Restaurant profit margins are as competitive an area to work in as they come. You can feel the pressure from management and your peers every day. Every decision counts. The financial outcome judges everything you do or don’t do it yields for the restaurant. However, one of the most overlooked ways you can impact this statistic is by requesting money when working with vendors like alcohol companies or outside catering.
A lot goes into increasing your profitability, but one of the easiest things you can do to improve and maintain it is to decrease waste and shrinkage by upselling more frequently. This will help you increase your average profit margins at your restaurant.
Most servers don’t sell enough wine or champagne and hardly ever mention dessert or coffee drinks (average profit margins are higher). As a result, they’re selling much less than what they could be. Some might even say restaurants aren’t making profits because they’re not selling these products. And when they look at their menu prices, sometimes it doesn’t add up.
How to Increase Your Average Restaurant Profit Margins
By upselling your restaurant’s profit margins by selling more alcohol and coffee drinks, as well as dessert, you can increase the average restaurant profit margins significantly.
Upselling Alcohol and Desserts
Upselling is a sales technique that’s used in nearly every field of work. It involves persuading customers to purchase items by suggesting that they’re higher quality than the current item or offer them additional features or benefits. Coffee shops are a great example of this in action. If you order a cup of coffee, most baristas will try to sell you flavored options like caramel or hazelnut syrup on top for an extra charge.
The same goes with wine at restaurants, where dining patrons can be persuaded to spend more money if they believe it’ll enhance the overall experience, especially for wine and cheese pairings or steak accompaniments. These can increase your average restaurant profit margin by 10-30%!
If you’re working as a waiter in a fine dining restaurant, you might have the tools to persuade customers into buying more alcohol than they’ll later enjoy with their meal. Not only is this an effective way to upsell, but it’s also an easy way to boost your average restaurant profit margin. All you need is some basic knowledge of how wines go well together. You can find out more about pairing wine and cheese online or even ask your sommelier for assistance if needed.
With added education on the subject, be sure to always include a side dish when selling patrons bottles of white wine because they often go even better with food than wine on its own. On the other hand, if you’re selling bottles of red, it’s a good idea to suggest complementary sides like steak or chocolate cake because they tend to complement flavors in the wine more so than white wines do.
If your restaurant offers high-end coffee drinks, mixology cocktails, and dessert options, don’t forget about them when upselling patrons in addition to champagne and wine by suggesting that desserts are sweet enough without sugar (this works for just about any type of alcohol).
High-end items are also more expensive than their counterparts by nature, so you may be able to increase your average restaurant profit margin further by persuading clients into getting their next bottle of wine from the reserve section. If they’re eating at your restaurant regularly, it makes sense for them to spend a little extra on the bottle they drink all the time.
By applying this tactic, you may have noticed that upselling is just an extension of ordinary selling skills. However, it’s also important to remember that customers’ average meal spends are influenced by variables like discounts and promotions and holidays and special occasions, so be sure to factor those in when increasing your average profit margin.