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5 growth hacks to increase profits at your quick service restaurant

May 31, 2018

Looking for some immediate changes you can make to increase profits at your quick service restaurant?

Growing your restaurant’s sales is only half the equation. In the highly competitive restaurant industry, margins are slim—meaning small businesses may need to get creative to make more money. With a little strategy, quick service and fast casual restaurants can benefit from growth hacks to lower costs and increase sales. Whether you’re a pizza restaurant, coffee shop, ice cream parlor, or burger joint, these growth hacks are for you.

We’ve compiled advice from the best of the best to help your QSR conquer the food service industry.

1. Use a loyalty program to increase sales.

Some studies have shown that a loyalty program can increase sales by up to 20%—a huge number for the restaurant industry. If you’re looking for a way to increase profit, rewards and loyalty programs are a great place to start.

If you are not sure if a rewards program is right for your QSR, consider this. After Starbucks began their rewards program, revenue has increased to $2.65 billion—with 22% of all sales in the US driven by their loyalty rewards app.

2. Plan your menu and seasonal promos strategically.

Not all your products are going to sell out each week. However, some products almost never move, and these could be costing you money in the long-run. Start to eliminate low-selling items from your menu. Then, plan your menu and seasonal promos around high-value items.

3. Encourage foot traffic during lulls.

Every restaurant has a few periods during the day and week when foot-traffic is low. The lull between lunch and dinner, or weeknights compared to weekends can be tough times for some QSRs.

Rather than seeing these hours as dead time, consider offering a discount or promo to encourage new sales. Some sales are better than no sales, and by offering 10% off or a 2-for-1 special, you can usually increase profitability.

4. Make your POS work for you.

Quick service restaurants can boost their profitability by adding a POS system to your toolkit. Use them to prompt employees to upsell to customers, track sales, create more efficient staffing schedules, promote specials, surface insights on your best selling items, and house your loyalty program.

Save time with integrated POS apps. These tools automate some of the routine parts of your business to help you run a tight ship.

  • Commerce Sync eliminates manual data entry. It automatically syncs daily sales on your Clover POS with accounting software like Xero and Quickbooks. This saves customers an average 300 hours per year.
  • SimpleOrder is a real-time inventory management system that helps you quickly identify low performing items that might be replaced with new offerings and keep your shelves stocked.
  • Homebase is an employee scheduling tool that reduces the time it takes to schedule hourly employees and update their payroll. It saves customers an average of 65 working days a year.

Looking for more smart tools to help you run your restaurant efficiently? Check out these popular Clover app integrations for restaurants.

5. Reduce shrinkage in your restaurant.

An ice cream scoop here, an extra shift meal there may not seem like a lot, but it all adds up. Shrinkage is the term for when things seem to wander off: stealing, by shoppers, customers, or your own staff. Shrinkage was responsible for $49 billion in losses in 2016.

Whether you’re in the business of slicing pizza, scooping ice cream, serving fresh ingredients, or all of the above, boosting profitability can come from some small or significant changes. See more tips on Clover’s Facebook and Twitter feeds—including features on merchants who have cracked the code toward greater profit growth.


Clover is sold by leading U.S. banks including Bank of America, BBVA, Citi, PNC, Sun Trust and Wells Fargo. You’ll also find Clover at our trusted partners including Ignite Payments, Restaurant Depot, and Sam’s Club. For more information, visit us at clover.com.