Every small or locally-based business understands the struggles of marketing and customer retention. With more competition than ever before – both locally and globally – many businesses have had to improvise and innovate to stay relevant.
In the service industry, there is some protection against these current trends. Businesses such as convenience stores and restaurants cannot effectively be outsourced, meaning that the only competition they’ll face is those within their neighborhoods. However, this doesn’t mean that the service sector is safe from upheaval.
Restaurants must be innovative to attract new customers and ultimately increase their sales. Here are some relatively easy ways that restaurants can capitalize on this desire.
Add Online Orders and Reservations
If the only ways customers can dine in or order food is by showing up or calling, then plenty of potential sales are being missed. Many people now like to use their mobile devices or computers to handle basic tasks – without having to deal with a human being.
One easy way to increase sales is by adding reservation and ordering options to the restaurant website. By allowing people to visit the website, reserve a table and/or order food for pick-up, the business should instantly begin seeing both a greater number of sales and more efficiency. This can help balance out the difference between peak hours and busy hours, as well as reduce the average wait time for each customer to be served or fed.
Provide Automated/Mobile In-Restaurant Ordering
Increasing restaurant sales in cases where there is a lot of traffic coming through may seem difficult. However, imagine a world where customers can be ordering their food in real-time instead of waiting in line.
A variety of POS systems and automated ordering kiosks are available for restaurants that need some extra help to speed up lines. These systems can be rolled up during high-traffic hours to take some of the burden off front-line workers or servers.
Additionally, mobile ordering systems can help speed up the number of sales any server or restaurant can make in an hour. The Lavu Pizza POS system is a good solution for a pizza POS. Using this, servers can easily send orders and instructions to kitchen staff in real-time rather than running back and forth with paper and pen. This gives staff more time to help more people, thereby moving more people in and out of the restaurant in any given period of time.
Take Advantage of Online Real Estate
Most businesses have numerous online listings and pages. From Google My Business to Yelp and Yellow Pages, most businesses find themselves online today.
Restaurants that take advantage of this can claim their online business pages, optimize information, collect reviews, and ultimately use it to be more visible in local search engines. Whenever somebody searches for a place to eat, they’ll be more likely to come to the restaurant that does this.
Additionally, a variety of online marketing and promotional strategies involving search engine optimization and social media can further increase any restaurant’s reach and, therefore, its number of sales – click here to learn how to maximize social media reach as a new business.
Restaurants that build true community connections and loyalty from their diners tend to last a lot longer than restaurants that don’t. Any restaurant that masters the art of increasing loyalty stands to benefit from a big boost in sales.
One such example is a loyalty program. For diners who visit regularly, offer a card or rewards program that gives them a free meal after so many trips to the restaurant.
Fueling growth in restaurant sales doesn’t take a lot of work or investment. With a focus on automation and technology, virtually any restaurant can attract new diners, while also speeding up service and freeing up more room for others.