In order to be a successful restaurateur, it’s important to be constantly on the lookout for ways to improve your business and attract more customers. While there are many different things you can do in order to achieve this, here are some of the most important investments restaurants should make in order to stay competitive, attract more customers, and thrive.
Make The Outdoor Area Comfortable and Appealing
If you have an outdoor seating area, one of the best investments you can make is to create a comfortable environment that your customers will want to linger in and enjoy their food. For example, installing retractable awnings for the restaurant can ensure that the outdoor seating is a space where your customers are protected from the elements, while also creating a pleasant atmosphere with strategically placed lighting. Heaters, or fire pits, purchasing attractive chair cushions or pillows, investing in decent lighting for nighttime dining, and adding greenery or flowers are also great ways to make your outdoor area more inviting.
Find Your Style and Stick to It
Your restaurant’s style should be reflected in everything from the décor and branding to the menu and table settings. Having a clear and consistent style will give your business an overall professional look that will make it more attractive to potential customers. It’s important to find a style that you feel comfortable with and stick to it, rather than trying to copy what your competition is doing. Of course, it also has to be economically feasible to maintain your style choices over time. For starters, you might want to switch to LEDs to save on electricity and opt for a style that doesn’t require a lot of expensive artwork or intricate decor. Investing in some good quality, branded tableware is also a great way to make your restaurant’s style more consistent.
Running a restaurant is a lot of work, and there are a lot of moving parts to keep track of. Using the right technology can help you streamline your operations and make things run more smoothly. For example, investing in a restaurant POS system can help you better manage your inventory, track your sales, and take care of customer orders more efficiently. You might also want to consider equipping your waitstaff with tablets so they can take orders and payments on the go, or using a mobile app to help you manage reservations. The important thing is to find the right technology solution for your restaurant’s specific needs. When choosing the tech solutions for your business, be sure to consider ease of use, scalability, cost, and integrations.
Keep Your Menu Fresh
Your menu is one of the most important aspects of your restaurant, so it’s important to keep it fresh and updated regularly. This doesn’t mean you have to completely overhaul your menu every few months, but you should make sure to keep up with trends and offer new items that your customers will be excited about. For example, if you notice that a certain type of dish is becoming popular, you might want to consider adding it to your menu. You can also experiment with seasonal or limited-time offerings to give your customers something new to try on a regular basis. While investing in a new menu can seem like a big expense, it will ultimately help your restaurant attract more customers and increase revenue.
Promote a Healthy Image
In today’s health-conscious world, it’s important for restaurants to promote a healthy image. This doesn’t mean you have to completely ditch all of your unhealthy dishes, but you should make an effort to offer healthier options that your customers will appreciate. However, the menu isn’t all you need to worry about when it comes to promoting a healthy image. You should also pay attention to the way you market your restaurant, as well as the décor and atmosphere of your business. Creating a great place for people to socialize and enjoy a healthy meal is key to attracting new customers and growing your restaurant business.
Localize Your Advertising
Many restaurants struggle to get customers due to a lack of visibility. In order to combat this problem, you should focus on localizing your advertising as much as possible. This doesn’t mean that you have to stick exclusively within the city limits and ignore the wider population – after all, there’s nothing wrong with marketing your business online to attract customers from out of town.
However, it’s still a good idea to focus on targeting local customers with a variety of marketing tactics, such as flyers, billboards, and print ads. Keep in mind, though, that it’s important to carefully navigate restaurant costs when starting out. You’re more likely to see a return on investment (ROI) if your marketing budget stays within a range of 3-6% of your sales, according to Lightspeed.
Fortunately, one of the most essential steps to marketing your business is relatively affordable – creating a website. When you do decide to target a larger audience online rather than only local, having a website optimized for search engines will allow more people to find your business when searching for restaurants in your area.
Focus on Customer Service
No matter how great your food is or how much effort you put into marketing your restaurant, poor customer service can ruin everything. In order to attract new customers and keep them coming back, you need to focus on providing excellent customer service at all times. This includes everything from greeting customers when they come in to taking their orders, serving their food, and clearing their plates.
This can be done by enlisting the help of your entire staff, from the waitstaff to kitchen staff. You should also consider offering incentives for customer referrals, as this can be a great way to get new customers without having to spend too much money on advertising. You should also make sure that your restaurant is clean and well-maintained so that customers have a positive experience from start to finish. If you can provide great customer service and create a welcoming environment, you’ll be well on your way to attracting new business.
Offer Deals and Discounts
Everyone loves a good deal, so offering discounts and special deals is a great way to attract new customers to your restaurant. You can promote your deals through local advertising, social media, or even by word-of-mouth. Just be sure that you don’t go overboard with the discounts – after all, you still need to make a profit! You can also offer loyalty programs or VIP memberships to regular customers so that they feel appreciated and are more likely to continue doing business with you.
However, you don’t want to come off as overly pushy when it comes to discounts and special offers – simply promote them in a way that is authentic, yet exciting. Whether you’re offering deals on specific menu items or half-off your daily specials, be sure to let customers know what they can expect from your restaurant when it comes time for discounts.
Running a successful restaurant takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and effort. However, there are some key investments that you can make to attract more customers and grow your business. By focusing on healthy eating, localized advertising, great customer service, and special deals and discounts, you’ll be well on your way to attracting new business and keeping your existing customers coming back for more.