Boosting restaurant profits: A guide to the best tech stack

The right technology to increase ticket sizes and drive loyalty

March 31, 2023
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Boosting restaurant profits: A guide to the best tech stack
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Boosting restaurant profits: A guide to the best tech stack

As a restaurant owner, it can be overwhelming to decide which technologies are worth your time and investment. In this article, we will guide you through the most popular restaurant technologies on the market and how each can benefit your business. We'll also provide insights into how to balance these technologies to achieve the ideal restaurant technology stack, one that reaches new customers, encourages larger ticket sizes, and drives repeat visits through loyalty.

Third-party delivery platforms

It comes as no surprise that third-party delivery is here to stay, and only growing stronger by the year. The industry is set to surpass $70 billion in revenue by the end of 2023, led by a few stalwarts that dominate the space. Is it worth partnering with one — or several — of these apps to drive up your ticket sizes?

Benefits: 

  • Onboarding and integrating with these apps is typically easy. Programs can be incorporated into most POS systems to make sure restaurants can take orders as quickly as possible. The convenience exists for both the restaurant and the customers.
  • Restaurants gain access to an existing audience that, depending on the platform, could expand their reach to millions of users just in their local area.
  • Built-in marketing features help restaurants provide personalized offers to draw in new business. 

Pricing: 

  • Third-party delivery apps take anywhere from 15% to 30% commission based largely on the size of the merchant and the amount of marketing provided by the app.
  • Apps are known to tack on additional fees for pick-up orders — anywhere from 6% to 10%.

Our verdict: Third-party delivery apps, whether national or region-specific, can provide a level of convenience for consumers and new reach for restaurants. But transaction fees potentially cannibalize the incremental profits these apps would bring in. At the same time, customers have to spend more to order, meaning their ticket sizes may end up being smaller — less for them, and less profit for you. 

Using third-party delivery apps should go hand-in-hand with some kind of platform that introduces additional revenue to offset the loss from delivery costs.

In-house loyalty programs

These in-house assets are growing rapidly and becoming more popular with big chains and even single locations, with 57% of restaurants now offering their own programs. 

Benefits: 

  • In-house loyalty programs drive repeat visits and larger tickets for existing customers.
  • They also provide restaurants with more insight into first-party data, which sheds light on customers’ buying habits.

Pricing: 

  • Pricing for these loyalty programs varies. Be sure to account for any costs associated with the development, implementation, and maintenance of an in-house app or platform.

Our verdict: A loyalty program helps retain frequent ones, and drive up their ticket sizes. But you’ll still need a way to bring in new customers and give them a reason to turn to you instead of your competitors.

Promotion platforms

Promotion platforms with built-in user bases help reach new customers, re-engage lapsed customers, encourage larger ticket sizes, and drive loyalty/repeat visits.  

  1. Bring in new customers by expanding reach beyond the regulars, attracting customers who would otherwise not have known about these restaurants.
  2. Increase visits and ticket size by providing profitable incentives that encourage repeat visits and allow customers to order more each time 
  3. Protect existing profits by personalizing promotions on a per-customer basis. 

The key consideration is whether the promotion platform returns your investment to ensure you earn profit on each transaction.  

Upside complements your existing programs

Benefits: 

  • Provides a built-in user base that puts restaurants in touch with hundreds of thousands of users nearby, and allows them to provide personalized, profitable promotions to each of those users on a one-on-one basis.
  • Measurably changes consumer behavior and boosts restaurant profits.  

Pricing: 

  • Upside operates solely on a profit-sharing model, so restaurants only share a portion of incremental profit earned. Restaurants on Upside are guaranteed to make more than they spend; the average restaurant on Upside earns 63% return on investment (ROI).

Our verdict: With Upside, restaurants can reach new customers, encourage larger ticket sizes, and drive loyalty/repeat visits, making it an essential part of their restaurant technology arsenal.

Building the ideal restaurant technology stack

To achieve the best outcomes for your restaurant, it's crucial to have a well-balanced restaurant technology stack that includes third-party delivery apps, a robust loyalty program, and a promotions platform like Upside that can expand your reach, offer personalized incentives, and drive larger ticket sizes. When these technologies are used in harmony, your restaurant can reach new heights in profitability and customer satisfaction that may have seemed unattainable before.

Boosting restaurant profits: A guide to the best tech stack

The Upside Team

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The Upside team is made up of data scientists and industry experts who are passionate about delivering empowering content to our readers. With a focus on providing practical insights and meaningful perspectives, we create engaging materials across a wide range of topics. From exploring industry trends and offering expert analysis to sharing useful tips and inspiring ideas, our team works diligently to provide you with the information you need to thrive.

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