Last Updated On October 01, 2020 / Written By Mary Kate Morrow

How to Measure and Increase Restaurant Sales

Tips to Improving Sales in Your Restaurant

With over a million restaurant industry businesses in the United States, restaurant owners must find unique ways to increase restaurant sales in order to stay competitive. Understanding which strategies increase sales can help attract new customers and increase revenue long term.

1. Retain existing customers long term- With 80% of future profits generated by only 20% of existing customers, customers that are consistently coming back is essential to business profitability and success. Developing a customer loyalty program is a great way to attract new customers and keep customers loyal to your restaurant.

Make sure staff members always request a customer's email address and phone number when registering them for your restaurant's loyalty program in order to connect with customers on multiple communication channels. Loyalty programs that integrate online ordering and food delivery capabilities may be even more profitable.

Increasing customer retention rates by 5% results in an average increase of 75% in a restaurant's profitability. Additionally, it costs a whopping 5-25 times more to attract new customers as opposed to retaining existing customers.

2. Restaurant marketing techniques- Using search engine ads or social media to market your restaurant can help boost restaurant success. Third party review sites and a strong social media presence can serve as a low cost or even free form of advertising.

In fact, 91% of restaurants use Facebook for marketing while 78% report they use Instagram. Developing a social media presence to bring in new potential customers requires both creativity and consistency.

One best practice tip for social media usage is to share high quality photos of your high profit margin menu items. Another best practice technique is to repost social media content from your customers about your business to foster customer loyalty with existing customers as well as attract new customers.

3. Develop a local community connection- A successful business plan should focus on working with the local community of your restaurant. If your local community offers a restaurant week make sure to sign your restaurant up.

Not only can you increase restaurant sales by connecting with your local community but it is a great way to grow restaurant customer bases. If you do not know where to start, consider regularly hosting community events or sponsoring a local sports team at your establishment.

Although community events may decrease your table turnover rate temporarily it is well worth the exposure for your restaurant name and brand. Remember, customer loyalty is essential for your restaurant's profit margin and bottom line profitability.

4. Encourage upselling- Staff members should always encourage customers to spend more money through upselling techniques. It is very important that upselling is done gracefully and is not overly pushy or tacky.

Whether you are a quick service restaurant or fine dining establishment, upselling should seamlessly integrate into the customer service experience. Not only will you increase revenue for your business, but upselling is a great way to get customers interested in menu items with higher profit margins that they would not have otherwise considered purchasing.

How to Measure Restaurant Sales

A best practice focus for restaurant management is measuring restaurant sales. Accurately measuring sales can help restaurants to better understand which strategies increase and decrease sales.

Measuring KPIs is a great way to track restaurant sales growth over time. Using technology such as pos systems make it easy to calculate your total sales.

Once you calculate sales you can run different reports and gather useful information. These reports may track a range of different figures, ranging from average sales per server to pinpointing which individual menu items are most profitable.

Understanding how successful marketing and advertising campaigns are is also crucial to attract new customers and increase sales at your restaurant. Whether you have an email marketing campaign or loyalty program established, make sure you develop a business plan to track KPIs over time.

Restaurants should also consistently analyze and engage with customer reviews left on social media and third party websites. A strong social media presence and third party sites like Google Business can give your business an edge over the competition.

Boost restaurant social media reach by adding relevant hashtags and partnering with local influencers. Creating a location tag for your business and reposting content from your customers is a great way to get high quality photos for future advertising campaigns.

Customer acquisition cost is a top indicator of which advertising methods are working best for your restaurant. While social media may offer free or low cost advertising, it may not bring enough customers to your business. If that is the case, it may be well worth it to invest in search engine advertisements.

Using a multitude of strategies to increase restaurant sales and properly measuring their success will help your business thrive. Many restaurants can profit from implementing and maintaining these best practice strategies.