5 Restaurant Lunch Specials to Boost Sales

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Here's five awesome lunch special ideas for restaurants, bars and cafes to help boost your sales. Get the full list of lunch specials ideas to try now!

While offices are still not as busy as they used to be, more and more companies are announcing plans to safely usher employees back to their desks. Needless to say, this comes as a welcome relief to restaurant owners, who are chomping at the bit to reinvigorate their all-important lunch services. And since the transition is likely to happen slowly, this is a great opportunity to test the waters, and experiment with lunch specials that have a likelihood of boosting sales. 

Need some inspiration to get started? The following lunch specials are sure to be ordered in heavy rotation, and remind area office workers why lunch time (specifically at your restaurant!) is their favorite part of the workday.

Do a little menu engineering analysis and find out which specials would fit into your menu today.

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5 Lunch Specials Ideas for Restaurants to Boost Sales

1. The Healthy Salad

Whether guests are looking to maintain the healthy eating habits they developed at home, or get back to the virtuous office routine they’ve struggled to keep at home, there will always be demand for a flavorful, fresh, and low-calorie salad, that sends them back to their desk full of energy. 

Just know which toppings you can afford to include in the price, versus the ones you’ll need to charge extra for, in order to keep your bottom line in equally excellent shape.

2. The Sandwich or Wrap

A sandwich or wrap makes a hearty alternative to a salad. And there are ways to experiment with potential profitability, based on what you offer as a side—be it fries, chips, soup or even just a pickle. A “half-sandwich” option may also be appreciated by budget-minded patrons, who don’t feel like stashing leftovers in the communal office fridge! 

3. The Warm Bowl

What better than a bowl for flexibility? Guests can select a base that ranges from lettuce to zucchini noodles to grains, and switch toppings in and out as they please. Bowls are also ideal for gluten-free diners, who can’t do sandwiches or wraps, but don’t necessarily want to be restricted to salads. 

4. The Smoothie

Smoothies are great for busy bees, who’re in a hurry to get to their next meeting, but don’t want their stomach grumbling during the presentation. And since they’re generally cost-effective to make, you can consider throwing in a side treat such as a granola bar, to make a smoothie special particularly appealing.  

5. The Burger

There’s a social aspect to office working, and you don’t always want to be stuck with a smoothie at your desk. A decadent burger offers a cut-above lunch experience. Although keep in mind that it doesn’t need to come with as many bells and whistles (or side dishes) as it might during dinner service. 

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Lunch Special Ideas for Bars

Struggling to remind patrons that you actually serve great food, as well as terrific booze? In addition to keeping word of mouth strong, through constant reminders to the guests that line your bar, you may want to up your marketing game. Consider well-timed emails sent an hour or so before lunch, or a sign outside the door reminding passerby that you’re not just open after work.  

Lunch Specials Ideas for Cafes

Lines may be out the door during breakfast, but afternoons can be frustrating for cafe owners, who see their carefully crafted lunch specials passed over in favor of a quick coffee or pastry. So why not take advantage of the situation? 

Try offering a free pastry to guests that purchase your lunch special. Or implement a loyalty program that rewards patrons with a free coffee, after purchasing lunch enough times. Either way, being aware of your guests' habits will allow you to think creatively, in order to brainstorm how you might introduce better, more revenue-generating habits! 

Final Thoughts

As office buildings begin bustling, and workers start to re-establish routines, make sure that eating at your establishment is one of them. Whether advertised through loyalty programs or email marketing, an exciting line-up of lunch specials is sure to have hungry commuters swarming through your doors. 

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DISCLAIMER: This information is provided for general informational purposes only, and publication does not constitute an endorsement. Toast does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of any information, text, graphics, links, or other items contained within this content. Toast does not guarantee you will achieve any specific results if you follow any advice herein. It may be advisable for you to consult with a professional such as a lawyer, accountant, or business advisor for advice specific to your situation.