5 Secondary revenue streams for your restaurant

By 3.7 min readPublished On: August 28, 2019

The restaurant business is competitive so you might need to look at a revenue boost for the day-to-day business.  You will need to look at more ways to come up with additional income that doesn’t require you discounting products or cutting back on staff.  Lets get creative and help you monetize on all facets of your operation to generate more money.

See five secondary revenue sources for your restaurant below:

Boost your take-out business

In a recent survey, around 60 per cent of consumers said that they purchased take-out food at least once a week. In today’s fast-paced society, it’s not surprising that sales of take-out meals will continue to grow each year. Consider ramping up your take-out business by giving out take-out menus, creating a take-out counter with a refrigerated unit for selling beverages inside your restaurant and having parking spots reserved for take-out customers. Design special boxed meals or value meals for your take-out operation, and promote more family dining options. Don’t forget to make sure your set up for online ordering.

Offer Special Events

Themed event nights can bring in your most loyal customers and serve as an excellent way to attract new patrons. While you can go as big as you want, these nights don’t have to be over the top. Simply host the night and spread the word on social media. Some common ideas include:

  • Trivia night
  • Award show-themed events
  • Company sponsored dinners
  • Live music

Be a Vendor for Special Events, Conventions, and Festivals

Some restaurants offer catering services on the side; but if you don’t have the resources to start a side catering business, become a vendor for special events, business conventions, or music and art festivals. Very often, there is a small buy-in to join a festival and application to fill out. If accepted, you can earn a sizable profit, in addition to the sales coming in from your brick-and-mortar shop. To optimize this venture, apply for special events that your target customer would attend. Plus if they like your food they will make a trip to your restaurant.

Sell Restaurant Merchandise

You don’t need to be a chain restaurant or have a top chef in the kitchen to start selling restaurant merchandise. With a loyal customer base, a clever name, or an addictive secret sauce, you can get started.

If your in a tourist destination make sure you capitalize on restaurant merch, but follow these guidelines:

1. Make sure you reflect your companies brand. We can use the beachcomber in Wellfleet, Cape Cod for an example. They are a family oriented beachside bar and restaurant. They sell apparel for all sizes, beer koozies, keychains etc. Something for everyone.

2.  Be creative. Merchandise should be an extension of your brand. Cafe Milagro, a popular restaurant on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast that began as a coffee roasting company, decided to do both. They sell bags of their own gourmet coffee in their gift shop and even have a website where vacationers can purchase more when they’re craving a fresh cup of Costa Rican coffee.

3. Display your merch front and center. Be proud of your restaurant merchandise and make sure customers know they can buy something! Additionally, if you are selling food items like a sauce or special salt, put bottles on every table so customers can experiment on their own.

4. Be open to collaborations with local businesses or other brands. Make a strategic partnership with a complementary company to put your restaurant in front of new customers.

Offer a wider menu range

People’s eating habits are slowly moving from the traditional three square meals a day to six snacks a day. Your restaurant or foodservice operation can benefit from this shift of the traditional meal by offering a wider range of meals like all-morning breakfast, afternoon snacks or late-night menus, as well as brunch on the weekends. However, you will need a marketing plan to alert your regular customers, as well as new customers about your new hours and menus.

Being open to new revenue streams can help you increase profits and identify events that may work well enough to permanently incorporate into your sales strategy.

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See you next week!

Your devoted hostess,


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