How Restaurants Can Increase Appetizer Sales

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Appetizers

Getting
the most out of a visiting restaurant guest isn’t just about selling a great
entree. After all, a single dish per
person won’t likely help offset the price of those great restaurant
furnishings. This is why most
restaurateurs also take the time to create delicious appetizers to supplement
entree sales. Of course, offering
appetizers can actually be a losing proposition if they’re not selling
well. Fortunately, there are a few ways
to counteract this.

Train Waitstaff to Ask
Early
When
patrons first take their seats at the tables for restaurants, they’re likely a
little hungry. Waitstaff must be trained
to take advantage of this moment. Many
servers simply ask for drink orders and then come back for the main order.

Instead,
ask patrons if they’d like to start with an appetizer while they’re ordering
drinks. This reminds them that they can
whet their appetite immediately while waiting for their main entrees to
arrive.

Rotate Different Entrees
One
easy way to increase the demand of anything is to reduce its supply. This is why many restaurants offer special
appetizers on select days which aren’t on the main menu. When patrons know that their favorite
appetizer might not be there tomorrow, they’re more apt to make the purchase
today.

Make
sure, however, not to do this with the most popular appetizers. Guests might just start frequenting an
eatery’s restaurant furnishings far less if they’re told they can’t get the
most popular appetizer just because it’s Wednesday.

Offer Incentives to Waitstaff
While
teaching servers to always offer an appetizer is a great strategy, it won’t
always be effective. Getting the highest
check average per occupied bistro chair, though, could be as simple as offering
an incentive for servers who maintain high appetizer sales.

These
incentives could be anything from an additional day off when requested or a
gift certificate to a local coffee shop. Whatever the offer, simply knowing they’re being rewarded for their hard
work is enough to make most servers try just a little harder to sell an
appetizer, upgrade a drink or any other method of increasing check averages.

Offer Happy Hour
Promotions
Friends
filling up bar tables is the first thought to come to mind when happy hour is
mentioned, but it doesn’t always have to be about alcoholic beverages. A variety of restaurants also discount their
appetizers during happy hour.

Not
only will this increase the likelihood of people ordering an appetizer to
start, but it gives restaurateurs the opportunity to bring in more traffic
during slow times. If people don’t
usually eat between four and seven p.m. but understand they’ll be getting a
deal by doing so, there’s a good chance they’ll show up anyway.

Some
patrons sit down in the restaurant furnishings fully expecting to order an
appetizer. Unfortunately, this isn’t
always the case. By utilizing the
aforementioned tips, however, a culinary entrepreneur can easily increase the
chances that they’ll have great appetizer sales on any given night. And when it comes down to it, selling more of
anything is an amazing thing in the industry.