18 Tried and Tested Ways to Increase your Restaurant Sales

18 Innovative Ideas to Increase your Restaurant Sales

Restaurants are cropping up in the concrete jungle like swarms of locusts. And all are striving hard to bolster their restaurant sales. It is only natural for them to do so, if not with the intention of garnering a profit, why will one start a restaurant? Hence, don’t you think that you will have to put in that extra pie to make your restaurant above the others in the market? Of course, yes! Don’t worry we have come to your rescue and have put forward the various techniques that you can employ to increase your restaurant sales.

How to Increase Your Restaurant Sales

Boosting your restaurant sales has to be one of your pivotal interest. And you can do so by implementing various techniques. Here we have listed the techniques that you can very easily implement that will help you bolster your overall profit.

1. Turn Your Existing Customers Into Promoters

Your existing customers can be your biggest advocates. Treat them well and they will in turn through their activities on social media spread the word about how good your restaurant is.When they visit your restaurant try and recognize them, what they previously ordered, what reviews they gave and how you worked on them. You can use your customer database to get this information. Try and use this valuable data to recommend them new dishes. These will make them feel needed, and feel valued. You can also give them a few offers. Getting your customers come back, will forever be your biggest achievement! They will do the rest of the marketing for you through word of mouth and by bringing in friends and family which will help you to increase your restaurant sales.  

2. Upselling

No matter how great business is at your restaurant, chances are you would like to make more money. One of the easiest ways to do this is through restaurant upselling, or convincing customers to upgrade their current purchase or buy more items. Restaurant upselling is the most common strategy for restaurants to boost their profits.

First of all your restaurant staffs must be trained so that they are in sync with how to upsell menu items, how to build a good rapport with the customers. This is essentially important since your upselling strategies will only be successful if your staffs are aware of it. In addition to this, you can give free samples of the new items that you have incorporated into your menu to get them to your customers’ notice.  Know more about the various restaurant upselling techniques here.

3. Increasing the Table Turnover Rate

You must have had customers at your restaurant who prefers to dine in their leisure. These are those who might take longer to leave your restaurant than others, this, in turn, results in a long queue outside the restaurant, or even worse a few customers might even plan another restaurant due to no vacancy at your establishment.
This shows that initiative to increase restaurant sales is not limited up to the ordering by the customers, there is one more way to increase restaurant sales, that is to do it all over again as many times possible in a day. This does not mean, that you should rush customers through their experience!
You can tackle this by keeping an eye that the checks are presented and collected in a timely manner, if the tables are bussed and reset as soon as your guests leave, and if you have the right mix of tables for your average dinner party sizes.

4. Social Media Presence

Nowadays everyone is available on social media platforms, be it Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or any other. Hence, the best way to harness this force is to make your presence felt on these platforms. Create social media pages of your restaurant. However, make sure that you update these pages regularly, upload pictures and the changes in the timings of the working hours, post about the upcoming events that your restaurant will be hosting, changes in the menu, or of any special offer or items that will be provided especially for some special occasion.

Imagine, your potential customer visiting your social media page to check out the menu items and the pictures, and they see that the last picture uploaded was almost 6 months back. Will it leave a good impression on the customer? Of course, not! Hence, make sure that you reach out to your customers through these pages and even communicate with them through the comments and reviews. Also, remember that you must never ignore the bad reviews. You must acknowledge them and work towards their improvement, this will not only help in retention of disgruntled customers it will also create new ones and will bolster the overall restaurant sales.

how social media can increase your restaurant sales

5. Providing Offers and Happy Hours

This is no doubt one of the best means to attract already existing and new customers to your restaurant. Provide offers on special occasions. This technique is quite frequently used, however it will never fail to bring in that extra crowd in your restaurant.For example, Domino’s came up with a ‘Navaratri Combo’ which offered consumers special recipes and ingredients widely used during the festival. This will under all circumstances increase your restaurant sales during the festive season. During the time of Christmas and the New Years, why don’t you offer complimentary rum cakes, liquor chocolates or donuts to satiate the sweet tooth of your customers? Complimentary items and offers always tend to attract customers.

It is a well-known fact that liquor brings in the most number of sales and profit in a restaurant. You must also realize that if your targeted clientele is the youngsters then you must provide liquor at cheaper rates since they are generally not ready to burn a hole in their pocket. Here comes the importance of happy hour strategies. Provide one plus one on beer, or cocktails at half the price. You can also offer a plate of nachos(or any other items) with two beer, this will also help you in upselling your menu items.

Just remember to market your offers and deals well on all marketing channels. Emails have been known to prove really effective in publicising deals and discounts.

6. Leveraging Online Ordering

It goes without saying, that many people nowadays prefers to order food home, rather than going out and indulging in a sumptuous meal. Having said so, if you are not venturing into the domain of online ordering you will be losing out on many potential customers. In addition to this, if you have a space crunch and you cannot dine more than 20 people, or if you do not have enough servers to take care of your orders, does that mean you will not sell your items? Certainly not! Online ordering will automatically help you to keep aside your shortcomings while making sure that your sales increases. Moreover, there are various online delivery channels who will reduce your dependency on in-house delivery boys, thus further cutting down on your expense. In all, online delivery is an extremely lucrative arena, where all restaurants must venture and see the influx of sales. Learn how you can master the online ordering and delivery of your restaurant here.

how online ordering can increase restaurant sales

7. Offering Smaller Plates 

If you consider the trend that has come up in a big way, that customers instead of ordering full meals are increasingly opting for “mini-meals”. Hence, you should also consider offering a greater number of smaller dishes or options to choose from, for your customers- this includes items that can be eaten as snacks, or that can be shared amongst a group of friends.
The global market of snacks is expected to exceed US$630 billion by 2020. This report clearly shows how fast the demand for snacks is increasing. Hence, bring in more varieties of low-carb, low-calorie, low-fat, low-sugar, gluten-free food items that will keep your customers hitched to your restaurant and you will witness the inflow of great sales.

how offering smaller plates can increase your restaurant sales

8. Hosting Events

You can organize comedy nights, karaoke nights, guest performance and can host various interesting events that will compel your customers to visit your restaurant on that particular day. Merely hosting will not be enough, you will have to market the event well so that the new of the event reached to the maximum people. Since we are nearing the festive season, restaurants are armouring them with new and innovative ideas for hosting both corporate and social events.

9. Claiming Your Business On Google My Business

Getting featured on Google will increase your reach. This is because it will be easier for your customers to find you on the internet. It is more helpful if your customers are looking for you on their mobile since google will provide them with the options of directly calling at your restaurant or looking for your restaurant on the Google map. In addition to this, it goes without saying, that if your restaurant is listed on google, the credibility of your restaurant to the customers are increased tenfolds.

10. Pricing It Right

The prices of the menu need to be done carefully. While deciding on the menu pricing you must keep in mind the menu food cost, while still being pocket-friendly to the customers you are planning to target and the location of your restaurant. For example, if your targeted clientele is college students your prices must be relatively low, on the contrary, if you are targeting customers for your fine dining restaurant in a posh locality, then you can keep the prices relatively higher. Read this guide about menu pricing and food costs that would help you design your menu better.

Research your surroundings before deciding the menu price. You should keep the surrounding market and competition in consideration while deciding the Menu Price. If your competition is serving the same dish with similar service at a lower price, then your sales are definitely going to see a drop. This is quite evident that if you increase the prices of your menu items, it will automatically increase the net sales of your restaurant. However, you should know how to increase the menu price. Abruptly increasing the price of the menu items will not be taken positively by your customers. Hence, try increasing in small installments that will not catch the eyes of the customers, while it will increase the overall sales and profit for your restaurant.

11. Distributing Pamphlets and Posters

Merely setting up your restaurant and expecting to see the influx of customers will be your biggest illusion. You need to market your restaurant well. Both online and offline marketing should be given due importance. However, simply focusing on online marketing and completely neglecting offline marketing which involves distribution of flyers and pamphlets, can seem to be a major concern since there are a number of people especially aged people who are not tech-savvy and they still prefer to follow the hoardings, reads newspapers and pamphlets to keep themselves aware of the new restaurants in town.

12. Updated Website Online Marketing

Considering the increasing use of technology,  the reach of online marketing has gone ahead to push borders of marketing. Make your presence felt on the social media pages, upload pictures, update your pages and website in a timely manner so that all your present and potential customers are aware of all the new insertions in the menu, the new events that your restaurant is planning to host and the like. These design tips will help you create a fabulous restaurant website that will bring in more orders.

13. Ensuring a Stellar Guest Experience

While a restaurant’s product is no doubt an essential factor that attracts and retains customers, it goes without saying that a stellar guest experience will have a lasting impression on your customers. Let your customers feel comfortable and at home, serve them food with care and live up to their expectations. Surprise your customers by giving them a complimentary slice of pizza or a pastry. Provide them with an amazing guest experience and be sure to see their faces again.

how a stellar service can increase your restaurant sales

13. Communicating With Your Employees

Asking your staffs and your employees on what they think about the changes that must be brought in the restaurant is the best way you can run your business and increase your restaurant sales. In all probability, your employees will always provide you with an unadulterated opinion. More often than not, their opinions will be right since it is they who are dealing with the customers on a daily basis. This will also make your employees feel important which is essential in running a restaurant since you will not be able to be present at your restaurant 24×7. They will be able to tell you, if a certain menu item is not doing good, or whether the happy hour timings should change that will make the initiative more fruitful. You can arrange for an open house sessions ones a month, or call all your staffs for lunch at your restaurant ones every week, to understand the customer behaviour.

We are expecting to witness greater initiatives in the upcoming year on the part of the restaurant that will augment the restaurant sales. There has been a buzz in the media on this as well.

14. Email Marketing 

Email marketing is also gaining a lot of importance in the recent years. This kind of marketing helps you to nurture a long-term relationship with your customers. Since, messages have a word count limitation, which is not present in the email, you can use this marketing strategy to send long messages. You can send periodical newsletters to all your customers to keep them hitched to all the new happenings at your restaurant. Find out how to do email marketing the right way for your restaurant here.

15. SMS Marketing

SMS marketing is a definite way to create a short-term relationship with your customers. Since you will already receive all your customers’ information from your customer database, why won’t you use it to garner more sales at your restaurant?  Whenever you are planning to provide offers at your restaurant why don’t you just send an SMS to all the customers from your database? These messages generally also contain links to online ordering sites. Hence, they will compel to visit the site mentioned and order, thus increasing your sales. A direct invitation right in the inbox can hardly be ignored by anyone! Try these SMS marketing tips to double your restaurant business.

16. Analyzing Reports

Use a POS that will help you in running your business and augment your restaurant sales. Your POS must be your best friend, providing you information about everything that happens at your restaurant, whether you are physically present there or not. You must receive the detailed reports of the number of sales happening at your restaurant and across all outlets, number of bills generated, number of offers and discounts given, the items that have reached their expiry date and needs to be reordered and such other information. Since you will have a detailed report of all your sales including the most selling items and the least wanted ones, you can accordingly consult with your chef, and bring in some changes in your menu. 

17. Creating Combo Meals

Combo meals are a great way to attract customers, especially those who want to keep it low on their budget. Try and select your top selling lunch items and pair them with a popular side dish and beverage. If you see in popular chains, they couple burgers with french fries and a cold drink. McDonald is a splendid example for such combos. Keep your combos simple. This will not only help attract customers but is also a great way to club your high profit yet low selling items with the low profit and high selling dishes.

18. Communicating With Your Employees

Asking your staffs and your employees on what they think about the changes that must be brought in the restaurant is the best way you can run your business and increase your restaurant sales. In all probability, your employees will always provide you with an unadulterated opinion. More often than not, their opinions will be right since it is they who are dealing with the customers on a daily basis. This will also make your employees feel important which is essential in running a restaurant since you will not be able to be present at your restaurant 24×7. They will be able to tell you, if a certain menu item is not doing good, or whether the happy hour timings should change that will make the initiative more fruitful. You can arrange for an open house sessions ones a month, or call all your staffs for lunch at your restaurant ones every week, to understand the customer behaviour.

how to increase your restaurant sales

We are expecting to witness greater initiatives in the upcoming year on the part of the restaurant that will augment the restaurant sales. There has been a buzz in the media on this as well.

Since making a profit is important in all business, it is important for a restaurant to bolster their restaurant sales as well. We hope that after reading the article you have garnered enough knowledge on how you can plan to increase your restaurant sales.

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