How to Maximize Off Peak Profits

Many restaurant owners place so much emphasis on bringing in customers during peak hours, but overlook how to maximize off peak profits. Every restaurant experiences slow hours—customers just aren’t as inclined to visit in between normal meal times.

There are two ways you can maximize off peak profits: bring in more customers, and reduce overhead costs. Here’s how to leverage the technology you have at your disposal to accomplish this:


Are you Interested in Finding Out More Information on How You Can Use Your Restaurant Technology to Maximize Off Peak Hours and Grow Your Bottom Line?

Loyalty Programs

Offering a valuable rewards program is a great way to bring in a steady stream of customers at all hours. Use information garnered from your program to develop ideas that appeal to your specific customer base. You can offer tailored promotions to customers during off-peak hours to increase redemption rate, or offer more rewards for orders placed during lunch hours. The goal is to get your customers to come back again and again and maximize profits at all hours.


Leverage promotions that highlight your off-peak hours. You can have specials and combos available only during hours and days you are slowest. These can include “kids eat free” promotions and free dessert nights. You can offer coupons to your dinner crowd for a half-priced lunch or free soup or salad with the purchase of an entrée at dinner to keep them coming back.

Use data from your sales reports to see when your slowest days are, and customize reports from your restaurant POS software to watch for trends and fluctuations. This can give you a better idea of what your top sellers are during off-peak times, and when you should offer these promos.

Staffing Optimization

Another way to maximize off peak profits is to optimize your staff and streamline operations so you can reduce operating costs. Utilize the scheduling software on your POS to control minimum staffing levels and see how many employees you need to cover slow shifts. Coordinate schedules so that more workers arrive just before peak hours, or move prep times to off-peak meal periods instead of the start of the day.

It’s a good idea to cross-train your staff to fulfill other roles as needed. Even though you may have fewer employees during off-peak hours, you may find yourself with a busload of tourists that need to be taken care of, so it’s good to have employees you can float around to fill needs.

Hold Special Events

Are your weeknights slower? Increase your traffic by hosting events like wine tastings and trivia nights, where customers can enjoy a new, fun experience on a week night. Use audio/visual equipment and digital signage to enhance the experience. You can also open your space to host private events like office parties, meetings, professional events, and rehearsal dinners or receptions.