5 ways restaurants can increase their turnover and their profits

The Small Business Coach

With over 140,000 restaurants here in the UK, the restaurant industry is becoming more competitive than ever. The good news is however, as a population, we’re eating out more than ever and happy to spend more to do so. The big question is then, how does your restaurant get a bigger slice of the action?

Here’s five things you could put in place today to make sure it does…

Put a loyalty system in place. We see this regularly in cafes and coffee shops, but there’s no reason why a loyalty system can’t transfer to restaurants too. Unlike coffee shops who typically offer free coffee after a set number of purchase, restaurants don’t have to offer a free meal. A free starter, desert or simply a discount on the total bill is effective enough.

Put a killer promotion in place on your quietest day of the week. And when I say killer, I really mean it. This needs to be something which people simply can’t refuse, offered at marginally over cost price. Let’s say a Pie and a Pint for £7 for example. If they’re wowed by your food and your service, they’ll start coming in at other points in the week and that’s where you’ll make your money back.

Upselling and meal combos. Fast food restaurants are the master of this tactic. They’ve got the meal deal and are famous for asking “if you want to go large”. You don’t have to be as crude as the fast food sector, but you can always upsell from a small to a large coffee, or from two glasses of wine to a bottle, or from a main meal to a 2-course special deal.

Build a customer database and speak to them regularly. Ask your customers for their email address when they pay the bill, or ask them to put a business card in a pot to win a free meal at the end of the month. In doing this, you can begin to send out offer emails to your growing customer database on a weekly basis. This enables you to remind your customers of your killer promotion. You can also announce or focus in on key dishes to wet people’s appetites. What about providing people with a discount code which will only be valid for reservations that week. Email marketing is a hugely powerful tool to maintain and grow your customer base.

Flyers. We’ve all seen this on an episode of the apprentice I’m sure, but flyers really work. Even in rural locations. There’s two things you need to think about if you’re going to go down this route (i) what do you want to achieve from it and (ii) where are you going to hand them out.

Let’s take point one first – of course the aim is to get more bums on seats, but when? A generic flyer saying “look at us, we’re great” is unlikely to be as effective as one that says “tickle your Tuesday taste buds with 25% off today”. If you don’t put a time limit promotion in place, you give neither a reason or a sense of urgency as to why someone should visit.

Secondly – think about the location. Going down the local high street is the obvious choice, but what about visiting the local train station during the morning commute? How about putting flyers on car windows down at your local multi story or down at your local B&Q? It all helps.

Bonus option
If your restaurant is in a town or city, why not go round the local businesses and offer a unique discount code for their employees. It will grow brand awareness and encourage more footfall.

Has this post struck a chord? Would you like to talk to us about how to grow your business? The small business coach offers a range of business support packages to help businesses like yours. Take action today and let’s get your business on the path to growth.