The end of the holiday season has arrived, and many restaurateurs are faced with the challenges introduced during the holiday hangover season. Whether it’s customers with exhausted pocketbooks, or an unwillingness to leave the house in the midst of the cold nights of January and February, restaurants are potentially facing lower than usual traffic volumes. How can you, the restaurant owner, entice people out of their warm homes and into the empty seats in your dining establishment?
Developing a strategy for increasing sales does not require a degree in sales and marketing. It does not require you to add more employees, nor does it mean an increase in external advertising. Put simply, the answers to the problem of driving sales through down seasons as well as the good can all be found within the walls of your restaurant. By using data you already have, you can see with clarity where sales boosts can be realized.
Is Your Current POS Software Solution Step Up To Task?
In order to increase restaurant sales, you will find yourself examining data from a variety of sources, including your POS system. While the ideal POS solution would contain all of the data points required to develop an enhanced sales strategy, some of you may not be at that point just yet. This will require you to examine your POS software solution to determine if you have the data you need, where this data is, and if an upgrade is warranted.
While being under-equipped in this area does not necessarily mean that you cannot take advantage of the advice on increasing sales, it does start you out from a position of disadvantage. Seeking the expertise and experience that a POS consultant can bring to your planning table can make a positive impact and help you to trend in the right direction. This enables you to use centralized, consistent data to make the proper sales-boosting determinations for your restaurant.
Leveraging Sales Data to Determine Dining and Menu Trends
Recognizing the most commonly sold menu items, or those items that are not moving, provides you with a solid foundation from which specials and changes can emerge. By taking the data around menu selections, blending this data with information around item modifiers or diner requests, you will find yourself armed with a concise analysis of what is capturing your customer’s taste buds.
Your POS solution should give you the option to create real-time reporting and monitoring so that you can readily determine what is trending among your customers. In turn, this presents you with opportunities to create personalized dining specials that can be created and communicated to each individual customer. Not only does this show your understanding of a particular customer’s tastes, but it creates a higher level of enticement to bring them through your doors.
Creating a Staffing Strategy to Maximize Productivity
Appropriately managing your staff is a key, yet often forgotten, pillar of increasing sales in your restaurant. Tracking employee hours and comparing these to transaction records will paint a picture around how staff hours may need to be shifted to align with peak times. Additional data, such as attendance tracking, visibility into order and delivery accuracy, as well as tipping rates, aid in identifying your strong performers.
This improves sales in a couple of important ways. First, by aligning staff hours to coincide with your busiest dining times, you can ensure shorter wait times for customers. Also, you can stack the deck in your favor by leaning on your most productive, highest quality staff during the busy times. This allows you to provide highly focused training for new employees during slower periods, which will lend to greater personal and professional development.
Promoting Restaurant Sales Via Staff Engagement and Incentives
Word of mouth advertising for your restaurant can go far, but does have limitations. Perhaps the customer is known in their circle of friends as exaggerating things. Or, maybe they have opposite tastes than those within their social or work circles. This creates gaps in getting the word out to the world about what makes you special; a gap that can easily be filled by your staff.
Encouraging staff to promote their place of employment may seem counterintuitive. It can be a huge benefit to all parties, especially if the staff is offered a variety of incentives. These can be goal-based incentives, such as offering tickets to a local event to the first person who brings in ten referred customers. With proper coaching, staff can be utilized to upsell higher margin products or to promote menu items that have fallen out of favor with customers.
Upselling on the restaurant floor can create higher revenues for you while giving employees an easy way to supplement their income via performance bonuses and incentives. The downside to this is the limited inclusion of staff, i.e. this type of promotion will be limited to just your customer-facing employees, where the word of mouth incentives are more inclusive to all staff members. This is a balance that you will develop, based on the types of interactions your staff has on a daily basis.
Giving Control of the Dining Experience to the Customer
A great way to easily boost sales is by leveraging the next-gen restaurant functionalities that many of today’s POS solutions provide. The features within some of these solutions present customers with the ability to easily customize their dining experience. Online dining reservations are only the beginning of the enticements that modern technology can introduce to your diners.
Customers can easily request not only a specific table but that one member of your wait staff as well. Pre-ordering drinks and food before they leave home, as well as next-gen capabilities like tableside entertainment and payment options all serve to drive people to brave the cold so they can dine in comfort with a trusted friend, your restaurant.
Increase Restaurant Sales through Concise Data Analysis
Driving sales is a data-based game, and is one that you will find hard to play without the right POS software solution in place. Enlisting the help of a knowledgeable POS expert can help you to develop a data-driven POS solution that makes driving sales easy while improving you in all areas of your business. In being readily able to see what is going on at any exact moment during your business day gives you the ability to push sales upwards, even during down seasons.
Engaging talech gives you more than just a POS solution provider. We take the time to learn your business inside and out so that the solution we recommend and implement for you represents exactly where you are and where you want to be down the road. Reach out to us today to sign up for a free demo and find out how we can help you to create the perfect dining experience for your customers.