5 Ways to Increase Restaurant Sales
There isn’t a “quick fix” when it comes to running a successful restaurant. It’s a varied affair that keeps restaurant owners on their toes, continually adapting to new trends and developments. Indeed, when it comes to running a restaurant, knowing which steps NOT to take (as listed in our article, why restaurants fail) can be the first step in creating a plan. Taking it to the next level, making said business more profitable, is a bit more complicated. While opinions abound on how to increase restaurant sales, it’s very much easier said than done. Still, the principles of improving restaurant sales are time-tested! By creating a clear plan which includes a few of these measurable strategies, you’ll be in a position to boost sales at your restaurant.
You probably don’t need us to tell you how much your restaurant needs to be one social media. It’s free advertising that connects you with customers on an individual level. You don’t need an account on every platform, but a simple Facebook profile increases brand awareness in an oversaturated world. Furthermore, a Facebook profile allows you to target customers directly in your demographic. These customers will post about your business on their profiles. They’ll perpetually advertise for you, sharing their experience in their social circles. Furthermore, with updated social media algorithms, restaurants can pay for advertising on these platforms, creating targeted ads directly through the social channel. Bottom line: if your restaurant isn’t on social media, fix that right away!
Online Ordering and Delivery Capable
Your guests have myriad options about where, and how, they can eat. With off-premise dining and delivery becoming an increasingly popular dining method, modern restaurants should capitalize on that new stream of traffic. Creating an online orders page on your website ensures you’re serving an entire swath of guests looking for dining options. Additionally, having an automated solution in place which can blend in-store and online streams of traffic, will help you handily deal with both types of orders, and increase restaurant sales. With online ordering comes the need for a delivery strategy as well. Restaurants willing to enact it could see an increase in sales as customers appreciate the convenience. Deciding whether to use a third-party service (like UberEats) or to handle your delivery in-house is up to you. Factors to consider, like the percentage of sales a third party will take and your kitchen bandwidth, should inform your choice here.
Loyalty Programs and Incentives
Great restaurants maintain their greatness by incentivizing their customers to return. Yes, killer food and guest experience ultimately creates those repeat customers, but an active loyalty program can put your rep over the edge. With a loyalty program, you’re focusing on your existing customers, before extending outward. According to a recent NRN article, members of restaurant loyalty programs spend 19% more, on average, when redeeming their reward. The frequency of their visits also increases by 75% between their first and tenth redemption. These loyal guests tend to bring coworkers, friends and family members along, raising sales that way. Another option to take with these loyal customers is to ask them to post reviews of your restaurant directly. Per tradition, disgruntled customers vent their frustrations on the internet after a bad experience. Yelp is crawling with nasty reviews! Why not incentivize your loyal customers to post the good stuff?
Automate Your Processes
Outdated restaurant technology, like paper tickets, slows down your workflow. Even worse, it leaves room for errors in communication and accuracy. An automated solution will cut time and effort off the choke points that slow your restaurant down, keeping you running at peak performance. When Walk-Ons Bistreaux and Bar wanted to streamline their processes, they implemented a Kitchen Display System and immediately saw increases in revenue, decreases in food waste, higher customer satisfaction metrics and a 5% increase in guest counts.
Don’t limit automation to your kitchen either! A front-of-house solution that assists with table management and guest reservations can help increase restaurant sales, maximizing your seating efficiency and keeping your reservations paced. A KDS that integrates with your front-of-house or POS system will keep all your processes consistent, connected and informed by one another.
Claim your SEO
In today’s world, odds are high that your customers are using Google to make dining decisions. Claiming your SEO means optimizing your online content so it appears in search results. Ideally, when interested parties search for a restaurant in the area, yours will come up. Maintaining a consistent SEO approach, like ensuring your NAP (name, address and phone number) is the same on all channels and that all your sites are mobile responsive, ensures that interested customers can find you. Furthermore, registering your business on Google My Business packs a big SEO punch. These listings allow restaurant owners to showcase their info, and appear on Google Maps. For more detailed information, check our article on restaurant SEO best practices.
Overall, increasing restaurant sales is a matter of small, consistent efforts. By taking expert care of your customers, keeping your online presence in tip-top shape, and automating your kitchen processes, you should be able to improve sales at your restaurant.
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About the Author
Dylan Chadwick is a Content Marketing Specialist at QSR Automations. He graduated from Brigham Young University and loves to write about technology. When left to his own devices, he enjoys loud music, adorable dogs and documentaries about them.