Are you asking yourself:
How can I grow my restaurant?
If you’re an owner or associate of a restaurant, big or small, you’ve definitely asked yourself that question.
But you also know that there are many different components in the functioning of a profitable food business, and it’s crucial to dominate each one of them to have success. So growing your business is not that easy; you need to produce constant and reliable sales and make big investments.
Because we want to help you grow your restaurant, we’re sharing with you some tips that can help you stand out from renowned restaurants and other food shops.
15 Ways to Grow Your Restaurant
The good news about owning a small restaurant is that the sky is the limit.
There are always opportunities to grow!
The following tips and resources will help you:
1. Be innovative when it comes to your marketing strategies
Unfortunately, you can’t expect old marketing strategies to work for your restaurant. You need to invest your efforts in finding innovative marketing strategies that will lead foot traffic to the physical location of your restaurant.
Is your current plan not driving the sales you were hoping for?
Then this is the moment to go back to the planning table. Try new methods, like Facebook ads or Instagram. Once you’ve tried different techniques of marketing, evaluate what works best to grow your restaurant.
When it comes to being innovative, don’t stop in your marketing efforts.
The last thing you want to do is mimic other restaurants in your area, even if their concept is a proven success. Stand out from the crowd and offer a unique experience. Think out of the box in every aspect of your management. Consider adding new, exciting items to your menu, spicing up the decor, or even organizing unexpected events that surprise your customers.
When it comes to creativity, the sky is the limit!
Learn here how to market your restaurant to millennials
2. Participate in local events
Create strong relationships with the people in your community by getting involved in local activities.
Put up a stand in a local event or organize different activities in which the client can learn about the product you offer. They would be valid alternatives to making your small restaurant known in the community. These opportunities will let you meet your client face to face. If they feel they know you and your product, you will have a higher probability of having them as regular customers, and the mouth-to-mouth will do the rest.
All these initiatives in your community will help you grow your small restaurant.
3. Host events
Similarly to the point above, you can associate with organizations in your area to host community fundraising events or charity events. You’ll be doing something good for your community while creating a positive image that can bring more customers through your door. But the circumstances can extend to cooking classes, sports games on TV, or speed-dating meetings: again, be creative. If you have an extra room or an area in your dining that can be enclosed for privacy, offer the possibility to host birthday parties or any other type of private celebration with a group discount.
4. Reward your clients’ loyalty
Use a customer loyalty program to recognize the clients that come back to your restaurant.
By offering this, every time your clients come back, you will have more chances of having good opinions about your restaurant. It’s a simple way to help you grow your restaurant: your clients will be more likely to eat in your restaurant when they know they have a discount to take advantage of.
5. Make yourself active in the use of applications
How to grow your small restaurant when you only operate in a physical location?
Simply put, you don’t.
Generate additional sales by creating various profiles in applications oriented to the retail market like Amazon, Boxed, Fresh Direct, or Buy Whole Foods Online. These applications will give you a platform to promote your product, and that way, it can get to clients who don’t know your restaurant. Make sure to keep those profiles updated so your clients will always have content up to date from your restaurant.
There are other applications and software that are growing in popularity among restaurant owners. They can help you manage your business more efficiently improve your sales, so give them a try.
6. Consider the location of your restaurant
Without a prominent and convenient location, you can have problems attracting new clients and helping you grow your small restaurant. When you look for a location for your restaurant, make sure to pick a building that’s visible to nearby highways, that’s accessible, and not hard to find.
This, of course, will increase the probability of people seeing your restaurant and deciding to visit it.
Learn here how to set up your business on Google maps so it can be found online
7. Hire appropriate employees
When clients visit your restaurant, they must receive a personal experience.
This is something many famous restaurants and other local food shops don’t offer and will make clients return to your place. To offer a first-class service, you will have to acquire qualified associates. Having and keeping competent employees will make your clients always feel taken care of when they visit your restaurant, and with this, you will help you grow your restaurant.
In addition to the excellent restaurant service, don’t forget about the online service. Hire enough people so at least one of them can administrate the orders online. The clients online are just as important as the local ones, and they deserve the same quality of assistance and service.
8. Ask for your clients’ opinion
Constructive criticism can help make your business prosper and can grow your restaurant.
Send client satisfaction surveys and see why your clients appreciate your business. Also, clients can have suggestions about how you can make improvements. Perhaps they want to see more of one specific kind of dish or notice problems when making orders online.
This feedback will help your business grow continuously, and your clients will be thankful that their opinion is being taken into account.
9. Create and maintain high sales by big orders
Have you ever noticed how even the smallest restaurants offer their most delicious dishes for parties or business reunions? You can also implement this strategy.
Choose the dish you can offer in orders of large quantities, and present it in beautiful and practical presentations and at competing prices. Encourage your clients to visit your restaurant’s location or online page to buy your unprecedented offers. These sales will help you make your product known, make additional sales, and, hopefully, satisfy the needs of your clients, making your business grow.
10. Offer entertainment
This is a proven strategy to get more customers through your door.
This investment doesn’t have to break the bank since many performers seek the exposure and advertisement that being on stage brings to the table. If you are unsure what route to follow, try to mix up the type of entertainment you offer your clientele (from magicians to stand-up comedy or a local band) until you find a formula that works. Then you can work on a regular contract with the artist or artists of your choice. It doesn’t hurt to ask, either. Simply ask your regular customers what kind of live entertainment they would enjoy the most.
One rule here: it has to be free entertainment: don’t charge your customers extra.
11. Offer happy hour promotions
Customers attracted to happy hours at restaurants (that usually extend from 2 pm to 7 pm, depending on the establishment) don’t come just for the cheaper drinks. Consider that smaller portions of food and eating at non-traditional hours are new trends among customers, so take advantage of this.
Along with reduced prized drinks, offer a simple happy hour menu. The food items here can be a selection of the same you provide at lunch or dinner, but in smaller portions and at more affordable and attractive prizes. Try to select those dishes that can be prepared quickly and easily shared without the need to use cutlery (or, in other words, finger food).
12. Offer food delivery options
Another great option to increase your sales. Your customers may already love your food, but they may prefer to stay home most of the time. A food delivery app can solve this quickly. Offer discounts and specials, especially when you’re launching this service.
13. Offer free wi-fi
It’s no secret that more and more people these days work from home or remotely. Offering free wi-fi and correctly displaying this (a simple sign in the storefront will do the trick) will create a base of loyal customers looking for a different scenario to work on their laptops.
14. Be organized with your finances
If you wish to grow your restaurant, you must follow a strict budget.
Ensure you are not wasting excessively in inventory, hiring too many employees, or investing too much in services that are not worth it. By reviewing your companies spending, you may eliminate unnecessary costs. Therefore, you can use that money for something better.
In other words, you can make your business grow without carelessly wasting your profit and much less wasting your capital in a bad manner.
15. Take a business loan
Sometimes, it is necessary to spend money to make money. But if your business doesn’t have any extra cash at hand to make some improvements, this will be a struggle.
This is the reason why you should consider asking for a loan for additional working capital.
Once you have this additional business capital, you will be able to pay costs like hiring new employees, increasing inventory, or expanding the location of your restaurant. The improvements in your spaces are an excellent strategy to catch the client’s attention: a renewed space or a change in the facade makes clients want to visit you.
Camino Financial is a great lender that has a lot of experience helping restaurants grow and thrive. Our application will take only a few minutes, and it doesn’t involve any commitment. If you are prequalified, a business loan expert from Camino Financial will contact you to explain your options.
BONUS: Grow your restaurant after the COVID-19 pandemic
Last year’s pandemic hit hard all types of businesses, including restaurants. Even though some of them were able to remain open (offering only take-out and delivery), their bottom lines were negatively affected. To this date, the effects of COVID-19 are still being felt by business owners.
If you want to keep your restaurant strong and grow it in the new economy, you need to start preparing as soon as possible: this means having a plan and making sure you have everything you need.
We can help you make your restaurant reopening plan with this article, which has a checklist and printable resources you can use to keep thriving. [Read more…]
Because of the quarantine, many people now prefer to stay at home, even now that restaurants have reopened. But you can still keep your business afloat even without foot traffic. [Read more…]
Want more tips?
Learn here how to set your restaurant apart and beat your competitors!
Make Your Restaurant the Next Big Thing
Now that you know 15 ways to grow your small restaurant, it is time to apply them in your practice and start growing beyond your wildest dreams.
If you use each of these strategies, success will be just around the corner.
Making your business grow may be a challenge, but it’s not impossible to achieve. Don’t get discouraged! Get inspiration from Celso, a restaurant owner that needed to renovate and expand his establishment but didn’t have the capital to achieve his goal.
But thanks to a small business loan, he was able to get more customers, increase his sales and hire more employees. Not only is his restaurant thriving more than ever, but he’s able to create a better community by inspiring and helping young people.
With hard work, planning, and organizing, your business will strive. Celso is living proof of this fact.
Do you want to know if your restaurant is being profitable? Keep reading: