4 tips to increase restaurant sales during quiet periods
11 Jan 2022
5 min read
Quiet periods are the worst, not only are you missing out on revenue, the day just drags on and on. Luckily there's a lot of things you can do to ensure you constantly have a steady stream of customers coming through the door.
Consider Delivery services
Why choose a delivery service for your restaurant?
Offering deliveries is a quick win to ensure you're still making sales even if the front of house is looking empty on the Tuesday. I mean who doesn't love a takeaway dropped to your door... but (and this is a big one) before you jump on delivery services carefully consider the options below.
User friendly app and delivery tracking is convenient for customers
Offers choice between company drivers or in house drivers which caps commission at 13%
Holds 27% of the delivery service market share in the UK
66 million active users
Set up of £250
Highest commission rate of any service, between 10-30% per sale
Mostly only available in larger Cities
Largest customer base holding 56% of the UK market share
Cheapest platform for restaurants only taking up to 14% per sale
Self service business model puts the restaurant in control allowing you to accept or deny order and choose between company or in house delivery
Widest network of delivery drivers
Set up of £699
Inaccurate order tracking can be frustrating for customers
Does Not require much set up, all deliveries are handled by deliveroo
Set up fee includes full user onboarding and tablet
Set up fee of £220
Commission fees range from 18-25% of sale
No option for in house deliveries
Smallest market share at 24%
In house delivery
Keep 100% of order sales
You can keep prices lower as you don’t need to compensate for commission fees
Deliveries can be made faster with a dedicated driver/s
More staff needed to cover deliveries
85% of people prefer apps over web or phone
You will need to establish your own audience
Create restaurant listings on review/booking sites
Expanding your brand presence online is an important part in reaching a wider audience. To avoid the nitty gritty of search engine optimisation and pay per click ads an easy way to make your restaurant more discoverable is getting listed on all of major sites that people visit before making a decision on where to eat.
Google my business
This is a no brainer, google my business is the top way to climb the rankings and get your venue in front of people.
84% of searches are discoverable whereas only 16% are direct. This means that half the time people don’t even know what they’re after and that's where google my business comes in. Common search terms like restaurants near me or Caribbean restaurants in London will show you results in a snippet box at the very top of the results.
Google maps results are shown along side businesses making it easy for people to find your restaurant (86% of people use google to find directions to restaurants)
Offers table bookings and links to website and restaurant information
Increases discoverability and builds trust as GMS is viewed as a trustworthy source
Reviews are shown alongside listings which can be a good way to spread the good word of your business (90% of people view reviews before making a purchase decision)
Just by having a listing and showing up in local searches, businesses on GMS are 70% more likely to attract potential customers for in-store visits
Detailed analytics will help you better understand the behavior of your customers and the impact GMS has on the growth of your business
GMS can increase clicks to your website by 30%
Free and easy to set up
There are no real drawbacks for GMS, it's highly recommended by Google and can be an important first step in getting consistent results even on those quiet days.
The most popular table booking service in the world, open table has a huge user base who are all looking to book a table at a restaurant. Why not meet your customers where they’re already looking for you? Well, Opentable doesn't come cheap so you need to carefully consider if it's the right choice for your business.
25% of people making table bookings online, this can be a good way to reach that audience
Already established service with more than 23 millions users makes it easy to reach a larger customer base
incorporates reviews similar to google my business
Registration fee of £955
Monthly fee of £145
72% of reservations are still made through the phone
Special offers and discounts
Who doesn't love a good discount, aye? Offers, deals and events are a great way to create some hype especially when paired with social media posts. It might require some more work and less profits but attracting some new customers can pay off in the long run!
Use events to your advantage
Look out for special events in your city or days you can use to your advantage. An event calendar can be a good way to see what's coming up. Taco Tuesdays, international beer day, sober october are just a few to consider. Using these special days can make for a great social media post and get people excited to go out for a meal even if it's just another Wednesday.
Whatever you decide to do on these days, stay creative. Offering a special or promoting a related product is a good way to start. Keep it exciting and don’t be scared to avoid those wacky days like “national cheese toestie day”.
...Or create your own events
Activities and workshops can be something special for both regulars and new customers. Do you have the best pizza in town? Or maybe you can make some killer cocktails? Show it off. Set up a workshop and show off your skills or maybe even let your customers have a go. This isn't something to rely on but it can be good fun that leaves a lasting impression on your customers making them want to come back for more.
It's a lot easier to get customers to come back then it is to find new ones so why not incentivize them!
There's plenty of options out there to consider that fit your budget and the type of business you run. Punch cards for a free drink or coupons for your most loyal customers are just some options to consider. No matter which avenue you choose, the key is to keep the process as simple as possible on the customer's end, so that they actually participate.
This probably goes without saying but people love discounts and exclusive deals, it just triggers something in our brains when we know we can save money. A 2 for 1 meal or 20% off on your first order are all great ways to incentivise new and returning customers to visit your restaurant.
Pair this with events and social media posts and you have a winning combination that makes people excited and gives them a limited offer to take advantage of.
Social media is your friend, Use it!
The power of social media cannot be underestimated especially as a way of reaching new customers.
10 Social media statistics for restaurants
How to use social media for promoting your restaurant?
Although social media can be a powerful tool in your marketing arsenal it isn't guaranteed to bring success right away. It can take some time to get your followers and like counts up even if you're active everyday but that doesn't mean it's impossible.
Here are 4 things to consider to improve your social media presence
Take high quality photos
Taking the perfect #foodporn photo is crucial when showing off the quality of your menu to get those taste buds going. Luckily you don't need a professional camera to get that perfect photo. Smartphone cameras have come a long way and can take some truly stunning photos that will leave viewers mouth watering but there's some basic principles to consider.
Lighting, lighting, lighting
This is the most important part of a great photo. That's why the big chains spend 1000s on the proper equipment to get the perfect shot. Avoid sharp lighting like overhead fluorescent bulbs or overly dark environments. Smartphone cameras struggle in low light and if things are too bright making photos look amateurish.
Natural lighting is your best bet, overcast or evening sun can make your #foodporn photos look absolutely stunning. But investing in a soft box like the one shown below can provide a good alternative that isn't dependent on the British weather.
Tweek the camera settings
Most new phones now come with a portrait mode setting which gives photos a boqa effect making it look like it came straight from a professional camera. You can also play around with the exposure and contrast settings to make photos pop more, just don't overdo it with filters which can make your photos look fabricated.
All social media platforms favour active accounts, make sure you aren't leaving large gaps between posts and you have a clear social media schedule in place. You should aim for at least 3 posts a week at the minimum. Make sure you're also supporting this with daily activity. Be present, respond to comments, follow other accounts and see what has worked for others and try to do something similar. Social media is all about activity and engagement.
Adverts are a guaranteed way to see some results especially if you're promoting offers or events. However they can be quite a minefield to get your head around if you have never done it before. Here is an article explaining how to use facebook ad manager which works across Facebook and Instagram..