People seem to think that making more money or increasing your sales is difficult or complicated. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Stop over thinking it. I have one tactic that is a no-brainer to increase your sales as long as it’s executed correctly.
In the restaurant world, people tend to think the only way to increase revenue is to simply have more customers come through the door. There are many ways where restaurant owners can increase their revenue and I want to focus on residual revenue.
Let’s think about a winery. If you think about it, the only way wineries make money is to sell flights, glasses of wine, and some times food if they have it, right?
Wait! They also have a wine club.
It can be every month, every quarter, bi-annually, or even annually membership where your most loyal customers will be charged a certain amount to be part of your inner circle.
How Does This Translate To Restaurants?
The best way to have it translate into restaurants or bars is to have a monthly meeting (or can be twice a month) where they can come in on a slow evening and be treated to a new menu item, a new cocktail, or even a brainstorming session on how to improve their operations (along with free food, of course).
If you’re a bakery, you can have a monthly (or quarterly) baking class where people can come in and learn how to make the perfect croissant, doughnut, or pastry.
It’s up to you to know your community to figure out what attracts them and what would make them want to buy a membership from your restaurant. Is it a discount that they get? Do they get personal time with the chef or owners and get to see behind the scenes of the inner workings of your restaurant?
No matter what it is, make sure that it resonates with your business and aligns with your values as a restaurant or bar.
Will This Really Increase My Sales?
Of course this will increase your sales but what’s more important is that you are offering a special experience that others won’t have the opportunity to have in your restaurant or bar.
It’s about truly embracing what hospitality truly is and that’s what is most important. When you provide exceptional experiences for people, they will end up spending more money at your restaurant.
A wine club will ship you their newest bottle(s) of the quarter but you still have to spend money when you go to their tasting room. Of course you’ll get a slight discount but not enough to really make a difference. It usually is just enough to take the tax off of the bill.
If your bar has a cocktail of the month club where people pay $35/month (yes, people will pay this), they will get to have a couple free cocktails. But people get hungry so why not offer them a special “membership discount” (10%-15%) on any item in the restaurant?
It’s the little things that count but what they will see is that you’re adding VALUE to them as members of your inner circle. That’s what they will talk about to all of their friends.
The best kind of marketing to do in your area is simply word of mouth. If they tell their friends how extraordinary your membership is, it’s likely that their friends will join too.
But the only way to get raving fans talking about your restaurant or bar is to create unforgettable experiences.