Profit Pitfalls to Avoid During Inlander Restaurant Week

Do’s and don’ts for the 10 most delicious days of the year


1. Don’t offer dishes you can’t serve properly. 

Research shows diners eat out during Restaurant Weeks to try new places. Make sure you put your best foot forward and offer a three-course menu with items you can prepare well and consistently, while juggling a larger volume of diners. 

2. Don’t get lax with reservations. 

You only have 10 days — so make them count. Confirm large parties, retain credit card information with cancellation penalties and make confirmation calls to all guests. 

3. Don’t fail to plan.

As Benjamin Franklin famously said, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Take the time to engineer and analyze your menu so profits don’t slide right through you fingers. Need help? Use Sysco’s online tool to help you manage food costs and maximize profits or schedule a customized menu consultation or business review with Sysco. 

 “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”


1. Get started early. 

Planning is critical. Give yourself time to test Restaurant Week menu items for taste and prep time. Consider testing these dishes as specials to get guest feedback and train the staff in preparation and serving. 

2. You do you. 

The number one reason why diners eat out during Inlander Restaurant Week is to try a restaurant new to them. It gives diners the nudge they need to leave their neighborhoods and try that restaurant they’ve always wanted to go to. That means you’re likely to see new faces during Restaurant Week. Make sure your Restaurant Week menu tells your restaurant’s story and represents what you do all year long, while also offering something new to your loyal customers.  

3. Learn from last year. 

Use the historical data in your POS system to look back at last year’s Restaurant Week performance. How much did your sales increase? What was your total number of guests? Table turnaround time? Average check size? Reviewing this type of historical data can help you more confidently forecast this year’s overall sales along with labor costs and scheduling.

More Sysco Tips and Tricks

for Inlander Restaurant Week

Why Speed Scratch Products Can Mean a Better Profit Margin

Restaurant Week is always a hectic time, when your team is stretched in the front and back of house. A nationwide labor shortage and increases in minimum wage and employee benefits this year can add to the pressure, making saving time and labor in the kitchen even more critical to have a successful and profitable Restaurant Week and first quarter.

6 Questions to Ask Yourself When Planning Your Restaurant Week Menu

You can begin uploading your Inlander Restaurant Week menu NOW. To have a super successful event that impacts your bottom line during Inlander Restaurant Week and beyond, Sysco Spokane’s Business Resource Consultant encourages you to ask these six questions.

Farm Fresh Spotlight: Sackmann Cattle Company

The Sackmann’s roots in Eastern Washington run deep, going back over a century. Owners Jeff and Jaime Sackmann both grew up on farming and ranching homesteads settled in the 1900’s. While ranching is in their blood, the Sackmann’s have continued to develop a contemporary, and successful breeding philosophy. Jaime holds a Masters Degree in Animal Science with an emphasis on ruminant nutrition and meat science.

Wine Service 101

Tips and tricks for serving wine with your Inlander Restaurant Week menu

Offsetting Rising Labor Costs

With Washington’s minimum raise increasing in January and employee benefits expenses on the rise, restaurants are under more pressure than ever to manage their bottom line. “As restaurants are asking themselves how are they going to manage the increases in labor costs, we’re hearing from a lot of our customers that they don’t want to jack up menu prices,” explains Sysco Business Resource Consultant Ricky Webster. “But how do you do that?” Managing your food cost is a good place to start. Here are three tips from Ricky to keep your food cost in line, and drive profits up.

Farm Fresh Spotlight: Carlton Farms

When you order Carlton Farms pork or beef, you’re ordering quality you can see and taste. What you’re also getting with each order is five decades of experience raising animals naturally and humanely– without hormones, animal proteins or growth accelerants.

A Better Bottom Line

Running a profitable restaurant has never been easy. And it’s not about to get any easier, as new wage and compensation laws kick in for Washington State. So how can your restaurant absorb higher labor costs?

“Keeping a close eye on your food cost is critical,” says Sysco Business Resource Consultant Ricky Webster. In our last Prep for Success newsletter, Ricky offered three tips to keep food costs down through inventory control, goal setting and consistency.

3 Reasons to start creating your Restaurant Week menu right now

We just made it through Thanksgiving. The Christmas season catering madness is about to start. But it is time to start thinking about your Inlander Restaurant Week menu. Here are three reasons to get started now, to make sure you have the most successful Restaurant Week possible.

Farm Fresh Spotlight: The Royal Dairy

While Washington State may better known for its apples than its dairy farms, its milk producers are certainly worth celebrating. Royal Dairy, nestled in the Columbia Basin in Grant County is leading the nation with its commitment to becoming a zero-waste dairy.

Why Powerful Menu Descriptions Mean Profits

As you are putting the finishing touches on your Inlander Restaurant Week menu, make sure you pay as much attention to your written descriptions, as you do to developing the delicious dishes you’ll feature.

Research shows that a restaurant can increase sales by up to 30 percent just by utilizing enticing menu descriptions. Thirty percent! “Powerful descriptions are particularly important during a Restaurant Week promotion, because many diners are actively comparing your menu to other restaurants and selecting eateries solely based on menu offerings,”

Cashing in on Restaurant Week All Year Long

Tips for turning Restaurant Week customers into regulars

Research from Cake, a tech-solution division of Sysco, shows restaurants typically see a revenue boost of about 23 percent during an average Restaurant Week promotion. That can be a nice boost to your first quarter bottom line. Even better — how can you turn those first time customers into loyalists?

We asked Sysco Business Resource Consultant Ricky Webster for his tips for bringing those Inlander Restaurant Week customers back.

p pixel