André Pellerin has over 25 years of expertise in the food service industry. Being a former Marketing and Sales Associate, and a previous restaurant Owner/Operator, André has knowledge from both the Food Establishment and Supplier sides of the business.
With the sun spending more time with us every day, it’s hard not to start thinking about the meals and drinks that will make our spring and summer seasons a delight.
Numbers don’t lie. On average, a restaurant makes 30% more sales in the summer. Good news? No, great news! Here’s the “but” (there’s always a “but”): a 30% or more increase of your bottom line will only happen if you make adjustments. From checking your data to setting up your patio, here are some tips to make your restaurant the one that rises above.
Your point of sale system should be able to tell you how your business was doing last year. If building a great strategy requires common sense and expertise, building the best strategy requires data.
What actually worked last year? Was your spring cucumber gin tonic a success? If your technology isn’t providing you with these answers, you end up having to improvise every year. Although creativity is a great quality, at the end of the day, it doesn’t always result in sales. With reports that show sales numbers and deeper insight from last year, you can actually give your customers what they want, which always translates to more success. Here’s some of the data your restaurant needs:
With this data, you can start painting a clear picture of what happened previously and use it to plan ahead. Who knows, you might be able to plan a mini-vacation at a quieter time. OK, maybe just a weekend getaway.
With mobile reporting, you never lose sight of what is going on, even when you’re not physically on site. Take advantage of it.
Rambling on about a topic is OK if it is to reinforce a truth, so we’ll say it again, you really need an online presence. The Internet is the number one place where people look for restaurant and bar recommendations, by far. Fewer empty tables mostly mean more people are asking Google for places to eat and find you. Conclusion? Promoting your establishment online matters as much as making sure every meal you serve starts with a great entrée. No need to build the website of the century, just start with the basics: make your menu, address and phone number available online.
Unless a person wants to eat sushi (as if their life depended on it) and you run a French bistro, being online means you always have a chance to be the place people pick. Your menu is important because it answers the two main questions people ask themselves: What do I want to eat? How much will it cost me?
On the pricing side, you know how to make your restaurant profitable, but always remember that an appealing menu can help justify any price. With pictures and mouthwatering descriptions, switch the focus from the wallet to the plate. Let us know why your $8.99 tiramisu is as good as the one they serve in Italy. An $8.99 trip to Italy is not that much, after all.
Once your online menu is set up with all the colorful and summery photos, make sure you bring that experience to your patio. Does your point of sale have a menu feature? With a system that lets you add photos and descriptions, you can show patrons the same mouthwatering content that has helped them make their decision online. As they eat out on your patio, let the staff make suggestions with photos; it’s a great upsell tool.
Speaking of your patio, it’s time to set it up. Adding a whole new section to your restaurant equals being able to welcome more people. It also means managing more staff, customers and increased pressure. Don’t let that become more of a curse than a blessing.
Your busy season comes with new customers, but also with new challenges. Your sales numbers will only go up if you are ready for it. Use your past experiences to build the present, and the future will be bright. See you on the patio.
Source: Malik Kane