Are you someone whose restaurant gets quieter over the holidays? It’s tough to boost restaurant sales when customers are making resolutions to spend less money or avoiding the cold weather outside! Don’t lose hope: our experts have a few techniques for keeping profits healthy, even during the slow season.
Here are some tips that have been proven time and again to quickly increase restaurant sales.
Large fast-food chains know this tip well: you need to anticipate the promotional menu items that customers will be waiting for every year. Promo items or seasonal offerings will draw curious clients to your restaurant. With time, these limited-time offers can even become an annual tradition.
Include seasonal offerings on your menu
It can be a hearty drink or dessert, a week-long theme, or dishes that use seasonal products (fruits, vegetables, seafood, maple, etc.). Creating a special menu for important events or to celebrate the arrival of a new season is also a great way to pique people’s interest.
On the promotional side, don’t be afraid to think outside the box so you can attract attention. Some restaurants offer a temperature-related discount in February, for example. Customers get 10% off when it’s -10°, 15% off when it’s -15°, etc.
The key to success with this type of approach is marketing! Check out our expert tips on how to promote your restaurant locally.
Modern consumers are used to having lots of options. Whether it’s catering to their dietary restrictions or offering a degree of customization, our experts assure variety is an excellent way to boost your sales.
Offer variety without going overboard
The vegetarian market, for example, is underdeveloped in America, especially when it comes to pizzerias1. Offering a few options for this clientele therefore represents an interesting opportunity. In general, 32% of clients – both vegetarian and non-vegetarian – love dishes that include lots of veggies2. A vegetarian pizza, like this ratatouille pizza, has the potential to be a real crowd-pleaser!
However, you should avoid overloading your menu. If certain dishes aren't performing well, take them off. That will help you limit losses and help you concentrate on more popular items.
Prioritize quality and freshness across your menu
Quality and freshness are two of the most important trends in the food industry. You can therefore offer more in-demand ingredients to increase your average bill value. Shareable appetizers are the perfect example. Test out this bit of advice by serving fried Bocconcini cheese bites – they’re perfect for working up an appetite!
Our experts suggest the following approach: offer a base item, like a pizza or a burger, then provide high-end, value-added extras as add-ons. Think avocado, fine cheeses, signature sauces, and exotic fruits. Since the dish itself isn’t that expensive, customers are more likely to splurge on an extra topping. It’s an excellent way to increase the price of a menu item without driving customers away.
Expand your delivery service so you never miss an opportunityWhile it used to be more popular among fast food spots, this service is useful for all kinds of cuisines. If you already offer a delivery option, that’s great. Hiring an in-house delivery person allows you to control all of the related costs, but you should also think about turnkey delivery services: even if they are expensive, they can be profitable in the long run3. These mobile apps are rising in popularity in a big way4. Even though they only showed up on the scene in the last five years or so, 29% of Canadians are already using them5. They are accounting for an increasingly large share of digital delivery traffic, and are primarily used by millennials and Gen Z6. If your restaurant is not on these third-party apps, it could be cut off from a very promising market. Get to know what’s popular in your neighbourhood and sign up for the most-used platform. To generate even more sales, tailor your menu for delivery.
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1 Mintel November 2019 Report - A Year of Innovation in Pizza and Pies, 2019
2 The NPD Group Inc. CREST YE May 2018
3 According to: https://www.restobiz.ca/hard-bargain-third-party-delivery-may-be-costly-but-restaurateurs-cant-afford-not-to-engage-with-it/
4 The NPD Group Inc. CREST YE Oct 2019
5 Food delivery app user rate in Canada reached record level in May 2019, and likely expand after 2021: http://www.aims.ca/op-ed/food-delivery-apps-user-rate-in-canada-reached-record-level-in-may-2019-and-likely-expand-after-2021/
6 The NPD Group Inc. CREST YE Oct 2019