The question all restaurateurs without exception ask, no matter the profitability level of the establishment, is “How much money will my restaurant make?”
Even if the income is decent, sooner or later, the thought that it’s worth making an effort to increase the restaurant’s profits will cross the mind of every restaurateur. Did we make the most of it? Maybe a little more? And that’s okay, considering there’s no such thing as perpetual success and competitors don’t stand still, either.
Periodically you need to develop and implement new marketing ideas to promote your restaurant, improve the unique selling proposition and concept of the restaurant, launch irresistible menu items, and implement special features that will distinguish your place from other similar establishments.
So, how to improve restaurant operations in 2023? What are the most effective ways to increase your net profit? How do you correctly calculate your restaurant’s profitability?
Read this guide to find out.
How to Calculate Your Restaurant’s Net Profit
Anticipating your restaurant profits is a key step for the successful operation of your establishment. After all, it’s not about perpetual investments. Although the formula for revenue and profit is simple enough, calculating with 100% accuracy is still quite challenging.
The margin of error in most cases falls on restaurant attendance. This parameter is difficult to predict for sure, much less guarantee. The other parameters of the formula for calculating restaurant profits are more or less stable and known.
You can use the following formula:
Profit = Revenue – Staff Costs – Rental Costs – Product Costs – Other Costs (utilities, security, transportation, etc.).
It’s also necessary to consider taxes and other expenses that are bound to occur, which can be determined only in particular situations.
In the formula, the variable is precisely revenue, which is directly related to restaurant attendance and your average check, which you should constantly increase. How do you do it? Read our tips below.
How to Improve Restaurant Operations and Profit in 2023
There are two basic ways to increase restaurant profits:
- Optimize costs;
- Increase revenue.
Most ways to increase the restaurant’s revenue have an emotional basis and rely on anticipating and meeting the customers’ feelings and desires.
That is, there is a kind of emotional pressure necessary to obtain certain results, i.e. capture the attention of your customers and win a special place in their hearts.
Perhaps it sounds a bit non-pragmatic but in fact, all promotional campaigns in the industry work precisely to convince people to visit your restaurant as often as possible.
We can identify 3 ways to increase attendance and restaurant revenue:
- Advertising for new audiences;
- Working with regular customers;
- Growing the service and restaurant culture, as well as improving the competence of the restaurant staff.
Each tactic is effective and appropriate for almost any diner in its own way and includes a whole list of actions and recommendations aimed at working with customers.
Do Local Spot Advertising
This method is relevant both for newly opened restaurants and for long-established ones. New visitors are always welcome. No matter how many regular and particularly loyal customers you have, every diner strives to attract more people.
This is where advertising plays a crucial role. And you want to precisely “hit” your target audience (TA) – you can’t please everyone.
Usually, the backbone or the main target group is people of the same age, gender, and social status. Everyone else is also welcome, of course, but that’s only like 10-20%.
If you look closely at those sitting in a successful restaurant, you can see many commonalities, even a similar manner of dress. Properly identifying your TA will bring in new people, and therefore, provide a chance to make a positive impression and build credibility.
To start with, think about where your TA lives, what they are into, what trends they follow, what news feeds they read, etc. Brainstorming on these topics can yield amazing results, and you can come up with great ideas for promotions, commercials, banners, posters, or audio ads.
You can also do local spot advertising with call tracking. Using call tracking organically can help you address your target audience (TA).
Improve Your Restaurant Service
Constant control over the quality of your restaurant service is a prerequisite for the growth of your revenue. Working with your staff to improve their professionalism and communication skills boosts your restaurant’s rating among your TA. Moreover, this will also trigger positive reviews and create the right image of the place.
Training your staff’s sales skills comes in handy for increasing the restaurant’s average check, which is essential for profitability. Waiters must constantly work on increasing the average order size and be able to unobtrusively suggest additional meals, appetizers, or drinks to guests.
A trained waiter will be able to increase the check by 20-30% and therefore, increase the profits of the restaurant. If the entire team of waiters works effectively (that is, sells), the net profit of the restaurant will definitely delight you by the end of the month.
Use Local SEO and Content Marketing
When looking for a place to eat, most people use Google Maps to see if this or that place is convenient to get to and park. They also use the search engine to study the place: check its ratings, reviews, social network accounts, and so on.
The information you add to your Google Business Profile should include your restaurant’s location, website, hours of operation, menu, photos, and reviews.
A great addition would be to use content marketing to promote your place. Thus, you can launch a blog to share your inspiration, cooking process, and stories related to your food or restaurant’s background. You can also get backlinks from reputable sites in your area through guest posts that link back to your site.
Promote Your Social Media Pages
76% of customers regularly read online reviews when they browse for local businesses. Pay attention to emerging platforms and make sure you have a presence on them too.
Encourage your customers to subscribe to all your social media pages. Tell them that they can order food directly on your Facebook page and use Instagram to promote new menu items, offer discounts, and keep customers in the loop.
Collaborate with Local Businesses
For regular customers, there’s nothing more satisfying than benefiting from your restaurant beyond the quality of your delicious food. When you offer customers discounts from your partners, interest in you and your partner’s company grows.
If you have been trying to figure out how to improve restaurant operations for a long time, you should know that mutual promotion is one uncomplicated and effective restaurant PR method to try. Invite businesses near you to exchange discount promo codes.
In addition to discounts, hold different contests and events. Run a two-part promotion in a way that benefits both businesses and provides a fantastic experience to your customers.
For example, most Valentine’s Day marketing ideas involve dining out and flowers. Contact your local flower store to get a discount for visitors on St. Valentine’s Day. They will buy flowers from that store and come to your restaurant for dinner. Both businesses will see an increase in sales during the season of love.
However, don’t just get attached to holidays – do promotions year-round and you’ll get positive feedback from customers soon. Review local establishments, attend networking events, and look for new ways to help each other succeed.
Reward Loyal Customers
As you know, retaining your existing clients is much easier than attracting new ones. In terms of costs, it’s 7 times cheaper to return an old customer than to find a new one.
Consistency of guest visits allows you to calculate the percentage of the restaurant’s net profit and, of course, increase it. Therefore, pay special attention to communicating with your loyal clients.
One of the most popular methods of interaction with regular guests is via email. Offer discounts, freebies, and gifts to keep customers satisfied and increase your profitability. This way, guests will have a strong incentive to return to your place.
Learn how to improve restaurant operations and sales with an email marketing module by watching the video tutorial below:
Improve Your Food Ordering and Delivery Process
60% of US consumers order delivery or takeout once a week. The pandemic led to a huge surge in delivery and pickup orders, even among consumers who have never ordered food online before. That said, if you don’t already offer delivery, now is the right time to implement it.
The first thing you need is a convenient online ordering system that is easy for both you and your customers to use.
Add an order button on your website to enable customers to order food from you online. Due to its convenience, an online delivery system can increase your revenue and turn new visitors into recurring customers.
Check out this video to learn how to do that for free using GloriaFood’s online ordering system:
Now that you know how to improve restaurant operations, keep in mind that there are many other efficient ways to try. We listed the most popular methods that work and provide guaranteed results.
For each establishment, a variety of effective schemes to attract new and retain regular guests can be developed. To do this, you need to combine your creative skills with an in-depth knowledge of your target audience.
Use these methods in 2023 and stay ahead of your competitors. By creating a satisfying and comfortable experience for your restaurant guests, you will turn them into regular and loyal visitors who will come back to your establishment over and over again.
Dmytro Sokhach is an entrepreneur and a 6-Figure Flipper Club member. Founded Admix Global (web agency) that builds websites, makes them profitable and sells them as a business.