Few industries have been hit harder by COVID-19 than the restaurant business. All restaurants have had to pivot towards pick-up and delivery. Many have been forced to shut their doors altogether. And when things start to normalize in the coming months, those who survive will be hungry for ways to increase revenue.
6 Ways to Give Your Revenue a Big Boost
Despite the challenges we’ve been through over the past few weeks, there are glimmers of hope that better days are ahead. This includes better days for your business. Here are some specific ways you may be able to increase revenue upon reopening:
Offer Online Ordering
Even after society opens back up and life resumes to some version of normal, there will be lingering effects from the virus – psychologically speaking. Many people will change the way they live, indefinitely. This could mean no longer congregating in areas with lots of people – including restaurants.
Rather than ostracizing people who choose not to dine-in, you should offer online ordering. Whether it’s taking orders over the phone, launching your own take-out app, or working with food delivery services, having this option will allow you to reach more people in the coming months and years.
Partner With Local Businesses
Restaurants aren’t the only ones hurting right now. Countless other local businesses are reeling, too. So put on your networking hat and start brainstorming creative ways that you can partner with local businesses. Whether it’s supplying food in return for other services, hosting a community event (when it’s safe to do so), or joining a business referral group; there are plenty of ways to leverage the power of entrepreneurship to generate revenue.
Understandably, most restaurant owners are looking for ways to cut costs. But sometimes you have to spend a little green to make a little green. And depending on your situation, this may mean upgrading your technology.
One option is to invest in digital menu boards. They look better, make it easier to change out menu items over time, and tend to increase engagement. In fact, nearly 70 percent of restaurants that start using electronic menu boards recoup their investment within 18 months. Why not give it a try?
Use Influencer Marketing
One of the best ways to grow revenue is to increase reach. And one highly effective way to do this is by tapping into influencer marketing.
Make a list of 10 highly influential people in your community. Ideally, they should have wide appeal and a significant digital/social media presence. Now reach out to these individuals and let them know the situation. Offer some sort of compensation package in return for positive exposure. (This could be food, payment, etc.) Some might even do it for free – as a way to give back to their community in a time of need.
Add Higher Margin Items
Rework your menu in a way that it maximizes profitability. While quality food is still very important, this is one instance where you can shift some of your attention over to margins.
In case you’re curious, high-profit menu items include low-prep plates, perceived value items (like hand-stretched pizza or homemade ice cream), desserts, soft drinks, mixed cocktails, certain side dishes, appetizers, etc. The more you push these items on your menu, the higher your profits will be.
Adopt a Loyalty Program
Loyalty programs don’t cost much to start and maintain, yet they deliver tremendous value in return. According to LevelUp, members of restaurant loyalty programs spend 19 percent more, on average, when redeeming an award. Not only that, but their frequency of visiting increases 75 percent between their first and tenth reward redemption. (And with so many loyalty program apps and solutions on the market, it’s never been easier to get a program up and running.)
It’s Time to Get Creative
If you come out of this experience still using the same approach and strategies, you’ll have missed a golden opportunity to evolve and improve. Let this pandemic serve as a wakeup call – albeit one you never wanted to go through. Get creative and think outside the box. Reimagine how you can serve your customers, drive value, and generate revenue.
Interesting related article: “What is the meaning of Margin?“