Part One: 7 ways to increase revenue streams

Set the Tables is a service that tries to help restauranteurs and business owners do better in your roles. Since the pandemic outbreak, restaurants are pivoting fast to diversify revenue streams. In this two-part series, we consolidated the list of initiatives to guide you through the executions, sample restaurants that we think are doing well and the smaller details. 

In response to the pandemic, we are providing one-time-off COMPLIMENTARY training in digital marketing, on-ground marketing and social media. Reach out to us at

Takeaway, Pickup & Delivery 

Authorities are starting to allow restaurants to open for dine-in. However, the majority of the restaurants across the region made the difficult decision to remain closed and continue to provide pickup and delivery services. Some are even transforming their restaurants permanently to takeaways. 

Across all the initiatives, this is the most visible source that can sustain the business, if done right. There is numerous consideration, from operations to protocol to consider. Here are some factors to consider to increase your delivery revenues: 


  • Minimise physical contact: Update your full menu on your social media for guests to place orders in advance. Consider using Instagram or Facebook Stories, which expire after 24 hours, to feature new deliveries of ingredients, popular items, daily specials, and even item 86. This also sends out a message to your customers to let them know you’re still here, stronger than ever.
  • Go cashless for transactions.
  • Reduce offerings with dairy, raw foods and a variety of components which requires separate plastic packaging. Utensils and napkins are not necessary, as customers will prefer to use their own.
  • Offer family meals. Restaurants that we think are doing well in this:


Deliciae Hospitality Management which includes BTM Mussels & Bar and L’Entrecote The Steak & Fries Bistro offers Family Packs

Esquina’s Homely Spanish Family Meal 

  • Customisation. Include a personal (hand-written) appreciation note in your takeaways with a note to offer pantry staples, groceries to order (hopefully the customer will order again soon). Throw in a small bottle of hand sanitiser or detergent from your existing restaurant. 
Dear (Guest), Thank you for supporting us. We greatly appreciate your business and hope you’ll enjoy the lasagna. This is actually our sous chef, Chef Tim’s grandma recipe!  If you need any pantry items such as vegetables, flour, etc. for your next order, we would love to share more details with you. Thanks for being such an awesome customer!              Cheers, (team) 

Standard Operating Procedures

A sample of Standard Operating Procedure crafted by us here.  

Communication is key. Always keep your customers updated. Le Petit Maison outlined this clearly:

Meal Kits & Pantry Groceries 

Think of the many ways you can maximise your resources through cross-utilisation. One of them is to offer meal kits with how-to tutorials on social media. This method not only reduces labour cost while utilising existing inventories in your outlet. This set up also requires the least effort. 

More and more customers realise the hassle of grocery shopping and the prep work required to prepare meals. Restaurants that we think are doing well in this:

Thailand | Home Space Market 


Singapore | The Cicheti Group 

Hong Kong | Le Petit Maison with orders over $800 include freshly baked baguette, a bottle of olive oil, one ripe tomato and one Italian lemon.

The Cicheti Group and Le Petit Maison also created accompanying Spotify playlist with every kit to get the right vibes preparing the meals at home.

Virtual Interaction

When your shutters are closed, your social media needs to be active. This lets your customers know you’re still here and “we will be back”.Here are some ideas for the types of content: 

  • Host basic cooking classes by your chefs on Instagram or Facebook Live. To build momentum, share the grocery list ( available to order from your restaurant) on what they’ll need in how to recreate the recipe. If possible, showcase your signature dishes!  For inspiration, Massimo Buratta and Thomas Kellar are your to-go chefs on virtual cooking.
  • Behind the scenes. Host short Instagram Live stories with your staffs in how are they coping, tips on staying safe or even doing a (social distancing) dance in the kitchen.

Sharing behind the scenes stories help to put faces behind your brand messaging.

Gift Cards  

The benefit of the gift cards is to build cash reserves and a way to engage with your customers and allow them to dine in your restaurant at a later date.

Consider the below for your terms and conditions as this will directly affect your cash flow:

  1. The timeframe that customers can redeem gift cards once you reopen
  2. Can gift cards be utilised for promotional items?
  3. Public holidays and special occasions
  4. How can they redeem if they lost the physical gift cards?
  5. What happens if the meal is less than the gift card amount?
  6. Gift cards cannot be renewed or exchanged for cash
  7. Applicable for dine-in and take away? Or only dine-in?
  8. What happens if the gift card expired?
  9. You reserve the right to change the above terms and conditions at its sole discretion
  10. Gift cards are subjected to service charges and prevailing government tax

A good example for terms, Q&A: USHG Gift card across its restaurants

 A unique way of Gift Cards launch by myBurgerLab in Kuala Lumpur 

Only limited to 1,000 e-vouchers, these vouchers build an incremental value as the months go by. The longer you keep it, the more valuable it becomes, just like an investment. The percentage of increase for the e-vouchers launched in May is about 4.4% per month if the voucher is kept until February 2021. Within 24 hours, myBurgerLab successfully raised RM50,000 to tie them over for the next month. Read more here


One of the best way of alternate revenue and no expiry date applies! Be sure that your customised apparel and accessories are timeless —designs such as your logo, taglines. Position them as limited edition and why are you launching this line of merchandise – Yardbird is doing this incredibly well.

Coming soon: Part 2 will explore dining spaces usage, liquor to go and other creative ways 

Image credits:  LPM Hong Kong, myBurgerLab
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like