It’s spring time, which means that it’s time to prep for some of the busiest restaurant days of the year: Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and grads season. Join in the merriment by maximizing your profits with compelling marketing and a streamlined and efficient back of house.
Get clever this spring with a marketing refresh. With diners booking earlier in advance every year, make sure that you have advertised well before they have the chance to make reservations elsewhere.
- Leverage your customer relationship management technology to pull your repeat customer lists and loyalty program members to send out personalized emails to your Mom/Dad/Grad events or speciality dinners. Reward your customers by making them feel like VIPs!
- Get social! Provide a sneak peek into your dishes for the special days and highlight your promos on your channels. Want a little extra push? Put some ad money behind your posts to get extra engagement, and encourage your followers to share your posts and engage with your restaurant online.
- Offer something different! Build a different experience into your restaurant to help capture the attention of new diners, and more importantly incentivize your regulars to come in for a different experience.
Reviews play a huge part in the decision making process by the customer. And the more special the occasion, the more reviews influence the decision.
Get ahead of online feedback – embrace it and use your happy customers to your advantage. If a customer takes the time to give you a compliment in person, there’s nothing wrong with saying, “Thank you so much for the kind words. Check us out on Yelp. Yelp asks that business owners do not ask directly for reviews, but prompting your customers to “take a look” at Yelp directs them to a feedback site to engage in whatever way they are comfortable.
You can also use positive reviews in your marketing materials. If you have a regular who recently showed you some love online, ask that customer if they would mind if you quote them directly (i.e. no editing) for your website, advertisement, or flyers.
Make speed of service a top priority this season. By increasing table turn over, you can keep customers happy and seat more in a day. Ginger Elizabeth Hahn of Ginger Elzabeth Chocolates found that:
“On Valentine’s Day, one of the busiest days of the year, we serve upwards of 600 people. Our old POS system just wasn’t cutting it; the line was not going as quickly as we wanted to. However, when we switched to Revel Systems, we were able to speed up service and increase sales by 20% the next year.”
Now, that you’ve optimized your marketing and outfitted your business with sales driving technology, it’s important to shift your focus to your operations and expenses. Run a tight ship this spring by deploying cost cutting technology.
Additional diners means additional staff, but knowing how many staff and when to staff can be tricky without comprehensive employee management software. Fear not, there are tools that can optimise staffing for an efficient, predictable, productive operation, that needs fewer employees to achieve the same results.
Be sure your restaurant has adjusted its par levels, submitted purchase orders on time, and automated these processes, to ensure a successful inventory count to support more diners, and speciality menu items. And when as much as $17.50 of every $100 sold is shrink, restaurants cannot afford to rely on manual inventory tracking.
Whether you’re receiving shipments, scanning barcodes, or entering SKUs, reducing the opportunity for human error by integrating your inventory tracking into your point of sales means that you’re getting an exact account of your current stock levels. When real-time inventory reporting is deployed, you have a much more precise idea of what you should be ordering and when. That data can also help you forecast and clarify which purchasing decisions you should make, whether you’re tracking changes from month to month, season to season, or from last year’s Moms/Dads/Grads events.
Close the gap between your front of house and back of house by sending orders directly from the Point of Sale to the kitchen. This reduces confusion and human error in the kitchen and eliminates the need to print multiple paper records. The ability to use color schemes in the KDS also helps improve communication and food preparation processes.