How to Boost Your Pizzeria’s Check Averages by up to 15% With One Menu Addition

As temps cool down and the leaves start to fall, your customers are likely warming up to the idea of a Soup of the Day. And that can mean additional profits for your pizzeria.

As PMQ reported in November 2016, foodservice giant Sysco said soup had replaced salad as the leading appetizer in limited-service restaurants, with about 60% of customers ordering soup at least occasionally. Even better, Sysco says adding soup to your menu can boost check averages by up to 15%, and soups can boast a 60% profit margin, Sysco recommends.

Related: 6 marketing tactics to sell more soups at your pizza restaurant

If you’re ready to soup up your sales, here are some marketing tips:

  • Offer a flight. Feature several varieties of soup in a single sampling, Sysco recommends. “A recent survey showed that more customers would order soup if the selection was better,” the company said. Let your guests experience a wider range of soup possibilities, and they’re more likely to order one of them in the future. “Try serving three 2-ounce portions of soup in a flight instead of one 6-ounce bowl to gain incremental profits.”
  • Offer a Soup of the Day. Create them from scratch, with a focus on both classics—such as minestrone, fagioli and Italian wedding soups—as well as seasonal flavors like Roasted Butternut Squash or Pumpkin. Most soups are a low-cost menu item with a high profit margin.
  • Use local ingredients. More and more customers want to know their favorite restaurants are supporting local farmers while also providing the freshest possible ingredients—and what could be fresher than zucchini and squash grown right there in your own area?
  • Try some bold new flavors. Surprise your guests by thinking outside the traditional soup bowl. Consider heartier flavors like Thai and Hungarian.
  • Add a flavor boost. To liven up your chicken, vegetable or beef soups, stir in 1/8 teaspoon each of thyme, oregano and crushed rosemary leaves for every two cups of soup. For Butternut Squash Soup, stir a sprinkle of turmeric into one tablespoon of low-fat plain yogurt and swirl the mixture into your soup.
  • Offer combo deals. Customers at Newk’s Eatery, headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, order more soup/salad/sandwich combo meals than standalone soups. You can pair a cup of soup with a pizza slice or a sandwich, but you should also let customers order a standalone soup served in a larger portion.
  • Promote soups at lunchtime. Soup is a popular lunch choice, in part because it’s a lighter, healthier option. It has a high water content, which makes you feel full, and if it’s loaded with veggies, even better. Promote your lunchtime soup offerings as a way to stay trim in the wintertime.
  • Send out soup alerts. Text out soup-of-the-day alerts to your customers or post alerts on your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts. Make sure to get high-quality photos of each soup for these alerts.

Related: Check out Chef Bruno's recipe for Creamy Tomato Pasta Soup