After being closed or on reduced service models for months, your food service venue has to make up for lost time, and most importantly – lost revenue. Thankfully, you may already have many of the tools in place that you need to help increase your average check size by up to 50%, without necessarily having to invest in new technology.
So, let’s answer the question: how can you leverage your staff and existing technology to help you increase your average check size?
1. Implement Upsell Prompts – Verbally, and on POS and Self-Serve Kiosks
By adding “Would you like fries with that?” to their script years ago, McDonalds has been able to reach sales of 9 million pounds of fries per day. Upsell prompts are a simple and effective way to encourage an increase in your average check size – no matter what size your business is.
Start by training your staff to verbally suggest add-ons to every order and ensure they are guiding their guests through the buying process. Contrary to the common perception that this can be ‘pushy’, it is possible to train your staff to promote upselling without being pushy or overly presumptuous, through suggestive and consultative selling practices.
Here are some examples for table service and quick service dining environments:
- “Would you like sparkling or still water this evening?”
- “What appetizer may I get you started with?”
- “Another round of drinks for the group?”
- “Would you like to add cheese and bacon for only $2.00?”
- “We have a new craft beer on tap, would you like to try it?”
In addition, ensure your staff know what items on your menu are the high-profit items, and pair these with other menu items for the most success. Extra items like cheese, bacon, and side dishes are easy to offer – and add up quickly.
Technology-wise, programming upsell and cross-sell prompts into your POS devices is a brilliant and foolproof method of promoting items. Be sure to take advantage of your POS terminal’s customer facing display by adding graphics of the current promotions you are running. When your cashier selects a coffee, why not encourage the addition of a muffin? Program your POS to remind your cashiers to do so, and you should see a healthy return from this small adjustment.
It is no secret that Self-Serve Kiosks are another perfect opportunity to guide customers into increased order sizes. On average, Self-Serve Kiosk orders are 15-20% higher than traditional POS terminal sales. Ensure that when a customer selects an item, the kiosk is programmed to display add-ons, and prompts for combo creation, as well. Using a bright colorful menu with high-definition graphics will also enhance how appetizing your food appears, encouraging customers to dig in.
2. Encourage an Intimate Understanding of your Menu
Regardless of industry, your staff should know your menu inside and out. With some downtime, now is the perfect time to train staff on your menu, encouraging them to point guests in the direction of your most profitable menu items. Organize a team menu tasting, or offer a daily tasting of the items of the day so that your staff can provide guests with informed, sincere recommendations about what they should buy.
3. Add Grab-N-Go Items, or Suggest Take-Out
With safety on everyone’s mind, adding Grab-N-Go or Take-Out items is a great way to provide comfort for your guests, while increasing your average check size. With an increasing demand for Grab-N-Go items, your business can easily implement a Grab-N-Go area with any of the following add-ons, in tandem with your standard menu:
- Bottled or canned beverages
- Homemade packaged desserts from your kitchen, individually wrapped
- Packaged salads or sandwiches
- Cheese and deli meat boards
Be sure to use inviting and attractive signage to draw customers to the Grab-N-Go area.
If you are on campus or in a large stadium, pack up your Grab-N-Go items on a cart and bring your mobile Grab-N-Go to high traffic areas. Pair this station with a small tablet to process your sales for a completely mobile POS system that will support your Grab-N-Go sales and maintain management of your inventory even from mobile locations.
Micro-market kiosks or POS terminals can help improve efficiency in your Grab-N-Go area, while accommodating space conscious setups and reducing the need for 24/7 staff. Many kiosks, like the Volanté Flip, provide operators with the flexibility to turn an attended cashier area into a Self-Serve Kiosk area simply by rotating the hardware – a brilliant dual-use of hardware, helping you save on labour costs and increase your ROI.
4. Motivate Your Team with Contests – Using Data from your POS
Your cashiers and servers are your best sales assets. A recent study found that employees who are happier will work harder, in addition to staying more motivated. They will be guiding your guests through your menu and offerings. Encouraging your staff with gift cards, free lunches or dinners is a relatively inexpensive way to keep staff motivated.
Incentive programs such as “Star Server” or “Star Cashier” rewards can help employees feel connected to their work environment, while rewarding excellent work and helping to promote strong leadership and positive examples in the workplace.
Your POS should be tracking the items that your servers are selling, including the best sellers. Identify a few items that you’d like servers to compete to sell, then review each server’s performance at the end of the shift.
5. Invest in a Loyalty Program – A Little Goes a Long Way
With over 45% of diners selecting restaurants based on whether they are loyalty members or not, implementing a loyalty program is critical to gaining and maintaining your customer base. Some POS companies, such as Volanté, offer built-in loyalty that tracks menu items and spending, and provides rewards and discounts based on these behaviours. Loyalty programs are proven to increase both average check size and frequency of visits, making them an excellent option to help your business recover quickly.
In addition, loyalty and gift card providers can help you build targeted e-mail campaigns for your loyal visitors, allow you to send birthday rewards, and offer fun programs to help get users registered, such as Scratch-To-Win codes. Not surprisingly, 50% of consumers agreed that they are willing to provide retailers with personal information if it means they will receive customized offers and rewards, so as a business, gathering data to provide meaningful loyalty rewards has never been easier.
Increasing your average check size may not be as difficult as you think, and you can make use of many of the tools that you already have in place to do so. Through loyalty, training and motivation, Grab-N-Go items, and upselling/cross-selling, these small changes can help your business bounce back from the devastating impact that COVID-19 has had on food service operations. If you would like to consult an expert and see how we may be able to help you, please contact us at email@example.com to learn more.