In the restaurant industry, it is difficult to maintain a solid cash flow whilst keeping an eye on the profit margin. Wow, that sounds a bit full-on for a Thursday! Let’s just talk about suggestions on how to boost your revenue:
Formula (stay with me here):
Want to increase revenue = need to increase sales
Need to increase sales = must increase marketing potential
Get em back.
Your returning customers are the golden coupons of increasing sales. You’ve seen those cards where if you get so many coffees you score a free one? Well think along the same lines with your food – special deals are a good place to start, or simply a friendly acknowledgment if they visit again can make a big impact.
Direct mail slash email marketing is one of the best ways to reconnect with your customers and keep yourself in the back of their minds. Updates and specials are great content to include, but don’t forget to send some bloggy material and also material that isn’t promotional (the 80/20 rule applies here, 80% interesting content and 20% promotional).
We all know (by now) that social media marketing is absolutely fabulous for promoting your restaurant as, well, everyone uses it. In fact the majority of the young generation say they will check out a new restaurant before they eat there – so make sure your photos have the right filters and an actual strategy, such as promoting special deals will get you further than aimlessly posting a picture of a lamb shank.
What’s more is that you can set up your restaurant as a tagged location on Instagram and Snapchat for a minimal cost, so people can tag you in the posts and you get promoted at the same time! Win win! Also trending at the moment are tags such as ‘all natural’, ‘clean eating’ and ‘locally sourced’ – research and use these.
Have you seen the new wave of famous people? They are referred to as ‘insta-famous’ and ‘lifestyle or food bloggers’. Consider inviting one of these local legends for a meal on you, in return for a promotional blog or instagram post (make sure the food is up to par before inviting them of course).
Sell yourself long.
Charity events or ‘special occasion’ nights held in your restaurant are always a great marketing tactic (lots of social media marketing associated with them too) and plus you feel good about helping the charity too. Radios also love getting on board with these sorts of events, but most of the time you need to approach them, but it is well worth it.
To increase customer spending, don’t be fast food-ish but you must train your staff in the art of up-selling. Increase the odd extra side dish or desert here and there – and you will be surprised in the different they make to the end of the week tally up.
Also, consider plonking a bar in the restaurant to appeal to the night owls and *ahem* the younger generation. The glamour of ordering a drink at the bar before eating can double your revenue by transforming your restaurant into a bar hang out as well as a fantastic place to eat.