Very few of us will ever forget the havoc wrought by COVID, especially for small and local businesses like restaurants. But as we continue to emerge from the economic effects of the pandemic, we know that certain things have changed. How do you as a restaurant cope? Let’s answer that and look at how to increase restaurant sales in this post-COVID era.
How to Increase Restaurant Sales Even in a Tough Economy
Carve Out Your Space on Social Media
Social media has become a truly valuable tool for restaurants. For starters, there are literally billions of people using social media today. And there are several social media networks, each one with its own unique interface and features. The top networks for restaurants are Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter – but what you choose is up to you!
The most important thing is to carve out a special space for your restaurant. For starters, this means setting up a comprehensive bio that includes all of your location and contact info, menu, and images, depending on what each network allows.
Once you have your bio fully set up, it’s time to start engaging. Post content such as images of your food or restaurant updates that are valuable to your audience. The whole purpose of this is to build excitement around your dishes and cuisine – this can have a direct impact on your sales. Another important aspect of your social engagement is keeping up with comments and messages. The more responsive you are, the more likely your customers are to feel connected to your restaurant, leading to more orders!
Embrace Online Ordering
During the pandemic, online ordering saw a sharp upward turn. And now that the pandemic is winding down, we’re still seeing a steady interest in this service. After all, online ordering is all about convenience – a valuable concept in this day and age.
Look into integrating online ordering into your sales process. There are several companies that offer an online ordering system specifically designed for restaurants – some services will even create an online ordering menu page for your website!
Optimize Your Menu
When it comes to sales, you might be surprised how a simple menu upgrade can make a big difference.
First, look at the way you organize your menu. Can you move items around to give your top-sellers more visibility? What about re-naming some items that have fallen by the wayside? You might even take a few items off – fewer options help to clean up your menu and give your customers less decision fatigue!
Second, keep your customers constantly engaged by introducing new items from time to time. This could be a seasonal offering or a holiday-themed special. Reserving these items for only certain times of the year help to build anticipation – and more sales!
Adopt a Loyalty Program
“Loyalty” is a great name for these programs, because they really do create a bond with the customer that keeps them coming back.
As part of your loyalty program, create incentives such as special discounts and promotions that are just for them. Perhaps it’s a discount code for half off drinks or desserts. Perhaps it’s a free dessert appetizer once they reach a certain dollar amount.
How you organize your loyalty program depends entirely on you and the style of restaurant you run. You might opt to use a punch card or simple coupon codes. Or you might invest in a custom app or email list.
Take Part in Local Events
The more people see you as part of their community, the more loyal they will be. Taking part in local events helps you to get closer to those in your community.
Most cities and towns promote an annual or bi-annual restaurant week. Depending on your style of restaurant, this might be a great way to attract new customers.
Also, look at your local area’s schedule of upcoming events, such as fairs and festivals. You might be able to offer food and refreshment as part of that event and invite people to visit your physical location.
Concluding Thoughts on How to Increase Restaurant Sales
It only makes sense that as technology and strategies evolve, the secrets of how to increase restaurant sales will evolve as well. We can’t expect that the strategies of a decade ago will have the same impact as today – that’s why as a restaurant it’s important to keep up with these changes and implement new strategies.
We hope that this article has helped you to approach your restaurant sales strategy with renewed vigor!
Want to tap into powerful tools that can help your restaurant increase profits? Talk to one of our experts to learn how Devour Now can help with powerful online ordering tools!