The Back Burner’s Restaurant Survival Guide continues with some more tips on how to keep customers coming in the door in these tough economic times.
Take your product to the customer. You have already developed delicious entrees, trained your kitchen staff to cook them, and purchased all the equipment you need to produce on a large scale.
Yet your restaurant is seeing falling or stagnant visits every month.
You’re all dressed up with nowhere to go. So go out.
Now some of these businesses are getting into full catering services as a way to boost sales in a gloomy economic environment.
Recent surveys of restaurant patrons have indicated they plan to stay home in record numbers in 2009, but that doesn’t mean they always want to fire up the home kitchen.
And small to medium sized get-togethers (of 10 – 50 people) still happen all the time, just not at your restaurant. Customers see a great value in serving familiar foods from their favorite eatery right in their home, and you already have the staff and tools to service them there.
A little marketing, a slight adjustment in your menu offerings, and you’re on your way to finding your customers even if they aren’t coming to your restaurant as often as they used to.
Gift cards help. More and more chains are marketing gift cards, and smaller operations can do the same. Not only are gift cards a quick and convenient gift for your customer, but they guarantee future sales that can help you through slow times.
They can also help bring in new clientele if they are offered as a promotion. And best of all, customers who use gift cards tend to overspend the gift card amount, which means some added sales for you.
Meanwhile, the customer leaves full and happy, having spent less than he or she expected.
You can survive. The salient point here is that customers still want your product. They haven’t forgotten how good it tasted two years ago.
They just don’t want to pay the same amount for it.
You have rising expenses to deal with, but that doesn’t mean a little repackaging and some clever marketing can’t help your customer realize exactly why they fell in love with your restaurant in the first place.