Proven Ways to Increase Restaurant Sales: The Ultimate Guide
If you're in a hurry, we recommend vGrubs as our top choice. The average annual revenue growth of restaurants is around 2% nationwide, while vGrubs boasts they can increase your delivery sales by 30%. Try them out; their marketing program is free - but for a commission.
The restaurant industry can be intensely competitive and ever-changing. With new establishments constantly opening and trends continuously shifting, staying ahead requires creativity and adaptability. This blog post explores exciting yet practical strategies to increase restaurant sales.
We’ll traverse changing guest behaviours, leverage technology, optimize operations, craft marketing campaigns, and forge emotional connections. While increased revenue and profitability are tangible goals, the passion for food and hospitality will propel you through challenges. By embracing innovation and fostering human relationships, your establishment can thrive now and into the future.
Let’s begin this journey of imagination and heart. The insights await to transform your business! Running a restaurant requires resilience, vision, and agility. It would be best to keep a pulse on emerging dining trends while refining your unique culinary viewpoint.
It’s both an art and a science - mastering business growth strategies and human connections.
Success hinges on anticipating ever-evolving consumer preferences while remaining authentic to your core. Be open yet steadfast.
Embracing Tech to Elevate Efficiency and Experiences
Online Ordering and Delivery Expand Reach
Once a novelty, online ordering and delivery are now essential, unlocking sales opportunities beyond your physical location. Integrating seamless ordering on your website and partnering with delivery services make your delectable offerings available anytime, anywhere. Meet guests where they are. These digital offerings' convenience, flexibility, and expanded reach are game-changing. Embrace the future.
Adaptability is key in our digital age.
Expanding Delivery with Virtual Restaurants
- They provide tablets and software to handle online orders so that you can focus on food prep and delivery.
- vGrubs markets your restaurant menu on their online channels to attract new customers. This brings in extra orders without any extra effort on your end.
- Some vGrubs customers see around $20,000 more monthly revenue thanks to their services. Good!
It’s like having a dedicated sales team promoting your restaurant menu and bringing you qualified leads and orders. vGrubs only takes a small commission on the extra orders they generate.
They offer two primary services:
Premium tablet integration and support for $129/month. This includes their order management software, real-time analytics, and customer service.
- Virtual restaurant marketing. vGrubs creates virtual brands and promotes your restaurant menu across multiple delivery platforms. You get 70% of each order they generate.
- The cool thing is you can run their virtual brands alongside your online delivery channels. More orders, more revenue!
If you want to grow your delivery business without the usual hassles, vGrubs could be a game-changer. Learn more at Virtual Restaurants.
POS Systems Centralize Data for Key Decisions
A POS system doesn’t just handle transactions; its robust analytics provide game-changing insights. By centralising customer, sales, inventory and other data, yo u gain visibility to optimise menu engineering, staffing, and more through data-driven decisions. Tableside ordering and integrated payments also enhance experiences. Harness the power of data to drive strategy.
Leverage insights to stay ahead.
Online Reservations Capture Bookings
An online reservation system empowers guests to conveniently book tables directly on your site or Facebook. This means you capture more bookings rather than losing them to competitors. Features like text and email reminders reduce no-shows, while optimisation tools help fill seats when demand surges. Become their first choice by meeting them online. Don’t leave bookings on the table.
CRM Software Builds Customer Relationships
A CRM compiling profile, order history, preferences, and feedback lets you personalise service and target marketing. By nurturing relationships over time, you build loyalty and increase repeat visits. Integrated email marketing enables you to reach customers with relevant, timely offers to encourage return trips. Know your guests on a deeper level.
Relationships are everything.
Table Management Optimizes Turnover
Increasing table turns directly boosts revenue by serving more guests. Table management software enhances efficiency by tracking orders, timing meals, managing waitlists, assigning tables, and coordinating server activities. The result? Prompt service and faster turns during high-traffic periods translate to maximizing sales. Orchestrate the dance of dining. Streamline seating to maximise revenue.
By leveraging innovative virtual restaurant solutions from partners like vGrubs, restaurants can significantly expand delivery reach and sales without added overhead or staffing.
vGrubs creates and markets multiple virtual brands tied to your kitchen to grow the off-premise business.
Optimising Menus to Entice and Delight
Menu Engineering Drives Profitability
Menu engineering is the art of designing your menu to increase profitability. It starts with identifying your highest-margin dishes through careful analysis. Place these menu rockstars in prime positions, draft enticing descriptions, and add mouthwatering photos to highlight them. Promote lower-cost offerings in less prominent spots. Engineering your menu taps into psychology - driving customers toward more profitable items. Treat your menu as a masterpiece - carefully crafting each element to create the desired diner experience.
Curate menus to delight and maximise profit.
Seasonal Specials Showcase Quality Ingredients
Creating seasonal specials allows you to fully leverage peak-quality ingredients, from juicy summer peaches to aromatic winter herbs. Featuring must-try dishes made with seasonal fare brings in new and returning customers eager to taste the latest creations. Limited-time specials also generate excitement and urgency to try them before they’re gone. Allow Mother Nature to guide your inspiration. Capitalise on the seasonal bounty.
Prix Fixe Menus Encourage Exploration
Prix fixe and tasting menus enable you to expose customers to an enticing variety of menu items for an appealing bundled price. Diners get to journey through dishes they may never have otherwise tried. Continually changing the selections keeps things fresh. Offering tasting menus turns dining into an adventure! Surprise and delight taste buds.
Small Plates Allow Customization
Small plates and shareables cater to customized dining , allowing friends to order several items to share based on their preferences. Bite-sized portions will also enable you to showcase high-end ingredients in innovative new ways at lower prices. Tap into flexibility with shareables - driving customers to order more items to sample. Give diners control. Accommodate modern preferences.
Daily Specials Lure Customers
Daily specials attract diners seeking variety and enable you to test new dishes using seasonal ingredients. Promote on chalkboards, social media, and your site. Freshness calls! Maintain intrigue and variety.
With vGrubs' order management tablets seamlessly integrated, restaurants can easily manage the influx of online orders from their virtual brands and core menu to focus on food preparation and hospitality.
Customer Experience Transforms into Lifelong Relationships
Remarkable Service Creates Loyalty
Nothing builds lasting bonds like exceptional service - making every guest feel welcomed, valued, and cared for. Investing in hospitality training and empowering staff to personalise experiences is key. Continuously improve by listening to reviews and feedback. Relationships flourish when people feel special. Make an emotional imprint.
Hospitality is everything.
Upselling Increases Average Checks
Skilful upselling, suggesting complementary add-ons like desserts or drinks, boosts average checks and sales. Train waitstaff on sharing menu knowledge, reading tables, and tactfully upselling through subtle mentions or questions. Gamification, with prizes for hitting targets, can inspire friendly competition. Upsells elevate occasions. Subtly enhance moments.
Increase revenue tactfully.
Reservation Upgrades Boost Revenue
Entice dinner reservations by offering prepaid upgrades like birthday cakes or champagne toast. Your reservation system enables you to collect payment upfront while delighting guests. Or suggest VIP table locations for special celebrations. Prepaid revenue is money in the bank, even if guests don’t show. Upgrades excite! Unlock revenue early.
Give guests a reason to prepay.
Loyalty Programs Encourage Visits
Implementing a loyalty program, even just a simple punch card, incentivises guests to return, driving increased visits and revenue. More advanced programs enable members to accumulate points redeemable for rewards. Offering perks for frequent visits cements bonds. Give VIPs the red carpet treatment.
Reward loyalty profusely.
Email Campaigns Target Offers
Email marketing allows you to segment customers and then target promotions. Wish loyal regulars happy birthdays, invite casual guests for half-priced apps during happy hour, and entice lapsed diners with “we miss you” discounts. The ability to personalise messages sparks relevancy and responses. Email meets people where they are. Speak directly to each guest.
Get personal digitally.
Streamline Takeout and Delivery
Pickup and delivery tap into off-site dining occasions, expanding your reach. Integrated online ordering enhances convenience. Now, satisfying cravings is just a few clicks away! Serve diners anywhere. Bring your food to them.
vGrubs equips restaurants with a tailored premium order system designed specifically for virtual concepts and delivery, complete with integrated point-of-sale, robust reporting, and rapid settlement.
Innovative Marketing Connects with Customers
Search Engine Optimization Attracts Locals
SEO helps locals find your site when searching for restaurants. Optimise your Google My Business profile and produce blog content targeting relevant keywords. Building citations, reviews, and backlinks boosts visibility. Savvy digital marketing keeps you at the top of your mind when potential guests crave your type of cuisine. Meet them in the digital space. Deploy SEO strategies to get discovered online.
Appear when opportunity calls.
Paid Ads Expand Your Audience
While SEO reaches those already searching, paid ads help you connect with untapped customers open to trying new places. Google Ads target searchers even for broad terms like “dinner spots”. Facebook and Instagram enable geographic and demographic targeting to reach your audience efficiently. Paid ads build new relationships. Tap into targeted ads.
Cast a wider net.
Social Media Engagement Enhances Branding
Posting visually appealing, engaging social content consistently nurtures your brand image and personality. Responding to every comment and review shows you listen and care. Contests, giveaways, and interactive content help you forge community connections. Enable bookings directly from Facebook. Be their favourite follow.
Give your brand character online—bond through online engagement.
Claim and Optimize Listings
Verifying and enhancing listings on Google, Facebook, and directories lets you control how basic information appears. Optimising with menus, compelling photos, and booking links helps you stand out among competitors. Accurate, enticing listings attract clicks and drive visits. Be discoverable. Take charge of your online presence. Perfect your online real estate.
Capitalise on Restaurant Week
Restaurant Week promotions lure new diners with discounted tasting menus. Higher check averages make them worthwhile. Fresh faces turn into regulars after positive experiences. Events create opportunities. Seize seasonal promotions. Leverage limited-time events.
Host Special Events
Hosting events both thrill regulars and attract new guests. Collaborate with local breweries for beer dinners. Throw a ticketed murder mystery night. Offer hands-on cooking classes. Align events with your brand identity to create magical moments and memories. Optimism inspires. Orchestrate engaging experiences. Make memories through events.
Referral Programs Tap Existing Customers
Encouraging customers to refer family and friends can skyrocket awareness. Offer incentives for referrals like discounts or loyalty points to inspire word-of-mouth. Trackable referral links allow you to monitor success. Capitalise on happy customers’ positive experiences to drive exponential growth. Community builds community. Motivate brand ambassadors. Mobilise your fans.
Analytics Enable Data-Driven Decisions
Key Metrics Provide Insights
Use POS and reservation reports to gain visibility into sales performance. Tracking metrics like the number of covers, average checks, top-selling items, new vs repeat customers, visit frequency, referral program ROI, and more enable you to pinpoint opportunities. Data reveals truths to transform. Numbers guide intuition. Let data lead the way. Harness the power of analytics.
Customer Feedback Fuels Progress
Solicit reviews and feedback online and in-house. Listen attentively, respond professionally to concerns, and take action on constructive criticisms. Regularly assessing feedback helps you improve upon weaknesses before customers defect. Checking in also shows you care. Progress depends on openness. Don’t fear feedback - let it propel you forward. Critique is the breakfast of champions.
Additional Tips and Strategies for Increasing Restaurant Sales
We've covered initial strategies for increasing sales. Now let's dive into additional tips focusing specifically on expanding your online presence through virtual restaurants and delivery partners like vGrubs, effective training for upselling, building loyalty programs, and leveraging social media. These supplemental strategies can help further boost your revenue.
Partner with vGrubs
To describe them briefly, vGrubs uses its delivery tablet integration technology to boost your delivery sales. It sets up what are called virtual restaurants (or VRs). These VRs are new accounts on UberEats, DoorDash, and Grubhub that look like independent stores but sell your menu.
They can rebrand what you already have, sell a new menu line, and do all the marketing!
You must set up their tablet and watch the orders flow through your kitchen printer. Other tips and tricks might work to a degree, but they are nowhere near as effective as doubling or even tripling your online presence by setting up more stores.
It’s free until the service pays for itself, so it’s a guaranteed win-win!
The only catch is that vGrubs’ new stores will be brands that are not your restaurant’s, but revenue is still revenue.
The vGrubs pricing page breaks down the commission structure and complete value proposition they provide restaurants seeking expanded reach through virtual restaurants.
Upsell With Add-Ons and Upgrades
The upselling technique has been the go-to for increasing sales in any business. And this also applies to the restaurant business. Upselling involves urging your customers to buy more expensive or higher-margin items on your menu or add-ons they did not intend to buy.
Here is where employee training comes into play. You need to train your employees to upsell by offering add-ons or upgrades to your customers. Here is an example: Suppose you have a customer who wants to buy a burger. In this case, you may suggest that he/she adds cheese or bacon for an additional charge.
Upselling will help you achieve two things. It will help you increase your average earnings. It will also help you enhance your customers' dining experiences.
Cross-Promote Your Portfolio
Cross-promotion involves urging your customers to visit your other joint. For example, suppose a customer visits your Restaurant X. In that case, you can encourage him/her to visit Restaurant Y. This is a tried, tested, and proven strategy that guarantees tangible results.
So, to the elephant in the room: How do you cross-promote your portfolio? How do you ensure that the strategy works for you?
One way to achieve this is by offering special discounts or loyalty rewards. For example, Let's say, in this case, let me use John as your customer's name. John dines at your Italian restaurant. To capitalize on this, you can offer him a discount coupon to try your sushi bar.
Just like upselling, cross-promotion gives you two advantages over your competitors. You increase your sales, and you also build customer loyalty.
Go the Extra Mile for Your Guests
We are talking about the hospitality industry, and what is hospitality if you don't offer exceptional customer service? If you go to a place and their services are poor, would you go back there if you had another chance?
Therefore, providing exceptional customer service is key to increasing your restaurant sales. You must go the extra mile to ensure your customers have a memorable dining experience. Your staff must be attentive, friendly, and responsive to the customer's needs. Remember, your customers are your boss, and what the boss wants, the boss gets. And a happy boss means more sales and profits to you.
You may also form a culture of greeting your guests warmly at your restaurant. Offer your customers unexpected extras. For example, you may send them complimentary appetizers or a handwritten note on the bill.
Even if these actions seem insignificant, they can significantly impact your clients, who may return or even recommend you to their friends.
Embrace and Create a Strong Social Media Presence
Who is not on either of these platforms: Meta (formerly known as Facebook), X (formerly known as Twitter), Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok? These platforms have formed the backbone of modern marketing strategies.
Currently, 4.9 billion people use social media. This figure represents 60.49% of the world population. In the U.S.A. alone, 302.35 million are using social media platforms, and this represents 90% of the U.S.A total population.
Tapping into this platform will increase your sales. However, it is easier said than done. To start, you should create engaging content. This content should showcase your dishes, behind-the-scenes moments, and don't forget about special promotions. Create hashtags that your customers can use while posting on their socials. Please encourage them to post about their dining experiences on social media.
Engaging with your customers, especially in the comments section of your posts, is essential. Respond to their comments promptly. This will show that you value customer feedback. Another thing is you can partner with influencers. You can also run social media contests. These will guarantee that you expand your reach and attract new customers.
You may reach new clients, cultivate relationships with current ones, and obtain feedback from your clientele by having a solid social media presence. And the main benefit is that you will be able to drive sales, which in turn means improved bottom lines.
Implement a Loyalty Program
There is nothing extraordinary in the business world than having loyal customers. And, if you have loyal ones, they must be rewarded, don’t you think so? Having a loyalty program is one way to achieve this.
One strategy you can employ is offering points whenever a customer visits your restaurant. They can then exchange these points for deals or freebies. Having such a system will encourage repeat visits. Furthermore, it will promote word-of-mouth marketing.
If you implement such a program and do it to perfection, you significantly increase your customer retention, attract new customers, and drive your sales.
The restaurant industry offers immense opportunities tempered with intense challenges. As competition rises and innovations disrupt old models, success comes to those embracing creativity. Adjusting to emerging guest preferences, piloting inventive initiatives, forging genuine human connections, and adopting technologies that enable efficiency and experiences are essential.
With passion, flexibility, and strategic investments, your establishment can thrive. Remember - guests don’t just come for the food and ambience. They go because you make them feel joy. Your heart is your secret ingredient. Keep innovating, relating, and savouring each moment of bringing people together through hospitality.
Solutions like virtual restaurants, robust CRM data, and marketing automation allow restaurants to reach more guests through personalized, omnichannel experiences.
The future is bright! Stay nimble, stay human-centric, and success will follow. The journey brings joy - embrace it fully.
1. How can restaurants increase sales through marketing?
Some effective marketing tactics to increase restaurant sales include search engine optimisation, social media marketing, email campaigns, paid ads, optimising online listings, and offering promotions and loyalty programs. Creating buzz and staying top of mind with customers can drive more business.
2. What operational changes can boost restaurant sales?
Operations strategies like improving customer service through staff training, optimising table turnover rates, offering online ordering and delivery, menu engineering to highlight profitable items, and using data to make intelligent business decisions can significantly impact sales.
3. How can restaurants get existing customers to spend more?
Upselling additional menu items, offering prepaid reservation upgrades like champagne and dessert, implementing effective loyalty programs, and using CRM data to make personalised recommendations are great ways to increase existing customer spend.
4. What technology can help restaurants increase sales?
POS systems provide robust analytics for data-driven decisions. CRM software enables personalized marketing and service. Online ordering and table management systems streamline operations. All tech that enhances efficiency and customer experience can indirectly boost sales.
5. How can restaurants drive repeat business?
Building customer relationships through excellent service and loyalty programs keeps customers coming back. Targeted email campaigns with relevant offers motivate return visits. Personalized recommendations and consistent quality also drive retention and repeat sales.