While restaurant traffic was down in 2018, many restaurants saw flat to positive sales growth due to increases in average check size. And while many brands raised their prices between 2–4 percent in 2018, others were able to achieve higher check growth through effective menu and marketing initiatives.
With economists and restaurant leaders predicting similar traffic trends in 2019, combined with rising food and labor costs, operators continue to feel pressure on their bottom line. Increasing menu prices is one lever to pull to help alleviate some of that pressure but may result in traffic declines or check management if not executed properly.
Moreover, in markets experiencing double-digit growth in minimum wages, there may be a need to see check growth exceed that of inflation. Understanding that price increases can result in customer push back, how can brands increase customer spending without turning them off or risking additional traffic losses?
There are four main strategies that have proven to be successful in increasing check sizes:
- Optimize the menu through menu engineering
- Market limited time offers that tap into current consumer trends
- Encourage customer upsells
- Create value through abundance and bundling
Read the full article in QSR Magazine here.