Food for thought: maximising spend per head

When customers are finally back, it's going to be so important to make the most of their custom. Offer them every reason you can to stay and enjoy some hospitality!

Pairing reduced costs with higher takings can sound like a tall order but simple actions really can help; whether it’s improving your outdoor area, managing your capacity to best effect or staffing more efficiently. One move operators have said will be key, heading into April and May, is a slimmed down menu and a focus on great table service. Making it the venues offer easier for both customers and employees to manage as well as increasing margins.

“We simply couldn’t justify a full menu in our venues for reopening before, when in reality we were only going to sell 60% of the dishes,”

We reduced our offering. No complaints, and in fact the consistency of the dishes that were served increased, and customers were happier.

With space now available in the kitchen, we introduced a short range of nibbles for people who hadn’t intended going in for food. Given the atmosphere we were able to create, this often led to them ordering off the menu. Our margins increased and our wastage reduced.

“Drinks menus were also reduced with only our best-selling cocktails and draft beers available.  Again, we saw an increase in margin as our teams developed muscle memory with the cocktails, and our drip trays were less full.”

In London, service which puts the customer at the heart of what they do helps Kevin’s employees to increase individual customer spends alongside a few tricks of the trade.

He said: “A polite way to up their spend is to help them order quickly and casually once you hand them the menu. For some people, food and cocktail menus can be quite overwhelming and daunting, so if you grab a quick beer, wine or spirit/mixer order off them as they sit down that will make them feel more at ease, less pressurised to rashly choose a meal or a cocktail right away and make them spend more money in the end.”

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