16 Ways to Increase Restaurant Sales

Increase Restaurant Sales

It’s common to worry about your restaurant’s bottom line and look for ways to increase restaurant sales. After all, running restaurant operations and managing your sales and profitability is a large responsibility. Attempts to cut food and labor costs and manage margins may not provide the results you need. But there are lots of ways you can positively impact your restaurant sales numbers. Here are specific steps you can take to grow your restaurant’s success.

No matter which growth tactics you choose to adopt, consider Tripleseat’s world-class features to make private dining, event, and catering management easier for both your customers and your restaurant staff and to quickly boost your restaurant sales.

1. Get efficient with tech

We understand that right now one of your hardest challenges as a restaurant is staffing. Utilize technology to impact your operations positively and keep details in one centralized place. Consider Point of Sale (POS) systems, QR code pay at the table, kitchen display screens, and more to help your existing staff be the most efficient.

Remember that when details slip through the cracks, so can restaurant sales. Now more than ever, it’s crucial to stay organized. If you tend to do a lot of private dinners and event business over the phone, consider technology to help like Tripleseat as your main source of communication.

2. Offer signature packages

No matter what kind of restaurant you have, offering special menu items and a clear private dining, event, and/or catering package will entice new and loyal customers. Showcase your beautiful and delicious offerings with clear digital and printed materials with professional photos and well-researched pricing. Remember that customers are willing to pay more for food and beverage for special occasions and events. During a recent commissioned study, Tripleseat learned that venues that offer private dining and events see 30% of revenue come from that business.

3. Get a handle on inventory

To keep track of your restaurant’s earnings and losses, you need full visibility into what’s coming in and going out of your restaurant — at all times. A POS system with smart inventory tracking can provide you with this much-needed visibility. From low-inventory warnings to detailed sales item reports, you can breathe easy knowing you’re able to pinpoint when that last bottle of pinot went out or if it’s time to order more cuts of steak.

4. Make your menu shine

Is your menu cohesive, or has it become a mishmash of apps, mains, and desserts? If so, it may be time to freshen up your restaurant menu. The deliciousness of your menu items doesn’t mean a thing if they’re not profitable. Your menu updates could be as simple as renaming an item, or the menu placement of your highest margin items. Use prominent spots of your menu to market these dishes and use some high quality, professional images to entice your customers. 

It is a best practice to revisit your menu at least a couple times per year and opt to place in some seasonal dishes. Make sure to promote your menu on social media and other marketing channels.

5. Themed events attract customers

There’s no shortage of special events your restaurant can pull off. Whether it’s a father-daughter night or a wine and cheese tasting or a workshop, putting a theme around your restaurant’s offerings makes for a great way to increase sales and do wonders for customer loyalty as well. Leverage the right technology to ensure your event’s success.

If you currently offer private dining or events, or are thinking about expanding, let event management software help. You can easily manage these events and streamline communication with your staff and your customers. 

Target events during times that business is usually slow. There are plenty of creative events your restaurant can host to get an influx of new customers through your doors. Reach out to a local businesses to create a partnership such as a yoga studio, artist, or florist, for example. 

6. Engage on social media 

There is no doubt you’ll find new leads on social media. Restaurants with a strong social media presence will be top of mind when people look for restaurants to eat at and to plan an event at. Think photos, videos, and personality.

Make sure you’re set up with a Facebook business page, LinkedIn, and an Instagram account. These are great places to promote your events and appeal to party planners. 

7. Sell branded products

Do you run a restaurant with your own beer or coffee? Package your product and sell it. 

Selling something you’re known for as a branded product is one surefire way to generate a secondary revenue stream to increase restaurant sales. Or, if you invested a lot into your design and branding, simply printing T-shirts could boost business (and serve as free promotion by the people sporting them!). Not only is this a way to diversify your revenue but also is a wonderful way to market your brand.

8. Increase speed of service

You know that the more tables you turn per hour, the more money you make. So why not provide your staff with the tools they need to increase the speed and efficiency of service?

For example, a mobile Point of Sale (POS) device gives servers the ability to send orders directly from the POS to the kitchen. This way, they don’t have to race to and from a stationary terminal bottlenecked by other servers.

9. Partner with popular delivery services

In today’s app-driven environment, convenience is king. Consider teaming up with popular delivery services in your area, like DoorDash, Seamless, GrubHub, or Uber Eats. Partnering with delivery services is a great strategy to increase sales in a restaurant. This can help streamline your ordering process, attract new customers, and satisfy your existing customers all from the comfort of their smartphones.

10. Embrace the power of upselling

waitress upselling

Train your servers to be better salespeople by mastering the art of upselling. “Bottled water or Perrier?” “Would you like to add chicken to your Caesar salad?”

This is another great use for your POS system. It can help to increase average check size and build restaurant sales by prompting servers to suggest add-ons and highlight priced modifiers to the customer.

11. Try new marketing strategies

Sure, email marketing is a tried and true way to reach potential customers. But why not give text marketing a try? With the high open rates of text messages, it only makes sense.

Create an offer to get customers to subscribe, like “Get Free Dessert,” then start sending weekly specials to your growing list of subscribers. Your customers will look forward to receiving these deals, and you can look forward to the increased restaurant revenue from repeat visits.

12. Consider private dining

Maybe you’ve got an expansive banquet room that could get more use or even use a corner of your dining room. Even something as simple as a semi-private area that you surround in curtains for a more intimate feel can attract small private parties.

It’s especially helpful to leverage these services at times when you’re particularly slow or normally closed. Not sure how to advertise a program like this? Here are some ideas on how to market private dining at your restaurant.

13. Create a restaurant newsletter

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: good restaurant newsletters work! The potential return on investment on creating a newsletter is huge. It’s one of the most effective ways to increase sales in a restaurant. Newsletters have been reported to outpace social media in terms of effectiveness. They also give you more control when it comes to your target audience.

Whether you’re looking for the right email platform, tips for building an audience, or good examples of layouts that’ll get people to keep scrolling, this article about restaurant email marketing has it all.

14. Host pop-up experiences

It’s official: pop-up bars and restaurants are trending. Whether they’re promoting a new television series or highlighting a touring chef, these limited-time experiences have proven to be a bonafide crowd draw.

There are a few different ways to make them work for your business, depending on your bandwidth. You could start hosting regular events like Tiki Tuesdays, complete with a special cocktail menu of tropical drinks. You could also partner with a visiting or emerging local chef who wants to set up in your space one night a month.

15. Participate in your city’s Restaurant Week

If you’re not taking part in your city’s annual Restaurant Week events, now’s the time. Not only does this give your space extra exposure, but it’s an effective way to get more customers in your restaurant.

Restaurant Weeks are a great opportunity to show off signature dishes, and even experiment with new ones. You can also leverage them to get the word out about your private event offerings. Include details about your program in check presenters, and consider offering a special deal if someone books an event within a certain time frame.

16. Adopt a loyalty program

Looking to inspire happy customers to keep coming back? Incentivize them! There are plenty of options for incentivizing repeat clients for their continued business. Choosing the one that’s right for you often depends on things like your budget, the type of business you run, and your personal preference.

Casual eateries can opt for things like punch cards or coupons. More high-end establishments, however, may rely on app- or email-driven programs. No matter which avenue you take, the key is to keep the process simple on the customer’s end, so that they actually participate.

Want to increase restaurant revenue? Private events and Tripleseat will help.

Tripleseat+ Direct is an omnichannel, direct booking CRM platform that offers various tools for restaurants like you to start, run and grow their on- and off-premise business. With Tripleseat+ Direct consumers can now book, plan, and pay for on-premise events, off-premise catering, and other experiences directly from a venue’s website, social media, and Tripleseat’s EventUp. Similar to Tripleseat’s sales and event management platform, Tripleseat+ Direct is subscription only and does not charge a commission or fee for bookings or orders.

If your venue isn’t using Tripleseat yet, and you’d like more information, please fill out the form below to book a demo.