Many restaurant owners know how to attract new customers to their business. Not a lot of them, however, know how to make the most of the existing customer base they already have. A lot of restaurant owners and managers think that the work of promoting their business is done once the customer steps through the front door. Unfortunately, many often forget that the money is made while the customer is sitting at the table.
It is far easier to convince existing customers to spend money at your restaurant than it is to gain new customers. It also costs much less to take care of your existing customers than to attract new ones. While constantly promoting your business to attract new people is a good thing, remember to make the most of what you already have. If you retained the same number of loyal customers forever, you can still keep increasing your revenue by increasing the average bill. Here are some ways you can do that.
1. Do the math first
Figure out your average bill first. This lets you set a reference point from which you can work your way up. Let’s say that you are making a daily average sales of $1,000 with an average of 50 customers every day. If you divide $1,000 by 50 customers, you will get an average bill of $20 per customer every day. This means you can start to target an amount that is slightly higher than $20 per customer per day. Going for an average bill of $25 may be the next logical step. It’s not advisable to go way above your expectations only to be disappointed. For instance, if your current average bill is $20, you may be setting up unrealistic goals if you try and aim for $50 right away.
2. Offer high-priced items
If you want to make money soon even with not a lot of customers, offer more premium items on your menu. Many restaurants find it difficult to turn a good profit by offering low-priced items, especially if they are just starting to build a customer base. Check out your menu and look for not-so-profitable items and then replace them with more higher-priced items. Of course, offering more expensive means you are also expected to increase the quality of your service. Every good restaurant knows that one of the keys to success is to make sure customers feel they are receiving good value for their money.
3. Offer bundle meals
McDonald’s does a great job of making their customers feel they are getting bang for their buck with their bundle meals. Combining food products that go well together in a single bundle and then giving the bundle a discounted price encourages customers to spend more for the bundle because they are getting a discount. Including coffee and desserts with an entree and side dish also helps keep customers stay longer and spend more. If you are going to offer desserts, make sure you have the right equipment to prepare them. Having high-quality bakery equipment such as bakery ovens lets you prepare pastries, cakes and other desserts that are good for bundling with other items.
4. Offer an upsell
Another way McDonald’s knows how to increase the value of a bill is by offering an add-on sale to what customers have already ordered. Everybody who has ever been to a McDonald’s knows that employers automatically ask “Do you want fries with that?” with every order. This tactic works because french fries always go with pretty much everything on the McDonald’s menu. To know which product to offer as an upsell, take all your menu items and create a checklist of other items that complement that dish. For instance, if one of your bestsellers is fried chicken, you can offer potato salad, mac ‘n cheese, or coleslaw to go with it. You can suggest existing items on your menu or you can add new dishes. If you are going to add new dishes, make sure you have the proper restaurants equipment to prepare these extra products designed for upselling.
5. Educate your staff
Too often, restaurant employees are not adequately informed about your sales and revenue goals. This is unhelpful because the people you employ to help you reach your goals have no idea what they are working for. By simply letting them in on how much money you want to make per bill, most employees are likely to improve their selling game automatically. Also, staff should be fully knowledgeable about your food products and how to prepare them. Waiters and servers are expected to be familiar with all items on the menu so they can make the best recommendations to customers.