For diners in cities across the country, Restaurant Week is an opportunity to try new restaurants and experience different cuisines at a set price. For restaurant operators, however, it could be a boon for business or an operational nightmare with little to no ROI. We decided to find out – is Restaurant Week worth the hype? We looked at proprietary data from a subset of our own customers to see how restaurants that participated in Restaurant Week fared against those that did not during the same timeframe. Here’s what we found:
Revenue and Transactions Increased Noticeably
Participating restaurants saw a 23 percent increase in total revenue earned during Restaurant Week as opposed to the week after. Among a comparable group of restaurants, those who did not participate in Restaurant Week saw an average difference of just 4 percent in total revenue compared to the week after. The total number of transactions went up by 18 percent for participating restaurants, compared to just 7 percent for restaurants that did not participate.
Credit Cards are the Preferred Payment Method of Consumers
Interestingly, revenue from credit card payments was 25 percent higher during Restaurant Week, while revenue from cash payments only saw a 13 percent increase. There was a 21 percent increase in overall credit card transactions, while just a 5 percent increase in cash transactions.
Servers Stand to Gain, Too.
On average, the total amount of tips received was 22 percent higher during Restaurant Week for participating restaurants, compared to 4 percent lower for non-participating restaurants.
The Average Ticket Price Goes Up
The average ticket price during Restaurant Week was $43.35 for participating restaurants, falling to $39.74 a week after. At a difference of $3.61 per ticket, this could add up to a thousand dollars or more in additional revenue over the course of the week, depending on how many tables an establishment can service.
The Bottom Line
Restaurant Week IS worth it for independent operators. The added attention and inherent marketing value of Restaurant Week seems to have a direct correlation on revenue, transactions and ticket price. Guests are feeling adventurous and willing to spend more, and diners who may not ordinarily choose to eat out are more motivated to do so during Restaurant Week. Independent operators in particular should take advantage of the opportunities for free publicity that come with participation in Restaurant Weeks in their local areas.
With a clear line drawn between card and cash payments, restaurant operators should consider whether their POS system is in need of an upgrade. For establishments that don’t currently accept card payments, upgrading to a POS system from a cash register can lead to increased interest from card-loving consumers. For those that have already dipped their toes into the world of POS systems, it’s a good time to consider whether their current POS is providing value. For example, did you know that your POS can also help influence your reputation? Click here to learn more.