Find news

Data and Insights

Lightspeed Data Shows Customers Are Seeking Indulgence With New Year’s Eve Menu Items

 Lightspeed Commerce Inc. released its latest report on the buying behavior of restaurant customers during New Year’s Eve, offering a window into the potential sales opportunities available to American bars and restaurants this holiday season. With Advanced Insights built directly into the Lightspeed Restaurant platform, the company transforms data into useful strategies that help restaurants accelerate growth, provide the best customer experiences and become a go-to destination in their space.

The data*, which is based on a sample of thousands of restaurants and bars powered by Lightspeed across the U.S., highlights the key menu items that perform well with New Year’s Eve customers and which ones underwhelm. 

It comes as no surprise that restaurant goers are looking to indulge during New Year’s Eve, with premium ingredients topping the list of demands. Caviar, lobster and steak see their demand skyrocket, with requests increasing 66%, 31%, and 13% respectively.  Likewise, certain health-conscious options see a decline in demands, with salad sales falling by 23% overall.

Drinkers are also in a festive mood, looking to break out the bubbles to ring in the new year. Sales of sparkling wine —including champagne, prosecco and cava—saw a 111% increase in sales. Liquor, and cocktails, also remain a popular choice, with vodka (+14%), tequila (+11%) and whiskey (+4%) seeing the most significant increases.  

On the flip side, more habitual choices like beer and wine are passed over for their more premium counterparts. Wine sales decrease by 5% and beer sales drop by 23% compared to average Saturdays in December 2022. 

All this celebration ultimately leads to patrons spending more on average. The median check size reached $53 on New Year’s Eve in 2022, a 4% increase over the average median check size on Saturdays throughout December 2022 and a 10% increase over New Year’s Eve in 2021.

Any uptick in revenue is certainly welcome this time of year. As Peter Dougherty, General Manager of Hospitality at Lightspeed Commerce, points out, “New Year’s Eve doesn’t just mark the end of the year—it’s also the beginning of a slower period for restaurants and bars. That’s why turning more tables and getting more customers through the door is so important.“ 

While New Year’s Eve marks the end of the holiday season, and the start of a traditionally slow period for the hospitality industry, Lightspeed data shows there are some trends that can help restaurant and bar owners mitigate the change in the season. Data suggests that restaurant and bar owners can leverage New Year’s resolutions to drive sales:

  • While fewer people go out to eat in January, the ones who do turn to greens: despite a 1.4% decrease in total salad sales in January 2023 compared to December 2022, salad sales as a percentage of total sales for restaurants that offer salads increased by 20% in January 2023 compared to December 2022. This suggests that consumers eat healthier in the early weeks of the new year. 
  • Similarly, alcohol sales drop in the early months of the year. In January 2023, total sales for alcoholic beverages fell by 12% compared to December 2022. Despite the downturn, restaurant and bar owners can continue to leverage consistent sales of classic cocktails like the Margarita, Old Fashioned or Martini, which remain the top three best sellers throughout the year.  

Restaurant and bar owners looking to leverage this data to maximize revenue on New Year’s Eve and in early 2024 will find actionable insights in Lightspeed’s latest article

Lightspeed powers the world’s best bars and restaurants, including: Boulud (New York), Alinea (Chicago), Recess (Chicago), Death & Co (Los Angeles), Mace (New York), Service Bar (Washington, DC), Collective Arts (Toronto), Joe Beef (Montreal), Cloakroom (Montreal), David Rocco Bar Aperitivo (Toronto), Cubitt House (London), Maybe Sammy (Sydney), Sunshine Brewery (Gisborne) and In den Ouden Vogelstruys (Maastricht). 

Dive into Lightspeed Restaurant’s transformative features.


Lightspeed analyzed transactions from thousands of hospitality businesses across the United States powered by Lightspeed Restaurant. The analysis included diverse business categories such as bars, casual dining, upscale, fine dining venues and fast-casual businesses. The analysis compared various sales trends and menu items’ popularity between Saturday December 31, 2022 and the average of three Saturdays in December 2022 (excluding December 24, 2022) as well as comparing January 2023 against December 2022. 

More of this
Data and Insights