The following article is a guest post by Matt Thompson and our friends over at ShiftNote.
There’s no denying that restaurants have a tough time keeping their sales stable and consistent for growth. It takes brainstorming and creativity to come up with ideas that will get more people in the door and more food on their table. As a restaurant owner, you barely have time for your current tasks, let alone trying to be on your creative toes all the time! Not to worry, I have six ways you can increase restaurant sales that are easy to implement.
Capitalize on Non-Peak Hours
Many restaurants focus on getting more people in the door for their breakfast, lunch and dinner peaks. There is no need to compete with that when you can create unique offerings for non-peak hours. According to Technomic, more people are choosing to snack throughout the day instead of investing in large meals, so create specials and food options for the mid-afternoon and late night dead periods. Have a different drink special every day for Happy Hour and offer new appetizers to bring people in. For late night, you can have drinks and dessert specials and promote it as the ultimate late night social outing.
Showcase Your Uniqueness
What sets you apart from every other restaurant trying to increase sales? This is what customers need to know when they are deciding where to eat. Whether it is your awesome service staff, the ambience of the restaurant, the new menu items, or something special about your restaurant history, broadcast it! People will choose your restaurant over others because of something fun and unique that no one else can offer. Check out how some of these Hoboken restaurants showcase their uniqueness.
Build Relationships with Customers
On top of showcasing your uniqueness, you need the customers interested in your restaurant to know you really care about them. This is usually done in two ways. The first is creating a membership program where frequent eaters receive discounts. The second is to broadcast what happens behind the scenes or offer helpful advice to customers. This can be done by starting social accounts and sharing pictures of new menu item meal prep or the staff being goofy. You can also share articles or write blogs giving advice on eating out and saving money.
Consider the Seasons
People love celebrating the seasons and you should do the same at your restaurant! Depending on the time of year, offer specials that match the weather or special menu items that will only be around for a couple of months. Here are some examples:
- Winter is the time to promote warm drinks and comfort food.
- Spring is for fresh herbs and emphasizing flavor pallets.
- Summer is for delicious poolside beverages and snacks to match.
- Fall is for apple and pumpkin flavors that make everyone nostalgic.
Try Out Online Ordering
People have less and less time to sit down for a full-service experience. Likewise, having staff spend time taking delivery or carry out orders takes them away from other restaurant activities that could help increase sales. Instead, why not experiment with online ordering? It can be used for delivery/carry out items or can be used for people to order ahead before sitting down.
Streamline Your Backend
Like I said in the beginning, it’s hard for restaurant owners and managers spend time coming up with ideas to increase sales because of all the other tasks that eat up the week. But there is a way to free up time to focus on sales by streamlining your backend processes. Consider trying out a restaurant scheduling and management software to eliminate the time spent on mundane tasks.