Many restaurant owners discover they’ve reached a plateau of sorts, where their walk-in traffic, while robust, doesn’t seem to be expanding. Know the feeling? Maybe you’ve already hit up all the local office buildings with lunch coupons and added menu items that complement well for an upsell, but you still feel as though you could do “more.”
Here are seven ways that restaurants can generate additional revenue:
1. Open a second “location”
No, we’re not talking a whole new brick-and-mortar store, which may not suit your model. What about getting in on the food cart craze and creating a mobile location you can take to community events and parties? Some projections peg food trucks at a $2.7 billion industry by 2020, and it can be a lucrative venture for catering at festivals and even private parties. You might even band together with other food truck purveyors and market yourselves as a pod for big events. In addition it serves as fantastic marketing for your existing store.
2. Create your own merchandise
Do you have a quirky logo or signature item that everyone talks about? Why not create a line of hats, T-shirts and other swag for your customers to purchase? Not only can it provide an extra stream of revenue, but it turns your clients into walking billboards for your store. Start with a limited run of merchandise so that you don’t have too much inventory and see what sells.
3. Incentivize your staff to sell more
The phrase “do you want fries with that?” is in our common vernacular, and there’s a reason for that: The upsell works. Chances are good you did some training with your staff on upselling during your onboarding but it doesn’t hurt to offer a refresher. Make a game of it and have an “item of the day” (or week) that your staff competes to sell the most of, whether it’s a bakery treat with a coffee or a larger size of a popular item. Use your iPad POS to track sales and give the winning staff member a small cash reward.
4. Offer gift cards
If you don’t yet have a gift card program, you’re missing out. For one thing—and not to sound cynical—but it might be a sale that doesn’t even have any goods attached to it, since more than $1 billion in gift cards go unredeemed, according to some estimates.
Of course, you do want your customers to use your gift cards, especially if they are giving it to someone who hasn’t visited your store before, allowing you to potentially reach new customers. Gift cards are easy for people to grab and go, and they’re inexpensive to offer (and easy to integrate!) so not having a gift card strategy is like leaving money on the table.
5. Go all in on a loyalty program
The best part about today’s loyalty programs is that they are easy to integrate into your iPad POS so customers are more apt to use rhwm. That means more opportunities for you to delight them with various rewards, encouraging more repeat visits.
Some months you may decide you want them to bring a friend, so you offer a BOGO. Other times you might want them to sample a new menu item—maybe one at a higher price point that you’d like to make part of their regular rotation. Using your data to track preferred rewards can be lucrative for you, and offers a way that you can surprise and delight your best visitors.
6. Host a special event
Take some time to review traffic patterns and spot places where your count could use a boost —that’s a great time to host a special event. Are weekends typically slow? Host a mother/daughter brunch. Does your traffic fall off around 3pm? See if local schools want to host a homework club or hire an entertainer and market yourself to local moms’ groups trying to make it through the late afternoon trudge.
With a little creatively you can boost traffic—as well as goodwill—at times when you’re normally slow.
7. Embrace online ordering
As consumers do more on their phones, allowing them to discover and order from your business from an app is an increasingly common way to grow sales. Services like GrubHub, Eat24, and ChowNow are destinations for hungry mobile consumers and an affordable way to generate demand for your business. Modern POS systems like Instore allow you to work elegantly with multiple online ordering providers without cluttering up your counters with fax machines and dedicated tablets. Take advantage of this trend and watch sales grow.
What do most of these tactics have in common? They depend on data, the type that you can more easily track when you invest in a mobile POS solution. Check out all the features and benefits one can offer to help drive traffic, loyalty and sales through better customer service.
Photo copyright: elanathewise/Depositphotos.com