One of your diners’ favorite lines to hear from their server is, “Would you like to hear about our specials?”

You know that offering your customers specials is a terrific marketing tool. It increases customer loyalty and retention. It’s also a great way to try out new menu items to see if your diners like them.

What’s more, offering daily dinner specials gives your revenue a boost as daily specials attract more diners.

Yet, it can be hard to know where to go with pricing. In this article, we look at how to price daily dinner specials for the best results.

Create a Recipe Costing Card

The only way you can know how to price your specials is to create a costing card. You must know exactly what those specials cost you to create. 

A recipe costing card is key to your success. You can’t know what your menu items generally cost. This can’t be a rough estimate.

If you want profitability, you need to create your costing card for each one of your dinner specials. This means costing out every item that lands on the plates of your daily dinner specials.

Once you know what it costs, you can build upwards to create a profit. Here’s what you need to include:

The cost of each item on the dish

The weight and cost of each ingredient – this is a ratio based on how much you use in your recipe

The menu price

The recipe costing card not only helps you make a profit, but it also helps you control portion sizes while minimizing waste.

In addition, the recipe costing card can help you determine what your customers are actually purchasing. This should also go into factoring the cost of your daily dinner specials. So, you want to update these cards regularly.

Take Staff Costs into Account

When you price daily dinner specials, not only do you need to factor in the cost of each item, but you also need to consider staffing.

For example, if your daily dinner special is a hamburger, it needs someone to flip it. How much does it cost you for a cook to flip and watch the burger and then plate it?

Labor costs should be factored into your pricing, so you ensure you hit your budgeted costs.

Now that you have some tips on how to price daily dinner specials, let’s dive into what your customers think your specials actually are.

Know What Your Customers Want

For some of your customers, specials are discounted meals. Many diners will visit your restaurant thinking they’re getting a daily deal or a discount. For example, you may offer $5 hamburgers on Mondays with $1 French fries.

In the eyes of your customer, that’s a special deal.

For other customers, specials are something you offer in addition to your regular menu. Customers want to order your specials because they want something different and unique.

This might be a chef’s special, or something made with locally sourced, seasonal ingredients.

The take-away here is knowing your audience and marketing your specials in the appropriate manner. In fact, your specials may be a little bit of both of these perceived notions of “specials.”

Whichever way you go, make sure to market the special correctly so your diners understand your pricing.

Offer the Right Specials

When considering how to price your daily dinner specials, you also have to know your customer base. You need to know what they’re looking for and what they want to eat. (tweet this)

For example, you may offer a vegetarian lasagna as a creative special. But if people come to your restaurant solely for your meat offerings, that isn’t going to be a great special for you.

Know what your customers want and meet them there. Provide them with the right specials at the right price, and they just may come back night after night.

Know Your Bottom Line

Another tip when pricing your specials is to consider which specials would be most beneficial to your bottom line.

In other words, what specials are going to delight your customers while also providing you with the largest profit margin.

Promote Your Specials

You can also consider your marketing costs when pricing your specials because it’s important you market these daily dinner specials.

For the best results you want to promote your special in the following places:

Put signs outside your restaurant and in your windows. This helps catch passers-by.

Advertise specials on social media. This won’t cost you much at all and can really help you get some traction on your specials. You can also advertise the price as well to entice customers.

Use your restaurant’s email list to advertise your dinner specials, too. These folks are already your customers, and they want to dine with you. By telling them about your daily dinner specials, you increase your daily traffic.

Host small events to promote your specials. For example, add some live music to make it fun and festive.

Final Thoughts

Just because you offer a daily dinner special doesn’t mean you can’t make money on it.

By using the pricing strategies included here, you can make money on your special menu items. They are special, and their price should be, too.

You don’t want to eyeball the daily dinner special and simply throw a price at it. It’s imperative you know what the items cost before you start considering the special pricing.

Create a plan for your daily dinner specials so you actually make money on each one you sell for the best results.

Your daily dinner specials will help you increase loyalty while creating a community vibe. With different specials each day, your diners will come back multiple times in one week, thus increasing your revenue.

At Restaurant Engine, not only do we create great, responsive websites, but you can count on us to create a website that highlights your daily dinner specials. We help you edge above the competition by using mobile-friendly design with a terrific user experience. Ready to take the plunge and create a new website? Get your free website consultation today!

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