7 Simple Ways to Increase Restaurant Sales
Restaurant sales are rarely constant. Seasonality, competition, the economy, and countless other factors can play a role in how many people come into your restaurant. But one thing is constant for restaurateurs: no matter how much you sell, you always feel like you could be doing more to increase restaurant sales.
Even the most successful restaurant businesses have potential to increase sales. In the past, restaurant owners have believed that paying for advertisements was the best route to increasing restaurant sales. While this still has the potential to expose your brand to the public, it’s also a costly venture that isn’t guaranteed to work.
If you’re looking to increase your restaurant’s sales, try investing your time and money in these ideas for more personalized, effective and modern ways to increase restaurant sales.
1) Offer Online Ordering
Diners have a lot of other options of where they can go out to eat. So, in order to increase your restaurant’s sales, you’ll need to make it easier for your customers to choose you over a competitor. If you offer online ordering, you clear up your phones and the lines out your door. Guests won’t be forced to wait around just to be served. This allows your kitchen and staff to complete more orders in less time. This feature also makes you more discoverable online, and people will be able to order right from their computers or smartphones. Your guests want a convenient dining experience, not a complicated one. Make it easy for them and increase your sales at the same time by offering online ordering in your restaurant.
2) Utilize Social Media
Restaurants have the incredible opportunity to promote their business and convey their brand outside their walls – for free. If your restaurant is not taking advantage of social media, I ask you the following question: why? Social media is free, takes little time out of your day, and lets you connect with customers on an individual level. By commenting on your fans’ posts, sharing photos of your food and staff, and putting out exclusive offers for your followers, you create a community for your business that expands far beyond your physical location. Social media helps increase awareness of your business in a world oversaturated by restaurant choices, and thus can help you increase your restaurant sales.
3) Adopt a Loyalty Program
To increase restaurant sales, it’s easier to focus inward before focusing outward. Let’s put that in the proper context: focusing on your existing customers is a great first place to start increasing your sales, and a loyalty program can help you do just that. According to LevelUp, members of a restaurant loyalty program spend 19% more on average when redeeming their reward, and their frequency of visiting your restaurant increases 75% between their first and tenth reward redemption. A natural side effect of a loyalty program is increased visitors, as those looking for somewhere to eat might bring along coworkers, friends, or family to your restaurant.
4) Claim Your Page on Google My Business
If you haven’t already done so, register your restaurant on Google My Business – now. Having a presence on Google My Business adds insurmountable credibility to your online presence. If someone is searching for you on Google, your hours, website, location, and photos will all be at the top of search results – right in one place for searchers to see. This puts any hesitations to rest and allows diners to find your restaurant and order from you or place a reservation immediately. The best part – signing up for Google My Business takes all of 10 minutes. Learn more about the importance of Google My Business and how to set it up your restaurant here.
5) Use the Proper Restaurant Technology
Clunky computers and cash registers can clog up your lines, handwritten orders can lead to mistakes or misunderstandings from your kitchen team, and dated technology is dated for a reason. Without a reliable POS system and the corresponding features, your restaurant’s efficiency is at risk of stalling, thus limiting the amount of sales you can process in a given time. Dated technology can also result in a frustrating experience for both your staff and your customers – causing both to leave. Instead, bring in a modern POS with a reporting feature so that you can streamline your operations and access all the data you need to know how to increase your restaurant’s sales.
6) Construct Your Menu Carefully
Certain menu items and food prices in your restaurant may be keeping your sales lower than they could be. Maybe the menu item you think is the most profitable is actually too expensive in your customers’ eyes, or maybe it’s time to discontinue the dish that no one seems to be ordering. Think your pricing model may need an update? The only way to be sure is to start menu engineering and strategically picking price points and menu offerings that will increase restaurant sales.
7) Turn Your Customers into Promoters
This one should be obvious – but you can’t expect to see an increase in restaurant sales without stellar meals, presentation and service! Word of mouth is immensely powerful: while a satisfied customer will share their praise with three people, a dissatisfied customer will share their grievances with 10. By that logic, you could lose a customer forever before they even come in your door. Don’t let this happen. Consistently provide an exceptional experience for all guests that will increase restaurant sales from them and their connections.
Increasing Your Restaurant’s Sales
Today, there are over 1 million restaurants in the United States. This is a good sign for the industry; thousands of new restaurants open every year and many are successful. However, this oversaturation can make it more difficult for restaurants to make themselves known. If you want your restaurant to stand out from the rest, adopt these seven simple ways to increase restaurant sales.
AJ Beltis is a blogger and content marketer for Toast POS, a Boston-based restaurant technology company offering an all-in-one point of sale solution for restaurants nationwide. AJ is a certified inbound marketer committed to connecting restaurants with the resources they need to form successful relationships with their customers. You can follow AJ on Twitter @AJBeltis.