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Ideas to Increase Sales

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1)    Strategically place items on the menu with the highest gross profit contribution. It is a proven fact that the first and last items in any category are the most selected.

2)     Instead of just thanking your customers for patronizing your restaurant, develop a line to entice them to come back for something in particular. For example: "I enjoyed having you dine with us tonight. I don't know if you know it or not, but next Thursday, Chef Tommaso is introducing Endless Pastabilites, which is a pre-fixed assortment of tasty pastas and fine wines. We had a chance to sample these dishes and I'll tell you, Thursday's customers are in for a treat! If you plan on coming, please call me ahead of time and I will take personal care of you. Not only does this give you a better chance of building repeat business, it empowers your employees."

3)     Teach your wait staff to recognize key opportunities to sell items with the highest gross profit contribution. If a customer says, "Gee, I had chicken for lunch today," "The last time I was here, I had the tiramisu," or "What do you recommend?" Your wait staff can suggest your highest grossing items.

4)     To build customer visits on slow nights, target your "busy-night" crowds with bouncebacks.

5)     Use wine bottles as a point-of-purchase. Place wine bottles on the table to encourage guests to buy. You can also develop a formalized wine program.

6)    Before you hold employee contests, find out what is meaningful to the employees. Play-off basketball tickets for the highest check average may not have a mass appeal to your employees. As a result, your contests may not be as successful.

7)     Highlight menu items with the highest gross profit contribution. You can even put a smaller version of your restaurantís logo next to menu items with the highest gross profit contribution. This type of suggestive selling could translate into thousands of dollars. Note, menu highlighting should be done sparingly. The rule of thumb is 1 out of every 7 items.

8)     Send customer birthday cards with a catchy incentive to visit the restaurant.  

Example #1: 

"Happy Birthday (Name of customer). On behalf of the restaurant, I would like to wish you a happy and prosperous birthday. I know that you like strawberry shortcake and our pastry chef, Dano, would like to prepare a complimentary strawberry shortcake that is going to knock your socks off.  We invite you and your guests to celebrate your birthday with us.  Please call me in advance so I can take care of you. If we don't see you before your birthday, we wish you a happy one." 

Example #2:

Enclose a card along with a gift certificate valid for (ÖÖÖÖ.). Provide the customer with a 2-week time frame to take advantage of this offering, preferably one week before and one week after the customerís birthday.

9)    Build a rapport with the guests when they arrive, while setting up the order; delivering the order; checking back to see if everything is okay and after the meal.

This brief step-by-step guide will help you to put together a solid restaurant marketing plan. Remember, with an open mind, creative ideas will follow.

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