Updated: Jun 21, 2020
The restaurant industry is extremely competitive. If you are not equipped with the proper knowledge and skills to run a restaurant, you might end up closing, without even reaching your first year in the business.
This is the hard truth of the restaurant industry, the first three years are very crucial, it can determine whether you make it through or not.
We need to be very smart with every dollar we spend and always figure out where our money is going to know and monitor the ROI or Return of Investment constantly.
As restaurant owners, our ultimate goal and focus are to gain more sales, to have a profitable business!
Having effective strategies and tactics in place are very vital in marketing our business, hence growing our sales.
Strategies are your long-term plan of action that includes methods and procedures to achieve your goal. Tactics are the actual means, which are usually short-term, that are used to obtain your objectives.
And again, for you to significantly grow your sales, you must have strategies and tactics at hand.
Do you know that there are only 3 ways to grow your restaurant sales?
The only 3 ways to increase your sales are:
1. Getting new customers consistently
One of the most challenging parts of having a restaurant business is how to attract new customers to come and try our food.
No matter how a restaurant is doing, whether it's busy or slow, you need to have tactics and strategies in place to get new customers in your restaurant all the time because, without them, we are nothing.
In this day and age where the internet is dominating our ways of communication, it is easier for any business to introduce themselves to people thus drawing attention to new clients.
Take advantage of technology like social media marketing, email marketing, text message marketing, etc.to captivate curiosity and interest of the people.
While there's no harm in trying traditional marketing methods like couponing, print ads, guerilla marketing, and more which are still proven effective up to the present time.
2. Bringing back the customers over and over again
You need to find ways to bring customers back to your restaurant continuously, ideally every week or twice a week. Give them a reason to come back over and over.
Having an outstanding speed of service, satisfying order accuracy, and exceptional friendliness of the service can greatly impact the overall experience of our customers that would make them return to our restaurant again and again.
Our determination to always provide a service that goes above and beyond can absolutely be a reason why a customer would choose to be loyal to us.
It is also necessary to "keep in touch" with our existing customers for us to ensure repeat business by sending regular communications through email and text messages.
This will allow you to interact with your current customers on a more personal approach thus helping you build a long and lasting relationship with them.
3. Making more money per customer
Increasing your average ticket, raising your prices, or simply having a system, strategies, and tactics in place to grow more sales like upselling, promotions, etc. are just a few examples of how can you generate more money for your restaurant.
Upselling is one of the easiest ways to grow your profit because it encourages the customer to purchase or add more items on the spot.
However, you have to make sure that it is being done properly and consistently for it to be successful.
You must also raise your prices regularly, by either increasing on a fixed percentage like 2% above every single item or a dollar amount of certain items that you want to increase.
You may want to do 30 cents or 50 cents at a time vs. a dollar price increase. Increasing prices should be done often, like every quarter, every six months, or yearly for you to produce more earnings.
So always when a tactic is thrown at you, like Yelp or Facebook ads or email marketing, you need to know which bucket it goes into. Is that a method and a tactic to help you create new customers? Is it for you to bring your current customers back or is it to increase your average ticket?
If you don't have that strategy and you are in a sea of tactics, it will be very confusing.
You might end up wasting money. For instance, putting ads on a receipt for $600 a month, without fully understanding how is that whole funnel going to look like.
What is the offer we are making, how are we going to make it from start to finish, and how are we going to measure that money we are spending? Is that a good investment or is it a bad investment?
We need to have strategies in our pockets for each of those. Like we got these little machines working for us, there is automation in place, there is training for our staff to consistently get new customers. Have a system to get our existing customers to continue to come back, and increase our average ticket.
Those are the only 3 ways that are going to consistently grow your restaurant, investing in those strategies, and using the proper tactics can definitely make you thrive in this highly-competitive industry. Turn your small restaurant into something big!
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