10 Ways to Make Your Restaurant More Profitable

10 Ways to Make Your Restaurant More Profitable
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On average, 1.8 billion dollars are spent per day at restaurants in the U.S. Of these, 60 percent fail or change ownership within the first 3 years. There’s money to be made in the restaurant industry but many owners overlook a few key aspects that could turn their losses into gains. Check out these 10 tips to make your restaurant profitable and stay that way for years to come.

KNOW YOUR OPERATIONAL COSTS WELL, SPECIFICALLY FOOD AND ALCOHOL.

The average food cost for a traditional restaurant should be around 29-32%. Typical combined costs for varying types of alcohol are slightly lower, around 21%. The more aware you are of these costs, the better you can set menu prices to maximize profit without charging your customers too much. Profit margins tend to be highest when your menu prices are around between $15.00 and $25.00. Buy local, fresh food; it tastes better and is cheaper than its frozen counterparts. Work closely with your vendors to make sure you ordering the correct amount of food to eliminate waste and ensure cost effectiveness.

You can reduce the ingredient costs of your most expensive menu items by offering a similar lower grade option when available.

This will pass savings on to the customer while maintaining or increasing your profits. Don’t forget to keep your books organized, forecast your sales realistically, and order appropriately for different days of the week.

DETERMINE YOUR ROLE IN THE ORGANIZATION AND HIRE APPROPRIATELY

Overworking yourself can easily turn that dream of owning a restaurant into a nightmare. You can’t open the restaurant, cook the food, greet, serve, bartend, clean, run the books, and close the restaurant on your own. Make sure you have a chef, manager, bartender, and wait staff you can trust. Delegate the tasks that you don’t need to, or don’t want to do so you can concentrate on making your restaurant profitable and have some work/life balance.

HAVE A GOOD FRONT OF HOUSE

First impressions are important. Have a polite host or waitperson introduce themselves to customers and welcome them to your restaurant. Seat them quickly and use welcoming and inviting gestures. Don’t forget to open and close the door for them and thank them on their way out. Your customers deserve nothing but the best treatment and a little kindness can go a long way in terms of positive reviews.

KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER AND CATER YOUR RESTAURANT ACCORDINGLY

Take a good look at your surroundings and main customer base. If you are in the middle of Southern BBQ country, offering small portions and fancy dishes you can’t pronounce may not be your best option. If you have something on the menu that is not selling, re-work the dish or remove it from the menu. Catering to your audience’s tastes can maximize revenue and turn the average newcomer into a repeat customer.

CREATE AND EXECUTE A MARKETING PLAN

Everyone needs to advertise! You need to get customers in the door and satisfied before you can build a good word of mouth business. There are plenty of advertising options depending on your budget: TV, digital, print and radio are just a few. Try joining a local chamber of commerce. It’s a great way to mingle within the community by meeting local business owners and potential customers. Operate a booth at community events and offer samples of popular menu items. Make sure everyone in town knows where to get the tastiest food and the best dining experience.

BUILD A DIGITAL PRESENCE BY STARTING A WEBSITE AND SOCIAL MEDIA PAGES.

If you don’t already have a website, create one. Your website should be easy to find and contain your menu, hours, address, and phone number. Social networking sites like Facebook, Yelp, Google+, Twitter, Foursquare are popular among many different generations as a means of communication and information gathering. They’re also free. This is a great way to connect with your customers through interaction, polls, and responses to reviews. Your customer is already talking about you and checking out what new restaurant they want to try next. Don’t miss the opportunity to join them.

OFFER A TAKE OUT MENU

This is a great way to make sure your kitchen stays busy without taking up additional table space during busier hours. With more hectic schedules and shorter lunch breaks, many people do not have time to go out and dine. Open up your restaurant to them by offering take out so they can enjoy your dishes at their own convenience. Generate more revenue by accessing this previously untapped market.

TRAIN YOUR STAFF AND MAKE SURE THEY KNOW YOUR PRODUCT

Make sure your staff is well trained. Weekly meetings are a must and staff must be kept up on how you want your food served. Allow them to taste whatever the specials of the night are and ensure that they can answer any patron’s questions about a menu item.

Utilize suggestive selling to upsell appetizers, drinks, and desserts. This will enhance the overall dining experience, increase revenue by creating a higher total ticket, and provide your staff with more tips.

OFFER SPECIALS AND COUPONS

Everyone loves to feel as if they are getting a good deal. Offer coupons or discount cards in addition to daily specials. Try offering free or discounted items in return for writing reviews or filling out surveys online. It’s a great way to get new customers in the door and as long as their experience is great they will surely return.

THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT

Customer satisfaction is your number one priority. If a customer leaves feeling unsatisfied they may never come back and will likely share negative reviews with friends and family. If you need to, comp a meal, offer a free round of drinks or better yet, a free item and a discount card for their next visit. This ensures a great experience and entices them back to spend additional revenue. Their repeated business will be guaranteed to offset the original discount.

Remember that no two restaurants are the same. Take these tips and use them in a way that works best for you. Before you know it you will be one of the most popular restaurants in town.

5 Offline Marketing Strategies for Your Small Business

5 Offline Marketing Strategies for Your Small Business

Being active in the digital world is essential to maintaining relationships as well as customer acquisition.

Nearly 90 percent of American adults say they use the internet, and close to 80 percent say they have a smartphone, according to Pew Research Center.

But these efforts shouldn’t be in lieu of your offline marketing strategies. These figures from Pew show that about 10 percent of the population still live their lives outside the digital world, and more than 20 percent don’t have access to online content when they’re on the go.

But just because these consumers are offline doesn’t mean they’re unreachable. Try out these non-digital marketing solutions to reach a wider audience:

1. Get involved with your community

Somewhere in your community, there is a fundraiser coming up. Whether it’s the local high school’s football team or a fundraising event for a nonprofit, there will always be a way for your business to get involved.

Don’t let these opportunities pass you by. Donating shows your community that your business is charitable and gets your name into the homes of many people at once. Giving to community events can get your name onto banners, t-shirts, advertisements and press releases. And, if you donate gift certificates, discounted services or products from your inventory, you’re putting your product or service directly into the hands of participants.

You don’t have to wait until someone else plans a charitable event to get involved, either. If it’s in the budget and you have the time, sponsor your own community event, Bizness Apps suggested.

2. Always have a card

There are countless ways a business card can come in handy. Always have a stack with you, and leave them everywhere you go, Duct Tape Marketing suggested. At the library? Slip a few into books related to your business. Out to eat? Leave a business card with the tip. At the grocery store? Stick it to the public bulletin board. Paint your town with your business card. You never know who’ll pick one up.

3. Speak up

There are few, if any, downsides to speaking engagements. According to Hinge Marketing, speaking engagements are the second-most effective way to get new leads. When you’re brought in to speak to an organization or association, you have the undivided attention of a room full of people who regard you as an expert.

If you’re not quite ready to speak publicly, or if you haven’t built a strong enough reputation to speak to a group, go to events, Duct Tape Marketing advised. Attend meetings, network with other professionals and learn about new ways to reach out to potential customers.

4. Go to trade shows

Where can you go to analyze all of your competitors’ strategies and learn how to boost your marketing approach all in one place? An industry trade show.

Here, you’ll be able to set up your booth right alongside your competitors. You’ll learn about where you’re already excelling, what you can do to improve and how to reach more people. You’ll also have the opportunity to learn about the ways your industry is changing.

5. Print it out

No matter how much online content you have, you’ll still need to have printed marketing materials to hand out at speaking engagements, trade shows and other events. But the uses of print materials doesn’t stop there.

You can send customers newsletters, updates or holiday cards in the mail, put brochures at local businesses, hang posters around town and more.

Online marketing efforts are important in today’s increasingly more connected world. But make no mistake – offline marketing efforts are timeless. For the best marketing results, you need to have a good mix of online and offline communications.

Benefits of Merchant Cash Advances

The 5 Benefits Of Merchant Cash Advance To Your Company

Note that cash is vital for any industry, and this is particularly evident for the start-up and mid-sized companies. This is because cash is required to make various payments, keep up inventory and expand your company. Note that there are various reasons that can make a credit market accessibility to change any given time whereby financial slump or business being considered as risky serves as the best examples. Once this happens, the majority of companies will tend to seek for a new solution. Bear in mind that the only solution to this problem is securing a merchant cash advance loan.

A merchant cash advance can be defined as an unconventional source of financial aid for business owners. The business owners might lack the required credit rate requirement or security that is needed to secure a preferred bank funding.

Always note that a MCA is very different from an ordinary loan. Typically, it is buying of a certain percentage of the company’s credit and debit card transactions at a discounted price. Even though the lender has the right to receive a percentage of the business’s credit card transactions every month, the company can get a lump sum that is given to them at the outset of the agreement. The article below outlines some of the reasons why a merchant cash advance is a perfect alternative for you.

Applicants with poor credit history are accepted

A bad credit history can prevent you from securing a loan from a financial institution. Nevertheless, one of the benefits of a merchant cash advance is that those with bad credit rating can still get the funds they need, even if their credit score is less than 500.

Higher approval rate

Small business loans have strict credit prerequisites, complicated agreements, and extensive paperwork.  Since merchant cash advances are not based on the credit score of an individual, period in business or financials, then the rate of approval is surprisingly high.

No credit or collateral is at stake

Another benefit is that merchant cash advance is a sales transaction and not a loan. For this reason, they are not indicated on the credit report and do you don’t need collateral to get the funds.

Simple and easy application process

Note that a conventional loan can take several months for the application to be approved. On the other hand, a merchant cash advance can be accessible within the 14 days that the application is processed.

Straightforward and stress-free repayment plan

The application procedure for a merchant cash advance is not just simple and stress-free, but also their collection process is as well simple. Bear in mind that a merchant cash advance repaying plan is income-based.  This means that the moment you have a busy month, you will have to pay more and when your business experiences a slow month, you will be paying less. The percentage-based repayment plan is the best alternative since it allows a company to expand instead of draining its finances.