Your restaurant’s average check, or the average of how much each customer spends, is calculated by dividing the total revenue by the number of covers at your restaurant.
Your average check can be further analysed by slicing some of the factors that would contribute to variance — by session (e.g. lunch or dinner), time of day, day of the week (e.g. weekend or weekday), the section of the restaurant (e.g. poolside or dining room), server, or any combination of the aforementioned. As a rule of thumb, the average check for lunch service is generally lower because of shorter dining times and less beverage consumption compared to dinner service.
The average check is an important metric that contributes to your restaurant’s revenue, especially when the capacity at your restaurant is limited due to COVID-19 restrictions. We’ve broken down how to improve your average cheque into three strategies: Sell more, add value, and guarantee it.
1. Sell more
The more you sell to a diner, the higher his check is going to be — it’s simple math. For starters, ask yourself what else you can sell to diners beyond the food and beverage they will order for their meal.
Adding a retail or takeaway component to your restaurant is a great place to start. You’ll want to kickstart by considering items that will keep and travel well. Some examples of this include bottles of your signature drinks, packaged soups that are easy to reheat, or even bottles of your specialty spreads and sauces. Popular Chinese condiment Lao Gan Ma is the perfect case study of how retailing the sauce at a noodle stall has the potential to be a launchpad for future success. If your restaurant has a strong visual identity and a loyal diner base, consider branching out to offer merchandise like these restaurants in the UK.
Lolla retails their well-loved Sourdough Loaf and Kombu Butter. Diners can choose to take away these to continue their dining experience in the comfort of their home.
2. Add value
Improving your average check should always go in tandem with adding value for your customers. What can you offer to diners to make their visit more valuable?
Special occasions call for special value. Offer and suggest specials or even upsell a bottle of champagne when you know that diners are celebrating. Restaurants that work with Chope are better able to identify diner birthdays and other special occasions on their reservations dashboards.
Creating value is also about being able to meet the needs and wants of diners. It is thus important to then understand what your incoming diner favours. A good way to start building data on this is via an integration between your reservations and POS system. This will allow you to attribute orders to diners in your database and inform your front-of-house team of a diner’s past orders and visit check. If a diner has a history of loving seafood for example, consider suggesting the oysters available as a special for today.
Finally, creating experiential menu items such as beverage flights or pairings is a great way to improve your average check while showcasing the best of what your restaurant offers.
Kausmo offers a flight of three glasses of their housemade kombuchas for S$20 alongside their 6-course Carte Blanche menu.
3. Guarantee it
Some restaurants may choose to implement a minimum spend policy for selected peak services to make the most out of the timings that are high in demand. It is important to communicate clearly when diners make reservations for these sessions and preferable to document diners’ acknowledgement of such policies. Restaurants may also consider taking a deposit on the minimum spend amount to guarantee both the attendance of the diner and the average check.
Restaurants on Chope may add a checkbox to require diners to acknowledge the minimum spend policy for selected peak services before completing their reservation
Finally, though it may sound counterintuitive, offering pre-purchased deals on platforms such as ChopeDeals may in fact help to raise your average check. This can be done by offering vouchers of larger denominations or offering set meals of higher value.
Chope supports restaurants with various solutions that can increase your average check. Get in touch with our team to find out how.