Monthly Archives: October 2015

3 Steps to Start Your Loyalty Program

The key to your loyalty program is delivering your customers relevant offers that create relationships. You want to keep your customers coming back to your restaurant and we want to help so here are 3 steps you need to take to get started:

1. Use your data. Start by determining what your bestselling food and drink items are. Leverage these in your loyalty program because you know customers love those items. Keep coming back to your data to determine if you have seasonal food favorites and continuously adjust loyalty promotions based on this data. You can also use your data to determine what your slowest days/time of day is. You should focus on driving business to your slowest times.

2. Test and learn. You may come up with many ideas on how to keep your customers coming back for more, and that’s great! Develop a schedule of when you are going to test each idea and for how long. Keep track of promotion redemption rates to determine what worked best.
3. Be creative. A loyalty program doesn’t have to be a stamp on a card every time they buy something. You want to be unique! You could create a program that makes them try your breakfast, lunch and dinner items. This encourages a customer to not only come in for lunch, but a nice dinner out as well. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box either. Consider partnering with a neighboring store to offer rewards with them, or create a tiered system to reward even the most loyal customers.

Remember, it’s all about testing and learning. If an idea doesn’t generate the sales you were hoping for, that’s ok. Track your results so you know what worked and what did not. Soon enough you will know exactly what keeps your customers coming back for more.

How to upsell your menu items

Upselling is a valuable strategy to increasing your sales. It is important to train your staff on how to properly upsell items on your menu so that they deliver the message in a natural, non salesy way. Here are some ways your staff should be upselling:

  • When a customer orders a cocktail, your bartender or server should offer types of liquor with different price points.
  • Offer to pair a wine with an appetizer or entrée. Training your staff is critical for this one because food and wine pairings could significantly increase your customer’s experience.
  • Always present a dessert menu or dessert tray.
  • Explain specials with a vivid description that makes them irresistible!

Training your staff is important to executing a successful upsell strategy. Here are a few tips to get started:

  • Have servers taste menu items. This allows the servers to describe the menu from a firsthand perspective.
  • Menu training. Your staff should know your menu backwards and forwards. They need to be able to speak about all menu items in detail.
  • Provide staff with detailed descriptions. Have your chef write out or explain the specials in great detail. This will train the staff to provide the same level of detail to the customers.
  • Have a contest. Providing goals and offer rewards is a great way to get your team invested in the menu and upselling strategy.

Boost your employee engagement

Your goal should be to make your employees feel less like general staff and more like a team. This could have a great impact on decreasing turnover while increasing your sales. Take small steps to making your team more engaged and committed than ever!

-          Scheduling. Employees love the ability to provide you with their shift preferences.  Use this information to build your schedule and let your employees know that work-life balance is important to you, even though you may not be able to grant all requests. Look into cloud-based technology that could help you schedule more efficiently. Benefits to your team include:

  • Instant access to schedules
  • Fast communication in schedule requests/changes
  • No IT expertise required

-          Growth. There are many different roles within a restaurant. Allow team members to be cross trained so they can have the ability to advance to another role.  Promoting from within creates a positive and rewarding atmosphere.

-          Feedback. Your team members are your best source of information. Schedule team meetings where you can ask them for feedback. You want to create an open-door policy so your employees feel comfortable with positive and negative feedback.