On the Line / Retention / An All-You-Can-Eat Model Can Lead to More Tips

An All-You-Can-Eat Model Can Lead to More Tips

At Capo Boston, a one-time all-you-can-eat pasta experiment on the night before the Boston Marathon led to the implementation of “Bottomless Wednesdays,” where once a week, guests have the option to pay $30 for an unlimited amount of handmade pasta. 

Chef de cuisine Ciro Fodera told us it took some trial and error at first, but now the all-you-can-eat pasta promotion has nearly doubled the restaurant’s revenue for Wednesdays. On a typical Wednesday, the restaurant was bringing in $9,000, but now it’s between $16,000-17,000. 

He said it helps that pasta, even when handmade, is an extremely cheap ingredient. He's also cross-trained his back-of-house staff to to help out the pasta station on Bottomless Wednesdays so there’s no need for extra labor on those nights. In this model, front-of-house staff also get a boost — they get an extra busy day, which means more tips, but it’s also a benefit for other reasons: “They get the opportunity to upsell because they’re with that table longer and they develop more of a connection with that guest,” said Fodera. 

He added that in having guests stay longer, they have a special experience and connect more with their server, so the guests come back.  

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