Curb Appeal: 10 Tips for Making Your Restaurant’s Exterior More Attractive

Curb appeal counts! And not just when it comes to homes on HGTV. Your restaurant’s curb appeal is something you should consider just as important as the interior, menu, and staff. Think about it – the dining experience begins before your guests even walk through your doors. Just as people judge books by their covers, they will inevitably judge your restaurant by its exterior.

Your restaurant’s curb appeal can have a major influence on its overall success. In fact, a local study in Charlotte, North Carolina found that 70% of first-time sales were based on curb appeal. Moreover, research has shown that customers are willing to pay more for their meals if they like a restaurant’s atmosphere.

We’ve compiled a list of 10 tips on how to improve your restaurant’s curb appeal and ultimately attract more customers.

Make Sure Your Sign is Visible

If you’re looking to attract new customers, your restaurant’s sign or logo needs to be easy to spot. First off, the sign needs to be big enough to be read from across the street. If it’s visible from afar, hungry pedestrians are more likely to make a beeline for your restaurant when looking for somewhere to eat. In order to be easily read from a distance, your sign needs to stand out from its background (so don’t put navy lettering on a black building). For maximum visibility, consider an LED sign that can be read at night. Need some ideas about which type of sign to choose? This list is perfect for getting started.

Example: Junior’s is a famous NYC diner known even more for the amazing (yes, we’ve had it) cheesecakes. The restaurant has been around since the 1950s and the history is reflected in the decor. The huge lit up signs aren’t easily missed and evokes that 50’s jukebox diner feel.

Choose Colors Wisely

When choosing colors for your sign and other exterior elements like awnings, consider the feeling you are trying to convey. Color plays a huge part in our emotions, so much so that there’s an entire psychology behind it.

According to Eleanor Frisch from Food Service Warehouse, red and yellow work well for casual eateries (McDonald’s was on to something). Muted colors like dark brown and forest green work well for upscale restaurants because they imply a relaxed dining experience. You may want to think twice before incorporating blue, purple, and black into your exterior design. Frisch says that those colors can be unappetizing, and unappetizing is probably the last thing you want your dining establishment to be. Of course, that does not mean that restaurants who use those colors are always off-putting and uninviting. Once you have settled on a color for your sign or logo, make sure that the rest of the colors you use in your exterior design fit into that color scheme. In other words, try to avoid mixing bright colors with muted ones because that can confuse the eye.

Example: We love the use of “Millennial Pink” and gold at the NYC restaurant Sel Rrose. The vibe is spot-on for the oyster and cocktail establishment that was named after Marcel Duchamp’s alter ego, Rrose Sélavey. Of course, this color scheme wouldn’t work too well for a sports bar or fast-food restaurant, but it’s perfect for an upscale New York City eatery (and Instagram loves it!)

 Sel Rrose's exterior via Sel Rrose Sel Rrose’s exterior via Sel Rrose

Display Your Menu Outside

Displaying an outdoor menu is one of the best ways to convince passersby to choose your restaurant over the surrounding ones. Many restaurants post their menu next to their door or in a freestanding menu holder. If you do not have the space to post your entire menu, consider posting your daily specials or house specialties (the dishes that will set you apart from competition). It is also a good idea to promote your gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan menu options because customers with dietary restrictions are more likely to rely on reading menus ahead of time than other customers. They’ll be more likely to choose your restaurant if they know that they won’t have trouble finding something that they can eat. Need ideas? Check out this Pinterest board.

Example: This restaurant menu in a gold enclosed menu case is simple and elegant.

 via Pinterest via Pinterest

Utilize Adaptable Signage

Chalkboards and other adaptable signs are a great way to keep customers up to date. You can use them to post your daily specials, promote upcoming events, or to make any other announcements you may have. These signs are quite literally blank slates that you can use to showcase your restaurant’s unique personality. For example, restaurants can write jokes, puns, or thought-provoking quotes to grab potential customers’ attention (we’ve included some excellent examples below). Whatever you choose to write, try to limit it to around ten words so that it easy to read from the street.

 (Turnstyle) (Turnstyle)

Add Greenery to Your Space

Research shows that the presence of vegetation positively influences people’s moods in an urban setting and that customers are more likely to patronize restaurants that are landscaped. Therefore, the addition of greenery to your exterior will attract more customers to your door. Planting flowers or placing potted plants by your door can go a long way. If you’re located in an urban area, just a few planters should do the trick. Landscaping is about more than just beautifying your exterior, though. Landscaping has functional utility as well. If you have the space for it, consider planting a garden (in your backyard or even on your roof!). In addition to looking pretty, gardens can yield plenty of fresh ingredients for you to work with (a sure selling point). According to the National Restaurant Association, growing fresh vegetables and herbs on site is becoming increasingly popular. Additionally, landscaping can be used to create privacy and block out street noise.

Example: How gorgeous is this rooftop greenery at NYC’s Gallow Green? We want to drink and dine there just based on the luscious leafy & floral backdrop. Can anyone say Instagram photo opp?

 via via

Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Parking

When considering your restaurant’s exterior, it can be easy to focus on aesthetics. However, your parking lot is one of the most important elements of your restaurant’s exterior. In fact, a lack of parking or a difficult-to-navigate lot can really hurt your business. Think about it this way: a diner’s parking experience sets the tone for the rest of their meal.  Therefore, if a diner has a hard time finding parking, it negatively impacts their overall dining experience. The amount parking you need depends on your restaurant’s location and target demographic. For example, if your restaurant is located in a city center, diners are more likely to walk there than if your restaurant is located in a suburb. Additionally, if you cater to millennials who are more likely to take ubers or lyfts or to rely on public transportation, parking less important than it is if you cater to families. It’s not just the quantity of parking that matters. The parking spaces in your lot need to be easy to see and free of obstructions. If you can’t afford or find a nearby lot, consider hiring a valet company. A valet option eliminates the stress of searching for a parking space and also attracts a higher-paying clientele (which means higher check totals).

Keep Your Exterior Clean

You would never tolerate a dirty dining room. Why shouldn’t you hold your exterior to the same standards? Whether you like it or not, your restaurant’s exterior is an indicator of your restaurant’s overall cleanliness. There should never be any litter outside of your restaurant and you should keep the building’s facade as clean as possible. Pressure cleaning is an efficient way to remove dirt, mold, grease, and grime.

Make Your Restaurant Insta-Worthy

You’ve probably seen “crazy shakes” and “unicorn toast” all over your Instagram feed. In 2018, photogenic menu items are an excellent source of publicity for your restaurant because Instagram users will often tag your restaurant when they post photos of their meals on Instagram. However, your food doesn’t have to be the only Instagrammable element of your restaurant.  Murals, art installations, and other interesting exterior elements can make your restaurant a sought-after backdrop for posts on Instagram and other social media platforms. We’ve provided a few examples below.

  Mural at the Riddler in San Francisco  Mural at the Riddler in San Francisco  Flamingo mural at Media Noche Flamingo mural at Media Noche  via jsfashionista & via jsfashionista &

Put Your Product on Display

Curious passersby like to get an inside look at your restaurant. Therefore, it is a good idea to keep your windows free of clutter so that potential customers can peek inside of your restaurant to see the food being served and the overall ambiance before deciding to eat there. Better yet, outdoor seating areas offer pedestrians an up-close preview of your product.

Do a Curb Audit

If you’re still not sure how you can improve your restaurant’s curb appeal, try doing a curb audit. Take the time to sit outside somewhere near your restaurant and watch how people react when they walk up to your restaurant. What do they seem to like?  Not like? Because your ultimate goal is to bring more customers through your doors, it is beneficial to see your restaurant through your customers’ eyes.

Great service and delicious food are not enough to ensure your restaurant’s success. When setting your restaurant up for success, curb appeal is essential—especially if you’re hoping to attract new customers. After all, before a diner can evaluate your food or service, they need to notice your restaurant and decide to go in. It’s up to you to make your exterior as attractive as possible.

8 Ways Customer-Facing Dining Tech Improves the Guest Experience

Today’s restaurant guests are hungry for more than a meal. They’re craving digitally enhanced dining.

According to Toast POS, 73% of restaurant customers believe that tech improves their restaurant visit. The National Restaurant Association even found that 35% of patrons seek out eateries serving up the latest tech.

No worries. Robots won’t be running your restaurant (although robotic drink delivery is a thing). The right customer-facing dining technology, like restaurant tablets, creates a more personalized experience for guests – and profit potential for you.

Wondering if you should bring restaurant tablets to your tables? Take a closer look at 3 tablet types and 8 key benefits. Let’s talk tablet…

3 Options for Restaurant Tablets

1) Order and Payment on Restaurant Tablets

True or false. Only waitstaff should use your point of sale (POS) system. Today, that’s false.

Fast-casual restaurants are putting guests in charge of ordering and payment: from chains like Panera to indie concepts like Sweet Green in NYC. The action happens on tablets mounted on kiosk stands at or near the counter. It’s like a POS…for guests.

Full-service restaurants are also letting guests pay at the table with restaurant tablets. These tablets are equipped with credit card readers and even NFC “contactless” systems (so guests can use mobile apps like SamsungPay and ApplePay).

2) Stop Chasing Paper: Go Digital

Instead of a paper menu, restaurants are bringing their menus to life on touchscreen tablets. Again, it’s not just for big fast-casual chains. Real Seafood Company in Ann Arbor, Michigan switched to menu restaurant tablets in 2012 – and never looked back. This independent fine dining establishment used menu software to turn iPads into digital menus.

3) All the Bells and Whistles

Restaurants like Chili’s and Outback Steakhouse are going all in for customer-facing dining technology. At many locations, guests can use restaurant tablets to browse a menu, order, and then pay.

In early 2018, Buffalo Wild Wings locations in Minnesota and California even rolled out restaurant tablets that give guests the “menu, order, payment” trifecta. Plus, patrons can access free trivia and games – all on one restaurant tabletop tablet.

The point is, you’ve got options when it comes to customer-facing dining technology. For the best ROI – including these 8 benefits – seek out restaurant tablets that include all of the above.

8 Key Benefits of Restaurant Tablets

1) Bring Your Menu (and Revenue) to Life

Let’s be honest. Unless you have a massive printing budget, featuring photos of every dish on a paper menu isn’t realistic. (Some experts also think photo-heavy printed menus are very uncool). You can’t tell the story behind every dish unless you want your menu to look like a magazine.

With restaurant tablets, you can show the pictures – and tell the story. And yes, the story sells.

Cornell University found that guests were 27% more likely to choose menu items with vivid descriptions – and will gladly pay 10% more for them.

Not everyone will do a deep dive on each dish. But restaurant tablets function like websites. See something that catches your eye? Just click to see more.

Restaurant tablets are also meant to stay at the table: keeping your drink menu within reach. In fact, iRiS Software Systems claims that their customer-facing dining technology results in a 15-20% boost in premium wine sales. Why? Because guests like reading up on the terroir and tasting notes of each wine.

2) “I Want it, and I Want it NOW”

Aside from toddlers, you won’t hear that from guests. But that’s what they’re thinking. Restaurant tablets let guests give into instant gratification – without waiting for a server.

We’ve all been there. We order a round of nachos for the table…and it’s gone within 2 minutes (maybe 3). With tablets at the table, guests hit “reorder” and boom – the order goes straight to the kitchen.

Another event that triggers the impatient toddler in all of us? Waiting for the check. Restaurant tablets equipped with a credit card reader allow guests to view their bill, securely pay, tip, and go.

3) In Restaurant Tablets We Trust: Secure Payment

It’s an unfortunate fact of life in the restaurant biz: unsavory servers steal guest credit card numbers. We hope it never happens to you. To reduce your risk, turn to restaurant tabletop tablets.

With restaurant tablets, the guest’s credit card never leaves their hands. Plus, most customer-facing dining technology on restaurant tablets includes secure EMV (aka “chip”) card readers.

These extra layers of protection act like a security blanket, easing the (valid) fears of guests. From identity theft to hackers, guests are on high alert.

Plus, when you take steps to safeguard their financial data, 85% of customers will be more loyal to you, according to an Accenture Loyalty Study.

4) Upselling Made Easy (Not Sleazy)

Now back to more upbeat benefits of restaurant tablets. Like great servers, restaurant tablets have mastered the art of persuasion. Most come equipped with tools to program “suggestions” for guests as they place orders.

If a customer decides on the pasta carbonara, the tablet might recommend extra bacon for $4. Listen, even your best waiter can’t tell guests about all extras and add-ons. But restaurant tablets can.

5) Embrace the Customization Nation

So, about your menu. Today’s guests view it like a list of ingredients, just waiting for their creative touch. (Don’t tell your chefs.)

Need proof? Look to some of America’s fastest-growing chains like Blaze Pizza (build your own pizza) and CORE Eatery (build your own grain or broth bowl).

Restaurant tablets are the ultimate customization machines. A guest can go wild building out menu items to their heart’s content. And that goes a long way with millennials: 54% are more loyal to businesses that let them “create something unique to me.”

The result of ordering on restaurant tablets is a personalized guest experience that’s “all about me.” P.S. As guests build out their dream burger, saying yes to grilled onions and extra cheese, you’re building revenue.

Perhaps what’s most compelling about restaurant tablets is that win-win factor. You increase guest satisfaction and business profitability – all at once.

6) Cater to Vegans, Celiacs, and Paleo Dieters

No, they’re not just picky eaters. Folks following a dietary lifestyle are in it for health reasons. Restaurant tablets show them you care by featuring menu modifications that factor in their restrictions.

Consider the fact that 1 in 5 restaurant guests look for gluten-free menu items when dining out. On restaurant tablets, guests can click to see all gluten-free swaps and options.

7) Do More with Less: Restaurant Tablets to the Rescue

Remember, restaurant tablets won’t replace your servers. But tablets will let them cover more tables – saving you serious cash on labor.

Instead of taking complicated orders and running credit cards to the POS, servers can handle an extra table or two. The time servers do spend with guests becomes “quality time.” They can chat ‘em up and answer menu questions. After all, bonding with patrons is crucial to bringing them back.

Another bottom-line benefit of restaurant tablets? Tables turn faster…naturally. When guests call the shots, they check out quickly – freeing up tables.

8) Raise Your Fun Factor

On top of the latest customer-facing dining technology, today’s guests have another request for restaurants. Can you add fun to their visit? They promise to be more loyal in return. Facebook asked over 14,000 adults to describe their favorite businesses. The most-used word used was “quality” followed by “fun.”

To integrate entertainment into every visit, choose restaurant tablets that also include digital arcade games and trivia. As an added bonus, an independent Arbitron study showed that those who play games on restaurant tabletop tablets spend 21% more per table check.

(Or, you could always see if the Salt Bae would pay your restaurant a visit?)

Ready to Go Digital?

We’re living in a digital world where the only constant is change. Technology is transforming what it means to dine out. Get ahead of the curve – and the competition – by exploring restaurant tablets for your business.

About the Author:

Buzztime has delivered on its mission statement for over three decades: bring the best in-venue entertainment to businesses – and the guests they serve. We achieve this by constantly evolving with new technology and integrating the latest trends into our in-demand products.

5 Easy Tips For Improving Customer Retention At Your Restaurant

With over 600,000 restaurants in the United States, restaurateurs need to be strategic to make sure customers turn into repeat diners. As much as a restaurateur wants new customers, returning business is just as important. According to HubSpot, repeat customers spend 67% more than first time guests. This means it is crucial to keep your diners happy and coming back for more. But how is this done? How can customers be enticed to not go astray? Follow along for five tips to keep customer retention at an all-time high.

Enticing Loyalty Programs

This might be an obvious one, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important. Loyalty programs are an easy way to keep customers returning to your restaurant. In fact, 79% of consumers look for deals and rewards from loyalty programs before making a purchase!  First of all, to ensure that a loyalty program has success, you need to make sure all your customers know about it. Tell your customers about the rewards and incentives the program can provide and don’t forget to post about it on your social media platforms. Whether you use an app like Belly, or a ‘Buy 5 get one free’ card, people are excited to work toward a complimentary item. Even something as simple as a free appetizer on a customer’s birthday will make the consumer think of you around their special day. Loyalty programs drive repeat business and provide a simple way to keep customers engaged and excited about returning.

Fun & Interactive Events

Another way to increase repeat business is by hosting events or theme nights at your restaurant. People like to have a reason to go out to dinner and hosting a theme night or event is the perfect excuse. You can even make it a weekly or monthly tradition. For example, you can host live music every other Thursday with local bands, Sunday night Bingo with free giveaways, or themed trivia nights. Offering something extra can draw customers to you on a more frequent basis. Make sure to post about these events on your Facebook page and send out blast emails reminding your customers what you have going on for the week. People are coming to your restaurant to socialize and events are a great way for them to do that. Turn a regular dinner into a night to remember!

Top-Notch Customer Service

Customer service is a pivotal factor in making sure customers become repeat diners.  This all starts with a first impression. Whether someone has stumbled across your restaurant for the first time or it was recommended by one of their friends, it is critical to make sure each and every guest has a great first impression of the restaurant, the staff, and the food. Customer service should be a no-brainer but it often gets disregarded in the peak restaurant hours of a dinner or lunch rush. According to a study by American Express, Americans tell an average of 15 people about a poor service experience, versus the 11 people they’ll tell about a good experience. It is important to remember that it can take one incident to lose out on a repeat diner. But, if something happens to not go as planned, which is a possibility, you don’t have to count it as an immediate loss. You can regain a customer’s loyalty with a simple apology or free appetizer/dessert. People like to feel acknowledged and a little often goes a long way.

Attractive Food & Drink Specials

Similar to how events give customers a reason to visit your restaurant again, food and drink specials are also great ways to keep diners returning. Happy hours, discounted late night food, and drink specials on specified days can help entice larger crowds. The key to this is to find your niche and create specials that keep customers returning for new and exciting items. For example, if you run a Mexican restaurant, create new, flavored margaritas each month and offer them at a discount on Wednesdays only. If your repeat customers love your margaritas, they’ll go out of their way to try to get there on Wednesday. Make sure to post pictures of your specials on your social media pages like Facebook and Instagram. If a customer follows you on one of these platforms and sees a special you have for that night, it can be that push they need to eat at your restaurant again.

Smart & Strategic Online Marketing

In today’s day and age, people are engaged with social media and the web both at home and on the go, so it is crucial to use this to your advantage. The Internet has proved as an easy source to stay engaged with your current and past customers. Use social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to run contests, remind followers of events, and post pictures of your food and specials. These platforms are also great tools to make customers feel special. Thanking your customers when they share your post or follow you and replying back to their messages and comments are simple and fast ways to make sure your customers are aware that you notice them. You can also email customers with a monthly newsletter, a special offer, or just a list of upcoming events. Test out some different email blasts and track the open rates and click rates to find out what your customers are interested in. When a customer feels engaged, they are more likely to return to your restaurant.

Customer retention is a challenging yet essential part of making sure your restaurant succeeds. Businesses that grow their customer retention rates by as little as 5% typically see profit an increase ranging from 25% to 95%. Loyalty programs, events, A+ customer service, specials, and online marketing tactics are all simple ways to ensure your customers become repeat diners. Keep an eye out for new technology that can help you boost customer retention as well. You always should stay in the know and ahead of the latest trends that can help your business boom and keep customers returning night after night.

Interested in learning more about customer retention? Don’t miss our blog about Customer Lifetime Value here.

Thanks for reading. Interested in improving your restaurant’s online presence? We can help! SinglePlatform puts your menu and business information accurately on the search, review, travel, and social sites people are using to find new restaurants. Get in touch today to learn how we can help you stand out everywhere that matters online.

Craft Your Customer Service With These 4 Tips

Looking for ways to draw more business and grow your customer base? Start with customer service. Put it into perspective: when someone shows care and consideration for your feelings and experiences, is it easier for you to trust that person?

The same situation applies to the business-consumer relationship: when you treat your customers well, you make it easy for them to trust your business.

How is trust relevant to customer service?

They go hand-in-hand. 83 percent of consumers will recommend a trusted company to others and 82 percent will continue to use that brand frequently, according to a recent article by Forbes.

Therefore, customer service facilitates trust, and trust facilitates the attraction and creation of a loyal customer base. Since your customers purchase from you, you also pave the foundation to increase your business’ sales.

What happens when you neglect customer service?

You run the risk of losing customers, and a lot of them. 89% of people will stop doing business with a company if they experience poor customer service. Can you imagine how that would affect your sales?

To avoid losing your customers and your money, ensure your customer service is up-to-par with these four tips:

 1. Make Feedback Easy

Not only should you encourage your customers to make suggestions, you should make it as simple as possible for them to do so. Listing your business across review sites or dedicating a section on your website for customer inquiries is a great way to start. By giving your customers a voice, you empower them to be heard… which brings us to the next point.

 2. Listen Well

Now that your customers have a voice, listen to them! People who have invested money and time with your business deserve to be heard – if they have a concern, comment, or question, take it seriously. If it’s constructive and genuine, implementing it into your business could lead to more satisfied customers down the road.

 3. The Customer is Always Right

Acknowledging and pledging to resolve any negative experiences or issues that a customer has with your business is mutually beneficial – the customer walks away satisfied, while simultaneously leading more customers to you. Ensuring customers they will be taken care of every step of the way, including after they purchase, will create security and reassurance that purchasing with your business is the right decision.

 4. Exceed Expectations

Give your customers all of the information they need to make the most informed   decision when choosing to spend money with your business. Maximizing your online presence is the best way to start; 93% of people research a business before ever setting foot in the door. By giving them information they’re looking for online, and ensuring that it’s consistent with what they experience when they arrive in-store, customers are not only more likely to trust your brand, but follow through with a purchase in-store.


Use Technology to Influence Diners’ Decisions

Diners have become extremely dependent on technology to research restaurants, book reservations and order online. 87% of consumers use the Internet to discover new restaurants, presenting restaurateurs a free and easy channel for attracting new diners. This also presents a time-consuming task of understanding consumer behavior; where, what, and how diners search for restaurants online. SinglePlatform provides diners with the information they’re looking for when they’re making a reservation online.

By understanding what information matters most to diners in their online quest for a new restaurant, you maximize your business’s potential for getting more customers through the door and increasing revenue.

Our friends at OpenTable recently conducted a survey of 6,000 consumers to learn how technology is used in dining decisions. We’ve compiled a short list of proven tips to help pull diners into your restaurant for their next night out:

Provide An Accurate and Up-to-Date Menu

86% of consumers check out a menu online before visiting a restaurant in person. An accurate, updated, and easily accessible online menu gives customers the information they’re looking for with the click of a button. It also guarantees diners that their expectations will be met.

Display Pictures of Your Restaurant and Various Dishes

Almost 60% of diners look for pictures of a restaurant and the dishes served when making a decision. Hiring a professional to snap a few pictures of the interior and dishes served goes a long way with diners.

Highlight Deals and Offers Your Restaurant is Having

Whether it’s weekly happy hour or a discounted rate for a holiday, half of diners rely on the web to research restaurant deals and offers. By updating your restaurant’s presence, and announcing deals and specials as they happen, you open the door (literally) for new customers to join you for their next meal.

The bottom line is, diners operate in a digital sphere, basing dining decisions off content found online.

Check out OpenTable’s Technology And Dining Out report here.

Learn more about how SinglePlatform can help you get discovered everywhere that matters online.

Encourage Employee Engagement

Taking measures that establish and advocate for your employees’ happiness on the job is an important aspect of running a successful business. Employees with lower engagement levels at work are four times more likely to leave their jobs than those with a higher level of engagement at work, according to a recent article by Forbes. In contrast, over two-thirds of highly engaged employees had no plans to leave their company. Simply by instituting changes in your business practice that focus on employee satisfaction you can increase your employee retention rate and cut down on overhead cost of recruitment.

How much does the rehiring process cost your business exactly? According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, it can cost your business upwards of twice an employee’s salary to find and train a replacement–a cost that can be easily avoided by implementing these employee engagement tips:

1. Keep Things Candid

Management transparency has a direct 94% correlation with employee happiness. Honesty truly is the best policy and being open with your employees about the direction of the business can empower them. If your employees feel a greater sense of involvement within your business, they will feel more important and valued. Employees who feel valued will stick around.

2. Be Supportive

Your employees play an integral role in the success of your business. As hard as you try, this can’t be a one-person show and as hard as they might try, no one’s perfect. When a team member is struggling, instead of reprimanding and punishing, support them through this challenge. This can be a learning moment for them and an opportunity to strengthen your team. Apart from creating a supportive environment, you decrease employee turnover; employees with supportive supervisors are 1.3 times more likely to stay with a company.

3. Set An Example

Embody the characteristics you expect from your employees. According to a recent article by Entrepreneur, in companies where leaders modeled the behavior expected of everyone else, employees were 55% more engaged, 53% more focused, and were more likely overall to stay with the company.

Employee engagement is crucial to the success of your employees and your business. Promoting your employees’ engagement with your business not only saves you the time and money, but also cultivates a work culture that motivates employees to work harder, and stay with the business longer. Get tips and tricks for running your local business sent straight to your inbox by signing up for our newsletter below:

When to Raise Menu Prices for Your Restaurant

Prices directly affect your restaurant’s profitability, and there are a number of factors to consider before raising menu prices. Having the right price is an important balancing act. You want to make sure that you have a healthy profit margin but your customers want to pay for the quality they feel that they receive when dining at your restaurant. Not only that, but your prices will influence the way that your restaurant is perceived. Consider these aspects before changing the prices on your menu:

Direct costs

The costs associated with any food item on your menu makes up your direct costs. This includes any fees that occur from purchasing ingredients, food waste from spilling, overcooking or spoiling.  These costs should run about 33% of the menu price, on average.

Indirect costs

The indirect cost consists of the costs that do not include the actual ingredients of a dish, but the aspects of the restaurant that add perceived value or quality. For example, indirect costs will indisputably change depending on if your restaurant is fine dining versus fast service. Overhead expenses in fine dining restaurants such as décor, product presentation, marketing, and amenities, can create high perceived value. Preparation and labor is considered an indirect cost, for example, a dish that takes a longer time to prepare would be priced higher than a dish that has very little prep time.

Volatile food costs

Prices on ingredients can fluctuate daily. For example, natural disasters can wipe out crops, which would cause supply to drop and demand to increase. In this case you can either raise your menu prices or work with a seasonal menu that allows more flexibility for buying crops in season and keeping supply costs down.


Checking out a competing restaurant can help you set your prices by finding out what they offer and their price points. By checking the prices online or going in to see their portion sizes, you can gauge the market rate for certain dishes. If diners are willing to pay $10 for a burger at your competitor’s restaurant, they’ll be willing to do the same at your restaurant.

Before raising your menu prices, always consider whether you can cut the cost of the dish by using a less expensive vendor, substituting similar but more affordable ingredients, or decreasing the portion size. Make sure you track how menu price changes impact your sales before making your next set of changes. To learn more useful tips about managing your restaurant, follow SinglePlatform on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.