5 Ways to Increase Ticket Size Using Technology
Even if the nature of your business has virtually nothing to do with technology, implementing a little here and there can work wonders in boosting overall sales. Much has evolved in the industry, and customers are more used to a digital, high-tech world. While this does not mean you have to over-complicate your business with fancy gadgets, it does mean customers have come to expect a dining experience that comes with the ease of a technology-backed business.
Train Your Staff to Make the Higher-Dollar Sale
In most cases, introducing more technology into a business means more efficiency, greater productivity, and a decrease in unnecessary costs. Offering exceptional service alongside exceptional food is a tried and true method of ensuring customer satisfaction. By using technology to save time and energy, employees can focus more intently on providing customers with an excellent experience and ultimately increasing sales. Encourage staff to go for the add-on sale, especially with repeat customers. “Do you want fries with that?” is a textbook example, but the approach works across the board, and a well-utilized POS makes it that much easier.
Integrate POS analytics and reporting tools that can help you better understand customer purchasing behaviors. The act of using in-house data analytics to drive sales will be most successful when data is shared and compared.
Sometimes simply making personnel aware of your target sale value will help you get there. If they’re just selling what the customer came in for, you may not hit your numbers. Tell employees what you are looking for, then give them the tools to track and achieve it.
When pushing new sales goals you can also offer incentives through competitions with your waitstaff. Sometimes offering something as simple as a gift card to the person with the highest sales numbers will get your team fired up to make sales. Reward the behavior you want to see exhibited, and you will start to see more of it.
Tactics to Train and Analyze Restaurant Staff to Make Sales
Provide the proper training and incentives for your team to help them meet your sales goals. Try these tactics to boost their growth and confidence in upselling. Check out this article from Impulse Creative for more resources to train your waitstaff in the art of upselling.
Menu item bingo
Download a free bingo format. Fill in the clear spaces with your menu selections. Ensure you incorporate thing on each line that is hard to sell so the game can keep going far into the night, or proceeding until you have a victor later on in the week.
Focus a contest on the hardest items to sell, desserts! This will teach your waitstaff to get in dessert orders early before customers are stuffed to the brim with their entrees.
The perfect check contest
The perfect check – getting customers to order an appetizer, entrée, and upsold drink selection, and a dessert. This formula can be a real challenge and a fun way to measure goals across a variety of menu items.
Crunch the Numbers
Begin by figuring out the dollar value of your average sale. If you have 20 customers and total sales of $1,000 on a typical day, your average sale is $50. Then you can set a new target for increasing that number and plot your strategy accordingly. Track sales throughout the week using data analysis: total covers/price of items. Depending on your business, you might also want to calculate your average sales per hour, day of the week, employee, location, marketing campaign, or other variables. Frequently the answers will lead directly to a plan of action. For example, if your numbers are low on Mondays, or during lunch service, consider planning special Monday promotions or introduce a lunch-combo option to raise ticket averages.
Using Analytic Reporting to Track Sales
With Lavu’s POS system and integrated reporting technology, you can track sales averages for days, weeks, and even by employees. This information can be analyzed to support contests and create goals.
Creating Marketing Plans Based on Reports
Once you have the reporting information, you can start to integrate the analytics into your marketing plans. If you have days of the week that are weaker, or menu items that have a higher profit margin than others, start pushing sales for those days or items.
Gain control over your sales by having detailed reporting. Having a tangible number to attach to each subset of information helps you see weaknesses and evaluate sales tactics to see which ones are most effective and should be continued.
Master the World Wide Web
One of the biggest hurdles for acquiring new customers or encouraging repeat customers to bring their friends is simply letting them know you exist. Customers will not come to you and spend their hard-earned money if you don’t go to them first. And where are they? Online.
It may seem obvious, but a website is an absolute necessity for a successful business. Whether you own a fast-casual eatery or fine-dining establishment, these days, customers love to check up on businesses online before making a dining decision. Whether that means previewing the menu, checking out reviews or pictures, or seeing if there are any specials or events, a solid web presence will drive more traffic to you and, in turn, increase sales. Investing in a good website keeps your business feeling current and approachable, which can lead to return customers.
Don’t forget to make sure your site is optimized for mobile devices, as many consumers spend much of their browsing time on their phones or tablets, especially when researching eateries. In 2015, it was a consumer expectation that you have up-to-date menus available online, beautiful photos of your food and environment, and an easy way to contact you for reservations or to ask questions.
Creating a Website Is Simpler Than Ever
With access to creating a website made easier than ever, there is no excuse for not having a fully integrated website. Templates for beautiful websites help create optimized sites that look like a web-designer spent hours hard-coding when really all it took was a few simple clicks and filling in particular information for your business.
Integrate online ordering to your website with ease. Have your online orders integrated with your in-store POS system to make reporting and accounting simplified. The simpler and more straightforward your website is, the better for your web audience. Take advantage of the tools available to your restaurant to grow your web presence like never before.
Tools for Restaurants to Succeed Online
With the simplicity of creating a website, you will want to integrate these tools to maximize the potential of your website.
- Online menu and ordering
- RSS feed for your social media on the website
- Google My Business listing
- Review page listed on site
- Nutritional information plugins
- Event page
Social media is the key to building relationships with customers and showing personal insights to your business that encourage them to feel more personally connected to your business. Promote your brand by developing a unique personality online. Stay consistent, and relevant. Tweet, blog, and post helpful or interesting information to stay engaged with prospects and current customers.
Customers who feel they can relate to the information you post on social media whether for useful value or for comedic entertainment and have a two-way interaction with any of your social media accounts will feel more appreciated and connected to your brand and therefore are more likely to stop by and become a customer. Consider rewarding social media followers and give sneak peeks to upcoming specials to create a loyal following and encourage brand participation. Just don’t be surprised when you drastically increase sales.
How to Engage an Audience on Social Media
Create posts that get customer’s thinking, make them stop scrolling, and engage their interest enough to react or reply. Try these social media posting tactics to boost your engagement rates on social media for your restaurant.
- Post photos, not just text
- Turn your website’s articles into infographics to share on social media
- Share reviews and testimonials
- Quote influencers who are relevant to your message and tag them!
- Use hashtags and geotags
- Respond to comments – the good and the bad
- Host a contest on social media
Get more tips on creating genius social media posts here.
Responding to Comments Like a Pro
When you start getting good engagement rates on social media, the comment section of your posts can seem daunting. There will be good comments, bad ones, and then just plain ugly ones. Respond to comments with tact and professionalism. Remember that even though social media is a more relaxed environment you are still representing your company and need to do so with grace.
If someone is criticizing your restaurant, it can be easy to lash out back at them, but instead, try taking that information and seeing where you can grow from it. Thank the person for bringing a concern to you, and offer to help them resolve the issue through private means. No one wants their dirty laundry aired on social media.
Using Multiple Platforms for a Wider Reach
While everyone is using Facebook these days, it seems, don’t forget about the other main social media platforms that expand your reach online. Make sure your website is integrated to share on multiple social media sites. You can install a simple plugin to share with Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and even Instagram. Make sure to create a profile on each site to reach a wider audience and create a community of followers who love your restaurant.
Read more about boosting your Instagram reach with one simple trick here.
Engage the Experience
An old school approach might say that the restaurant experience ends with a paid check and the drop of a napkin as the customer leaves. But, thanks to the technology, the end of a meal might signal the beginning of what could be your biggest asset—customer feedback. Creating the possibility of engaging experience with your customers after they leave your restaurant is just as imperative as what happens when they are sitting at the table.
With so many online options to provide feedback, make sure your database of customer emails, phone numbers, and, most importantly, names and times of visit is up-to-date so you can respond quickly to customer feedback. Addressing customer concerns in a timely manner goes a long way toward turning a negative impression into a positive attitude. A well-worded apology can go toward far in securing a dissatisfied customer’s future loyalty.
Responding to online reviews is not just for fixing problems, however. Take the opportunity to say thank you when you receive a positive review from a customer. Responding to compliments from customers won’t just make them feel appreciated, it will also make you feel more connected to the people you serve every day and serve as a nice reminder of exactly why you opened your restaurant in the first place.
Creating App-Based Loyalty Programs to Engage Customers After They Leave
Having an app-based loyalty program lets customers receive notifications when they earn rewards and think of you more often. Offer rewards to your loyal patrons and give a reason to come back time and time again. Giving them the option to choose their rewards through your loyalty program will make them feel more engaged and connected to your restaurant.
The Best Approach to Responding to Reviews
When you get reviews online, show customers you care by responding with care. Offer solutions and not just form messages. Convey empathy to customers who have had a bad experience and find an offer to provide which helps turn their mood around. While a bad review stings, a lack of response to that review can hurt you much more than just having a negative review.
Responding will show potential customers that you take issues seriously and are willing to learn and grow. Show that your restaurant values integrity and gives the best experience, both in-person and online.