Easy Ways to Work Within Your Restaurant Budget
Restaurant budgets can be tricky. You want to provide a great dining experience while also staying under budget each month. With big chunks of the budget going to payroll and food costs, restaurants often have limited funds when it comes to investing in the guest experience. So, how do you keep your diners happy and maybe even pull in a few more, all while keeping up your bottom line?
Keep Your Loyal Guests Happy
Acquiring new customers is expensive. While the estimates vary, the cost to gain new customers costs anywhere from 3 to 10 times more than keeping the ones that you already have. So, why not make it easy on your restaurant budget and keep your guests coming back? There are three simple ways you can keep your guests coming back:
- Know their names – This is a small-ticket item that gets big results. Creating a more personalized experience starts with something that seems pretty basic: learning people’s names! If you’re the kind of person who’s only great with faces, consider utilizing a restaurant reservation system that will help you track the people who are coming in the door.
- Know their preferences – Do they like a window seat or booth? Do they have food allergies? Tracking this information will at least avoid any mistakes that detract from the experience—at best, you’ll make your diners feel like they’re a VIP at your restaurant.
- Provide loyalty – Use loyalty programs to provide rewards for your most loyal customers, including incentives to come out on birthdays, anniversaries, and any other events your diners might be celebrating. Make that experience a priority and they’ll make going to your establishment a priority for their special occasions.
Utilize SaaS Models (When They’re Right for You)
Lots of restaurants want to utilize more technology, but large capital investments can hamper that plan. Fortunately, more and more companies are moving to Software as a Solution (SaaS) models. In these subscription-based models, technology is provided for a low monthly fee and is always updated. That means restaurants can get all of the benefits without the up-front cost. In addition, many services offer free trials lasting 1-2 months, so you can see what technology is right for you. Utilize these free trials to make sure you’ll see the best ROI possible with your monthly investments.
Use Technology That Works with the Hardware You Already Have
If you’re in the market for new software, check to see if it works with any of your existing technology. When it comes to your restaurant’s budget, technology integrations are important and also add to the guest experience. The more your technology connects, the more data you can gather. That translates to less work for you with more benefits.
Keep Your Menu Relevant
Data is key when it comes to your food. Keep track of your guests’ favorite menu items and, perhaps more importantly, your guests’ least favorite items. By cutting down your menu, you can save money on inventory upkeep, lower food waste, and specialize in the dishes you do better than anyone else.
Maximize Your Marketing Efforts
When it comes to marketing, you don’t have to run expensive print ads to get noticed. Go digital! By creating a Google My Business listing, focusing on your restaurant SEO, and interacting with guests on social media, you can make a big statement without a big investment of money or time. Take a few simple steps to maximize your efforts online.
Looking for technology that will maximize your guest experience? Take a look at our guide:
About the Author
Paige Carswell was the Content Marketing Manager for QSR Automations. Paige is a Louisville transplant and usually avoids mentioning that she was a Kansas Jayhawks fan in a former life. She graduated from Southwestern College in 2011 with a degree in journalism, and she spends her spare time enjoying all of the food Louisville has to offer, running, and playing with her dogs.