Increasing Sales When the Guest is Already in the Door

Jun 08 2017

Increase Sales and Drive Profits Restaurant Management Manage Your Business

We all want to increase our sales.  Getting new customers in the door is certainly one way to do this, but did you know that there are several ways to increase sales with your existing guests?  Below are three ways to use your data to start increasing your profitability. 

  1. Evaluate Server Performance: A Server Performance report is a comprehensive summary of critical information related to employee sales, labor, and productivity.  More than a basic assessment, this allows you to schedule your top performers on your busiest shifts, and to have those servers who might need help follow one of your superstars to learn how to sell better. 

The WIIFM (what’s in it for me?) for your staff is that increased sales means increased tips for the lower performers.  They are already there, so why not make more money?  You can also consider offering the star performers an incentive for letting others shadow them, such as a comped meal or a $20 bonus.

Below is a sample of a group of employees showing a high, medium, and low range of selling levels.  It demonstrates how increasing dessert sales of only 3 servers can grow your sales by $18,388 per year, while considerably increasing your servers’ income at the same time.  Numbers don’t lie… it’s a win-win.



  1. Evaluate Comp Analysis: Take a good look at your comp analysis report to understand where you could be losing money.  For example, if you have too many Kitchen Comps for either long wait times or food going out incorrectly, it may mean it’s time to the re-evaluate the number of scheduled staff based on volume, or retrain the back-of-the-house on expected standards.  Likewise, an unusual amount of Service Comps may mean it’s time to the re-evaluate the number of scheduled staff based on volume, or retrain your servers on expected standards. 

While a few comps here and there in a shift may not seem like a big deal, take a look below at how solely Estela’s poor performance equals $4,003.22 in lost sales per year (based on a 13 period fiscal calendar).    


  1. Item Analysis: By using the “Four R’s”, you can determine whether to retain, re-think, reprice, or re-plate, based data that you most-likely have already collected.  Use an item analysis report to compare an item’s margin vs. quantity sold, allowing you to determine if items are priced correctly. 
  • Items with an above-average margin and an above average quantity sold are ideal, and should be retained
  • Items that have a below-average quantity sold and a below-average margin may need to be re-thought.
  • All other items (items that are high-quantity/low margin or low-quantity/high margin may need to be re-priced or re-plated.

 Below is an example of how to evaluate your dessert menu.

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We all know that this is a tough business, so it’s important to make the most out of every interaction.  By studying your numbers, you can always find areas for improvement.  Start with these three analyses and branch out from there as you start to better understand what is really happening in your business.

For more information on how Ctuit can help yoiu analyze you sales data visit

Tara Qualls

Tara Qualls

Tara started her hospitality career at 16, bussing tables at the local country club. Over the years, she transitioned to a prep cook, server, bartender, and assistant General Manager and learned just about everything there was to know about restaurant management along the way. Tara brought her 20 years of hospitality industry experience to Ctuit in 2011 and currently holds the role of Client Services Integration Coordinator.