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Attracting customers to your pub can feel like a battle in itself. Once they’re inside, it’s crucial to ensure each customer is spending enough to sustain profitability. Poor average customer spend can significantly harm your business, even if your pub is bustling with patrons.

Read on for our guide to increase average spend per customer, covering why it’s essential and how to boost average customer spend in your venue.

Why does average spend per head matter?

Average spend per head provides pub managers with clear visibility into the tangible value generated each time a customer visits your pub.

With just two essential metrics—total sales value and the number of customers served—you can gain valuable insights into your pub’s financial performance. Calculate the average spend per customer by dividing total sales by the number of customers served.

How to increase average spend per head

Upselling

Upselling can significantly boost revenue for your pub, making it a powerful driver for increasing average spend per customer. When your staff are genuinely committed to providing the best experience possible, upselling becomes an effective strategy.

Train your staff to suggest cocktail or drink pairings to the food you serve, and highlight any limited edition or seasonal drinks you have on offer. You could also think about serving themed drink flights or hosting pairing events.

Upselling should be done in an authentic way, as when customers believe your team genuinely thinks something is good or worthwhile, they’ll be more inclined to spend more.

Make your pub inviting

A welcoming atmosphere undoubtedly contributes to increasing the average spend per head as guests tend to stay longer and add more items to their bill. You want your customers to lose track of time – consider things like comfortable seating and cosy lighting along with welcoming customer service.

Many country pubs are now offering dog-wash facilities and canine-friendly menus, encouraging owners to dine in without worrying about their dogs causing a disruption. This thoughtful addition prevents meals from being cut short due to concerns about mud or pets bothering diners.

Increase prices

Raising prices on your menu is perhaps the simplest method to increase average order value and boost overall sales. Offering similar dishes at higher prices translates to increased revenue for your business.

However, this approach requires careful consideration. Haphazardly increasing meal costs without thought or consideration can deter customers.

Instead, consider refining some dishes to offer a more premium experience. By incorporating high-end ingredients or cooking methods, customers are more likely to perceive increased value in their favourite meals, making them willing to spend more.

Make an irresistible offer

Creating attention-grabbing special offers can entice customers to take action and visit your pub.

Be strategic with the timing of your offers to protect profit margins. For instance, offering half-price cocktails before 7 PM can draw customers in and increase their likelihood of staying and ordering more.

Promote your special offers not only on posters and boards outside but also on your social media feeds for maximum reach.

Create a reward scheme

Implementing a reward system, whether through traditional stamp cards or online ordering discounts, provides customers with a compelling incentive to return. Reward schemes don’t need to be complex; experimenting with different techniques can help you discover what resonates best with your clientele. For instance, patrons could earn a free drink after their 6th visit or collect points that can be used for future orders.

Embracing themed nights and seasonal trends is another effective way to encourage and reward repeat visits. By offering new tastes and experiences alongside your regular menu favourites, you provide customers with fresh reasons to return and explore your offerings further.

Create a great food menu

Incorporating food into your pub’s offerings is a straightforward way to boost sales. Many people enjoy dining out, especially in the casual atmosphere of a pub. If your establishment doesn’t offer food, you’re missing out on significant revenue opportunities.

A large portion of patrons will base their decision to visit a pub on whether it serves food. Pubs that offer quality food enjoy a significant competitive advantage in attracting customers.

Food can also help moderate alcohol consumption, reducing the likelihood of patrons becoming intoxicated and causing disturbances, which can be problematic for many pubs.

Offer different drinks

Offering low-alcohol and alcohol-free drinks on your menu is not just a passing trend; it’s now a vital consideration for various customer demographics, including designated drivers, pregnant women, and those who prefer not to consume alcohol. Transforming your pub into a social hub where diverse customers can gather and enjoy a variety of beverages is key to increasing sales and staying relevant.

Incorporating coffee into your menu is another lucrative opportunity. Wetherspoons, for example, sells over 50 million cups of coffee annually, rivaling major coffee chains like Costa and Starbucks. Adding coffee to your offerings provides an additional revenue stream and caters to both daytime and nighttime visitors.

Utilise technology

Technology is now an essential part of running a pub, and even small independents can leverage tools previously reserved for industry leaders. Investing in an affordable EPOS (Electronic Point of Sale) system can revolutionise your pub operations, offering benefits like improved inventory management, detailed reporting, and efficient table service.

Implementing table service can significantly enhance pub sales by reducing wait times at the bar, increasing drink orders, and delivering superior customer service. To further optimise this, consider giving your staff tablets they can use to place orders, or creating your own app that customers can use themselves.

Exploring cost-effective technology solutions can lower expenses and maximise sales potential for your pub. It will help to simplify operations and enhance customer experiences, making it a valuable asset for pubs of any size.

Running a pub can be tough, but we’re here to help. Gardiff EPOS has everything you need to efficiently run and grow your hospitality business, from tills to online ordering. Get in touch to find out how we can help you.