Maintaining strong sales in the restaurant industry is an ongoing challenge due to overhead costs like rent, food, and restaurant staff. Unfortunately, COVID has also negatively impacted restaurant revenue, making the hard work of maintaining healthy restaurant sales and optimal restaurant profit margins more challenging. Now it's more important than ever to drive sales in business. But how do you do it?
Thankfully, COVID has highlighted strategies that restaurant owners can adopt now and over the long term that are worth the investment. In this article, we discuss 11 tips and tricks to increase restaurant sales and maintain a healthy restaurant business in 2021.
Here are 11 ways you can increase sales in your restaurant.
COVID has restricted the number of restaurant guests both indoors and outdoors, but it has shown the benefits of online and phone orders. Whether customers reference your menu on your website or through the help of an outside delivery service, online ordering has become a more common and more convenient way for customers to support local restaurants.
Today's restaurant software systems aid with:
Online Ordering Capability
As a restaurant owner, you can quickly load and change menus on your website and utilize online ordering software so that customers can place orders from the comfort of home or work. You can even create a revised takeout and delivery menu with specific options for tighter stock and higher-margin sales.
Popular food delivery companies like Seamless, GrubHub, and DoorDash post your menus on their websites and apps for increased exposure while providing delivery capability. Today's software lets you connect orders from delivery services directly to your kitchens.
Having reserved parking for customers and delivery services ensures people can pick up orders easily. The easier it is, the greater the frequency of orders. Today's POS systems can inform these customers via text when orders are ready to ensure the food is picked up on time, speeding the flow of orders from the kitchen.
Profit and loss statements ensure ongoing profitability and have become especially important in maintaining successful restaurants in today's challenging economy. Success in the restaurant business requires not just high sales but also strong profit. Overhead, such as rent, food, and labor costs, directly affect profit.
Weekly sales reports give you what you need to improve your bottom line. You can hit an ideal food cost percentage by diving into variable costs. You can tightly track stock to reduce food waste and get detailed reads of your operating expenses to see where you can trim costs. Doing this work every week ensures you offer the ideal menu items for optimal sales revenue while limiting expensive overhead expenses like operational expenses and labor expenses.
With customizable sales metrics from a P+L statement, there's no limit to the data you can analyze. For example, you can look at the sales per server to see who requires sales training or review the sales per service to see what services work and which don't.
BNG POS regularly offers easy profit and loss tracking capability to put your profit front and center.
How do you increase customer sales? By reevaluating your menu. You may think that tasty food and drinks are all that matter, but an intelligent menu design significantly improves sales and profits, and today's software systems make customizing menus easier than ever. Let's look at how.
You can use a menu matrix to make highly popular and profitable menu items more noticeable in your menu layout to attract even more purchasing or reposition signature dishes and pairings for more sales. You can also revise menu pricing more easily for faster profit. Add in high-quality photos of gorgeous food and killer cocktails with fun names, and you'll see more menu sales from top to bottom.
Trimmed Menu Offerings
You can reduce the number of menu items to focus customers on more successful offerings. This work encourages sales while reducing the expense of maintaining a wide range of stock. It also boosts the potential of volume pricing, resulting in lower costs from your distributors. You also spend less time preparing meals, and your customers order faster.
This strategy improves the volume of items ordered by making decisions easier for customers. These benefits have made food packages a popular addition to menus.
Sell items that celebrate the season - and the weather! Reference your sales data to offer items that have proven profitable over the years.
How do restaurants generate more revenue? By benefiting their repeat customers. Customer retention is essential for success. Your regular customer base buys more often and is the lowest cost-per-person for more sales. A customer loyalty program improves customer retention rates and increases the chance they will be back with their friends, resulting in even more loyal customers with similar tastes.
Here are a few examples of loyalty programs:
Printable Coupons on Receipts
Create customizable coupons on the back of receipts to encourage customers to come back in. Even small incentives work.
Offer free items for a specific quantity of orders. Again, even a small benefit has proven to boost sales.
Store Customer Data
Storing data on an internal customer database also helps you maintain a customer's order history so that any staff member can quickly order a customer's "usual," further improving loyalty by showing appreciation for their business. This data also aids with marketing efforts via email marketing or texting campaigns.
All these strategies do wonders for customer loyalty. They keep customers coming back while increasing the number of target customers. Today's software systems make offering these benefits easy.
Financial deals like drink specials, food specials, and weekly specials keep things interesting for customers while showing you care about what you are offering by being creative. These deals also add to the size of orders and give your wait staff something to talk about during the meet and greet stage. With an excuse to talk, your staff can start upselling by offering food pairings and drinks, increasing sales.
A positive customer experience ensures your regular customers are happy customers and that they bring their friends, increasing your potential customers. High customer satisfaction helps ensure these first-time customers become regular customers.
Here are some ways you can improve the overall experience:
Increase Staff Pay
Increase the hourly wage of your staff. This may sound risky but retaining quality staff ensures you maintain strong customer service, resulting in more sales, which balances the higher payroll cost.
Improve Training and Upselling
Spend more time training your staff by discussing dishes and letting them try items to help them answer customer questions. You can also follow other proven customer sales methods. For instance, have your staff mention daily specials at the outset and ask if the customers want a drink while they think it over or browse the menu. During the meal, ask your customers if more drinks are needed. After the meal, have them automatically discuss the dessert menu and offer coffee or tea. All the upselling works.
Today's advanced hardware and software create faster, direct ordering to the kitchen while putting the customer in control, reducing order complaints. Customers are also notified of order completion via text and are given automatic receipts via email. All these benefits speed up order pickup, improving order flow through the kitchen. The same benefits extend to in-restaurant dining through table-side ordering systems, significantly improving table turn times.
Wait staff can place orders, take payment, and generate receipts right at the table, replacing the needs for a stationary terminal and cash registers, speeding up the table turn rate. Your team can also spot stock issues quickly so guests can reselect items faster. Wait staff can be notified when food is at the order window. These traits result in improved speed of service and fewer order issues, in turn improving customer service. BNG POS regularly offers all the hardware and software needed so our restaurant customers can take advantage of these benefits.
How do you attract more customers to your restaurant? By helping your real-life customers share drool-inducing photos!
Social media marketing Is a powerful and price-effective marketing strategy. This sales initiative creates a personal connection for stronger customer engagement and at little-to-no cost. You improve exposure to high-potential customers because they are friends of your target audience, and these current and potential customers share your posts to spread the word further.
Boost your social media presence on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, and consider buying social media ads to boost your exposure.
Improve your events exposure to appeal to your local clientele and strengthen local customer appreciation. Participate in special events like Restaurant Week, host a cheese tasting, or try pop-up events at outside locations, such as a Farmer's Market or community event. Offer your location for fund-raising or charity events. Anything you do to benefit the local community boosts your exposure.
Use every square inch of your real estate to your advantage. Sell T-shirts, hats, mugs, or other items to bring in a tasty profit while increasing your brand exposure.
As shown above, today's restaurant systems aid with faster sales, more correct ordering, improved customer service, and a deeper understanding of sales and profits to boost your profit further. BNG POS offers the latest software and hardware designed specifically for profitable and efficient service in the restaurant industry. To learn how we can boost sales and profits of your specific restaurant, contact us here.