering the customer's order. You can quite literally make your Point of Sale direct your staff member to offer customers upsells as a workflow addition.  

Adding simple prompts on items such as burgers for add ons like bacon for £1 extra, more cheese for 50p, buy this meal and you can get this drink for £5, are all simple things that over time will add up to a much bigger picture. 

Review your menu 

Seasonal changes could see those winter dishes becoming less popular. So doing a complete review of your menu and removing those dishes that are currently underperforming and replacing them with more popular choices can make all the difference. 

TIP: A great way to work out which dishes aren’t selling is to review sales reports within your Point of Sale System. Epos Now has numerous reports that can be generated to identify slow-moving products. See more here on some beneficial reports that can be generated in Epos Now.

Armed with accurate data from Point of Sale reports you'll now know which items are the most popular and which dishes could be changed. This is one way to ensure you keep the customers you have by not removing their favourite dishes and if done well, it will bring in new ones. 

Changing up your menu and removing underperforming dishes can help to decrease material costs and can also eliminate underutilised resources. 

Increase the number of customers

Quite simply, if you sell something to 100 people at £5 each then you will make more money than if you sold the same to only 50 people. But the question is how do you get those customers through the door?

The answer to this is a tricky one, and there isn’t a one set model that will work for every business, but more often than not the answer lies in Marketing. Enticing potential customers with marketing and current specials on social media is a great way to entice them through the door. 

This is where you need to make sure your business has an online presence. If customers want to know where the best coffee is in town, or where a particular product is sold, most will turn to the internet for answers. So by making sure that you have as much detail as possible about your store in as many places as you can think of can be a great way to capture clientele.

Set up social accounts that have all the information needed, from daily trading hours, specials, and if you are a cafe or restaurant your FULL venue menu. Having this kind of information at your customers' fingertips will drastically help them search for just what they are in the mood for.

Reward your loyal customers

Acquiring new customers can cost five times as much as it does to keep existing ones so building a loyal relationship is an alternative to increase your sales. 

While not a constant, it is proven that having a customer loyalty program does increase repeat business within your store. Implementing a program effectively increases customer retention, which grows your repeat business. Studies have shown that increasing customer retention rates by 5% can increase profits by 25% to 95%.

It could be as simple as offering something like buy 9 coffees and receive your 10th free.  This initiative promotes return visits as frequency is incentivised with a free product, and who doesn't love free items.   

You can also look to manage this within your POS system.  This is a great way to reduce the need for those pesky clip cards that the customer keeps on them. Additionally having your customers details in your restaurant POS system is a great way to continue to offer them tailored specials and marketing. You will have a complete history of what that customer has purchased and what trends, styles or products they like, giving you the insight to push across offers they can’t refuse!

You can also offer those loyal customers an incentive for introducing a friend to your venue, which is a double bonus, as it gets you more foot traffic and a solid introduction to new customers that could also turn into regulars. Read more on loyalty here

These are just a few great options to try out within your store before looking to raise your prices as a means of boosting your revenue. Of course, you are not always going to be able to avoid price increases, there will be supplier cost increases, and the price of production can change but unless your margin is minimal these are some areas to look at first.  

If you are interested in learning more about how Epos Now can help your business, you can speak with one of our consultants here