If you are running a restaurant, you often think about how to increase revenue and profit. if you are set to propel your business, you need customers, which leads to revenue. Revenue is the beginning of the lifestream of business and you need it to sustain the business and even profit. Revenue needs a specific strategy for each different business setting.
Attracting customers, making them loyal to your food, service and the brand, or it could be expanding the dining area to sit more customers. Let's look into what makes a restaurant business earn more revenue and make customers come back.
I am going to divide the revenue-boosting activities into two categories: main activities and support activities.
The core business model of a restaurant business is the food it offers. Let's not forget that. I hope this is not a thing that needs to be reminded of for many readers.
The last thing you want to do in your restaurant business is to downgrade the quality of food and services. The only reason people visit your restaurant repeatedly is the food and the experience. It's not ads that make them come back, it's not some catchy phrases that build loyal customers. Focus on your product and service and keep at it.
Some of the activities to maintain the quality of food and services:
Regular employee turnover rate assessment
If you have too many cooks and servers coming and leaving, there is definitely going to be an issue with your food and services. Once you find out the problem, fix it!
The basis of all product quality comes from what or where it's made from. Of all things, you cannot compromise the freshness of ingredients (quality of products in the case of retail) Find quality ingredients at all cost (I mean reasonable..). If they are too expensive, find a way to co-source them with another restaurant to reduce unit cost. Working hard pays off.
Have a set of a training manual and always go by the rule for food preps, cooking instructions, and floor operations. Poorly trained employees would cost your business an entire lifetime value of a customer or more. If you have been ignoring the power of proper training, now is the time to reassess the training process of your business. Having a set of rules to follow maintains consistency of your food and services.
It may sound like some IT startup's problem but a healthy feedback loop is a great way to engage customers and make their voices heard. Every business could grow like a startup. Base every decision you make on quantitative data and qualitative feedback. Most successful startups have a healthy feedback loop with their customers. That's how they learn the market response to the product and confirm the direction of the business. Business does not lie in your master plan. It lies with the customers. Start asking customers how you did today. You will be surprised to know what they like or don't like. All you gotta do is to act on the results.
Aside from main activities, you can engage many supportive activities to boost your revenue or profit. These activities could consist of cutting cost, increasing efficiency, attracting customers, and increasing repeated visits.
The use of gift cards has been increasing. Consumers continue to give and receive gift cards regardless it's a physical card or an online gift card. Allowing customers an option to buy gift cards not only boosts your revenue up front but also bring more potential customers as your loyal customer will give them to their friends and family. Many retail and F&B corporations take this gift card strategy to increase revenue in a pre-paid form and also give chance to potential customers to try the product. The strength of using gift cards is the freedom of purchase. Once you receive a gift card, you can choose whatever food or services to buy whenever they want.
Start thinking about gift cards for your business and how to promote them.
It's always the impulsive last-minute decision that makes you spend the extra dollar. I am sure many of the readers have experienced this. This is a good strategy to upsell and this could take a significant portion of the daily revenue.
Many of the customer purchases decisions are made while in the store. This means what they see could lead to the sales. Use a physical board or an iPad near cash register to promote your best-selling items or the deal of the day. If your customer weren't aware of the deal, that's where they will notice and could add a few more items to their purchase.
There are many things that affect the efficiency of your operation. It could come from small issues like a floor plan. One complicated steps to deliver a product to a customer could add one unhappy customer.
If customers consistently have congested kitchen area or cash register, you have a problem. Operating a store is similar to real estate business. You have to plan well where the traffic moves and how to handle all traffic during busy times of the day. Assess your floor plan today and see where your bottlenecks are and fix it. If you could sit 100 customers/day before, improving a floor plan could allow 20 more customers to try your food.
Does it take a long time for your staff to find the right size shoes for your customer? Are they frustrated to find the item? Your inventory management software says the item is there but you have no idea it could be? Start replanning the storage, rearrange the shelves and label them properly.
Kitchen is a way more complex area than floor and storage. It is where your chef and cooks work who controls the quality of the food. A clustered kitchen would decrease the efficiency of the key restaurant operation. Listen to their feedbacks on kitchen and discuss how you can improve. You will be surprised to hear what they have to say.
I've suggested a few ways to boost your store revenue and profit. Some may be applicable to your business and some may not. As an owner or a manager of a business, your job isn't only managing employees, ordering inventory, and promoting with an advertisement. Oftentimes, the key to increasing sales lies at the core of the business.