In this article we have prepared a comprehensive analysis of the most popular products to sell in restaurants. Selling retail products is an important way to increase profits for many restaurants. The items sold are often also an advantage for the restaurant and something unique that can attract extra customers.
The following list of products sold in restaurants is based on our study of the offerings of more than 300 restaurants in the US in 2023. In addition, we compiled a list of other most profitable ways to maximize restaurant profits such as services and events. The following products will also be ideal for sale in a store next to a restaurant.
When choosing products to sell in your restaurant, remember that they must fit the type of your customers: how wealthy they are, what style they have, what they like, and what products suit them.
MOST POPULAR RETAIL ITEMS SOLD IN RESTAURANTS
1. Unique sauces – BBQ, spicy sauces, tomatoe sauces, ketchups or canned version of your famous sauce etc.
2. Soda – cold beverages in bottles and cans are one of the most frequently purchased products both in shops and restaurants.
3. Gift vouchers & gift cards – like wine and dine or family dinner voucher.
4. Hand sanitizers – also wet tissues and cleanix might be selling well.
5. Regional delicacies related to the restaurant – like caviar, pesto, limoncello, curry paste or ayran.
6. Chocolates & pralines – such as small chocolates, pralines, various kinds of sweets or sweet nuts.
7. Bottled water – both carbonated and non-carbonated. This is another of the simplest and most popular products sold in restaurants.
8. Jars of pickled and preserved goods – an integral part of many cuisines are delicious vegetables meats or fruits that are prepared in a special way and are traditionally sold in jars such as marinated asparagus or marinated mushrooms.
9. Cigarettes – this is another of the most common products to sell in restaurant. It is not offered on the menu, but can usually be purchased from the waiter.
10. Cigars – this is a product you can get in some good and more expensive restaurants.
11. Wine bottles – although wine in restaurants tends to be expensive and not very cost-effective to buy to-go, selling wine in bottles can be a great idea in restaurant-wine bars or in French or Italian type restaurants.
12. Premium preserved meat – hams like prosciutto, sausages like chorizo etc.
13. Premium canned seafood – e.g. canned anchois.
14. Ice cream – another of the most popular products to sell at restaurant.
15. Tshirts & apparel related to your restaurant – e.g. Japanese restaurant selling traditional Japanese apparel.
16. Premium cheese – e.g. original Italian, French and Swiss cheeses like parmiggiano or gorgonzola.
17. Breath mints & chewing gum – are some of the most popular products to sell in restaurants.
18. High quality roasted coffee beans – this is a product that will fit almost any restaurant. You can sell self-roasted coffee seeds in packets or other interesting brands of good quality coffee.
19. Yerba mate & tea – premium yerba mate and tea, also bottled yerba mate, tea and ice tea.
20. Craft beer & premium beer browlers and kegs – especially attractive when you offer some rare or craft types of beer.
21. Baked goods – often there are bakery & bistro – places where you can both eat and buy retail baked goods to take them out (e.g. pretzels, pastries, baguettes, bread, bagels etc.).
22. Grocery products – Bistro & grocery store – it’s an increasingly popular idea to sell goods as if they were in a grocery store, while serving hot dishes and drinks.
23. Jams, honey & sweet syrups – e.g. organic honey or black plum syrup.
24. Premium dinnerware & dining accessories – like vintage style bowls or jugs or handmade dinnerware.
25. Premium drinking accessories – like cups, glasses, mugs, thermoses, water bottles.
26. Unique spices related to your restaurant – like this spice blend available on Amazon.
27. Custom printed tote bags – e.g. with a logo of your restaurant.
28. Cooking books – selling cookbooks with unique and interesting recipes is a particularly good idea for restaurants serving unusual and rare food (or traditional food from different countries around the world, such as Icelandic cuisine, Nigerian cuisine, or Ukrainian cuisine).
29. Instant stain removers – like this one available here on Amazon.
30. Local souvenirs – if the restaurant is located in a popular tourist destination, a good idea to increase the earnings of such a restaurant may be to sell the most popular local souvenirs and popular local products.
Other retail products that can be very profitable to sell at restaurant:
- halal canned or frozen food
- kosher canned or frozen food
- vegan canned & frozen food and drinks
- dog snacks
- bottled lemonade
- vintage products
BEST WAYS TO INCREASE RESTAURANT SALES
Host events in your restaurant (let people who need space to do event in your restaurant e.g. authors, businessmen, artists, coaches or cooking classes).
Collaborate – with other brands and businesses. Great example is selling some unique food from brands that want to collaborate with you.
Cooperate with influencers – offer them some free space, free food,
Vip club for loyal clients with promotions (sms notifications about events and promotions can be good idea too)
Cooperate with popular food delivery services (A great way to increase your sales and let more poeple know about your restaurant)
Increase speed of service – offering restaurant customers professional, friendly and quick service is one of the best ways to attract more customers to your restaurant.
Optimize your Google Business Profile – improving online visibility is a very good way to improve restaurant profits. To do this, you need to set up and properly optimize your Google Business Profile. If the restaurant has a website it is essential to optimize the SEO of such a site as well.
Optimize profile of your restaurant on Google Maps – add opening hours, contact details, images of the most popular food, high quality images of the menu and convince your clients to give you positive reviews.
Providing promotions and happy hours can be a great way to get more clients
OTHER MOST POPULAR GOOD SOLD IN RESTAURANTS
- Coffee (drip coffee, caramel macchiato, white chocolate mocha, latte, cappuccino)
- Sweet potato fries
- Onion rings
- Macaroni & cheese
- Hot dog
- Corn dog
- Salad (coleslaw/ caesar / chicken)
- Chicken (fried / grilled)
- Burgers (hamburger / cheeseburger)
Check also: 50 TOP Small Shop Ideas That Make Good Money
And in your opinion, what retail items are most often sold in restaurants? Share your knowledge with us in the comments section below!
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