How to Boost Restaurant Revenues
It might be difficult to maintain your restaurant's sales in the face of tough competition and swiftly shifting trends. Finding a balance between getting new clients and retaining existing consumers is crucial to success. Creating a strategy and breaking it down into doable steps is the best way to tackle any new goal. We've selected six restaurant improvement techniques that you might use to assist you to achieve your aim of improving restaurant sales:
Diversify Your Services
Restaurant delivery and takeout services have been continuously growing in popularity, and they are critical to maintaining sales in the current environment. Many states are limiting dine-in services owing to restaurant restrictions caused by the coronavirus outbreak. You can help grow sales and weather the crisis by broadening your services to include takeout, delivery, and curbside collection. Here are some pointers if you haven't yet decided to offer these services:
- Create a takeout and delivery menu - Create a separate takeout and delivery menu that is a simplified version of your regular menu. Select foods that are simple to prepare and transport. Avoid fragile things that may break or melt during transport.
- Provide curbside pick up - You can offer curbside pickup to your customers for the fastest takeout service. If you have a parking lot, set aside a few spots near the entrance. Train your employees on how to properly handle curbside orders and take payment.
- Implement delivery services - If you've been considering adding delivery services to your restaurant, now is the time to do so. Due to the availability of dependable third-party delivery services, you don't even need your own delivery fleet. You can adjust by bringing your services to your consumers' homes if they are unable to come to you.
- Optimize your drive-thru window - Keep your drive-thru window supplied with the supplies you'll need to serve clients fast if you already have one. To avoid being forgotten, keep napkins, plastic cutlery, and condiments out of sight. Check your speakers to make sure they're working properly and that consumers can plainly hear you. You can also set expectations with your drive-thru personnel regarding how long orders should take to finish.
- Institute online ordering - Provide online ordering for takeout, delivery, and drive-thru service on your restaurant's website. Many clients prefer to shop online rather than over the phone since they can place purchases instantaneously and at any time. Accepting online payments will speed up the entire procedure.
Make Your Mobile Presence More Visible
It's no secret that more and more people are using their mobile devices to access the internet. The bulk of your clients will bounce right off the page if your business's website isn't optimized for phones and tablets, no matter how much work you put into it. Make sure your website looks amazing and works properly on all devices, including tablets, phones, and computers. To improve your mobile presence, try the following suggestions:
- List your business on Google My Business - If your restaurant doesn't have a website, the simplest thing you can do to help people find you is to create a Google My Business (GMB) entry that includes your address, hours of operation, phone number, and photos of your establishment. Customers can also leave reviews and upload images of your culinary dishes to your GMB listings.
- Create Social Media Accounts - Similarly, keep an active online presence by creating social media accounts for your company. Put one of your supervisors in charge of responding to enquiries if you don't have time to monitor posts on social media.
- Make announcements through social media - Another advantage of having a corporate social media account is that you can publish announcements for any upcoming events. It can be used to notify customers if your business is temporarily closed due to a power outage or another unanticipated event. It's also a fantastic method to engage with your audience and humanize your company. Overall, social media can be used to implement many of the client retention techniques listed above.
Attract New Customers to Your Restaurant
You're presumably well aware of the significance of first impressions. A returning customer is more inclined to overlook a poor service than a new consumer. A forgettable meal experience is much more prevalent than a terrible one. Making a small extra effort to provide a positive first impression to your guests will go a long way toward converting them into regular customers. Take steps to stay in touch with them and develop a personal relationship with them.
Three Strategies for Bringing in New Customers to Your Restaurant
You understand the importance of acquiring new consumers; the challenge now is how to do so. Here are a few examples of common techniques:
- Participate in the city’s restaurant week - While each city has its own version of this tradition, the main premise is that the city selects one week out of the year to highlight its eateries, and local restaurant owners can opt-in or out. Restaurants that participate advertise special week-long discounts. Offering discounts encourage people to try your food, which is a wonderful approach to gain new clients.
- Use marketing techniques to attract new customers - Of course, there are many traditional marketing strategies you can use, but ad spots can be expensive. Having a great social media presence, on the other hand, is free. If you want to spend some money on sponsored social media advertising, it can be a more cost-effective option than buying newspaper ads. You can even encourage clients to submit feedback about their eating experience with you, which will help you market your business.
- Develop a first time customer program - This usually entails giving out coupons to entice people to return. Alternatively, with the purchase of an entree, you can offer your new clients a complimentary appetizer, dessert, or beverage. This is a fantastic way to show your consumers how much you value their company, and it can help you stand out from the crowd.
Increase Customer Loyalty by Using Customer Retention Strategies
You can think of your loyal consumers as free advertisement in many circumstances. One of the most effective ways for any business to generate traction is through word of mouth. People often distrust paid advertisements, yet they trust a friend's recommendation for a favorite restaurant. This indicates that your loyal consumers are crucial to your company's growth and should be treated as such.
Three Techniques for Retaining Customers
Many successful restaurants employ a few strategies to keep their top clients coming back again and again:
- Develop a customer loyalty program - You may set up your loyalty program in a variety of methods, but one of the most typical is to establish a membership card that tracks each time a customer enters your restaurant so they may work toward receiving a free item of your choice. Free beverages and desserts are frequently a wonderful alternative because they are less expensive than an entree but still make your guests feel valued. You can create a card that monitors points in your POS system or a punch card with a fresh hole for each client visit.
- Get involved in the local community - Hosting a charity event for a cause you care about is a wonderful opportunity to give back to the community, and your customers will notice. Choose a day when you will donate 10% of your profits to a charity, for example. Customers will know to dine in your restaurant that day if they want to contribute to the cause if you advertise the event ahead of time. Another wonderful method to assist the local community feel invested in your business is to host culinary courses, beer tastings, or anything else that teaches clients about your product.
- Organize events - Offering a location for community activities such as corporate parties, for example, might go a long way toward establishing a relationship with the community. Customers are more likely to visit your establishment on a weekday if you have weekly trivia. Booking live music is another excellent approach to encourage people to return to your establishment on a regular basis. Overall, arranging games or music in your place makes guests feel more at ease, which encourages them to remain longer and order more from your menu.
Train Your Servers on Upselling Techniques
With simple chat, a smart waiter may enhance your restaurant's revenue. Effective upselling allows customers to make their own decisions and does not put pressure on them to buy more. Rather, it will sow the germ of temptation that leads people to order more than they intended. There are three primary upselling suggestions to bear in mind when introducing these strategies to your staff:
- Describe a menu item - Soon after customers are seated, there is an opportunity to upsell. Encourage your staff to describe their favorite specialty drinks on the menu before taking drink orders. Even if a consumer had intended to drink only water, pointing out inventive cocktails may encourage them to sample one.
- Assume your guests want an entrée - You can use the same method you used to make the drinks. Servers can just begin discussing things on the menu to encourage consumers to consider trying one of them. Asking consumers whether they'd like an extra side with their meal is another frequent upselling opportunity. If you charge extra for that side, make sure to specify it so your guests aren't surprised when they receive the bill.
- Suggest more things to try - Suggestions for dessert or after-dinner drinks should be made after everyone has finished their entrée. If you list a few dessert selections, your clients may be enticed to sample one.
If your server is conversing with a first-time customer, there are even more opportunities to upsell because they will be eager to learn about your menu items. They're also more likely than a regular diner to try the server's recommendations.
Maximize Your Table Turnover Rate
The more food you sell, the more money you make, and serving more people is an easy way to sell more food. This is where the importance of table turnover becomes apparent. While you can't control how long visitors take to finish their meals, there are a few tactics you can use to improve your service's efficiency. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Have an organized seating system - Restaurants employ seating systems like hostess stands and reservations to estimate how many customers to expect and control the flow of people coming through the door.
- Keep your serving staff on schedule - Make sure your restaurant has enough personnel to cover all of the visitors in the dining area, and train your staff to take drink orders quickly and bring the bill out quickly at the end of the meal.
- Use technology to your advantage - To avoid the need for waiters to trek back and forth to the register to accept credit cards, some restaurants will adopt mobile POS systems.
- Update your dining room - Some dining rooms are simply designed to encourage guests to stay longer. When it comes to furniture placement, there are a few strategies your business can employ to urge customers to move onward. Furthermore, sitting small groups at smaller tables can help ensure that you have enough space for larger groups.
- Make your menu more compact - Limiting the number of items on your menu simplifies everything from the time it takes for guests to choose their meal to the time it takes for your chef to make each dish.
If your restaurant's slow turnover is a problem, try a few different approaches to see if you can increase the pace of your dining room.
Assessing and reassessing how things are functioning is a crucial element of running any successful firm. Restaurant operators are always looking for ways to streamline operations and boost productivity. There are numerous elements to consider when looking for techniques to increase sales in your restaurant. The good news is that many of the basic principles apply to all types of dining establishments, so if you stick to the basic checklist of attracting new customers while thinking of ways to keep them, and fill in the gaps with practical business techniques and restaurant marketing, you'll be well on your way to success in no time.