If you work in the food service industry, you know that the competition can be cutthroat. With lots of competition and rapidly changing trends it can be tough to keep your business at the forefront of customers’ minds. One major factor to consider is the balance between acquiring new customers vs. retaining existing customers.
Let’s explore some restaurant marketing techniques you can use to attract new customers, keep regulars coming back, and, once you have a great customer base, maintain a steady cash flow.
1. Offer Online Ordering
Diners have a lot of other options of where they can go out to eat. So, in order to increase your restaurant’s sales, you’ll need to make it easier for your customers to choose you over a competitor. If you offer online ordering, you clear up your phones and the lines out your door. Guests won’t be forced to wait around just to be served. This allows your kitchen and staff to complete more orders in less time. This feature also makes you more discover able online, and people will be able to order right from their computers or smartphones. Your guests want a convenient dining experience, not a complicated one. Make it easy for them and increase your sales at the same time by offering online ordering in your restaurant.
2. Utilize Social Media
Restaurants have the incredible opportunity to promote their business and convey their brand outside their walls – for free. If your restaurant is not taking advantage of social media, I ask you the following question: why? Social media is free, takes little time out of your day, and lets you connect with customers on an individual level. By commenting on your fans’ posts, sharing photos of your food and staff, and putting out exclusive offers for your followers, you create a community for your business that expands far beyond your physical location. Social media helps increase awareness of your business in a world over saturated by restaurant choices, and thus can help you increase your restaurant sales.
3. Adopt a Loyalty Program
To increase restaurant sales, it’s easier to focus inward before focusing outward. Let’s put that in the proper context: focusing on your existing customers is a great first place to start increasing your sales, and a loyalty program can help you do just that. According to level up, members of a restaurant loyalty program spend 19% more on average when redeeming their reward, and their frequency of visiting your restaurant increases 75% between their first and tenth reward redemption. A natural side effect of a loyalty program is increased visitors, as those looking for somewhere to eat might bring along coworkers, friends, or family to your restaurant.
4. Construct your Menu Carefully
Certain menu items and food prices in your restaurant may be keeping your sales lower than they could be. Maybe the menu item you think is the most profitable is actually too expensive in your customers’ eyes, or maybe it’s time to discontinue the dish that no one seems to be ordering. Think your pricing model may need an update? The only way to be sure is to start menu engineering and strategically picking price points and menu offerings that will increase restaurant sales.
5. Turn your customers into promoters
This one should be obvious – but you can’t expect to see an increase in restaurant sales without stellar meals, presentation and service! Word of mouth is immensely powerful: while a satisfied customer will share their praise with three people, a dissatisfied customer will share their grievances with 10. By that logic, you could lose a customer forever before they even come in your door. Don’t let this happen. Consistently provide an exceptional experience for all guests that will increase restaurant sales from them and their connections.
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