How to Increase Restaurant Sales: 8 Creative Ideas
If you’re a restaurant owner or manager and you’re looking for creative ways to increase restaurant sales, you’ve come to the right place.
At Bloc, we can’t be successful unless you are too, so we’re always keen to make that happen for you.
There are millions of restaurants in the world and with more and more consumers jumping on the ‘healthy living’ bandwagon, figuring out how to increase restaurant sales can be tricky.
We previously signed a restaurant in Belgravia called Eaton Square to Bloc with our customary £150 no obligation free advertising package. When we attended on Friday night we used the opportunity to brainstorm a variety of ideas on how to increase restaurant sales.
It’s amazing how many ideas you can come up with if you actually sit down and think about it.
And that’s exactly what we did, we spent the rest of the evening compiling a list of the best ways to increase restaurant sales and we’ve explained them in further detail in this blog post so you can go out and apply your favourites.
Just click on one of the topic headings below or follow us through the list as we go.
How to increase restaurant sales:
1. Enhance your mobile presence
It would be quite easy for me to bore you to death when talking about how to increase restaurant sales.
We could go really deep into the underworld of SEO, explore the caverns of your pricing strategy and uncover all the other aspects that really take the fun out of running a restaurant.
So, instead, we’ll kick things off with my favourite – enhancing your mobile presence.
Now you probably think I’m going to tell you that your website has to fit on the new iPhone 11 screen with sufficient padding around the menu and with the most interesting items on your menu sat above the fold.
While all of these things are true, what I want to focus on is actually a much more interesting viewpoint.
When I think about enhancing a restaurant’s mobile presence, I’m putting the customer first. This is the key to success in any restaurant right? So I’m literally thinking “what can my restaurant do to enhance my customer’s mobile presence?”
Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest. What do these apps all have in common? Pictures, videos and lots of them.
All restaurants need a “purple cow” – something that stands them apart from the rest.
Have you ever seen when a meal gets put in front of the people on the table next to yours and straight away the first thing they do is grab their phone and take a picture of it?
They literally leave their food to get cold for a little bit while they crop it, filter it and think of the perfect hashtag to go on it.
It happens constantly and 99.9% of the time their followers couldn’t care less about what’s on the plate. However, you can guarantee that those 99.9% will take note if it’s been presented in a quirky way.
I remember when I was a kid I used to beg my parents to take me to this restaurant that served their chips in a mini shopping trolley. The chips weren’t even that good, I just thought it was awesome they came this way and it created a new memory in my mind.
Alternatively, have you thought about adding brunch to your menu? Not only will it increase revenue because it’s an extra meal, but supposedly brunch is the most-Instagrammable food choice.
According to the @travellingappetite, this is because of the natural light you get through the windows as opposed to the barrenness that exists at night time dinners. Who knew?
2. Get on Deliveroo…
It’s no real surprise that we’ve all become lazy beings when you look at everything we’ve been handed on a plate. 5G data roaming, super fast broadband, 0.01s loading screens, we demand instant access and we demand it from the palm of our hand.
That’s exactly what Deliveroo, UberEats and Just Eat are achieving. Customers can place an order on their phone and have it delivered to them within 10-15 minutes. They don’t even need to leave the sofa.
I’m convinced the platforms are operating at a huge loss, but the restaurants on them are reaping huge rewards. Make sure you sign up today.
3. Reel in some good Karma
I decided to give Karma its own section and separate it from the noise of the other apps.
Karma turns unsold meals into new customers and increased revenue. Estimating preparations right daily won’t happen and you can sell anything last minute to customers at discounted price, rather than letting it go to waste.
8 out of 10 meals uploaded to Karma sell instantly and the market is already valued at £800,000 per year.
So why not give it a go? It’s definitely one of the more creative things we came up with when exploring how to increase restaurant sales.
4. Nail your TripAdvisor strategy
As a restaurant owner, you’ve heard about TripAdvisor, but are you leveraging it for success?
TripAdvisor comes into its own for tourists. I’m going to provide you with a personal case study so you can see how it works in full flow.
In October last year, I took my family to Valencia for my dad’s birthday. I’d never been to Valencia before and my friends could only recommend 3am-opening nightclubs, so the only logical solution was to use wisdom of the crowd and see what others were tipping on TripAdvisor.
Sure enough, I came across a place called San Tommaso. It was number 20 of 4,250 restaurants in Valencia and has achieved a whopping 8,600 reviews as well as a certificate of excellence from the service.
It was a no brainer, it was within walking distance from our AirBnB and had already satisfied more than 8.5k tables who were willing enough to let other people know how good it was!
Down we went and okay, sure, the food was exceptional. It really was, the pizza and pasta dishes were to die for.
But here’s the clever part – not only was our waiter a fundamental part of the experience (you absolutely must have enthusiastic service) – but he brought out free shots to celebrate my dad’s birthday and when he broughts us our bill he offered a 5% discount if we gave an honest review of the restaurant on TripAdvisor.
I mean, come on. At this point we’re already a couple bottles of wine deep, the guy has recommended a pasta to compliment said vino for my mum, brought my dad the most sumptuous piece of chocolate cake that’s been since Matilda and we’re all toasting a successful meal and my dad’s 68th birthday with some free Lemoncellos. Now we’re going to get a discount just to let everyone else know how amazing it was? Done deal!
You can check out my review here.
This really is a big winner when thinking about how to increase restaurant sales.
5. Sit them at the bar before
Everything we’ve spoken about so far has been so pure, but now is the time to be a bit crafty.
Have you ever been to a restaurant before and they’ve told you that your table will be ready for you in 10 or 15 minutes? Why don’t you just wait and have a drink at the bar before?
Newsflash: this is no accident. The restaurant owner is just being very sneaky and booking you in for an extra drink and prolonging your time in their venue.
6. Increase efficiency and table turnover
If you’re fortunate to have a full restaurant every night, don’t rest on your laurels. There’s always more you can do.
Increasing efficiency and table turnover is just another way to increase restaurant sales.
It’s funny really. Amazing service can really salvage a poor meal and poor service – like having to wait 20 minutes to order a drink – can damage even the most delicious dinner.
7. Smaller plates
Crafty way to increase restaurant sales number 2: smaller plates.
It’s bizarre how there seems to be this assumption nowadays that having a smaller plate of food in a restaurant makes the dish classier (and way more expensive!)
It’s to do with quality really and we have learnt to perceive smaller plates as the top end of the spectrum. Hell, we’ll even order more of them just to make sure we’re full.
Tapas is a prime example of this. Why we pay £8 for 3 small croquettes is beyond me but it works and I’m always reaching for the pudding menu come the end of the meal.
8. Advertise your restaurant on Bloc
You’ve read 7 ways to increase restaurant sales and now you’ve reached the holy grail.
Did you know that Bloc will pay customers to eat at your restaurant?
Here’s how it works:
- We suggest restaurants to our users based on their location + preferences.
- These users check-in to the restaurant to say they are going.
- When the user attends, they will be rewarded with our in-app currency (stars). These stars can be exchanged for real money.
We’re quite literally paying your customers to increase your restaurant sales!
You’re welcome 🙂
Good luck with your strategy and before we let you crack on, we’d really like it if you joined us on our brand new Bloc Social platform.
It’s an open forum, hosted by the founder, where our users/fans can discuss all things Bloc with us, and with each other. This includes feedback, support, updates and even complaints.
So don’t be shy, get involved and we look forward to hearing from you soon.
Until next time!