Simply Ways To Increase Restaurant Sales at Your Drive Thru

If you work in the foodservice industry, you know that the competition can be brutal. With lots of competition and rapidly changing trends, it can be tough to keep your business at the forefront of customers’ minds. One major factor to consider is the balance between acquiring new customers vs. retaining existing customers.

Whether you have a new restaurant business or you’ve been around for years, there are three main ways of achieving success: getting new people through the door, getting those people to come back, and making the most of the time they spend in your establishment. Hitting all three of these points can be easier said than done, but with the right approach, it’s absolutely possible.

Attract New People To Your Restaurant

A regular customer is more likely to forgive a sub-par experience than a brand new customer. But, even more common than a bad restaurant experience is a forgettable one. Making just a little extra effort to give your guests a great first experience goes a long way towards turning them into loyal customers.

  • Participate in your city’s restaurant week. While every city has its own take on this tradition, the basic idea is that the city chooses one week out of the year to showcase their restaurants, and local restaurant owners can choose if they’d like to participate. Participating restaurants promote special discounted offers that are valid throughout the week. This is a great way to reach new customers because offering discounts encourages people to try your food.
  • Use marketing techniques to attract new customers. Having a strong social media presence costs nothing but your time. And, if you want to put some money towards paid social media advertising, it can be an affordable alternative to purchasing ads in newspapers. You can even encourage customers to write reviews of their experience dining with you, which will add to your restaurant marketing efforts.
  • Develop a first-time customer program. This usually involves giving away coupons that encourage customers to come back. Alternatively, you can give your new customers a free appetizer, dessert, or beverage with the purchase of an entree. This is a great way of showing your customers how much you appreciate their business, and it can help set your business apart from the competition.

How To Get Return Business

There are a few techniques many successful restaurants use to keep their best customers coming back time and time again:

  • Develop a customer loyalty program. There are a lot of ways you can set up your loyalty program, but one of the most common is to create a membership card that tracks each time a customer visits your restaurant, so they can work towards earning a free item of your choosing. Offering free drinks and desserts is often a good choice because they’re less expensive than an entree, but they will still make your guests feel appreciated. You can set up a card that tracks points in your POS system or a punch card that gets a new hole each time the customer visits.
  • Get involved in the local community. Hosting a charity event for a cause you care about is a great way to give back to the community and customers will notice the extra effort. For example, choose a day where you donate 10% of your profits to a charity. You can advertise the event in advance so that customers will know to dine in your restaurant that day if they’d like to contribute to the cause. Hosting cooking classes, beer tastings, or anything that educates customers about your product is another great way to help the local community feel invested in your restaurant business.
  • Organize events. Something as simple as offering a space for community events, like company parties, can go a long way towards building a relationship with the community. Hosting weekly trivia encourages customers to come out to your bar on a weeknight. Booking live music is another great way to get customers to visit your business more regularly. Overall, organizing games or music helps people feel relaxed in your restaurant establishment and encourages them to stay longer and purchase more from your menu.

An important part of running any successful restaurant business is assessing and reassessing the way things are running. Restaurant owners are constantly thinking of ways to improve processes and increase efficiency. When it comes to finding ways of increasing sales in your restaurant, there are many factors to take into account. The good news is that many of the basic principles remain the same across all types of dining establishments, so if you follow the basic checklist of attracting new customers while thinking of ways to retain customers, and fill in those basic steps with practical business techniques and restaurant marketing, you’ll be on the road to success in no time!

From exploring order confirmation boards and installing digital menus to using presell menus effectively, there are many ways to improve your restaurant’s efficiency even beyond best sales practices. Contact OrderMatic to discuss how you can enhance both your drive-thru and dine-in experience!