2 years have gone since I posted the first blog, hopefully I have helped some people.
Since I was busy (Yes- did I mention it, a Restaurant is also work !) I only now have some time for some “follow up”.
If you have done well and your place is still running good after 1 year, you certainly have noticed some things which needs to be changed. But be careful ! Aside from fixing broken things and keeping the place tidy you should analyze carefully what you want to change.
Often there are the suggestions about changing the menu – don’t do it, stick to your concept. If somebody wants a certain dish you may can add that to the menu, but in 90% of the cases he will not like it, and never order it again.(because it does not taste like what he had in mind). There you are with your printed menus. Also stay away from menu changes because they run well at the other places. I am not talking about the theme foods (i.E. Italian) you already serve, of course you can serve more and different additional dishes, when they are popular. (See part one also about taking items down)
No- I am referring to the often observed places which suddenly serve Tacos in an Italian place and call it “Italian style Taco” or so. That’s a no-no ! Why? because potential new customers which see this , even only in advertisements, will not take you seriously anymore. So you sell the dishes to your regulars,which may even like it,but you don’t get more revenue.
What one could do is to focus on side sales such as desserts or starters. Train your staff to offer them with enthusiasm, or better, do it yourself. “Gave you already tried our new appetizers” – most will order if the price is nice, you can promote it cheap first, and later raise the price. Don’t forget to offer it as promotion. Or even let them try a bit.
Then the real money bringer – desserts ! if your place is frequented, try this- bring in a dessert such as an Ice cream, or other goody, or a cocktail with a big action around it ! Use a Sparkler or the like or play some fanfare music when served. The sensation is guaranteed and certainly others want to try the item too. It works !
How to convince the first one to order ? Simple, ask a big spender type (No, not Donald Trump) if he wants to try the “new” thing. If he declines, which the almost never does, give it away because he is such a great customer. And he leaves a good tip anyhow for the freeby.
Other side sales are coffee- In the Philippines I always wonder why I never get asked if I want a coffee after my meal ? Don’t try to answer with an excuse now – train your staff and do it!
Have you ever wondered why those old espresso machines in/from Italy are so noisy an gigantic (If you open one, the housings are actually almost empty) , or why the bartender decides to let some steam out load occasionally – it’s a reminder- “Hey you, haven’t you forgotten to order coffee”?
Now you have already 2 Tipps which can generate you at least 10-20% more income. and even better, make the customer more happy too- it’s not greedily taken money out of their pockets with dirty tricks – NO, its an effort to complete their visit!
Lastly some words about entertainment – (This excludes watering holes or trendy places), keep it down…the music I mean. Not everybody loves the latest Beyonce hits and neither everybody is a fan of ACDC. Ideal is a “no generation” soft background music, google the internet and you can download thousands of hours on your USB stick. Stick it in and never let the staff play DJ. That’s excludes “Trendy” places- for which one btw. also can download finished playlists. For “German” places you can play “beermusic” but do that only when people actually drink a lot of beer. (I am German, but if I enter a Restaurant which play “humptata” Music outside of the Octoberfest time, I turn around and bye bye)
Nope- stick with the International “soft Restaurant music“, which is almost like “elevator music” and make sure the sound level is just enough to cover the noise from the kitchen or the noise from the client maltreating their plates with fork and knife. (If the noise level from the kitchen is too high, you may want o put that on the list of improvements) If you need music for your business for whichever reason, you do not have a restaurant.
But never let the customers having a hard time to have a conversation. Even they often don’t have one in our days, thanks to Wifi. That’s why I mentioned never let the staff play DJ. Ok, after a while it will burn in your brain like the “Mommyfinger, daddyfinder, where am I?” nursing rhyme but that’s the price one has to pay. Staff should work anyhow and not listen to music., we don’t pay them for this.
TV ? – NEVER EVER !!! Except you want to show a Manny Paquiao fight live, but that falls under the category “Event”.
WIFI – yes unfortunately. It is horrible to see couples staring in their cellphone instead of holding hands, but its modern times. And since their online, make sure your “Rating link” in one of those online pages is visible, so you get a few ratings.
Which ones ? Jesus, you should know that by now…
Maybe I make a Part 3 soon about social media presence and search engine optimization. for Restaurants.
Last but not least again – this is about real Restaurants and NOT “trendy places” – there a different concept applies 😉