For the eighth consecutive year, industry experts project that restaurant sales will continue to grow in 2017. Now that we’re well into the second quarter of the year, that’s not ringing true for everyone. Even though consumer spending is likely to continue to rise, people also seem to be getting more and more particular about where they decide to do that spending. Growing your restaurant sales this year – and beyond – will depend on how you’re able to attract and maintain loyal guests.
Get in on Consumer Trends
One trend affecting restaurant sales growth is the market for prepare-at-home meals. Companies like Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, and Plated are successfully cashing in on consumers’ need for convenience and their desire to eat healthy meals at home. If you have regular guests who are joining in on this trend, you’ll no doubt see a dip in traffic and restaurant sales. Take a look at your take-out options to see how you can compete. When your guests treat themselves to a restaurant meal, make sure they know your offerings for healthy and high-value meals they can pick up and enjoy at home.
Encourage and Reward Innovation
To “innovate” is a bit of a buzzword these days, and something that’s much easier said than done. The truth about innovation is to not come up with a new solution to an old challenge, but to identify a new challenge that the market isn’t addressing. Seek innovative ideas from staff members at all levels. Ask them to consider what special products or services your restaurant can offer to entice guests and improve loyalty. Reward all ideas, and if you find one you want to implement, give the person who brought it to you some ownership in making it happen.
Invest in Your Restaurant Staff
Growing your restaurant sales isn’t just about increasing profits. It’s about growing your employees, too. Ongoing training and career development increases staff morale and reduces turnover which, in turn, will improve guest service. Let your team members in the front and back of house know how important they are your restaurant’s success. Give them a true sense of inclusion in your plans for growing restaurant sales.
Restaurant Service and Sales Training
The Service & Sales Excellence Waitstaff Training Series is based on Service That Sells!, a restaurant training philosophy developed by restaurant owners for restaurant owners. Click here to learn more.