how to increase restaurant sales without advertising

How To Increase Restaurant Sales Without Advertising

If you own or run a restaurant, you most likely have had to deal with the frustrations that come with bringing in new business.

With so many tools and methods to bring in new customers, it can be a pain on trying to understand each avenue and maximize your ROI.

You may also own or operate a restaurant and have plenty of customers, but you just want to find a way to maximize the sales from the current customer base.

If either of these scenarios describes where you are, this article is for you.

Three Ways to Increase Restaurant Sales Without Advertising

If you want to increase your sales without spending money on advertising, there are three ways to go about this:

Increase Average Order Value

Increasing the average order value is increasing how much the average customer spends when they come to your restaurant.

The best way to go about this is to up-sell them.

An up-sell is to simply offer something else complimentary to the original purchase that the customer would be willing to buy. The most common example is to offer dessert after a meal or an appetizer to get them going.

In order for this to truly compound a few things need to happen:

1.) All of your staff MUST be on board with doing the up-sell. Training would be ideal. They will only make more from tips so it should be a no-brainer.

2.) Instead of asking, pitch them specific items. Your customers suffer from decision-fatigue all day, so don’t give them another decision. Tell them what is delicious and you highly recommend it before/after a meal.

This sort of practice can take an average order value of say $30 to $35. How would your restaurant look with a 17% increase in sales just by selling customers something that you already have readily available.

Increase Purchase Frequency

Simply put, you want to increase the amount of times the average customer comes in and eats.

The best way to do this by having a customer retention strategy.

A customer retention strategy involves collecting some sort of customer information such as their email address, phone number or both so that you have a way to stay in contact with past customers.

If you have no way to continue to stay in touch, you won’t be able to drive more sales from them effectively.

According to Marketing Metrics, a customer that has already purchased from you is 60% more likely to purchase again.

If you are relying on posting on social media and thinking that works, stop right now! With such little organic reach, only a small fraction of your followers will ever see any specials or really any post from your business. The only way for them to see is if you spend money on… advertising.

How to Increase Purchasing Frequency

Text2VIP has helped over one thousand restaurants stay in touch with their past customers by using our text message software. It is the best tool to drive people who have already eaten from your restaurant and know the food and service is great back to you again and again.

Our restaurant customers are able to do this by the most effective communication channel available- text message. We even have customers that have to watch when they send out their text blasts because it can bring in more business than they can handle. Imagine if your restaurant had that problem! You can sign up for our 14 day FREE trial and we’ll see if this may be the right solution for your restaurant!

Increasing purchase frequency can increase your average customer lifetime value. The lifetime value is how much money the average customer spends over their purchasing life. Let’s say your customer lifetime value is $300. Using our texting software can increase customer lifetime value to $450-$600! That’s right, you can double how much your customers are spending by staying in touch with them and sending them relevant information and promotions at the right times.

Increase Average Order Value and Purchase Frequency

It should come as no surprise that the best way to increase sales without advertising is to increase both how much and how often the average customer spends.

If you take the examples mentioned from earlier, you have the ability to double or more your sales FROM EXISTING BUSINESS.


Yes, it is possible to increase restaurant sales without advertising. Is the concept simple? Yes. Is it easy to implement? Nothing worth doing is ever easy. But it is definitely a strategy to implement into any business whether or not you are running ads to bring in new business.

We also have a great article that dives down deeper into customer retention in the restaurant industry that I highly recommend checking out!

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