Running a Restaurant/Restaurant contests


Hi David,

I've been running a restaurant for about a year now and I'm thinking of organizing a contest as a means of increasing sales..i  would to ask do customers have to spend a particular amount before they are entered into the competition and if not how do contests improve sales without buying something to be entered..


Hi Sanmi,

It may not be this way in your country, but in many places you cannot require a purchase in order for people to enter a contest.  The laws here prevent that in most circumstances.  As an alternative, you can allow guests to enter once EACH time they visit your the more often they come, the more entries they get.  Another idea is to enlist your employees to recruit new guests by having a contest for the employees with prizes.  

There are many, many more effective local store marketing ideas to build business.  Which ones will work best for you will depend upon the type of restaurant you operate, its location, the meal dayparts served (breakfast, lunch, dinner), etc., the average age and income of your customers, etc.  We help restauranteurs by creating a custom "LSM" (local store marketing - also called "guerilla marketing") manual specifically for their restaurant.  If you have an interest in getting a quote from us, let me know and we will be happy to provide you with a proposal.  Our fees are reasonable and we work across the country and across the globe.

Another suggestion is to make sure your menu is kept updated.  A menu makeover can often increase sales and profits pretty dramatically.  Last two things.  Make sure your servers are trained to suggest items to your guests.  There are revenue increases to be had this way as well.  And last but not least, make sure your operation is "guest focused."  By that I mean that guest satisfaction is taught, practiced and measured.  You should have a system in place for this.  Again, these are tools that we offer should you be interested.

If you would like to contact me directly, my contact info is below.  I would be happy to have a no pressure, no fee phone call with you to talk about ideas for building your business.  Just email me and we can set a time.

I wish you the best!

David Foster
Foster and Associates
2422 Red Ivy Place, Springfield, MO 65804
(417) 877-0428 office
(417) 849-1903 cell

Running a Restaurant

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David Foster


We have been in the restaurant industry for over 40 years and consult with restaurants, casinos, food court concepts, bars and hotels nationwide. We love helping restaurant operators succeed and can answer any questions related to restaurant start-ups, business plans, operations, labor costs, food costs, liquor costs, employee turnover, marketing, operational improvements, franchising etc.


I am a seasoned foodservice veteran with nearly 50 years experience in the industry. My extensive background includes overseeing multi-unit, multi-concept restaurant operations ranging from cafeterias to fine dining, and everything in between. I have a strong hands-on operations and marketing background that give me a unique insight into the “Real World” challenges of the restaurant industry. I have extensive concept development, menu and recipe development and kitchen layout and design expertise. I am effective in analyzing operational needs and identifying practical solutions in today’s very dynamic foodservice environment. In the industry, I am respected by my peers and have served on the Board of Directors of the Missouri Restaurant Association and have been a featured speaker on the subject of Home Meal Replacement at various national events. I also served on the Culinary Advisory Board of the Ozark Technical College as well as serving on the Board of Directors of Big Brothers, Big Sisters of the Ozarks.

Member of the National Restaurant Association, Past Board Member of the Missouri Restaurant Association, Past Board Member of Big Brothers, Big Sisters of the Ozarks

The Consultant, Seasoned Views (a trade magazine for the restaurant industry, QSR - a publication dedicated to quick serve and fast casual concepts.

Attended Drury University, Springfield, MO, Varsity Management, SRI

Awards and Honors
I have had restaurant projects featured in The Consultant (a magazine for foodservice consultants with worldwide circulation). I was honored for achieving the highest level of management competence by the Selection Research Institute.

Past/Present Clients
Sugar Creek Casino, Classic Rock Coffee Company, Mark Twain Brewing Company, Springfield Brewing Company, Bruegger's Bagels, M&M Grill, Paco Joe's, Holiday Inn, Hilton Garden Inn, Buffalo Run Casino, Golden Corral Corporation, Crosswinds Café, Chinese Chef, Mr. Dunderbak's Old World Market & Café, Bullfeather’s Wings and Grille, Mainstreet Market, Bear Rock Café, Cartoon's Oyster Bar & Grill, T's Redneck Roadhouse, Jim's Steakhouse, Neighbor's Mill Bakery & Café, Crazy Vine, San Francisco Oven, Maria's Mexican Restaurant, Andy's Frozen Custard, The Granite Club, Umi Japanese Steak, Seafood and Sushi, Springfield Grocer Company, US Foodservice, Premium Standard Farms, Smithfield, Dakota Organic, Kraft Foods, Allens, Inc.

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