If you own or run a restaurant, you know all about the disruption taking place in the industry. Digital technologies are opening up new avenues for customers to purchase food, and shifting consumer tastes are leading to demand for more varied menu items. While this kind of change can bring uncertainty, it also creates possibilities. Regardless of how much you want your business to evolve in the coming year, boosting restaurant sales is a priority for everyone.
Whether you’re looking to revolutionize your menu, open a new location, or increase local awareness, here’s a look at 4 tried-and-true strategies to help you grow your restaurant in 2019.
1. Attract New Customers to Your Restaurant
For many restaurants, the best marketing options involve hyperlocal promotions that bring nearby residents through the doors. Digital advertising via the web, email, and social media is also critical in broadening your audience. When it comes to boosting sales, blending email marketing, classic options like direct mail, and online relationship-building through social media can drive brand awareness and help get the attention of the locals. Building your Yelp community by engaging with reviewers and venturing into similar online sites can also help you gain recognition from locals and also attract visitors from out of town, boosting restaurant sales in the long run.
While these tactics are powerful, they also come with costs. Strategic small business loans can give you the jolt of funding necessary to get off the ground in this area. Online lenders can offer short term financing options that let you launch new projects without risking significant debt.
2. Use Retention Strategies to Build Loyalty
Retaining existing customers is often less expensive than attracting new ones. Launching a customer loyalty program that rewards regulars can help you keep customers coming back. You may also want to consider giving customers an opportunity to voice their opinions about your menu or ambience through online surveys or similar feedback tools.
3. Offer Diverse Purchasing Options
Technological advances have made it possible to give restaurant customers a choice in who and how they patronize. Boosting restaurant sales is easier if your patrons can make purchases in whatever way they prefer. Digital sales platforms, however, come with a caveat. Many online food ordering apps are popular among consumers, but they also take a cut of sales. Building your own online ordering system and mobile app lets you provide convenience without losing a portion of the sales. A small business loan can help you upgrade your web systems and build a smartphone app.
In addition to enhancing your digital offering, keep in mind that delivery, prepared dishes, and similar services can also diversify customer ordering options, boosting restaurant sales. A small business loan can provide funding for you to hire delivery drivers or purchase in bulk from suppliers to create those ready-to-go meals.
4. Maximize Table Turnover Rate
Moving more customers through the restaurant, without adversely affecting their experience by making them feel rushed, is a great way to increase revenue. A few options to improve efficiency include:
- Deploying self-service kiosks at tables.
- Implementing fully-integrated kitchen management and point-of-sale solutions ensures kitchen workers get orders as quickly as possible and simplifies operations for servers.
- Hiring more front-of-house staff to ensure prompt, efficient service.
Whether you’re making equipment investments or trying to cover salaries while you try new things, small business funding can position you to improve your table turnover rate.
Funding Holds the Key to Boosting Restaurant Sales
Boosting restaurant sales is easier when you have capital on hand to support operations. The good news is that small business lending is changing. Restaurant owners today have more options than ever to seek a variety of loan types, so their financing strategies align with their growth strategies. Now’s a great time to rethink how you use financing to expand your operations and keep pace with how the industry is changing.