Whenever businesses spend money on upgrades, they always expect that it will yield high returns. The restaurant industry is notorious for failing to make successful returns on investment, especially when the failure rate of new restaurants within the first three years of operation is as high as 59 percent.
With the right investment and by following these strategies, you can be sure that you’ll get your investment in your restaurant business back in no time.
1. Online ordering feature
As the number of patrons who want instant access to quality meals increases, adding an online ordering feature is an important method that enables restaurants to double their sales. Such an addition will lead to a higher ROI, since there is often unused capacity in the kitchen, while renting or owning kitchen space is a fixed cost.
While an online ordering system will incur additional marginal costs like expenses incurred for the technology, labor and ingredients, the existing operations of your restaurant can be scaled to lower expenditures.
The three most important factors of a successful online ordering system are the right technology, marketing and delivery. Especially for restaurants that routinely exceed their dining capacity, online ordering could double revenue and lead to higher returns.
Also, restaurants with such a system have a competitive advantage over on-site only restaurants and are more likely to earn repeat customers.
2. Online marketing campaign
Online marketing can take several forms such as content marketing, search engine optimization, or email marketing. So, it is important to home in on a few channels rather than attack every potential outlet. At the bare minimum, a restaurant website should be modern, informative and fast.
With an online digital marketing strategy, measuring the ROI of a specific campaign or online marketing channel is possible, so you can test and improve which method works best for your business.
For restaurants specifically, an effective strategy is using coupon codes for a free menu item or percentage off meals. Or capitalize on the foodie culture and the prominence of online food blogs by reaching out to food bloggers to request a review of your restaurant.
3. Investing in social media
While similar to online marketing, a social media platform is a low-cost and high-return marketing strategy to make personal connections with customers. Some of the freshest ideas for generating social media content include behind the scenes with staff, new menu additions or general restaurant announcements.
Another investment that can pay dividends is hiring a professional food photographer. Images that bring your restaurant’s culinary experience to life will enable your business to grow a strong contingent of followers that you can reach without the need for more expensive forms of traditional advertising.
Growing your potential customer base with targeted Facebook or Instagram advertisements is another surefire way to increase your growth and revenue.
4. Modern kitchen equipment
Sometimes, having the sharpest knife in the drawer really can be the difference maker for your restaurant, where having the right equipment is essential. The complete commercial kitchen equipment checklist comes with a hefty price tag, and a reasonable range for equipment startup costs at most new restaurants is anywhere between $100,000 to $300,000.
Despite the high upfront costs, purchasing or upgrading to modern kitchen equipment provides a long-term return. For example, modern appliances are much more energy-efficient than older models, so electricity costs will be lower.
Quality equipment will also be more durable and require less replacing or be prone to breaking during a busy dinner rush, which would cost thousands of dollars of lost revenue in a single night. Finally, having top-notch equipment improves the overall reputation of your restaurant.
5. Attracting top talent in the food and management industry
When looking for talent, hone in on different aspects of the resume. Prior work and experience and reputation in the industry could be worth more than a culinary education background for truly distinctive chefs. For managers, look to see if they have earned professional certifications such as the ServSafe Food Protection Manager Certification.
If hiring isn’t your cup of tea, consider investing in training opportunities for your existing staff and strive to foster a positive workplace for your team. Restaurant positions are notoriously some of the most stressful jobs, but also are incredibly rewarding for those passionate about the industry.
Either way, actively investing in your staff is an investment in itself and can help avoid the high costs of employee turnover. Your restaurant will only become as successful as the cooks, waiters and managers running the daily operations, so don’t skimp on who you hire.
Whether it’s hiring a new sous-chef, purchasing new kitchen equipment, or leading an online marketing campaign, contact Reliant Funding for access to the capital you need to make a smart investment in your restaurant.