6 Simple Ways to Increase Your Restaurant Sales and Profitability
As with every business, restaurants can be difficult to manage. It’s a tough profession to be a restaurateur because the investment is huge, competition is intense, and customers are unforgiving; not to mention, the slightest delay or issue with your supplies at the backend can mess things up front.
In today’s digital age, it’s really important to keep up with an online presence and have yourself stand out among competitors, appeal to a wider clientele and make use of technology to maximise your business’s profitability. There’s too much at stake by not staying up to date with trends in marketing, management and technological innovation even when you think your business isn’t related to those fields because your job is to serve a very physical, very interactive kind of experience.
If there’s no record of that success however, it can totally miss your intended audiences and fail to bring in new customers. This is why it’s key to know marketing trends and techniques that will help you stay on top of your game, given that the restaurant business is one of the most profitable to be in at this point in time.
To significantly increase your restaurant sales and in turn your profitability, keep these tips in mind and see your business flourish in no time:
Offer Online Ordering
Expand outreach and availability by establishing an online ordering system where your customers can log on through an application or website and place an order for your most popular items, when and as they please.
Not everybody will want to make the journey to your establishment for a good meal and might resort to an alternative out of sheer convenience. That’s just tragic. Invest in a good set up that will allow your customers to eat your food wherever they please because that also means your staff will be able to manage customer flow smoothly at the physical establishment, plus you’ll be able to significantly increase sales at a fraction of the cost. An online ordering system can go a long way in making things easier. It’s definitely less expensive to set up services than it is to set up an additional outlet.
This is a classic sales technique for restaurants. Your staff needs to be familiar enough with the menu and have a friendly banter and rapport with customers in order to successfully upsell items. This works by having your customers order more alongside their desired items. Think of additional sides, drinks, deals and specials—basically anything that will increase the overall value of their order. Here’s a handy guide to phrases that can be used while upselling at your food establishment.
There are different ways of going about upselling from asking customers if they’d be interested in some extras to familiarising them with more add-ons, offers and must have items. Descriptions are sure to work—who’d want to turn down rich, mouth-watering details about that juicy steak or burger, or your best vegetarian pasta? It really comes down to how you go about it.
Sometimes,just having a presence as the owner of an establishment can make a difference since customers will see you firsthand and feel a certain familiarity. Small business owners have this unique advantage of being presentin their own businesses; they can be the face of their establishment and have a story to put out there. With food chains, it’s harder to do because they’re so predictable.
Use social media to your advantage. Build a presence and keep your community engaged. Any deals, offers, discounts you have can be shared via your social media pages and accounts, so people can know what a good time is to come in. The traction social media generates will also bring in more people; it’s a great marketing tool and it’s free.
Work on infographics and promotional content and put out all that you’re doing. Up your food photography game because you’ll be competing with Instagrammers who know what’s good and what’s not when it comes to aesthetic appeal. An active social media presence is sure to generate sales by attracting new customers and bringing back old ones by enticing them with your delicious menu and keeping them in the loop with new things. Plus, with an active and well-established social media presence, there’s a lot of room to interact with customers looking to know more or converting interested individuals to active customers.
Social media can be tricky to figure out so know what you’re getting into with it and don’t be disheartened easily. There’s lots of chance to experiment, see what works for your industry, days and timings that make a difference in engagement, look at what competitors are doing and what works for them. There’s a lot of analysis out there, but no single model fits all businesses uniformly. Don’t be afraid of putting yourself out there.
Speaking of customers, it’s obvious that since you’re a retail-based business, they are your first priority. Everything you do is for the satisfaction of your customer, and if you have truly satisfied customers, you may as well use their help.
Ask customers to leave reviews, especially on social media. Have them check in and offer a small incentive like a cookie, slice of cake or bread basket. Tell them to tag your social media pages and post photos of your food on different platforms and groups. Customers are a major asset that you’d be missing out on if you’re not harnessing their potential.
Your work will show itself if you’re truly doing a good job because people will be raving all the time anyway! You know how much us Aussies love a good hamburger!
Food brings communities together and what better way to bring the community to you? A good review from the right person can boost your sales immensely—it’s a domino effect.
Build Customer Loyalty Programs
So you’ve brought ‘em in, but how will you keep ‘em around? It’s a constant and consistent effort to keep your customers loyal. It’s not always enough for them to drop in once and never return, you have to make sure they keep coming back for more. Incentivise both new and old customers with redeemable options, coupons, discounts and point systems. It’s basic consumer mentality to go where you’re welcomed, and nothing says “welcome” like 10% off on their favourite item. A 10% discount won’t set you back by a lot, but it will bring in a happy customer for sure.
Focus on Efficiency
You’re a small business with limited staff and limited resources, it’s difficult to manage everything as the sole proprietor, or between partners, or perhaps the stress of a family business is getting to you because it causes conflict. Who’s responsible for ordering all your ingredients from food service suppliers? Who’s doing inventory and tracking what’s needed? Who’s going to be held responsible in case customers are upset by the unavailability of a particular item?
In any case, dividing work can be arduous.
Technology is your best bet to getting things done; invest in a good Ordering Management Software (OMS) and have your suppliers at the tip of your fingers. OrderTron can help you manage all your suppliers and orders from them, so you don’t need to worry about human error and place orders swiftly and efficiently when it comes to your business.
With a proper order management system for your small business you’ll never have to worry about being short on supplies, you’ll also have the ability to schedule recurring orders to your suppliers and customise quantities, days, and order anywhere any time.
The ease that comes with having an online system to keep all your suppliers whether they’re your meat supplier, vegetable supplier, napkin company or coffee provider, you’ll have them all in one place, is unbeatable. Technology is amazing at making your life much simpler. You’ll also be able to see live pricing, stock availability and many other details including special offers from your suppliers’ accounts as well.
When a software does so much of the grunt work for you, providing you with an all-encompassing order management solution, you can shift your focus to things that really matter; the food and front-end services you provide.Like we said, owning and running a restaurant is really tough and if there’s opportunity to find balance and seek help with managing aspects of it, you may as well make the most of it. In a tech-based world like ours, it’ll be hard to stay relevant unless you make a presence and use technology to your advantage. It’s an investment you can’t do without.
Follow the advice above and you’re sure to see massive improvement in your sales and profitability through this combination of saving and smart investment and we’ll help you!
OrderTron is running promotion on our restaurant solution currently with free access to the product on sign-up. Click on Get Started and setup your Restaurant account today.
You can inform your suppliers about OrderTron Supplier solution that can streamline their entire end to end order management processes to improve their efficiencies so you can access their entire catalogue and pricing to place without having to do anything on your end.