Restaurant Marketing Report - 7 Secrets To A Full Restaurant
Simple ideas and strategies to put "bums on seats" and fill your restaurant or cafe with paying customers.
We help Restaurant and Cafe Owners to magnetically attract more customers, increase the average customer spend and to put more money in your bank account.
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Wednesday, 25 July 2012
I keep meeting restaurant owners who think they know their numbers but in a real sense have little idea what they are, or why they are so important? If you are really serious about growing the sales and profits in your business you need to let the numbers become your best friend.
The first numbers I like to know as a marketing and profit improvement strategist is what is the average ticket size; the average spend per head by segment (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Functions); the total sales per segment and the number of covers served in the shift.
You then follow this daily and graph the result.
As soon as you track this you will start to see trends and early warning indicators. By focusing on each part or segment of the business and their particular numbers it becomes easier to manage and find ways of growing each part of the business.
One of the easiest and cheapest ways to grow your profits is to increase the average spend per customer. You can do this by training and focusing your staff in add on sales. The bread, the water, the salads, the sides, entrées, desserts, an extra glass of wine, etc.. etc.. etc.. I am not going to go into this here.
If you don't monitor average spends how do you know your team is making the most of every opportunity. Many owners and managers find it very enlightening to track the average spend by server. This will quickly show you where your leaky profits are. Try it. You will be in for a surprise. Once you know where the problem is it is easy to fix.
Here in Australia where our dining culture is not driven by tips I often find ticket sizes are short by 20% or more. This is often because of poor training and management. Simply not enough focus is placed on growing the average spend. If you don't measure it, it won't happen.
Know the numbers and you will improve. After all 20% is a lot of money lost on an annualized basis. That is $200,000 if you are turning over a million dollars. Don't assume it is happening. Measure and make it happen!
Saturday, 21 July 2012
Tuesday, 10 July 2012
- Value your callers… thank them for ringing… they could have just have easily rung your opposition
- Think someone is ringing to give you money not as someone ringing to interrupt your day as this will show in your voice
- Take responsibility for the call and the customer and their requirements
- Start building a relationship by identifying who you are and by getting their name
- Answer the phone professionally with a smile on your face and with warmth and enthusiasm… you welcome their call
- Always apologise when you are unable to help… not the blunt “We are full approach”
- Offer alternative times to dine if possible
- If you offer take away … maybe that is a possible solution
- Offer to book them in tomorrow or next weekend… this obviously is not an immediate solution but keeps them coming back
- Get their details and offer to send out a voucher for a FREE entrée or Dessert to make up for the inconvenience (strategy to get them back another time)
- Set up a referral strategy with another restaurant where you agree to cross promote when you are each full…this way you are seen to be helpful and the business loss is retained between 2 restaurants. Even set up a referral discount arrangement so business remains between the two restaurants. The reality is they will go somewhere else so why not set up an alliance between 2 of you to help each other
- Maybe only take bookings for say 90% of the restaurant with the balance to be on a first come, first serve basis … i.e. you reward early bookers, but create the flexibility to handle the rest. Most restaurants have diners who leave early. This is an empty table to fill. Or, they face the challenge of managing the impacts of last minute no shows. In this way late bookers have a way of getting a table. They just have to wait in the bar for a table to come available. You get a way of increasing table turn. Of course you warn these diners they may have a wait to get a table. It is all about understanding your flows and developing a strategy for maximum usage depending upon your situation. This is better than a blanket we are full approach after all increasing your table turn is what it is all about.
- Carefully select the right person to handle the telephone … someone who can “Wow!” your callers over the phone with their caring and professionalism
Sunday, 1 July 2012
- Lead by example… spend time working actively on the floor interacting with customers, taking orders, listening for opportunities and selling to your customers
- Take time and meet one on one with each team member each week… create regular dialogue with your team members and use this as a way to communicate expectations, seek feedback, thank and acknowledge their work, build loyalty, trust and accountability. This one activity alone will have a significant impact on reducing staff turnover
- Become a great sales coach… spend time encouraging and helping individual team members to improve. Done right this is a highly powerful way to motivate and support your staff. After all, most of us want to do better. Use your experience by offering help, tips, and motivation. This will go a long way to improving individual satisfaction and performance
- Train your team regularly… despite the challenges of split shifts and casual workers, create opportunities to regularly train your team. Whether it is in a group or in sub groups. This is a powerful way to improve service and sales performance. Use role plays; actively involve team members, set challenges and competitions to reinforce your training. Create a regular training schedule and plan. This is a really powerful way to raise the performance of your team and also to improve staff retention
- Set up a mentor program… assign a mentor to new employees to help them settle in and to assist in fast tracking their effectiveness
- Monitor individual sales performances… compare customer average spend numbers by individual by staff members. The results will surprise you. You will quickly identify your high performers; those needing some skill development and those who need to be moved on. Share the numbers with team members and set goals
- Fire quickly… if a team member is unresponsive to training and coaching, or just doesn't fit in, move them on. The last thing you need is for someone on the team to be dragging down team performance, service and efficiency. This impacts on everyone and you are much better without them
- Seek feedback and suggestions… make sure you are open to feedback, ideas and suggestions from your team. Be open to change. They are at the front line and often will see things that is slowing them down or inhibiting better service performance. Seek their ideas for promotions and marketing initiatives. Involve them and they are likely to take ownership
- Regularly reward and acknowledge your people… a word of thanks or slipping a team member a couple of movie tickets goes a long way to acknowledge a job well done and staff satisfaction
- Invest in your personal development… regularly attend seminars, read and listen to audio programs; watch DVDs. Not only the hospitality industry but look outside for ideas and ways of developing your own skills and understanding. It will pay you handsomely
- Communicate, Communicate, Communicate… keep your team informed about everything that is going on. Let them know about your promotions; your plans and goals; the performance of the restaurant. The more they know the more they can help and work with you to achieve your goals
- Get a coach or mentor… like Olympians and other great sports people who achieve great success and peak performances you need someone to encourage you, hold you accountable and challenge you to get your achieve your best
Finally … I never said it would be easy. The most common complaint and concern I hear is the challenge of keeping well trained staff. The strategies above will help you reduce staff churn and make a positive impact on your bottom line.
After all, your people are you most valuable asset. Invest time, nurture, care for them and you will be well rewarded.
Give it a go and most importantly create a sense of fun!