The three areas targeted are:
- number of customers,
- frequency of current customers,
- and average guest check.
Another standard frequency device is the bounce back coupon. Distributed over-the-counter, this invites your customers to return during a designated day or part of the day to take advantage of a special offer. This is a good way to use strong sales periods to help build weaker ones. For example, if you would like to build a weekday business, distribute a bounce back coupon on weekends, good only on the weekdays.
Coupons, in fact, are great business generators because they get customs involved in an offer, and they encourage them to act almost immediately, or within a very short period of time. Coupons can include “price-off” discounts, “two-for-one” offers, and “buy one, get one free.” Coupons reinforce your advertising message.
Creating a demand for a product or service through successful advertising is usually not enough to increase sales in your restaurant. Four-Walls Marketing is needed to reinforce the advertising message and is the prime function of POP (point-of-purchase), which is often referred to as point-of-sale.
Table tents are a great form of POP. Many people naturally pick up a table tent and study it carefully. Therefore, table tents make an excellent way to promote special menu items. Other standard types of POP materials include window displays, all posters, and hangers, counter cards, corner displays, window and door stickers, floor displays, banners, and buttons promoting popular menu items.
Here are some tips on proper placement of POP:
- Study the layout of your restaurant and determine optimum display points based on customer traffic and access. Behind the serving counter is an excellent place for POP.
- Position POP materials where they can be readily seen by customers.
- Avoid interference with actual serving areas. Try to unify all POP into one cohesive visual theme.
- Regard POP material as a “silent salesperson” that can significantly affect sales of specific products and cause positive changes in the overall product mix over a period of time.
- Rotate POP materials at least every other month in order to maintain customer interest. Moreover, it should dovetail with advertising.
Why not use placemats to advertise. While customers are waiting for food to arrive, customers have something to look at. One side of the placemat can be games for kids and the other side a medium for advertising. (This theme can also be carried over to tray liners for fast food operators).
When customers leave, they should always take something with them about your restaurant. This is called the “stuff-it” promotion, and it involves stuffing fliers into pickup order bags or doggie bags. Whether you offer a “buy one, get one free” or some kind of discount, fliers are an effective way for your customers to take your advertising message home with them.
Pads of paper with its name on tables as reminders of where the customer business deals took place. Pads printed with “Notes Taken are left on every table providing memo sheets and reminders of the restaurant.
Suggestive selling is a way to increase check amounts. This can be done by offering a side dish for example, when a customer orders a burger and the waitperson suggest french fries to go along with it. Waiters can also “trade up.”. Should a customer ask for a burger, the waiter might ask, “The deluxe burger?”
A restaurant that uses a “highest average check contest” to motivate its waitstaff to sell more. The contest runs for six months, with a prize of a trip for two awarded to the winner.
Gift certificates are gifts that keep on selling, McDonald’s uses the gift certificate, worth around Christmas. Besides the fact that a gift certificate brings in a customer who will probably spend more than the certificate is worth, a friend is sure to come along. Gift certificates are prepayments on food yet to be sold, and up to 20 percent of these gift certificate sold never even get redeemed!
Zodiac signs are another great promotional device. People usually enjoy reading their horoscopes in the daily newspapers. Why not offer price off discount each month for people born under the signs of that month?
Unopened bottles of wine on the tables caused wine sales to increase by 25 percent. Having the bottle on the table in view encourages customers to pick it up, examine it, and buy.
Another idea is to place empty wine glasses on your tables for lunch or dinner. Your employees may forget to ask if your customers want wine. The empty wine glass can also serve as a reminder to the guest, who might otherwise not think of ordering wine.
Grab publicity and increase overall sales by staging a contest for the millionth customer in your restaurant.
Want to know more?
Why not download copies of:
‘How to Discover Your Market’ eGuide
‘How to Earn More Dollars with Customer Service’ eGuide
‘How to Design a Market Focused Menu’ eGuide