Think you can simply open the doors of your new restaurant and the money will start rolling in? You’ve got fantastic food, brilliant service and a great location, why wouldn’t the profits fall into place from day one? Unfortunately, it’s not quite as simple as that. With so much competition in the market, the draw of Deliveroo and Just Eat encouraging consumers to stay exactly where they are, on the sofa, and uncertainty around Brexit increasing wholesale costs, it’s a really challenging time for restaurants. That’s why you need to take the proverbial bull by the horns and find fresh ways to increase your restaurant’s profits.
Here are five ways you can increase the revenue of your restaurant, starting right now…
With a recent survey showing that more than 85% of millennials would choose a restaurant based on a recent social media post, it’s absolutely worth incorporating social media in your restaurant’s overall marketing strategy. It can be as simple as ensuring your food, drinks and décor looks fantastic – and letting your customers do the work for you by sharing your content on their own social media accounts – but you can also utilise it as a tool to promote new menus, drinks and offers, both organically and through sponsored content.
Social media influencers are also a resource that can reap rewards for your business. Healthy fast food chain Leon has partnered with influencers like the Body Coach in the past – who share their ethos for good, high quality food – but also have the potential to bring in a different demographic to their existing customer base. Overall, social media influencer marketing can positively impact a restaurants image, brand awareness and revenue, leading us nicely into our next point…
A great restaurant referral programme can make a massive difference to your bottom line, especially because 87% of diners would take a recommendation from a friend more seriously than online reviews or social media posts. There’s a whole variety of ways you can implement this strategy; you can offer customers money off their next meal if they refer a friend, or offer discounts to both the referrer and referred, helping to generate repeat business. It’s also critical to make customers aware of your referral programme, you can do this through email marketing, a dedicated web page, leaflets or flyers as well as social media posts that followers can share within their own networks.
Two for Tuesdays anyone? This was an ingenious strategy by Dominos to get more people ordering pizza on a day when they wouldn’t normally – and it’s now become a term synonymous with pop culture. Similar 2 for 1 deals, discounts, and cheaper lunch menus during the week will get people through the door when they’re in a rush and don’t want to spend too much. Make sure the standard of your food and service is good and transform these deal seeking consumers, into returning loyal customers.
Would you like fries with that? You’ve never been to McDonalds / Burger King / any chain fast food restaurant if you haven’t been asked that question. But it works in any restaurant context: the set menu with the item that comes with a £5 supplementary charge, the burger that only costs a few pounds more to get with a drink and side, and the lunch menu that showcases starters, mains, and desserts to tempt customers to order more.
According to one study, it’s also been proven that tempting language can encourage customers to order more, so make sure your menu reads “Aged Aberdeen Angus beef burger, served with American Cheddar, wrapped in a brioche bun” rather than plain old burger and chips.
Being offered nibbles such bread and olives while you wait is nothing new, but it is difficult to resist. You know you shouldn’t, you know you’re being upsold, but you find yourself nodding your head and saying yes all the same. The reason restaurants do it is because it works. Called “suggestive selling”, upselling like this increases the average order value of the customer, while also not feeling like a hard sell. When profit margins are tight, slick upselling techniques such as these should be a key component of your business strategy.