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How to Increase the Average Check at Your Restaurant

How to Increase the Average Check at Your Restaurant

In the fiercely competitive landscape of the restaurant industry, driving revenue and ensuring sustained profitability are paramount. A powerful method to achieve these goals is strategically enhancing your restaurant's average check. The average check represents the average amount of money a customer spends during a dining experience. By focusing on optimizing this metric, you can make a significant impact on your restaurant's financial performance. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore a multitude of effective strategies to help you boost your restaurant's average check and set it on a path to success.

Engineer Your Restaurant Menu to Increase the Average Check

Whether you’ve just opened a restaurant or are a veteran of the food service industry, reviewing and optimizing your menu should be a regular practice. The menu serves as the heart of your restaurant's offerings, making it a prime avenue for influencing customer spending. Here are some dynamic tactics to create a restaurant menu for maximum impact:

1. Introduce High-Value Items

Consider incorporating a selection of high-value, premium dishes that provide an exceptional experience. These delectable creations may command a higher price point, yet the promise of extraordinary quality generates an aura of exclusivity, enticing patrons to indulge in memorable culinary experiences. 

2. Limit the Number of Menu Items

Strategically limiting the number of menu items can be remarkably effective. Creating a restaurant menu that is focused reduces the paradox of choice, facilitating easier decision-making and guiding patrons toward exploring higher-priced options with more confidence.

3. Introduce Decoy Dishes

The artful placement of ‘decoy’ dishes can nudge diners towards more profitable selections. By strategically featuring decoys, you can subtly steer customers towards high-margin items while maintaining a harmonious and balanced menu.

Apply Up-selling & Cross-selling Techniques

restaurant menu

Strategic sales techniques can significantly impact your restaurant's bottom line. Up-selling and cross-selling are powerful methods to encourage patrons to explore more of your menu and contribute to a higher average check. Here's how to expertly wield these techniques:

1. Elevate with Up-selling

Up-selling involves persuading customers to upgrade their selections or add complementary items to their order. A well-executed up-selling approach can enhance the overall dining experience and increase spending. Consider these strategies:

  • Educate Your Servers: Equip your staff with in-depth knowledge of the menu, enabling them to confidently recommend premium dishes, enticing appetizers, or upscale beverages. By guiding patrons toward these options, servers enhance their dining journey and boost your average check.
  • Pairing Perfection: Train servers to suggest perfect food and beverage pairings. Suggesting a fine wine to complement a steak or a specialty cocktail with a signature dish can enhance the culinary adventure and lead to higher spending.

2. The Cross-selling Connection

Cross-selling involves suggesting complementary items that align with the customer's chosen dish. Effective cross-selling can introduce customers to new flavors and enhance their overall satisfaction. Try these strategies:

  • Suggestive Harmony: Encourage servers to recommend dishes that harmonize with the customer's order. For instance, suggesting a side salad with a hearty pasta or a unique sauce for a grilled item can expand the culinary experience and contribute to a higher average check.
  • Indulgent Desserts and Tempting Treats: Train servers to highlight delectable desserts or tempting sides that perfectly complement the customer's meal. The allure of a decadent dessert can entice customers to cap off their meal on a sweet note, increasing their overall spending.

Implement Effective Pricing Strategies

Strategic pricing can decisively influence customer spending patterns. Strategic menu prices can create a compelling incentive for patrons to explore a wider range of options and contribute to a higher average check. Here are two impactful pricing strategies to consider:

1. Bundle Deals

Crafting appealing bundled packages that offer subtle discounts for combining items can be enticing. This approach entices patrons to explore additional menu items, potentially leading to a higher average check. By strategically grouping complementary dishes, sides, and beverages at a slightly reduced cost, you provide customers with added value and encourage them to indulge in a more comprehensive dining experience. For instance, a "Date Night Special" could include an appetizer, two entrees, a shared dessert, and a bottle of wine, all at a bundled price that encourages customers to explore the entire range of your culinary offerings.

2. Dynamic Prices

Dynamic pricing, which involves adjusting prices based on demand, time of day, or special events, can create a dynamic menu. Such elasticity can lead customers to experiment with various options, potentially leading to increased spending. For example, during a busy Friday night, you could slightly increase the prices of popular dishes to reflect the heightened demand, while offering enticing discounts during quieter lunch hours to attract more midday patrons. This approach not only optimizes revenue but also encourages customers to explore different menu items, ultimately contributing to a higher average check.

Improve Customer Experience

customer experience

Creating a remarkable customer experience is more than just serving a meal; it's about crafting memorable moments that leave a lasting impression and foster customer loyalty. Here are a few strategies to improve the customer experience and encourage patrons to invest more in their culinary exploration:

1. Exceptional Service as a Differentiator

At the heart of a superior customer experience lies exceptional service. You can achieve this by improving customer service with well-trained and attentive staff. Servers should go above and beyond to provide personalized recommendations, engage in friendly conversations, and promptly address customer needs to create an atmosphere of care and attentiveness. This can result in patrons feeling more inclined to indulge and contribute to a higher average check size as they appreciate the overall positive experience. 

2. Crafting an Inviting Ambiance

The ambiance you curate within your restaurant's walls sets the stage for an unforgettable experience. A well-designed interior, comfortable seating, and thoughtful decor contribute to a welcoming atmosphere that entices patrons to linger, explore the menu further, and potentially indulge in additional selections. This, in turn, can contribute to a higher average check size as customers immerse themselves fully in the dining experience.

3. Personalization and Engagement

Engaging with patrons on a personal level can forge a strong bond that encourages loyalty and increased spending. Utilize data-driven insights to understand customer preferences, past orders, and special occasions. Moreover, using technology to enable personalized interactions, such as sending birthday discounts or anniversary offers, can make customers feel valued and more inclined to indulge in a special meal or celebration.

4. Soliciting and Valuing Feedback

Actively seeking and valuing customer feedback demonstrates your commitment to continuous improvement and customer satisfaction. Encourage patrons to share their thoughts and opinions on their dining experience, both positive and constructive. This feedback system not only helps you identify areas for enhancement but also fosters a sense of involvement and co-creation with your customers. 

Leverage Technology

Incorporating cutting-edge technology into your restaurant operations can revolutionize the way you interact with customers and drive increased spending. Here are two impactful ways to harness technology for a more engaging and lucrative dining experience:

1. Loyalty Programs

Implementing a robust loyalty program that rewards frequent diners with exclusive discounts, complimentary items, or unique promotions cultivates customer loyalty, incentivizing repeat visits and, subsequently, increased spending. Modern technology allows you to seamlessly track and manage loyalty points, making it effortless for customers to accrue rewards. By offering personalized incentives and tailored offers, you create a sense of appreciation and encourage patrons to explore your menu more extensively. 

2. Online Ordering and Delivery

Broadening your reach through convenient online ordering and delivery services extends your restaurant's influence beyond its physical walls. Embracing technology-driven platforms allows customers to explore your menu, place orders, and arrange doorstep deliveries with unparalleled convenience. By meeting customers where they are – whether it's at their dining table or in their living room – you provide flexibility and accessibility that can lead to expanded orders and larger ticket sizes.

Run Promotional Campaigns

restaurant promotion

Crafting well-thought-out promotional campaigns can invigorate customer interest and drive a surge in spending at your restaurant. Here's how to strategically design promotions that entice patrons to explore new horizons and invest more in their dining experience:

1. Limited-Time Offers

Introducing tantalizing limited-time menu items or promotions creates an atmosphere of excitement and urgency, encouraging patrons to venture beyond their usual choices and embrace novel, potentially higher-priced selections. By showcasing innovative dishes or exclusive combinations for a limited period, you pique curiosity and motivate customers to seize the opportunity to savor something unique. The allure of a time-sensitive offer prompts patrons to explore options they might not have considered, contributing to increased spending as they embark on a culinary journey of discovery.

2. Cross-Promotions and Partnerships

Enterprising collaborations with other businesses can inject fresh energy into your promotional strategy and boost spending. By partnering with establishments such as cinemas, theaters, or local attractions, you create synergistic opportunities for cross-promotion. For example, pairing a delectable meal with a discounted movie ticket creates a compelling package that entices patrons to indulge in a full evening of entertainment. This not only diversifies your customer base but also stimulates spending by offering an elevated value proposition that encompasses more than just a meal.


Elevating your restaurant's average check is an intricate and multifaceted endeavor that demands a holistic approach. By thoughtfully engineering your menu, empowering your servers, implementing strategic pricing, enhancing the customer experience, leveraging technology, and crafting impactful promotions, you can steer your restaurant toward a path of increased revenue and sustained profitability. These strategies not only bolster your bottom line but also provide patrons with unforgettable dining experiences that resonate long after they've left your establishment.


What is the formula for average ticket size?

The formula for calculating the average ticket size involves dividing the total revenue generated by the number of transactions. This provides a valuable metric that reflects the average amount spent by each customer during their dining experience.

What is the average check per guest?

The average check per guest represents the average monetary expenditure of an individual customer during their visit to your restaurant. It provides a comprehensive view of customer spending patterns and is a key indicator of your restaurant's financial performance.

How do restaurants increase the average guest check?

Restaurants can increase the average guest check by introducing high-value items, employing up-selling and cross-selling techniques, implementing effective pricing strategies, enhancing the customer experience, harnessing technology, and orchestrating strategically planned promotional campaigns. For further insights into restaurant success, explore resources on writing a restaurant business plan and managing a restaurant.

What do you do as a server to increase your check average?

As a server, you play a pivotal role in influencing the check average. You can enhance the dining experience by providing personalized recommendations and engaging in friendly conversations about the menu. Additionally, attentive service, timely check-ins, and creating a positive rapport with customers can encourage them to explore more menu options and contribute to increased spending.

What are two ways to increase your average ticket?

Increasing your average ticket involves strategic measures that encourage customers to spend more at your restaurant. Two impactful ways are:

  • Bundle Deals: Craft appealing bundled packages that offer discounts when items are combined. This entices patrons to explore additional menu options, potentially leading to a higher average ticket as they indulge in a more comprehensive dining experience.
  • Dynamic Pricing: Adjust menu prices based on demand, time of day, or special events. This dynamic approach creates a fluid experience that encourages customers to experiment with various options, potentially leading to increased spending and a higher average ticket.