Grow your sales by adding a delivery service to your restaurant. In today’s world it’s all about making your brand and products convenient for your customers to access, and delivering your food is a perfect way to do that. Use these 4 tips to build your delivery sales.
- Be transparent with your customers by communicating an estimated time of arrival and other updates, such as delays. You want to avoid having a customer call up and ask where their food is.
- Consistent service is what your customers expect to receive. As a business owner or manager you have to commit to delivering food to the same standards that you deliver inside dining service. It’s the little things such as utensils being left out that can ruin a delivery experience. Create a checklist for your delivery team so they never have a bad delivery.
- Get the word out that you offer delivery. You can do this by partnering with websites like EatStreet or Grubhub. They allow hungry customers to browse their delivery options and then order online. This makes it easy for you to gain new customers.
- Reward your loyal customers by giving them an incentive to keep ordering. This can be a point system for every entrée ordered or dollar spent. Once they reach a designated amount they get a free dessert or appetizer. Loyalty programs give customers a reason to keep coming back to you versus another restaurant.
Remember to always ask for customer feedback on your service, especially if delivery is new to your restaurant. This will ensure you are meeting customer expectations so you can ultimately grow your sales!
Opening up a second location has crossed your mind, but how do you know if your business is ready? Start by answering these 3 questions.
1) Can you replicate it?
Opening up a second location requires duplicating the business model of your first location. You shouldn’t open another location just because you think it’s a good idea. You need to have a successful and profitable first location that can run without you being present. You should also take your menu into consideration: it will be difficult to replicate your restaurant if you have a unique menu that requires a skilled chef. You cannot simply hire anyone to work in the kitchen. You need to find a chef and adequate support staff for the kitchen to produce the level of food your customers are used to. Next, think of your remaining business processes. You should have the managers write down their business processes because this will give you a good idea of how complex it might be to train new staff and keep the location running – without you having to be there the entire time.
2) Have you looked at the R.O.I?
Analyze your sales to investment ratios along with food and labor costs. This will allow you to determine if you can afford the second location, and how long it will take you to become profitable. It is not advised to solely depend on capital from your first location’s profits as startup costs for the next location. You should look at the next location as a separate business venture. Experts say that you should target for a return on investment of at least 15%.
3) Why a second location?
It’s such a simple question, yet it might be hard to answer. You should also think about expansion options as an alternative to opening another location. There are other ways to expand your business such as menu additions or opening a catering division.
Expanding is a big decision that comes with a lot of risk but potentially a lot of reward. Make sure you take the time to plan and weigh all your options before deciding.
Adding gluten-free options or creating a gluten-free menu is an opportunity for chefs to think outside the box and get creative. Even without the most popular grains (wheat, barley, and rye) there are still many grains to cook with such as rice, corn, millet, sorghum, buckwheat, and quinoa. There are also alternatives for flour products. Alternatives include rice flour, cornmeal, and almond flour. The gluten-free movement has even pushed many manufacturers to develop gluten free mixes like pizza dough.
Call your suppliers and make a list of the gluten-free products that they offer. Then have your chef(s) pull together ideas on new menu items to satisfy your gluten-free customer – chicken tenders breaded in rice flour and cooked in a gluten-free fryer is a great start. Don’t forget to include alternatives to dressings! Take advantage of naturally gluten-free products and pair them as side items. These include vegetables, fruit, and nuts.
Once you have conquered the new menu items, don’t forget the most important part – letting your customers know! Add a gluten-free icon next to the products on your menu or create an entirely separate menu if you have enough products. Make sure your staff asks the table if there are any food allergies so they can point out the right products or offer the separate menu.
Don’t leave your gluten-free customers in the dark. Satisfying their needs could help you gain a loyal, gluten-free customer base that comes to you frequently for a delicious night out.