Restaurant Week 2013: What It Means for Your Point of Sale

It is currently Restaurant Week in various parts of our fair nation, including L.A., where we are collectively eating our way through DineLA. For those point of sale users not familiar with the concept of Restaurant Week, it is a glorious time when eating establishments offer prix fixe lunch and dinner menus (not including drinks or wine). For many, this week presents an opportunity for consumers to enjoy a three-course meal at some of the city’s finest restaurants without the usual cost burden.

Because restaurants and eating establishments represent a considerable number of point of sale users, it”s important to note that participating in Restaurant Week is also an opportunity for restaurants themselves; they can establish a new following and build loyalty among a virtually untapped demographic.

Why it’s good for you

Many restaurants using point of sale systems might balk at the idea of offering three courses for a minimal cost (usually $35-45 for dinner, $25 for lunch in L.A.; slightly more in New York). If you just consider the cost of production then yes, this would appear to be a money-loser. However, if you factor in the cost of alcoholic beverages and the potential for customer retention, this promotional device will most likely pay for itself. After all, the majority of restaurant revenue is derived from alcoholic beverages. This is why you will see venues that do not (or cannot) obtain a liquor license fold quickly.

Why it’s good for them

Who doesn’t want a multicourse meal from a renowned chef every once in a while? Some of my personal favorite dining experiences have been at Gordon Ramsay’s flagship restaurant in London, Heston Blumenthal’s restaurant in the Mandarin Oriental, and at Jean-Georges in New York, the latter of which I first experienced during Restaurant Week (case in point: I have returned to Jean-Georges many times afterward). Not only does Restaurant Week provide an opportunity for point of sale users, it also provides clientele with adventurous courses they might not have ever tried otherwise (my first experience eating pigeon was at Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant).

Point of sale users can use Restaurant Week promotions to their advantage by:

  • Offering a mix of interesting courses as well as signature dishes (Tavern in L.A. offers their signature Devil”s Chicken as well as potted chicken liver).
  • Presenting diverse menus for both lunch and dinner.
  • Personalizing the dining experience by offering the same level of service as you would regularly.

Good word of mouth goes a long way. Restaurants using point of sale systems can boost their clientele (and reputations) multifold by expanding their target demographics once or twice annually.