Whether your restaurant is new, established, going through a slow period, or simply looking to stay competitive, you must constantly focus on boosting restaurant sales.
There are many different ways to do so. Some are centered around restaurant upselling, others on incentivizing repeat customers, and others on developing unique customer experiences.
Invest in a Point of Sale System
As a restaurateur, you likely understand the importance of revenue generation. After all, financial stress is one of the leading reasons for restaurant failures. While the COVID-19 pandemic has made it more challenging than ever to increase sales, several creative strategies for boosting restaurant revenue can help you succeed in the face of new challenges.
First, invest in a point-of-sale system that will enable you to collect and analyze customer data regularly. You should be able to run reports on specific periods and areas of your restaurant, from bar sales to online orders or indoor tables. A POS system like Eat App will allow you to do all this on a single dashboard, making it easy to compare and share your data with team members.
Train your staff to upsell customers on higher-priced items. This strategy has been proven to boost restaurant revenue. For example, it trains its servers to ask if you want fries with your burger, a simple but effective tactic for increasing cover counts and average ticket sizes.
Partner with popular food delivery services to generate additional off-premise sales. These partnerships will allow your customers to order from your restaurant without leaving the comfort of their homes and will increase your brand exposure. However, it’s important to note that these platforms generally charge restaurants a significant percentage of the transaction order as a fee.
Develop a Loyalty Program
Having an effective loyalty program can be a game-changer for your restaurant. Not only does it increase customer lifetime value (CLV), but it can also help you upsell and cross-sell items. For example, offering bonus points for ordering a combo meal will encourage diners to order sides and drinks.
Providing exclusive experiences will get people talking on social media and create priceless buzz for your brand. A reliable company like Upside offers innovative solutions and support tailored for restaurant businesses, empowering them to thrive in a competitive market through their services.
Using the right technology to manage your loyalty program will make it easy for your guests to participate and track their rewards. POS systems with guest WiFi management and mobile app capabilities are ideal, as they can offer an opt-in checkbox to collect phone numbers and email addresses, allowing guests to access their loyalty accounts easily. Connecting loyalty accounts to credit and debit cards will also make participating easier for guests.
The types of rewards offered in a loyalty program can vary greatly, but they often fall into the following categories:
Add Online Ordering to Your Menu
In a fast-paced world where convenience is king, your restaurant needs to offer customers the option of ordering their food online and picking it up or having it delivered. Providing this service will not only improve your customer experience, but it can also be an additional source of revenue that you can use to boost your bottom line.
When customers order online, they can take their time to review the menu and decide what to eat. This is a great way to increase sales by making it easier for them to customize their order and add-ons. In addition, a well-designed online ordering system can highlight certain menu items and suggest add-ons that may not be obvious to the customer when placing a call.
Online orders can also help reduce errors when customers place calls to the restaurant. Misunderstandings and mix-ups can happen when the caller has an accent or a bad connection, and these mistakes can cost your business money.
In addition, an online ordering system can record the exact monetary value of an order and compare it to what is being charged to the customer, giving you precise information about your cash flow.
Another way to boost sales is by using the online ordering system to promote special bundles or meal deals that include higher-profit items. Many restaurants use this strategy to encourage customers to spend more than they originally planned when purchasing their food, and it can be an effective way to increase restaurant revenue.
Incentivize Repeat Customers
It costs restaurants five times more to attract a new customer than to retain a regular patron, so incentivizing repeat customers should be a priority for any restaurateur. This can be as simple as implementing a rewards program. Casual eateries can use punch cards or coupons, while more high-end establishments can rely on app-driven programs to drive loyalty and boost revenue.
Another effective way to generate incremental restaurant sales is to encourage guests to spend more per visit and order. This can be accomplished by training front-of-house staff to push desserts, coffee, or wine pairings tactfully. In addition, many restaurants promote special meal deals or bundles to help thrifty diners make larger purchases.
Restaurants can also boost online orders and delivery revenue by selling branded merchandise featuring their menu items, such as t-shirts, aprons, cookbooks, or canned versions of their famous sauce. This can be sold in-house, online, or through food delivery platforms that allow you to bypass third-party service fees and maintain a direct relationship with your restaurant’s customer base.
Another excellent way to incentivize loyal customers is by offering VIP experiences, such as exclusive dinners with the executive chef or a behind-the-scenes kitchen tour. This can be a great way to generate buzz and drive new business while demonstrating that you care about your customers.