The restaurant business is seldom constant. Not only does the competition become cutthroat, several other factors such as seasonality, rapidly changing trends, and economy among several others play a significant role in the reputation and consequently, the sales of your restaurant. However, if you are in the food industry, you would know that there is always a chance of improvement to increase sales.
But the question is how do I increase restaurant sales? Restaurant sales depend on the balance between gaining new customers and retaining existing customers. And this is only possible if your diner is able to make the most of their time.
So, let’s explore 5 simple restaurant money-making techniques to charm new customers, retaining regulars, and, once you get to maintain an excellent customer base, consequently uphold a sound cash flow.
1. Improve Staff/Server Sales Training
You may not know, but your wait-staff’s capability to sell food items and beverages is the key to increase sales in a restaurant. Your servers are more than just order-takers, and smart managers know this. The ability to upsell to customers differentiates a great server from a good one and includes these tasks:
- Emphasizing on selling specialty drinks instead of water.
- Encouraging appetizer sales.
- Focusing on the mains —a full meal with a la carte side items (such as soups or side salads)
- And of course, never forgetting to sell dessert!
Your staff will only be able to lure customers if they have proper knowledge of the preparation and ingredients of the delicacies being served in your restaurant. However, all of this is only possible if you pay special attention to your staff’s sales training. You can do a number of things to train your staff. For example, you could teach your servers to describe your food and drink items by using food-centered adjectives to make a diner enticed to try some.
Descriptions – such as “Would you like to have a glass of our freshly squeezed lemonade? We also have blackberry lemonade blended with fresh fruit or energizing watermelon lemonade” – tend to offer specific drink options and also make these choices sound enticing. While descriptions such as “What would you like to drink? We have soda and lemonade.” sound flat and make your restaurant’s drinks seem uninviting.
So, coach your servers into a natural delivery and always remember to get your staff to try out your food items first-hand! Find ways to encourage your staff to be enthusiastic about what they do. With this, you will surely experience an increase in your restaurant’s sale.
2. Construct Your Menu Carefully
Often, food prices and specific items on the menu are the reason for lower sales when they could be making you profit with a little attention. So, what you need is menu engineering and strategic price points to increase restaurant sales. Here are some tips.
First, discontinue the items no one seems to order.
Now, make sales of add-ons easy by placing soups or salads next to your delicious main courses and don’t forget to highlight your food item’s value. For example, “add a house-made hearty soup for just $1.20!” Now this two-way transaction would be of good value for your customers and you as well.
You could also take this opportunity to offer smaller plates alongside large ones. Just keep your food costs in mind – tasty dishes that don’t cost much can be marked up to generate a higher profit, as well as fancy specialty drinks.
3. Offer Online Ordering
Facilitating an online ordering service is a great way to clear the lines outside your door. It could also potentially make you more money by allowing your staff to complete more orders in-house, and reduced waiting times mean happy customers! Now, you would be generating revenue through both in-house and online sales.
But remember, we live in a modern age where more and more people like to access the web mostly on their mobile devices. A website that is optimized for phones and tablets is a must; otherwise it will potentially bounce a large number of customers right off the page. So, leverage technology in your favor and invest in a mobile-friendly website with great graphics.
4. Maintain an Active Presence through Social Media
Social media is free, only takes a little time out of your day, and allows you to connect and attract a large number of customers. It promotes your business through the sharing photos of your food or even your staff, putting out special offers for your followers. You could also engage with your followers through the comments section. It lets you create a community for your business outside your walls and increase awareness about your brand in a world full of restaurants so as to help you increase restaurant sales.
A social media business account also allows you to make announcements for any event, send alerts to customers in case of unexpected situations, and connect with people on an individual level.
You can also increase your online presence by having a page on Google My Business. It brings credibility to your online presence and informs the public about your working hours, location, website, and feature photos at the top of search results.
5. Adopt a Loyalty Program
While attracting new customers is vital to increasing sales, the first place you should probably start focusing on is where you are now. Going out to eat is more than just the food – it is also a social experience which demands excellent service and perks so as to encourage loyalty to your business.
There are many ways to set up a loyalty program. Offering free drinks or desserts is also a good choice to make your guests feel valued. A commonly used loyalty-reward program is to create a membership card that records each time a customer visits the restaurant, so he and she can earn points towards getting a free item.
Here concludes our list of 5 simple ways to increase sales in a restaurant. Just remember, there is no better promoter than a satisfied customer. Maintain an exceptional experience for all your guests and ensure quality in meals, services, and presentation.