If your restaurant or cafe is surrounded by other great eateries, that means you’re operating in the right place. Plenty of footfall drives businesses to an area and that’s always good news. But there are setbacks of course. How do you make sure your business is the one that people choose to eat at when there are so many other options? Here are a few ideas that might help you boost profits without breaking the bank.
Start offering a restaurant ordering app
Adopting new technologies can really make an impact on your profit levels. And so can meeting new consumer demands. Offering customers the chance to use a food ordering app for restaurants can tick both of these boxes and position you head and shoulders above your competition.
A restaurant ordering app can be as simple as a backend-less app that your customers don’t even have to download. They simply touch their phone on a QR code or an on-table ’clip’, in the case of Leslie’s cutting edge technology, and, up pops restaurant interactive table menu technology. They can view your menu and order online without ever having to contact your staff if they don’t want to.
Once they’re done, all they have to do is request the bill through the app and, like magic, the staff deliver it! This technology minimises contact, increases sales (through automated up-selling reminders and notifications) and attracts customers who like the idea of dining without having to wait around for service.
Involve yourself in the community
There are so many opportunities available to get involved in community events if you know where to look. Talking to local schools, councillors and other high profile members of your town or city could be the first step. Sponsoring of hosting events is a great way to get your name out there with local business people, for example.
Being involved in charitable events can help to reinforce a positive opinion of your restaurant. This can be anything from donating spare food to those who need it, to hosting charity events in your restaurant.
Offering private dining or event spaces
If you have a smaller, private room in your restaurant that you could convert into an intimate private dining space, go for it! This is a pretty low-cost way to drum up interest and business. People hosting parties at your venue are likely to be big spenders. Private dining is also yet another string to your bow, which you can use to differentiate yourself from the other restaurants in your area that don’t have facilities like this.
Private dining areas can double-up as meeting spaces during the day, attracting local businesses who might not have the room in their offices to get together and chat. Consider offering catered business lunch meetings, for example, and offer dining parties a choice of menus to make their party planning simple.
Offer cooking or mixology classes
Make the very most of your terrific chefs and bar managers with cookery classes and mixology events. Consumers are increasingly looking for something a little different to do on a night out, or even on a saturday afternoon! Hen parties, groups of friends and couples are all keen to get involved with activities and love nothing than cooking up a storm or mixing up a new cocktail (and sampling it!) at a great local restaurant.
Promoting these vents will put you firmly on the map in your local town, as a place to go for an experience that goes well-beyond simple dining.
Offer contactless solutions
The post-covid world offer its own challenges. One of these is that consumers no longer want to have to deal with as many service staff as they once did. Even once Covid is a distant memory, we’re all more aware of our personal space and our health.
Others have become used to using more convenient alternatives, which allow them more autonomy and control over their dining experiences. Offering contactless options, such as restaurant ordering apps and interactive restaurant menus, for example, can help attract people who prefer this method of service.
Get yourself a insta-worthy frontage
This might be a no-brainer, but a great way to stand out from your competition is to actually, physically stand out, This might be with the help of a truck-load of fake flowers and foliage that frames your doorway. It might be painting your frontage bright link, or a classy shade of mauve. It might mean investing in some seriously on-brand and visually appealing signage or a new window display to promote yourself to passers-by.
Whatever suits your business and gets people talking, and hopefully, coming in a spending money, will help .And if it has the added result of making your restaurant a hit on social media, even better!
Open when your competitors are closed
If you run a cafe and all your competitors are closed on Sundays, make sure you open on Sunday. If all the other restaurants in your town are closed on Monday nights, why not be the one place that’s open. A lot of local diners will use your restaurant on those occasions, perhaps for the first time. And if you do a great job with food and service, they’ll come back again and again.
Offering a signature dish
A really great, visually appealing and sensibly priced signature dish can really get people talking. Signature dishes can be a great way to make sure a dining experience sticks in diners’ minds. It can also help to attract press attention to your restaurant.
Signature dishes work well in fine dining establishments, who can let their super-chefs loose in their kitchens and create some real magic. But they can be equally as effective in neighbourhood bistros and cafes. Being famous for a particularly good breakfast dish, for example, will help you to stand out from the brunch and all-day dining crowd. The best pasta dish in the area will also make your place a go-to destination.
Think about giving your interior the wow factor
Interiors that say something about your restaurant and create an atmosphere can be a really effective way to encourage customers to your business. If you are a relaxed cafe where people are encouraged to work or read, for example, start a library area or instal power sources on each table.
If you’re an Italian restaurant, consider an authentic deecor scheme with items sourced direct from Italy to add authenticity and a sense of place. If you are offering an up-scale experience, invest in luxury fabrics to add a sense of indulgence. The key is to always keep your customers in mind. Who are they and what do they want to see as they walk through the door to make them feel instantly like they’ve made the right decision in coming to your place?
Make sure your service is a cut above the rest
Service is key to a good dining out experience. So how can you make your service different from the service being offered by your rivals? Freeing up your waiting staff to offer more attentive, personalised service with the help of a table service app will hep create a unique experience for your customers.
Table service apps allow your diners to get n with the business of ordering their food without having to wait for staff to bring menus ans take their orders. However, this doesn;t mean waiting staff are obsolete. Just the opposite. It means that your front-of-house staff will be on hand to welcome customers, answer any questions they may have and help with food and drink preparation, so that service is super-quick and convenient.
To sum up, making your restaurant stand out from the crowd is all about thinking creatively and making brave decisions. If you want people to be talking about your restaurant, give them something to talk about! Whether that means making the most of new technologies, thinking about how you use your space differently, or creating something really memorable, just make sure you’re never boring and customers will keep coming back.