Our Restaurant’s Top 3 Secrets to Consistent Sales Growth
Updated: Jun 19
A lot of people have asked, what is our secret to success?
Five years ago, my husband and I quit our job as engineers. We moved from New Mexico to San Antonio, Texas, in pursuit of an American Dream!
We wanted to be in business and work together as a team to have the freedom of time. The freedom to spend as much time with our kids, our family.
Since we loved hosting parties, having people over and served them delicious meals, we thought of opening a restaurant.
We believed that starting a restaurant would combine our passion for food and our desire to have our very own business!
So we sold our house in New Mexico and bought a dying Pizzeria in San Antonio. It was hundreds of thousands of dollars below break-even.
We had 0 prior experience in the restaurant business, and at the time, our two kids were very young. Luke was 2 and a half years old, while Mark was only 7 months.
In that first year of operations, I think we worked 100+ hours a week and only collected 25k - 30k dollars in profits for the whole year.
But we got very aggressive in boosting our sales after that initial year.
We never stopped thinking and doing things that would generate sales for our restaurant business.
And lo and behold, we over-tripled our sales in the last five years. We also opened our 2nd location last year, and we had our 3rd baby, who is now 2!
We are engaged owners, but we do not work in the operations. Thanks to systems, automation, and leadership development.
We collectively work around 10 hours a week, meeting with our managers, and collect 6 figures in profits.
So how did we do it?
I would love to share with you our three top secrets to our restaurant's sales growth!
1. We are obsessed with growing our sales!
After making 25,000 dollars profit for the first year, we realized that it did not justify our long working hours in the operations. It was way below the minimum wage. So we become obsessed with thinking and doing things to boost our sales.
Are you obsessed with growing your sales? It involves cutting costs and increasing profits. You need to make more money and keep much of it.
Beyond this, you need to ensure that your managers are aware of the fact that everything rises and follows with sales. They want a raise? Want to upgrade equipment? The answer is SALES.
Get everyone excited about growing your sales. Mobilize the whole team.
What is the vision for your sales and sales growth? How are you all going to benefit if your sales go higher?
Everybody needs to win, that must be your team's mindset. Every single month, your standard should be at least 10% sales growth. It must come from you as the restaurant owner. Setting the tone by meeting weekly with your management team.
If it matters to you, it needs to be reflected on your calendar. Let your managers see the time and effort you allocate in creating content, promotions, and other strategies to grow your sales. Have them look at the numbers every week.
2. We have gathered Intel of our customers obsessively
We are centered on understanding what truly matters to our customers. We only focus on what they care about. This is why we need to gather Intel of our customers by communicating with them consistently.
We get into the dining room, make friends with our customers.
Being a local restaurant, this your advantage over Papa John's or McDonald's, building personal connections with your customers.
Another thing when it comes to obsessively gathering Intel is that we have captured our customer's contact information from day one.
We make sure that we got their phone numbers and email addresses. This has given us a tremendous amount of opportunity to market through our customer's database for all these years.
We probably have 25,000 email addresses and phone numbers of our customers.
For the first two years, part of our strategy was sending text messages to every single customer who ordered from us.
We thanked them for their business with us and asked them if there were any issues with their orders.
There were a lot of issues that customers were concerned about like pizza was delivered cold, toppings were missing, and etc.
But this gave us two things. One is, it allowed us to pick up the phone, personally apologize, and make things right for our customers, so we don't lose them. Second is, we can figure out the root cause of a problem and then improve our products and services.
3. We make sure that our money-generating activities are planned out, systematized and automated!
What are the money-generating activities? You must know these activities, as much as you work really hard in your restaurant.
Organizing the hallway, placing the food order, or maybe doing some deep cleaning. These things are all important, but they don't necessarily generate money.
As a restaurant owner or manager, you need to identify what are money-generating activities. Let me share with you what we've been practicing for our restaurant:
Food drops - You need to be building relationships with other businesses within the 3-5 mile radius of your restaurant.
Go visit other establishments and drop your free food. This can lead to catering deals and partnership opportunities.
We have a system for our food drops wherein we assigned a person in charge of doing this task regularly. So we document it, set it, and forget about it.
Hosting fundraisers - Are you maximizing this initiative? This needs to be systematized, delegated properly, and tracked well.
Upcoming promotions for the whole month - You need to be planning out your promotions ahead of time.
For instance, in early January this year, you have already mapped out your plans for the Super Bowl. You must have figured out what is going to be your deal, how are you going to promote it, and etc. It has to be 3 months of early preparation.
Leverage your systems. Schedule your social media content through scheduling sites, automate your email marketing, and systematize text message marketing.
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