Ways to Grow

9 Ways to Tackle Inflation and Boost Your Restaurant's Margins

Unlock our new updates to navigate inflation, boost your restaurant's efficiency, and expand your operation with ease.

4 min read

According to Restaurant365’s 2024 State of the Industry Report, restaurants are struggling with rising food prices and labor costs, all while an industry-wide staffing shortage makes it more difficult to fulfill incoming orders during busy periods. To help, in addition to the promotions you’re already familiar with, we now have two new item-specific promotions that incentivize customers to order outside peak times–which means the same amount of orders minus the stress. In this article, we’ll walk through nine new features to help you maximize your sales, despite inflationary and staffing pressures.

1. Use new promos to space out the timing of incoming orders

In an effort to address fluctuating customer demand and inventory management, DoorDash has created new Happy Hour and Buy One, Get One (BOGO) promotions. These promotions are strategically crafted to not only increase customer traffic during quieter hours but also efficiently push surplus inventory.

Time-Specific Promotions-en
  • Happy Hour Promotions (Coming soon!): Encourage customer orders during your less busy times, balancing demand and preventing staff overload.

  • Buy One Get One (BOGO) Deals: Specifically target surplus inventory and offer customers compelling value to try your restaurant.

Here’s how to add these DoorDash promotions to your toolkit.

2. Fill slow periods with a new revenue stream

DoorDash's Brand Licensing offers a pragmatic approach to utilizing your current kitchen resources more effectively, especially during slower business periods. By adopting recognized brand names, you can tap into new revenue streams without substantial investment and with DoorDash training on how to execute. Dive deeper into how to get started with Brand Licensing.

3. Enhance your menu’s visual appeal

High-quality photos can significantly attract more customers. A DoorDash developer team study found DoorDash photos have the biggest impact on the success of a menu. Another study from April to June 2022 DoorDash study of over 15,000 small restaurants, menus with photos get up to 44% more monthly sales. To help restaurants showcase their menus, we offer professional photography services to capture your most popular dishes. Learn how to request a photo shoot in the Menu Manager section of the Merchant Portal and improve your online presentation.

4. Streamline operations with new tablet features

Enhance your team's efficiency with features like easier order cancellation, single-tap prep time adjustments, a grace period for undoing mistakes, and streamlined communication with customers and Dashers. Educate your team on these new tablet features to optimize your daily operations.

5. Use the Business Manager App’s new feature

Managing a restaurant efficiently requires the right tools, especially when you’re constantly on-the-go. The latest updates to the Business Manager app bring essential features right to your fingertips:

  • Run and analyze marketing campaigns: Directly from your phone, launch campaigns and instantly see their impact, enabling you to adjust your strategies swiftly for maximum effect.

  • View payouts on your phone: With just a few taps, you can review your earnings, helping you make informed decisions when you’re away from your computer.

  • Access a tailored homepage: Get what you need when you need it, thanks to a homepage that adapts to your most frequent tasks and preferences.

Download the Business Manager app today.

6. Take advantage of more streamlined POS management

Our latest resources and features aim to quicken the onboarding process, making it easier to connect your POS system. This streamlined approach is designed to enhance your operational workflow, allowing for quicker adaptation and less time spent on setup. Learn how to start your POS integration onboarding.

7. Add new locations on the Merchant Portal

If you're growing your business with new store locations, you can now incorporate them into your DoorDash restaurant account with just a few clicks. This feature is designed to make your expansion process as efficient as possible, managing multiple locations in a single location. Find out how to manage your store locations.

8. Hear how your Philly peers are thriving in a tough market

Dive into the heart of Philadelphia's culinary scene with the third issue of Secret Menu, DoorDash's celebration of local restaurant culture and small businesses. This issue takes on Philadelphia, with a culinary landscape built on taking risks, breaking rules, and rewriting the cliched underdog narrative. Philly’s restaurants are an extension of its tight-knit neighborhoods, fiercely loyal residents, staggering diversity and rich history — and this issue highlights some of the brilliant, fascinating people behind them. Embark on this flavorful journey and meet the faces behind Philadelphia's dining revolution at Secret Menu Magazine.

9. Mark your calendars for upcoming busy periods

Prepare for a busy season and leverage these occasions for themed menus or special promotions to draw in more guests:

  • May 5 is Cinco de Mayo: A day rich in culture and flavor, perfect for showcasing your best taco and margarita happy hour specials.

  • May 12 is Mother’s Day: For ideas and tips, visit 6 Ways to Increase Mother’s Day Restaurant Sales.

  • June NBA Finals: Consider game-day specials to attract groups looking to enjoy the game with great food delivered directly to their at-home party.

For a comprehensive guide on preparing for these and other occasions, download the Marketing Calendar Toolkit.

Refer local restaurants to DoorDash

If you know restaurants in your area with 75 stores or fewer that aren't yet on DoorDash, referring them can not only broaden their reach but also earn you a $1,000 referral bonus. To qualify, the referred restaurant must sign up and complete 15 orders within 60 days. Here’s how to refer your friends. Please note, this offer is subject to the Merchant Referral Program Terms & Conditions.

DoorDash’s latest features, from streamlined POS integration to expanding your reach with new store locations, offer practical solutions for overcoming current industry challenges. As you navigate rising costs and staffing shortages, utilizing these tools can significantly enhance your operational efficiency and profit margins. 

Looking for other ways to get involved with DoorDash and your community? Join DashRoots, an advocacy network of merchants, Dashers, and consumers.


Merchant Learning

Merchant Learning