Are you worried about your restaurant’s bottom line over the last few months? Then we’re here to help you get it back to the way you like it.
You obviously know that managing an eatery is no small feat. You have to consider everything from the menu, to whether the staff are smiling enough and when it’s the best time to upgrade to a new computer or invest in café blinds to expand your seating onto the pavement.
That’s a lot!! And it can feel overwhelming. The good news is that there may not be problems; only areas that need some fine-tuning. And the changes don’t have to cost you a bundle either. Let’s show you.
Seem Busy, but Not Too Crowded
You want to serve as many people as possible, and when passersby see people inside your eatery they’ll take that as proof that the menu’s good. But that doesn’t mean you can push as many tables and chairs inside as possible.
If you’re catering for people who want to find some peace and quiet, a crowded space won’t be inviting. Do your research to find out what your clients prefer and organise your layout accordingly.
Get the Word Out the Modern Way
These days you don’t have any reason no to improve your brand awareness. Social media opened up the world to all businesses, so make full use of its features:
- Market to a certain demographic without paying a lot
- Share cooking advice so you can display your chef’s expertise and boost trust in your brand
- Keep your audience informed about new menu items to garner excitement about your food
Social media platforms are versatile and you only need time to use them, not a big budget.
Draw Them in with Events
Some of the news stories you can share on your social media pages is about the events you host. Consumers don’t like missing out, so you simply have to create some hype about something happening at your restaurant and it will draw in a few extra feet.
An event doesn’t mean you carry all the expenses—patrons can still pay for their food and drink during one of the following:
- Listening to a speaker
- Enjoying live music
- A fashion parade if you have the floor space—or host it on the sidewalk after you install your outdoor blinds we mentioned earlier
Use a survey and find out what your community enjoys. Build your events around those interests to ensure optimal attendance.
Make Sure Locals Find You Online
Here’s another way you can benefit from focusing on your immediate surroundings: make sure locals can find you when they use search engines.
Start searching for any service in your area and Google is bound to give you a list of local options high up on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). You want YOUR eatery to enjoy that same privilege, but it won’t happen if search engines don’t know you’re relevant to what people are looking for. So, tell them!
Your website and Facebook content tells search engines to which areas you’re relevant, so make sure you do the following:
- Create a Google Business page
- Mention local places of interest and neighbourhood names in your website content
- Double check that your address is correct wherever it’s mentioned online
This increases your chances of ending up on those lists whenever a hungry consumer starts looking for a place to eat.
Use Your Reviews and RESPOND
In addition to your online information, use your reviews to your benefit. You may not like getting a negative review, but this can actually count in your favour. Reply to the person who complained and tell them how you solved the problem—or defend yourself if they’re being unfair. This shows that you listen to your patrons, which can make you seem like a more trustworthy brand than others.
Don’t forget that your competition can be the key to your success. Why not invite other eateries in the area to join in on a ‘Crawl Evening’? Each restaurant can offer an interesting, special dish or drink and customers can travel from one venue to the other for a taste adventure. Partner with well known restaurants and it’s sure to boost your name in the community.
Last Tip: What’s in the Window?
Here’s an interesting tip that will cost you absolutely nothing but can have people streaming in. You know there’s a crowd of people out and about at all hours of the night. Of course, you’re not open 24/7, so make sure your restaurant can speak for itself when you’re not there. Display your menu inside your window or transparent café blinds so pedestrians can see what you offer.
Next time these individuals are in the mood for something on your menu, they’ll know where to find it.
See? Don’t lose hope. Small changes will have you performing at the top of your game again soon.