How to increase revenue with restaurant subscriptions

Clelia Malinverni

Lightspeed Commerce

Premium Supplier 1st November 2023
Clelia Malinverni

Lightspeed Commerce

Premium Supplier

How to increase revenue with restaurant subscriptions

In recent years, the restaurant subscription model has grown in popularity within the UK hospitality industry. Faced with rising costs of ingredients, gas and rent, restaurateurs are looking to secure a recurring income to offset any losses. As well as becoming a reliable source of revenue, restaurant subscriptions are a fantastic way to attract new customers and nurture existing ones. 

What is a restaurant subscription? 

Similar to the gym and streaming service model, restaurant subscriptions cost a certain amount each month, and for that monthly cost, customers get exclusive extras or discounted items. For loyal customers, subscriptions mean substantial and welcome savings during the current uncertain financial climate. For restaurateurs, it’s a long-term guarantee of a stable, recurring income.

Examples of restaurant subscriptions

When it comes to deciding what to offer as part of your subscription, it’s important to consider customer behaviour–what will entice your customers to subscribe, and what will attract new customers? 

For coffee shops located in city centres, it might make sense to offer a subscription that gives customers a free hot drink between Monday and Friday. If your coffee shop business model also relies heavily on online sales, consider offering a discount on coffee beans and pods if your customers sign up for a 3, 6 or 12-month subscription. 

Another suggestion is to offer exclusive dishes reserved for subscribers, be it an off-the-menu sandwich, or a subscriber-only salad. Offering these for subscribers-only is an appealing product that can attract non-subscribers. 

To target these ideal customers and define the ideal offer, restaurant owners can rely on their ePOS and its customised analytical reports to identify: 

- The days or off-peak services when the number of customers is significantly lower than on other days. 
- The typical profile of customers who frequent your restaurant on a regular basis: age, location, profession, particular habits, average bill–useful for segmenting and adapting your marketing message. 
- The bestselling, most profitable or least popular dishes: essential for identifying the dishes or drinks that will be used as loss-leaders for the subscription programme. 

The advantages of offering a subscription in your restaurant 

1. A recurring and predictable revenue stream 

For restaurant owners, knowing you have a certain amount of money coming into your account every month is a relief. Thanks to their renewable formula, subscriptions give you a steady stream of income. 

As an example, if you offer a subscription that costs £10 a month and you have 100 subscribers, that’s £1,000 in additional sales on a monthly basis. 

2. A source of new customer acquisition 

Social media is one of your most powerful tools when it comes to attracting new customers, and by highlighting your subscription model on social channels, you’ll find new customers will be visiting your establishment to get a taste of the action. Another way to attract new customers is to make the most of your existing subscribers. 

Consider sending your subscribers a link that allows new subscribers to try out the subscription with a discount on their first month. 

3. A means of testing 

Restaurant subscriptions let you test new dishes, recipes or services before rolling them out on a larger scale, and to reduce the risk of failure. If a new dish isn’t a hit with subscribers, there’s a good chance it won’t be a hit with other customers. 

Learn more about how Lightspeed Restaurant can help you decide on the perfect offering for your restaurant subscription:

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