updated - April 9, 2020 Thursday EDT
Being in the food industry, particularly in the restaurant business, is both challenging and rewarding. It is challenging because it entails the need to guarantee that the food served is freshly prepared and high quality. It is at the same time rewarding because a pleasant restaurant experience not only nourishes a person's hungry stomach, but also revitalizes a person's tired mood. If you are in the restaurant business, here are five tips to increase your sales.
Since the birth of the first cellular phones and early gadgets, people have often been on their mobile devices. With more and more products and services offered online through the web or mobile devices, it is imperative to consider this as a part of your marketing strategy. Make your digital presence felt by optimizing the use of phones and tablets. Enlist the services of reliable developers who will create a site for you that provides an enhanced user experience even when accessed in mobile devices.
However, a digital footprint requires additional development and maintenance costs. A cost-effective solution for this challenge is simply posing your restaurant's address and business hours on an online listing. In this way, customers will be able to know the numbers to call for a booking or reservation. You can also set up a social media account for your restaurant and most social media platforms offer this service for free. These platforms may charge a certain fee, though, should you wish to advertise.
One innovative idea is to offer a new variety of refreshing drinks to complement the dishes offered in your restaurant. You can acquire frozen drink machines from FBD to allow you to offer on-demand and high-margin preferences of new customers. With these machines, the flavors of your frozen beverages can be changed dramatically to suit your customer demands.
Another strategy is to participate in trade fairs and conventions where you can showcase your restaurants, along with the specialties you offer. There are even cities with a certain restaurant week where participating restaurants offer special promotions and discounts valid for a week. You can design some of these promos to be specifically intended for first-time customers, which is a great way to attract a new customer base.
Most customers who keep coming back to their favorite restaurants are not only doing so because of the food. Returning customers go back more so because of the social experience that involves a great service and a personal touch. Add to this a number of perks, such as loyalty and rewards program to encourage them to keep coming back. The most common form of a loyalty program is by offering membership cards that allows them to accumulate points which can be used for a free meal in the future. You can also offer free drinks instead of a whole meal to lessen the cost, but in the same way, you are assured that your customers feel appreciated. Be open to your customer's feedback and perform changes in your restaurant as necessary.
Another way to retain your loyal customers and keep them coming back is by involving them in paying it forward to the community. Organize a charity event and reach out to your customers to help out. A feeding program for the homeless or a cooking class wherein the profits fund their basic needs are great to start with. Apart from being able to do something good for your community, your customers will surely notice your effort and pitch in to help out.
Different customers have different needs. Some are always on the go, without having the time to really sit down at your restaurant to enjoy a good meal. Hence, you can opt to have a separate take out menu printed out for their convenience. This is also beneficial if all tables are filled because you will be able to offer customers to have a to go box instead.
You can also venture out delivery services, again for the convenience of your customers, at the same time to boost your sales and revenue. There are already several delivery services that partners with different restaurants for food delivery. Hence, if having your own dedicated delivery system is not feasible, perhaps you can enlist third party delivery services. This is another way of keeping up with technological advancements.
Another flexible purchase option is by offering meals at different times of the day. For instance, if the restaurant operating hours start at noon, but there is quite a rush outside of your store in the morning, it may be beneficial for your sales if you will offer a breakfast menu on to-go boxes.
Your servers are the front lines of your business, hence it is important that they are well-equipped in providing your customers with the best restaurant experience. It greatly helps if your crew has basic knowledge on how to upsell, without seeming to impose on your customers. Teach them to describe the menu items and also ask customers if they prefer anything extra to go with their meal. Train your crew to suggest more dishes or other entrees to try after their meal such as coffee or dessert.
Make sure that you have enough crew to attend to your customers, especially during the busy hours of the day. An appropriate number of staff will help you maximize your table turnover rate, thereby boosting your revenue and sales. Be open to your crew's feedback, especially in terms of the updates needed in the kitchen, in your dining room, or even in how the menu is presented.
In conclusion, the restaurant business is a very challenging, but at the same time, gratifying business venture. Serving quality food in a cozy ambiance will not only satisfy a person's hunger, but also feed his mood and mind, generating in him a happy customer. Although happy customers are essential for a business longevity, your profits and restaurant sales can definitely benefit from the advancements in technology, which can help you attract new customers, and retain old ones.
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