Running a restaurant is a far more demanding task than it appears at first. Managing the staff, handling the logistics and keeping your supplies fresh are just some of the challenges that every single café or restaurant has to face. However, all of this can be worth it if you can make enough sales to stay up and running. Fortunately, there are more than a couple of tricks that you can use in order to make some improvements on this front. Here are six of them.
1. Focus on return business
When it comes to making it in the hospitality industry, there are several rules that you need to understand. First, the industry itself is incredibly competitive, which doesn’t mean that it isn’t welcoming to newcomers. Second, the bulk of your profit comes from return businesses, but it doesn’t mean that brand loyalty guarantees exclusivity (it never does). Even the most loyal of customers aren’t going to order from you exclusively, however, this can also be an advantage. All in all, in order to make it, you need to focus on return business.
2. Understand your costs
While the topic may revolve around sales and not profit, knowing your costs can be quite beneficial in this field as well. How? Well, understanding your overhead will help you figure out the exact amount of money that you can set aside in order to boost your marketing. By figuring this one out, you’ll drive more attention your way, which will directly boost your sales. One piece of advice that you should take here is that you shouldn’t focus on high price point items but on the items with the highest margins instead. This simple shift of focus will help you adjust your strategy so that you reap the highest ROI possible.
3. Invest in a decent tableside ordering system
The efficiency of your staff greatly affects the overall customer satisfaction. So, how do you improve this customer experience? First of all, you need to be careful about who you hire. Second, you need to ensure that these people receive the most efficient training possible. Finally, you can provide them with the most efficient equipment out there. One such idea would be to invest in a reliable mobile POS system for your restaurant. This alone would drastically improve the logistical side of your restaurant business.
4. Encourage online orders
For a lot of people, ordering food and beverages and enjoying them in the comfort of their own home is a preferable way of handling things. This is especially true for introverts who make a sizable portion of your market. Fortunately, in this day and age, you can easily benefit from this by simply enabling and encouraging online orders.
Keep in mind that this is probably the preferable way for you to approach the situation. Online customers don’t occupy your waiting staff, they don’t add to the pile of dishes that need to be washed and they don’t take up space in your restaurant or café. In other words, their margin is substantially larger than that of traditional guests, seeing as how they pay the same price for every meal/beverage while costing you less.
5. Start a unique loyalty program
One of the most unique things about boosting the appeal of your restaurant or café is the fact that every extra step you take is considered a loyalty program. For instance, by simply starting a tradition of latte art, you will significantly increase customer loyalty. Second, it’s worth mentioning that more and more cafes and restaurants are going for creative sidewalk signs. A passerby who notices the sign is likely to come inside and make an order. A first-time visit (provided that it goes according to plan) can easily be turned into a recurring trend.
6. Focus on reviews
Like with everything in the digital world, people are incredibly focused on the opinions of others, which means that they might check out online reviews before paying a visit to your cafe or restaurant. Keep in mind, nonetheless, that we live in a culture where leaving a review is a much more common practice than it ever was before. In fact, a lot of your guests may write an online review while still in your restaurant. Therefore, try to make a good impression on them.
The best thing about these six tips is the fact that they’re merely there to enhance your business model and not drastically change it. This makes them simple, effective and impactful, regardless of the current state of your business.