Running a restaurant isn’t easy – hats off to you for embracing the challenge! You’ve got your space, your decor, and your staff, but how do you increase your revenue? Or more simply, how do you make more money? We’ve put together 4 tips to maximize the “dough” coming in.
1) Social Media & PR
You can have the best food in the city, but no one is going to know about it unless it’s on their radar. Take advantage of social media and hashtags. Instagram is a great place to post photos of your best dishes. It’s backed by science that people will drool just thinking of food.
Gain a following and you’ll have a line down the street. Alternatively, find an influencer (someone on Instagram with loads of followers) and offer to pay them to mention your restaurant. If someone’s idol loves your restaurant, they’ll want to love it as well! Spend a little to get your name out there and increase your profits—it’s worth it.
Also, reach out to local food blogs. One easy option if you’re in a city that’s covered by Eater is to send a tip to their local editors.
If you don’t yet offer delivery, you should. Need proof? Just look at how Amazon took over the buying industry. It’s basically a giant delivery company. People are busy and often don’t want to leave the comfort of their living room. If you’re offering delivery, it gives access to an even broader customer base. Plus you don’t have to pay for a delivery service! You can let one of your staff members do the deliveries. The more available you make your product, the more likely it will be purchased. Availability = More Revenue.
If you do decide to use a third-party delivery service like Uber Eats, make sure you shop around to find the best revenue-sharing agreement. Some services take 30%, making them a good option primarily for covering your fixed costs during slow periods. During busy periods, however, it may not be worth the revenue cut if it impacts your capacity for other customers.
Want a crowd? Host an event! It doesn’t have to be something huge or extravagant. You could celebrate the anniversary of the restaurant and offer a discount, or you could have a “family night deal” to encourage whole families to come out. Put your thinking cap on and come up with something special to advertise to your crowd. The more relatable you make it, the more likely people will feel an emotional connection and make their dinner plans with you. If you plan frequent events, customers will keep coming back.
4) Be Relatable and Unique
Customers will most likely love your food, but what truly makes a difference is the experience you provide. Do you value your sense of humor? Post a funny sign outside to elicit joy in a customer that could entice them enough to come in. Do you value your family? Post a picture of your family next to the entrance door and give a quick paragraph about why you started your business. Consumers LOVE it when you’re genuine and can connect to their emotions. What makes you different? Do you have a collection of ceramic dragons? (Maybe leave those at home) but they could inspire dragon-themed table cloths. If you’re unique, you’re unforgettable, and if you’re relatable, you make the customer feel safe and they’ll keep coming back. They’ll also want to tell all their friends about your tablecloths, and the friends will have to come in to see that. It’s a win-win.
Here’s an example: in San Francisco, a restaurant drew in diners with unique wallpaper!
There are lots of ways to grow your cash flow without spending a ton of money. Give these tips a try. Do you have other ideas for improving cash flow at your restaurant? Share in the comments!