While you’re doing all you can to reduce food and labor costs, consider these options to show you how to increase restaurant sales. Some of these ideas can be done virtually or in person, and you can adapt them as you move through the different capacities of your local government’s reopening phases or save them for later when you’re at full dining capacity.
Optimize your menu
Is your menu just a mishmash of apps, mains, and desserts? If so, it may be time to rethink it. The deliciousness of your menu offerings doesn’t mean a thing if they’re not raking in their full potential, right? It could be as simple as renaming a classic item or situating your highest margin items where your customer’s gaze will first meet your menu.
If you’ve been handing out the same iteration for years, consider refreshing items on a biannual or seasonal basis. A new menu is also a great thing to promote via social media and other marketing tools. Bonus points if you get high-quality photos taken of a few dishes, too.
Throw a themed event
There’s no shortage of special events your restaurant can pull off without putting a strain on your profits or stressing out your staff. Whether it’s a father-daughter night or a wine and cheese tasting, leverage the right technology to ensure your event’s success.
With the help of event management software, you can streamline communication with your staff and impress your customers. Most importantly, you can increase restaurant sales.
Looking to maximize your space during times when business is usually slow (or you’re closed)? There are plenty of creative events your venue can host to get a fresh crop of event clients and guests through your doors. Reach out to a local yoga studio, artist, or florist, for example. See if there’s potential to create a partnership that’ll improve restaurant sales.
Secure a social media presence
Chances are, most of your customers are active on social media. That means you should be too. Restaurants with a strong social media presence blow their “unsocial” competition out of the water. It’s crucial to be where your customers are.
Make sure you’re set up with a Facebook business page, a Twitter account, and an Instagram account. These are great places to promote your daily specials and share drool-inducing photos. Once you’re a certified social butterfly, get set up with a free social media management tool (like Hootsuite) to monitor the activity and engagement on your channels.
Increase speed of service
You know that the more tables you turn per hour, the more money you make. So why not provide your staff with the tools they need to increase the speed and efficiency of service?
For example, a mobile point of sale (POS) device gives servers the ability to send orders directly from the POS to the kitchen. This way, they don’t have to race to and from a stationary terminal bottlenecked by other servers.
Partner with popular delivery services
In today’s app-driven environment, convenience is king. Consider teaming up with popular delivery services in your area, like UberEats, GrubHub, and DoorDash.
Partnering with delivery services is a great strategy to increase sales in a restaurant. This can help streamline your ordering process, attract new customers, and satisfy your existing customers, all from the comfort of their smartphones.
Embrace the power of upselling
Train your servers to be better salespeople by mastering the art of upselling. “Bottled water or Perrier?” “Would you like to add chicken to your Caesar salad?”
This is another great use for your POS system. It can help to increase average check size and build restaurant sales by prompting servers to suggest add-ons and highlight priced modifiers to the customer.
Organize a workshop
Do you have the best pizza in town? Are customers constantly raving about your killer cocktails? Show off your skills and host a virtual or in-person workshop.
Extending the experience of your restaurant into hands-on participation will not only help you make some extra cash with the workshop fees, but it’ll do wonders for customer loyalty as well. It’s a great way to increase restaurant sales without advertising.
Try new marketing strategies
Sure, email marketing is a tried-and-true way to reach potential customers. But why not give text marketing a try? With the high open rates of text messages, it only makes sense.
Create an offer to get customers to subscribe, like “Get Free Dessert,” then start sending weekly specials to your growing list of subscribers. Your customers will look forward to receiving these deals, and you can look forward to increased restaurant revenue from repeat visits.
Host pop-up experiences
It’s official: pop-up bars and restaurants are trending. Whether they’re promoting a new television series or highlighting a touring chef, these limited-time experiences have proven to be a crowd draw.
There are a few different ways to make them work for your business, depending on your bandwidth. You could start hosting regular events like Tiki Tuesdays, complete with a special cocktail menu of tropical drinks. You could also partner with a visiting or emerging local chef who wants to set up in your space one night a month.
Adopt a loyalty program
Looking to inspire happy customers to keep coming back? Incentivize them! There are plenty of options for incentivizing repeat clients for their continued business. Choosing the one that’s right for you often depends on things like your budget, the type of business you run, and your personal preference.
Casual eateries can opt for things like punch cards or coupons. More high-end establishments, however, may rely on app- or email-driven programs. No matter which avenue you take, the key is to keep the process simple on the customer’s end, so that they participate.