Profitable Menu Items to Serve Now

When isn’t it a good time to find ways to increase revenue and pump up the bottom line? Since our number one goal is to help you and your business be successful, we’ve compiled a list of the most profitable food and beverage items you can put on your menu 
and how to keep them that way.

Fried Foods

According to Technavio, a leading global technology research and advisory company, fried food products account for a profit margin of around 75%. proudly boasts the same statistic, noting that French Fries are often the most profitable item on the menu. Efficient use of oil while keeping it fresh is key to maintaining that high level of profitability. Frymaster’s Filter Quick with EasyTouch electric fryers were designed to do just that, reducing operating costs by using 40% less oil (30 lbs.). To learn more about tools for successfully preparing, holding, and serving fried foods, check out one of our most popular posts to date, Serving the Perfect French Fry.


A dollop of sour cream or guacamole can net an add-on charge of $1 to $2 with a significantly smaller food cost, netting your business a tidy profit every time. Frequent prep or waste of unused product due to improper storage can eat into those margins, however. A Cambro food pan with a Seal Cover will protect fragile guacamole from discoloring by keeping air out. This practice will also enable you to make larger batches and reduce prep time—a win win.

Fountain Drinks

Soft drinks turn huge profits, often up to 90%. With a cost of about $0.25 per drink, fountain beverages easily command a price of $2.00 or more. Even if you’ve shifted to doing more delivery than on premise, you can still take advantage of the high profit margins of fountain drinks. Cam GoBox Beverage Holders fit into an insulated Cam GoBox to hold drinks securely upright and in place while supporting either hot or cold beverage temperatures.


Alcohol profit margins average 75-80%. Adding cocktails to the menu will push you to the higher end of the spectrum. The right bartending tools play an important role. Measurement tools such as Barfly jiggers are essential to establishing pour standards, controlling costs, and serving a consistent cocktail product. Shakers and strainers give staff the tools to craft premium cocktails that command a premium price and achieve profits into the 85% range. Doing more takeout and delivery than dine-in? If your state’s laws allow it, pack up cocktails to-go with TableCraft’s translucent, Sealable Beverage Pouches, a fun way to showcase your signature creations.

Wine and Beer

According to small business resource website Chron, draft beer should generate a margin of about 80%, while bottled beer margins will likely yield a few percent less. Wine margins tend to be lower, from 60-70%, but can add to the bottom line more quickly since the numbers are all higher, especially with premium wines. The way wine is served can make a big difference in how its value is perceived. Quality stemware, or stemless glassware if it suits your style, like these Supremo Collection beauties by Luigi Bormioli, are worth the investment to ensure your customers have a positive wine-drinking experience they perceive as being worth what they paid for it.

Serving outside? When glassware isn’t practical, shatterproof polycarbonate options such as Aliso Barware by Cambro offer a safe and stylish way to improve presentation and add value to beer, wine, and cocktails. The Aliso Collection includes wine, pilsner, beer mug, and martini barware that has the look and clarity of glass, while being virtually unbreakable.    

Specialty Coffees

What consumers are willing to spend on a latte or cappuccino is a well-documented phenomenon. That higher price tag paired with only a slightly higher cost of goods can yield 10-15% higher profits than a regular cup of drip coffee. Should you hire a barista? You could, but you don’t have to. Crem Unity is a fully automatic coffee machine that yields barista-quality drinks at the push of a button, so the staff you already have can learn to use it with minimal training and increase revenue with a little suggestive selling to upsell to a specialty coffee. Unity’s coffee menu comes with a wide range of taste-optimized recipes, everything from a powerful espresso to a perfectly rounded filter coffee. Watch a demonstration here. And if you’re doing delivery, don’t forget about the Cam GoBox Beverage Holder to transport specialty coffees.

Need help brainstorming ideas or finding the right equipment to support profitable menu items? We’re here to help you stay strong. Contact us.


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