Specials and Table Tents

Offering daily specials at your restaurant can set you apart from the competition and help define the character of your establishment. It can also increase your profits.

Since diners expect to pay more for your signature dishes, you should be able to charge more for a special without impacting sales. In fact, sales should increase as much as 15% for items offered as specials, simply because they are being singled out.

Here are two tips that might help:

1 Don't recite it, type it This one may seem obvious but many restaurateurs don't realize that specials should be printed rather than recited. The recitation of specials by your servers with follow-up questions from your customers can take up to 15 minutes or more. This is valuable time that can be better spent on improving customer service. It's a rare individual who can verbally outsell a printed menu.

Plus, many customers resent the salesy monologue and few can remember more than a few specials. Most will be be reluctant to ask questions. Offering an 'up-sell' suggestion or two about a particular special is not a bad idea, but reciting the entire list is.

The specials should appear on a menu insert or menu page that is separate from your regular menu to further distinguish them and to facilitate daily or weekly changes. Blackboards are cool and quaint but many diners miss them and they require considerable effort to maintain.

2 Pitch desserts and beverages under a tent If you operate a restaurant where table tents are appropriate, consider using them for dessert and beverage specials. Table tents used in this fashion can double sales from these two highly profitable categories since they continue to "sell" after the regular menus have been taken away.

i With iMenuPro a stylish daily specials menu can literally be created in under a minute. Many of our customers use it soley for that purpose. For table tents there's a built-in Table Tent Creator tool that creates 4-UP table tents from any menu with a single click.

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