In these times of tough competition, staying in the restaurant business is much more difficult than starting one. It has become very important that you are able to give your customer an out-of-the-world experience that will keep them wanting to get back to you. The rate at which an increasing number of people are entering the food business will only increase the challenges in the coming days. But the good news is also that the number of people enjoying restaurant food is also increasing by the day. So, if you are a present or even an aspiring owner of a restaurant, bakery, confectionery, QSR or any other model of the food industry, you will have to know the tricks of the trade. You have to have sales-boosting tactics up your sleeves if you wish to make it big in the f & b industry.
You may have noticed that to add speed and ease of food delivery, most restaurants have listed themselves on Zomato and Swiggy. However, if you think that you’ve covered the market well by means of just the delivery, you probably need to think again. There are a whole lot of other areas where you can step up your game to broaden your customer base and heighten your ROI.
While reaching the food to your valued customers may be made easier with such delivery partners, there are downsides to that as well. First up, they charge a particular amount for their service which adds to your expenses. The second and very crucial point is that you lose out on an opportunity of remarketing to your existing customers because of them. The reason is that they do not share customer data with you. Contrarily, if you can have your own delivery system, you save on extra service charges as well as keep the window for remarketing open for yourself.
The restaurants that use Gleeca, the restaurant management system, experience consistent growth every month. You get customer data automatically alongside strategic recommendations on how to use the data and retarget your customers. Most of the essential features which you want are for free. If you can rely on self-help, you can use the Gleeca Free plan and get all the basic technological needs for free, for a lifetime.
The Restaurant Business Tactics to Incorporate
The other things that you need to do to skyrocket the profits of your restaurant business are discussed below:
Having the Right Mindset
The first thing you need to do is to start believing that the inclusion of technology will take your business to the next level. Currently, many of your competitors have not yet reached this mindset and hence that will give you a significant advantage. You will be a step ahead of them and that is where the game will start gaining momentum. So it’s time to redefine your Standard Operating Procedure, and this can happen when you educate your team to follow the same strictly.
Convert your bill into a marketing tool
Now that you know you have to include technology to upscale the restaurant business, try this first method. On average, about 98% of cake shops do not print bills (based on our study of 10 cities and 200+ cake shops across India). They skip printing bills because they don’t have time for this activity. The bakeries which offer print bills are often using special POS hardware instead of smart restaurant applications or ERP. Such hardware can cost you over $100 (₹8000) plus paper roll expenses and does no other help besides printing bills and basic accounting.
But with Gleeca as a tech tool, you can create a discount coupon code with an expiry of 7 or 14 days. Publish these coupon codes, their benefits, and the expiry date in the footer area of your bill. Make sure you mention how to redeem the coupon code. Also, train your staff to inform your customers that there is an offer code on the bill that can be redeemed during their next visit. Create such coupons daily and update them to your bill; the FOMO factor will automatically trigger many to use the coupon next time to reap its benefit.
Big brands like KFC is already using this strategy in the name of offering discount coupon against their feedback. Watch this video to learn how to implement this strategy in a few minutes.
Collect Customer Data
Customer data is like a gold mine for any business. Unfortunately, the smaller businesses of the F&B industry feel that collecting customer data will slow down their speed of operations and therefore it is best avoided. What they fail to realize is that it can boost your business from zero to 6 or 7 figures in under a month’s time.
All big brands have one thing in common, they collect their customer data, and that is how they have made it big in the industry. It is not like you have to collect customer data manually. You can automate the data collection process. For example, when you use the Takeaway Kiosk of Gleeca, your customer will scan the QR CODE, browse your menu catalog and place their order online. Here their personal information such as name, and mobile number is captured automatically and the speed of placing the order is also not compromised. At least a customer cannot complain about a delay in it because they are placing the orders themselves.
You could also choose to enter the customer data manually while generating a bill if you follow the biller pattern. You can simultaneously inform your customer about a reward program or loyalty program. The most successful reward program implemented in the restaurant domain was Dominos Cheesy Rewards. It offered a free pizza if you obtained 600 points. Now, 100 points could be earned from an order value of a minimum of ₹350. So a person needed to complete at least 6 orders to get a free pizza. Such gamification programs attract the younger generation in the blink of an eye; thereby creating a strong brand value and increasing the customer lifespan as the acquired customers are mostly young, particularly teenagers.
Promote Self-help using Takeaway Kiosk
Everyone likes to be in control of things, and so do your customers. And the takeaway kiosks do just that for you. They are not merely data collection tools but also help you get unlimited orders in a second. It automates the order-taking process, payment collection, KOT generation, and handover tracking. Promoting self-help at the ordering stage helps the customers browse your menu at their own pace. Including add-ons or variants acts as the icing on the cake and brings you a better profit.
Gleeca gives you takeaway QR codes which you can use for your takeaway kiosk. Make sure you print the QR Code with nice captions like “Skip the Queue, Scan and place Takeaway orders” or “Takeaway Kiosk – Scan and order to get latest offers”. These captions could trigger your customer to use your digital ordering system, hence reducing the workload of your staff without compromising on the service quality.
Target users on Social Media
The customer data that you have collected via various means serves as a great help when you start using the social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. If you intend to target users on the social media platform without their data, you are going to spend more money without any guaranteed results.
As a business page owner on any social media platform, you do have the option of feeding your customer data. This will help narrow down your target audience and leverage your marketing efforts. In case you are just starting to collect customer data or if you don’t have customer data, Geofencing is your solution. This is the technology used by Facebook to lock in your target audience who reside within a radius of 1 or 2 km from your restaurant. This means that all those people within that geographic range will see your restaurant ads whenever they browse the social media platform.
Don’t you think this is a great business tactic for growth? For all such upgraded digital marketing strategies, Gleeca is more than happy to educate you in the trade tactics and empower your restaurant business.
The next thing that you can do is organize events on special occasions which guarantees you business even before the event day arrives. Consider, you are running an event in the name of Sunday cake delight. On a regular day, a cake delight combo would cost your customer ₹1500. However, if your customer bought the Sunday cake delight token in advance, then he could save 10 to 20%.
Now what is your advantage here? You save a lot of funds on food waste. Since you will get to know the exact amount of a particular food that will be needed on a particular day, you can stop food wastage drastically. Therefore you can afford to give huge discounts. So, there you are. Your customer is happy seeing the discount and you are happy making more sales with the discounted price.
Check out this event advertisement from a top-rated restaurant brand in Tamil Nadu. They followed the traditional advertisement method of using brochures or flyers. They gave out these flyers when a customer completed his/her bill payment. Alternatively, they targeted potential customers randomly in crowded spots near their restaurant.
In order to expedite your success with minimal effort, Gleeca has introduced a sales tool called ‘Events’. You can create such events from your Gleeca dashboard and promote the event link with a beautiful graphic banner. Promoting that banner on social media or sending the event link as a promotional SMS or on your Whatsapp groups could help you generate your Sunday sales on Friday or Saturday itself.
Plan your franchise model
Finally, the technique that brought KFC to the place it is currently. According to its founder, a franchise is the greatest customer. The franchise business model not only brings you financial stability but offers serious business partners who work day and night to take your brand to the next level. Achieving great heights in the food industry is easily possible if you have your franchise plan ready.
You should begin with preparing your SOPs and training your franchise partners to replicate the business you have created. Make sure you have all the contracts ready to protect your intellectual property and recipe secrets. When you have your franchise management software you can manage your franchise branches easily as you have all the data about your sales and customers. It completely automates the accounting part and gives you total peace of mind.
There are infinite possibilities to grow your restaurant business using technology predominantly as new tools are being invented and improved consistently. I hope this article has been able to throw light on the fact that staying up to date on the trends is very important.
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