Business Type Chain Rest. Grow Indie Rest. Manage Operations Tips & Trends 3 min read

7 tips to help restaurants owners stay ahead of inflation.


Feeling the pinch of today’s rising costs? From increased production costs to decreased consumer spending, inflation can make it challenging to turn a profit and stay competitive in today’s market. That’s why we’ve compiled a few marketing tips that can help you maintain customer loyalty and boost restaurant sales as you navigate inflation. 

1. Lean on loyalty programs.

First and foremost, loyalty programs are a great way to get more customers to order off your menu, while helping you build relationships with new ones. Plus, Canadians love loyalty programs, with 56% of Canadians making loyalty purchases several times a week. Offering coupons or points-based rewards for frequent customers, such as a free menu item or drink after six orders, can help boost brand awareness and keep your business as their first choice. 

2. Offer appealing promotions. 

Promotions are another biggie for Canadian customers, with 81% of Canadians saying that incentives such as Buy One, Get One (BOGO), free items and free delivery make them much more likely to order. Offering promos like these encourage more customers to try your products while getting them excited about your services. Rewards for loyal customers help build trust and credibility while also increasing the chances of them returning to your business. Plus, if you use social media to advertise your promotions, you’ll create a hype among your followers, reach a wider audience, and boost your business’s visibility. 

3. Connect on a deeper level. 

Maintaining customer loyalty for your business isn’t just about rewards. Meaningful experiences are also a huge factor. Since inflation can lead to hard-to-swallow price increases, point-of-sale interactions are a great opportunity to ensure your customers have an unforgettable experience. By surprising and delighting them with added loyalty features and outstanding customer service, you can create a positive experience that goes beyond your product prices.  

4. Create bundles of joy.

As inflation rates rise, customers’ purchasing power can lower; limiting their ability to buy items they could previously. To counteract this, consider bundling your products to offer greater value so you can increase brand loyalty with customers during inflationary periods. For example, give your customers the option to purchase a sandwich, a drink, and a side dish, as opposed to one individual item. Bundling allows your customers to order multiple goods and/or services at a discounted price, compared to purchasing each item separately.

5. Opt for a smaller menu. 

Creating a small, profitable menu will help you adapt to inflation. The first step is to take a look at your current menu and determine the best-selling products, which are ordered the least, as well as the ones that have the most expensive ingredients. A smaller menu means fewer ingredients, lower food costs, and minimal food waste. With a simplified menu, you can just focus on the items that already sell well and remove those that are costing you extra dough.

6. Add some add-ons. 

Including high-profit margin products on your menu is essential for maximizing profits. Want to know what some of the most profitable items are? Add-ons! Giving customers the ability to customize items to their liking–such as adding more toppings to pizza, sandwiches, sundaes, and other dishes–not only enables customers to personalize their orders, but also has the potential to increase your profits.

7. Value menus are valuable.

To make your prices more palatable to customers, consider implementing a value section to your menu. A value menu, not to be confused with a value meal (bundled items at a discounted price), is a lineup of discounted items, like side dishes and drinks, that are perfect for customers looking for a more affordable bite. It’s a win-win for all — more guests can indulge in your delicious food, while you keep distribution costs down. 

We hope these tips help you face the challenges of inflation, head-on. Remember, loyalty is more important than ever, and by providing value and exceptional service, you can really help your business thrive. 

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