18 Innovative Ideas to Increase your Restaurant Sales

The F&B industry is getting more and more saturated as new restaurants pop up weekly and the world slowly returns back to dining in as we move on from the pandemic. With all this extra competition, restaurant owners need to be smart when it comes to bringing in sales for themselves and their business. Here are 18 innovative ways for you to increase your restaurant sales.

#1: Adopt a loyalty program

Let’s be real, when it comes to the business world it’s easier to focus your efforts inwards before you can even think about focusing outward. And this concept can directly translate into your business strategy through the usage of a loyalty program. By utilizing a loyalty program to bring existing customers back to your doorstep and showing that your focus is on them, it opens your business to a world of benefits that include an increase in sales. In a study done by LevelUp, it was found that customers who were apart of a loyalty program ended up spending 19% more on average per visit, whereas their visit frequency saw an increase of up to 75% between the first and tenth reward redemption. Another benefit that having a loyalty program might bring your business is simply increased visitors, as customers will be more inclined to bring loved ones to your restaurant.

#2: Let your customers do the promoting for you

Don’t doubt the power of word of mouth. Sure, of course your restaurant needs amazing food and service to get by, but word of mouth can also be a secret weapon for you to use to drive sales. People talk. A LOT. Let them do the work for you by creating experiences within your restaurant that make them want to talk to others about it. And just like that, you have free advertising! Who wouldn’t like that? Another option you could look into are giveaways or offering discounts to your customers for spreading the word about your restaurant. Something as simple as sharing your page on their socials is enough to garner some engagement from your audience. It also increases the recallability rate of your restaurant within new customers' minds as they have heard your establishment praised by someone in their circle previously which can influence their decisions when choosing where to eat.

#3: Invest in reliable restaurant technology

There’s a reason why dated technology is called “dated” in the first place. Why put yourself at risk of mistakes and losing customers when you can invest in technology to make your work go smoother? One example of reliable restaurant tech you should seriously consider? An ultra-modern all encompassing POS system. Having a modern POS with built in analytic features helps you to streamline your operations and access all the data you need to know how to increase your restaurant’s sales right at your fingertips. What more, it prevents your restaurant’s efficiency from being at risk of stalling, thus limiting the amount of sales you can process in a given time.  

#4: Introduce mobile ordering

In today’s world diners are spoilt for choice with options for where to eat next. Thus, if you want to increase your restaurant’s sales you have got to make your business stand out from the crowd and give customers enough reason to choose you over your competitors. Take mobile ordering for example. With the usage of mobile ordering, customers won’t be forced to wait around just to be served, let alone seated! They can simply scan the QR code in your restaurant or order through their phones beforehand and have their meals ready in no time! On the flip side this frees up your staff to complete more orders in less time. Another key feature of mobile ordering? Two words. Online. Discoverability. Just think, your guests want a convenient dining experience, not a complicated one. Having mobile ordering allows them to order directly from their smartphones. Make life easy for them, and for you too, and increase your sales at the same time by offering mobile ordering in your restaurant.

#5: Evaluate and optimize your menu

Stop and take a good hard look at your current menu. Does it look like the kind of menu that would convince you to order from it? Your menu should be curated specifically to encourage a purchase. It should feature an easy to navigate structure that makes customers want to order off it. Another option you could look into is digitizing your menu. Digitizing your menu not only allows customers to order from the comfort of their phones from the second they are seated, but it also makes them feel more in control of what they’re ordering. This in turn can often subconsciously persuade them into ordering more, which results in way more sales for you. How much more you ask? Up to 30%!

#6: Keep a close eye on your inventory

There’s a fine line between having enough inventory to satisfy demand and without crossing into over-purchasing. While it is incredibly easy to let your inventory costs get out of hand, especially for restaurants, there are systems in place that can help you get on top of your inventory management game. Having a good inventory management system not only helps your restaurant curb wastage but also can help you analyze your restaurant from a deeper level. You’ll be able to analyze which inventory stocks are depleting faster than usual and which are remaining stagnant on your shelves. This in turn represents which items in your restaurant are doing well, and which may need some extra attention to help them sell. Now you know which items to promote just a little extra to help bring in sales. 

#7: Use social media to your advantage

Imagine if you could promote your restaurant and show off everything that makes your restaurant special all for free? Well, what if I told you you could do exactly that through clever social media usage? Aside from helping your business connect with customers on a personal level, social media gives you the opportunity to create a community for your business that goes beyond your physical location. It also can help increase awareness of your business in an extremely oversaturated market, and thus can help you increase your restaurant sales.

#8: Turn your restaurant into an event hall

As the world slowly returns back to normal post pandemic, your restaurant can capitalize on people’s need to be out and about again by hosting both digital and in-person events. Be it a simple discount that ties in with watching a big sports match at your restaurant or livstreaming a cooking class for easy at home dinners, events are a great way to bring in new and regular customers alike. With people eager to feel a sense of normalcy as soon as they can, finding unique ways to hold events safely is a great way to do just that while increasing your sales.

#9: Improve your table turnover rate

The idea here is to increase the number of customers that you will serve in a day without rushing them through their meals. At the same time you don’t want to lose out on potential customers just because there aren’t any vacancies in your restaurant. So what’s the solution? Quick and efficient service. One way to help boost your table turnover rate is by ensuring that all orders placed are instantly sent to the kitchen to be prepared and served to your customers as soon as possible. It would help if you have an ordering system in place already to help with this by making the entire process more streamlined altogether. Ultimately your sales will see an increase as customers will view your restaurant as a delight to dine at. 

#10: Offer services for special occasions and seasons

Create a more unique and memorable experience for your customers to keep them coming back for more through the use of special events and occasions. After all, we all know that the best way to attract customers is by making them feel like they’re getting more bang for their buck. To do so you can start by tweaking your menu to suit these occasions. (Of course to do so you’ll need a menu that can be easily updatable so it’s best to opt for a digital one here.) It can also allow you to capitalize on things like the holiday season or even special packages for anniversaries even. The best part of these offers is that they can be made in such a way that they target the time of the day when sales are slow. It results in drawing customers to your restaurant during lean hours and increasing restaurant sales. 

#11: Use online marketing to your advantage

Online marketing is one of the fastest and easiest ways to get word about your restaurant spread near and far to the people who matter: potential customers. Take a website for example. A website is the one thing your restaurant has complete control over online. It defines your online presence in a way your social media can’t. When building a restaurant website, the top priority should be fostering online ordering, as a clear way to place an online order increases the chance that potential customers will do just that. Furthermore, by ensuring all your present and potential customers are aware of any new updates or promotions in your restaurant, it increases your chances of bringing in more orders.

#12: Run digital ads to further your business reach

Use your social media presence to reach new customers online. Through ads on Facebook and Instagram, you’ll be able to target people who live and work near your restaurant and cherry-pick the demographics that match either your existing customers or potential customers you want to bring in. You can also try using Google Ads to reach potential customers who are searching for keywords related to your restaurant. 

#13: Craft combo meal deals

Combo meal deals are an excellent way to bring in customers, especially those looking to save a few extra bucks. There’s no need to go too ultra-fancy or complicated with your combos, even the best fast food chains offer a side of fries with their mains. Try pairing your best-selling lunch items with an equally  popular side dish or beverage. This will not only help attract customers but is also a great way to group high profit yet low selling items with the low-profit and top-selling dishes for more sales on your end.

#14: Reports: Your new best friend

Invest in a POS that provides you with real-time information about everything that happens at your restaurant, regardless of whether you are physically there or not. Receiving detailed analytical reports of the number of sales occurring at your restaurant and across all outlets to the number of offers and discounts given helps show in plain sight what are the best and worst selling items which you can then change accordingly to your advantage.

#15: Focus on search engine optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) can help your restaurant’s website appear at the top of the search engine results page based on its name and related keywords. Ranking for unbranded keywords is just as important as ranking for your restaurant’s name. If your website appears at the top of the results when someone searches for keywords that relate to your services that’s exposing your business to new guests. Try shifting your focus to organic and local SEO. That means creating content on your website that uses the keywords you want to rank for in a useful way and optimizing your listing on “Google My Business”. 

#16: Make customer service your top priority

Customer service is extremely important in the F&B industry. Not only does it help your restaurant stand out from the competition but it also fosters positive reviews and word of mouth which can be a surprisingly effective method of getting noticed. Despite not being a direct marketing tactic for your restaurant, it can improve your reputation among locals and will convince more people to come and eat at your establishment, which generates more sales and profits for you.

#17: Go bottomless

Who doesn’t love a good old fashioned bottomless brunch? Offer bottomless or endless options – like bottomless coffees or endless fries or breadsticks – to let guests upgrade their meals. While on your end you can charge a premium for these special additions to your customers meals, to your customers it will feel like they’re getting a great deal, even if they don’t end up consuming as much as they think they will.

#18: Sell merchandise

Create merchandise featuring your restaurant’s branding. The sky’s the limit with the options you could sell either in-house or on your website. From t-shirts to cookbooks to even bottled or prepacked versions of any special sauces or items you have at your restaurant, all these can be advertised to customers as they are dining or even when they are paying in order to encourage them to spend a little extra.

How to increase restaurant sales

By targeting new customers and influencing existing customers to spend more and more frequently at your restaurant, ultimately you’ll see restaurant sales go up. 

For best results, use a combination of the ideas we shared, and leverage off EasyEat’s one-stop cloud based POS system to help streamline your efforts so they are not in vain. Book a demo today by clicking the link below! We look forward to hearing from you! https://bit.ly/3NDmti5