Establishing your restaurant’s brand and ensuring customer loyalty should be at the top of your marketing strategy. With the advent of social media and the immediate publishing of online reviews, one unhappy diner can detract from the ten enthusiastic supporters. For this reason and so many more, one of your best ways to increase revenue is to ensure consistent quality food, excellent customer service and an ambiance that calls to your target customers. After these are well in place, consider the following tips to bring more potential satisfied guests through your doors.
Streams of Revenue
One often overlooked avenue to increase a restaurant’s bottom line is its ability to create multiple streams of revenue. To take advantage of this opportunity, you may have to think creatively. Consider the following possible streams:
- If your restaurant is known for one of their sauces or salad dressings, consider bottling up your secret recipe for sale. You’ll find there are many guests that crave your unique flavors when they’re at home and welcome the opportunity to bring a little of your restaurant into their personal cuisine. And when they have guests over, guess who’ll be mentioned in the byline.
- With the overabundance of food delivery services currently in business, look into a few and pick the ones that have the best profile and are the most cost efficient. A few of these include Grubhub, Caviar, DoorDash, and FoodToYou. Some restaurants become so busy through this avenue that their take-out section requires its own expediter. Make your website interactive by providing online ordering and reservations. This one act can significantly increase sales.
- Consider catering as a viable option. This can include catering to large parties when the restaurant is normally closed or going onsite to large group venues. Putting up a stand at your local farmer’s market is a great way to introduce your food and concept to potential guests in the neighborhood.
Engaging your customers is what turns one-time diners into loyal fans. The generation that is out-populating the rest of America is the Millennials. This group of people was born between the 1980s and the late 1990s. They have never known life without a cell phone and can text faster than many of your older customers can type. To ensure new guests in this market, make sure your restaurant has a good mobile image. To ensure customer loyalty in this market, find out who they are through social media and connect with them where they live, be it Facebook or Twitter. And customers that tweet and post on a regular basis are great for your bottom line.
Turn your Waitstaff into a Sales Staff
The catch: everyone can detect a sincere, “This is a great dish to try” and a sales-invoked, “This is the dish you definitely don’t want to miss.” Diners don’t want to feel ‘sold to’; they want to feel ‘served.’ To this end, your wait staff needs to be trained on all the nuances surrounding their role. They are your guest’s hosts for the time of their stay with you. They are the face and personality that your customers will associate with your establishment. They are, very often, the reason guests return. Make sure their up-sell is well-thought out and based on the needs of your guests and not a standard appetizer and dessert suggestion that every customer receives.
Know your dishes and specialty drinks that make the most profit and make sure they are at the top of the menu. This means keeping a regular eye on food and beverage costs as well as other important restaurant metrics. Consider specials that not only have a great flavor profile but that are highly profitable as well. A well-devised menu is just one more of the many important aspects to a restaurant’s long-term success.