Congratulations; you finally have a restaurant up and running! You’ve poured your heart and soul into the idea and now, it’s finally a reality. But the competition is fierce, and you have to make sure that your business is profitable. Every customer that walks through the door could be the one to bring in a steady stream of revenue to your business. And what could be a better way to increase your sales than advertising. Ads in print and on television, radio, and social media are a widely accepted way of enticing people to come to your restaurant. But the downside of advertising is that it can also take a significant chunk of your restaurant’s profits. What if there were ways to increase sales without the hefty price tag of advertising? Luckily, there are. Enlisted are some market-proven strategies to increase restaurant sales without needing to spend a penny on advertising.
8 Proven Ways To Increase Restaurant Sales Without Advertising
It’s a sad fact that most restaurants close without ever having had a chance to shine. Without a proper marketing strategy, there’s not much that can be done to increase restaurant sales. If you want to increase your restaurant’s sales, you have to be creative and think outside the box. These days, it’s not enough to just have a killer menu and great service. You need to generate interest from your target audience if you want to see more diners through the door. To assist you here we have some tips and tricks for increasing restaurant sales without advertising.
One of the most direct ways to increase restaurant sales without advertising is to encourage orders that increase the ticket size. The finesse that is successful upselling comes down to treating the upsell as a helpful guide for the indecisive customer. The server is enhancing their dining experience by suggesting dishes, helping them pair drinks with their meals, or pointing them to popular sides or customizations. Not every group of guests is going to be open to upselling, so your servers need to recognize both non-verbal cues and indecisive questions that hint the guests are open to the upsell. On top of that, you must train your servers about which star dishes to promote when there is the opportunity for upselling. A well-timed menu or wine suggestions from your staff can start building up your sales.
As more menus are shifting to electronic menus, it makes it even easier to upsell. For example, with Milagro’s SmartMENUS, you can upsell through enticing, mouth-watering pictures, by featuring daily specials, and most importantly making pairing recommendations right on the menu!
2. Integrate Online Ordering System:
Today’s ever-evolving digital landscape demands that your restaurant adapt and provide online ordering options. The emergence of online ordering also coincides with an increase in customer expectations for the convenience and ease of digital transactions. With a growing number of companies offering online ordering options, competition is fierce. To stand out from the rest, restaurants should look into offering faster service and simpler processes for the convenience of their customers. Customers are willing to spend more money when there is a variety of menu items that can be conveniently ordered at the click of a button. Mobile apps, e-newsletters, and social media are just some of the available marketing channels that can be used to connect with your customers and communicate valuable information about your menu or specials. Since customers are more likely to order take-out or delivery when they’re busy at work or running errands, offering personalized deals and exclusive offers will help boost your restaurant sales without you having to spend a penny on advertising.
Milagro’s integrated online ordering system allows you to send orders directly to the POS system, update status from the POS system to directly inform the client when their order is available for pickup or scheduled for delivery.
3. Enrich User Experience With Instant Table Reservation System:
Don’t let your customers wait around for a table. Improve the user experience by offering them an instant reservation system. Providing a direct channel of communication between the restaurant and the customer can be crucial in case of any changes to the reservation such as time or seating. By setting up a central hub, you can easily collect all reservation details and instantaneously send them to your staff for further processing. You can also streamline your services and marketing efforts by including a customer loyalty program that allows guests to earn rewards and redeem them online. This will also help you easily gather their data and target them with relevant marketing messages when they are ready to book their next table.
Milagro’s SmartWAIT combines both a waitlist and reservations system into a single, robust platform. Customers can join the waitlist, check their spot in line, browse the menu while they wait or make reservations and invite friends and family to the reservation. This incredibly powerful feature improves the guest experience by knowing exactly who has accepted the RSVP and allows the restaurant owner to know exactly how many people will show up!
4. Reward Regular Customers With Deals:
Show your loyal customers that you appreciate their patronage by offering exclusive deals and rewards only available to them. There are many ways to reward your loyal customers: introduce personalized deals and coupons or track their orders and send them a gift card or a free meal for their birthday. This will encourage your repeat customers to come back and spread the word about your restaurant to their friends. Whether it’s an exclusive discount or some sort of physical reward, offering a personalized incentive is a market-proven way to build a relationship that goes beyond the value of their meal.
Milagro’s integrated loyalty program allows you to be flexible with loyal customers through VIP perks but at the same time allows you to build a profile for non-members too! Loyalty membership at their best hoover around 30%, there is no excuse to ignore the other 70% of your customers.
5. Maintain Your Restaurant’s Exterior:
Aesthetics is an important aspect that contributes to the success of your restaurant. The first thing customers notice when they walk in is your restaurant’s exterior. It is a prime opportunity to catch their attention and build interest. For most customers, the exterior of a restaurant is what conveys the type of environment they can expect inside, the food they will eat, and the level of service they will receive. Having a well-maintained exterior of your restaurant will not only create a positive first impression on your customers, but will also encourage them to stay longer, purchase more, and return to your restaurant.
By now you have heard the famous saying, what gets measured, gets managed? Use Milagro’s SmartX system to always get feedback from your customers. The more feedback, the better. Providing a way to have the customer reach you directly has shown to reduce negative reviews online and gives you the perfect chance to make a loyal customer out of an otherwise unhappy customer by showing you go above and beyond. The many useful functionalities of Milagro’s SmartX system allow you to categorically sort the data, be notified of any negative feedback immediately, and most importantly, increase your 5-star reviews online by funneling your happy customers to leave reviews across Google, Yelp, Twitter, and Facebook.
6. Review Your Menu Layout:
As you develop and design your menu, consider your customer’s level of attention span. For instance, the placement of your restaurant’s name on the menu, along with your price points, is one thing you should consider to keep customer’s interest. Most customers read the price first, so it’s best to put this information at the top of your menu. Your menu also needs to be attractive and inviting and provide clear and easy-to-read instructions for the customer. The layout of your menu should follow the classic restaurant hierarchy of reading from top to bottom, left to right, following the suggested colors for each section to ensure clarity and usability. As you develop your menu, make sure to take a look at your competitors’ menus. Use them as a gauge for what works and what doesn’t.
Milagro’s SmartMENUS allows you to make a killer menu by measuring which items are browsed the most, ordered the most, and reviewed the most. Over time, this allows you to make fact-based decisions to have a 5-star menu where every item will have a 5-star review.
7. Use SEO For Free Organic Promotion:
As a restaurant owner, you already know how tough it can be to reach out to new customers. Not only do you have to compete with established brands and nearby restaurants for the attention of your target audience, but you also have to do so without spending too much of your limited resources. And that’s exactly what you can achieve through Search Engine Optimization (SEO). As opposed to traditional advertising channels, SEO is a long-term strategy for increasing sales, as it promotes your restaurant through organic searches. By optimizing your website and connecting with your audience through quality, keyword-targeted content marketing, you can attract customers who were actively looking for a service like yours.
8. Use targeted marketing channels
It’s no secret that a restaurant is only as good as its revenue. But what if you could increase your revenue and customer base by using targeted marketing channels? You can! we will show you how to use Facebook Ads to get more customers in your door.
While it may not seem like the most obvious way of increasing sales, Facebook ads and other social media outlets are one of the best ways to target specific demographics with tailored content. And because they’re so targeted, these ads have an increased chance of success than other forms of advertising such as radio or print ads. If you want more people coming into your restaurant but don’t know where to start with social media marketing, then read on for some great tips on how to use.
Milagro’s mission from the start has been to build a profile of every customers’ shopping behavior and use this data to very effectively target them to increase sales and revenues. Use the automated campaigns to create all of your marketing messages, choose how often it should go out, to which categorical users, and let the AI system take over. You can measure the effectiveness of each campaign down to the penny, eliminate all ineffective marketing messages and double down on all highly profitable campaigns. Work smarter.
The hardest part of running a restaurant is keeping it going. From finding and maintaining a steady supply of customers to running the daily operations, there are always a lot of things to keep track of. It’s important to have a solid marketing strategy that can help you get your restaurant up and running with minimal effort. By choosing these proven marketing strategies, you can get your customers’ attention and establish your reputation as the best local restaurant in your area.
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