Vijay Kumar, a Blogger and Content Writer
Here are 10 surefire tips that will work wonders for your restaurants in Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi. Pay careful attention: even an expert marketing consultant might not include all of these in his brief!
Maximise Occupancy during Peak Periods
Bringing about even small efficiencies can boost utilisation of tables during peak hours and produce substantial returns. For example, reducing average service time by 10 minutes could significantly reduce wait time and increase table occupancy. Secondly, restaurants must carefully consider and optimise usage offloor space during peak times. Keeping at least a section of the floor space flexible with smaller 2-seater tables can help increase table occupancy, as it is possible to join together or separate them as per group size demand.
Build Local Alliances with Other Businesses
Traditionally, restaurants focus primarily on targeting the consumers with marketing messages. It is also important to form local alliances with other businesses in the neighbourhood like salons, spas, gyms or a doctor’s clinics. Restaurants can enter into an exchange tie-up with such non-competitive businesses for distribution of gift cards, for incentivizing both customers and staff, and also for advertisement in each other’s premises. Such mutual benefit arrangements create long term value for both parties against competition.
Ensure Well-Presented Menus
Menus are the first thing customers will hold in their hands as they select the items for their meal. It is a very personal experience. If the menu cover is worn out or tattered, it signals a lack of interest and disorder. When a diner is about to shell out their hard earned money for your food, they expect an appealing experience starting with the menu. Note that a well-presented menu will ultimately increase profits.
Kids are Powerful Marketers!
Kids wield immense power over parents’ decisions, especially when it comes to family outings. If they like your restaurant, they are powerful word-of-mouth marketers with their friends at school. Keep kids happy and the spill-over benefits are many. The overall experience builds a positive feeling among kids towards your restaurant. Make your restaurant a vibrant place with activities, games, television etc that can engage kids, thereby giving comfort to parents as well in enjoying their meal. Note that marketing tactics like “kids eat free” are no longer as effective as used to be, since it is overdone by every other restaurant nowadays.
Build Value Driven Checks
Build average check value of the guest through value-based suggestions. Of course, suggestive selling does produce incremental sales, but usually it is not based on what the guest needs. It is what the server suggests and so can be flatly declined by the diner. It is a better approach to build the check by adding value to what the guest had already ordered i.e., create some form of value.
Boost Occupancy in Off-Peak Hours
It is the usual practice to offer discounts and special offers to increase business in off-peak periods. Instead of offering open-ended deals and offers like daily deals, it is more optimal to float controlled promotions in terms of time of the day, group size, type of meal, one lucky group etc. In comparison to an open-ended deal, this strategy helps restaurants fill tables during low business times without dilution of quality. Grouptable.com is that kind of a unique platform. One can float controlled, customised promotions. You will see that such a programme will help build sales, cover overhead and often attracts preferred customer demographics.
Give Good Experience to Deal Customers
Ensure that customers availing of a deal are treated in the same way as your loyal customers. Give them your best food and your best service and you will earn repeat customers. If you treat them as deal seekers who deserve lower quality food and service, they will never come back again. What is more, they will tell everyone they know not to go to your restaurant.
Sell Packaged Gifts
This is an excellent method to build brand awareness of your restaurant. By rolling out this strategy, you will get an additional revenue stream for your restaurant. For example, you may put together a gift basket consisting of your speciality ingredients/sauces/dressings/pickles, a chocolate box, recipe book by your chef, a T-shirt and a gift card. The packaging should look bountiful and attractive. Display and sell it at the counter so that it is visible to guests while exiting your place. Such a step will not only bring in additional revenue but also power your brand.
Offer Complementary Snack
You may consider offering guests with complimentary snack while they are seated and waiting for their order. For example, freshly baked loaf, pita crisps or bread sticks may be greatly appreciated by customers. A good beginning to the dining experience will also make a good first impression! Ensure that what your offer is valued by guests, it is executed effectively and it adds value to the guests’ experience.
Keep Take Away Option
Due to life style changes and resultant fast-paced life, double-income nuclear families are frequently finding no time to prepare meals at home. More often than not, they are looking for convenient options to source pre-cooked meals from outside. This presents a good opportunity to dine-in restaurants to tap into this demand. Your loyal customers could be more than happy to take away food from your restaurant, if they are aware that such an option exists. So offer them the opportunity, thereby building an additional revenue stream for your restaurant. Maximise the convenience of ‘Take Away’ with easy ordering information, quick fulfilment and quality packaging.
Do you already follow any of these methods? If so, please share your experience. Of course, not all of them may be suitable for your restaurant. You may implement the ones that fit your overall strategy. We are sure you will see boost in your business!