Considering the stiff competition and thinning margins in the restaurant space in UAE, most businesses eventually encounter a restaurant business slowdown. The restaurant industry is one of the most highly competitive businesses out there and has some of the worst fatality rates. It’s your ability to sustain during the slow periods that will help in keeping your restaurant’s doors open.
As a restaurant operator in UAE, you should be on the lookout for the signs of a business slowdown, and take prompt actions to resolve the issues.
Keeping track of your daily, weekly, and monthly sales reports is a must in this case, especially for all the outlets.
Tips To Overcome Restaurant Business Slowdown
There are several factors that lead to a restaurant business slowdown. The restaurants in Dubai witness a lot of seasonal business since Dubai is one of the top tourist destinations globally. Apart from this, high competition, lack of innovation in the menu, poor marketing, and low customer engagement can also lead a slowdown in the business.
Here are some techniques you can make use of to overcome a restaurant business slowdown.
1. Keep A Check On The Reports
The first thing you need to do is analyze how much of a slowdown your restaurant is actually experiencing. Keep track of your daily, weekly, and monthly sales to monitor and compare the revenue and then drill down to the reasons why your sales may be dropping.
Look for the period and the sessions the sales are low and compare with the previous week’s data.
Further, you should be looking at your menu performance reports to identify the items that are not performing well, and consider removing them completely to bring down your food costs.
Knowing your strengths is a great way of overcoming the slow business phase. You can make use of the reports and curate a new menu with the most selling items. This will keep the people coming back.
2. Introduce Offers
Introducing offers and discounts is a great way of ensuring you have customers coming in even during slow business periods. Offers encourage customers to pay a visit to your restaurant. Run special offers on weekdays when the business is generally slow.
Coupling high-profit items with popular items is a great way to increase your sales as well s the revenue. Use your menu performance report and your food costing reports to check which items are selling the most, and which have the low food cost and high profits to curate a best-selling Combo.
Be sure to do your own research, as every restaurant is unique. See what suits your setup the best and would help in luring in more customers. Figure out the best time to run offers, the food your customers like having, what drinks they like, etc.
3. Start A Loyalty Program
Starting a loyalty program and rewarding your regular customers is a great way of ensuring your customers keep coming back and overcoming restaurant business slowdown. Keeping your guests hooked to your restaurant is an excellent technique to overcome slow restaurant business. Use a POS system to easily integrate your loyalty program and run it smoothly through all your outlets.
You can run two different types of loyalty programs depending upon your restaurant’s average sales.
- Point-based loyalty program: It is based upon the spend of the customers. They can collect points based on the amount they spend. These kinds of restaurant loyalty programs work best for fine dining where the customers tend to spend higher.
- Visit based loyalty program: It is appropriate for a quick service restaurant or casual dining where the footfall is high, but the customers tend to spend less. You can offer a free drink or a side dish on every fifth or tenth visit to keep customers coming back.
4. Hosting Events
In UAE, restaurant owners tend to host special events during significant holidays like Eid to increase the restaurant sales, but festivals are not the time when the business is low.
You can come up with special events like “Curry Festival,” where you can cook different types of curries from all over the world and encourage people to come to try them.
Some other events you can host are:
- Wine tasting events
- Live music
- Charity events
- Cooking classes
- Live sports screening
Such events help in increasing the footfall even during slow business periods like weekdays.
Hosting events is a great excuse to attract more people to your restaurant and increase sales. You can curate special events based on the kind of audience you target.
In the UAE, the restaurant industry is growing rapidly. With new competitors cropping up now and then, slowing down of the restaurant business seems inevitable. To get through the restaurant business slowdown, you need to get creative and give your customers a reason to keep coming back.
Deploy the above-mentioned ideas and turn around the slow restaurant business into a profitable one.