Restaurants often have a low profit margin and their sales are often dependent on the time of year or events happening in the area. This leaves many restaurant owners and managers wondering how they can increase restaurant profit. Fortunately, there are a few things owners and managers can do to increase profits while keeping customers and employees happy.
Cut Down on Menu Items
Many restaurants want to offer a variety of menu items so all customers can find something they like. However, too many options may lead to decision fatigue, causing customers to choose an item they know rather than something new that might be more expensive. Reduce the number of items on your menu to give customers fewer choices and allow staff to specialize in a smaller selection.
Reduce Food Waste
Food waste is a big problem in the United States. According to Chefhero, a single restaurant can produce 25,000 to 75,000 pounds of food waste per year. Not only does this waste food that could be provided to the 1 in 8 Americans who are food insecure and need it, but it also adds to excess overhead costs, since the food isn’t being consumed.
Consider tracking what food is most wasted over a week or two at your restaurant, and either eliminate that menu item or consider how wasted items can be used in other ways. For instance, if excess greens are getting thrown away before they go bad, could they be used in a salad special? Or, if the salad bar isn’t a top revenue driver but produces large waste, could it be eliminated?
Consider Social Media and Online Ads
If you don't have an active social media presence or online advertising, now is the time to consider these popular marketing channels. Many customers check online reviews before patronizing a business, and having a strong presence on sites like Facebook, Yelp, and TripAdvisor is important.
Even posting on Facebook just once a week can help a restaurant gain traction. Consider asking patrons to post a review when they leave the restaurant or add a reminder at the bottom of their receipts.
Monitor mentions of your business name and location check-ins, so you can thank users who do so. You can also run social media ads that target customers by location and time of day, making it possible to run ads just before lunch and dinner times. More visibility can drive steadier traffic, making up for the time and budget spent on social media and advertising.
Offer Food Delivery and Online Ordering
If you don’t offer it already, online ordering can be extremely easy to set up and gives customers a new channel to get food from your restaurant. Offering food delivery can increase regular orders, thus increasing overall restaurant profit. Listings on food delivery websites (and in organic search results from having it mentioned on your website) can also expose the restaurant to new customers who might not have known about it before.
Menufy builds free online ordering websites and enables restaurant owners to choose between absorbing or passing a $1.50 convenience fee to customers. Learn more about Menufy’s free online ordering for restaurants.
Owners and managers have the valuable opportunity to try several different tactics to increase restaurant profits. By experimenting with new channels and being more active online, restaurants can bring in new customers and make it easier for their patrons to get food.