How many of you have faced this problem? You make good investments in your restaurant, holding nothing back. You’re sure all your ideas are right, from the restaurant style to the menu. But… since opening your restaurant, you’ve never met your sales goals. Have a look at the following checklist to find out what you might’ve overlooked because it could be a reason for those poor sales.
You Didn’t Set a Target Group and Wanted Anyone to Buy
This is the most harmful factor for many people. When asked who their customer group is, the answer we frequently hear is, “Just any customers in general.” Wrong! Establishing a target group is one of the first tasks that should come up when brainstorming about how to run your restaurant. If you overlook this and open your restaurant without establishing what customer group you’re targeting, their age group and income base, what you might find is an empty restaurant.
Targeting the right customer group for the type of food you’re selling or the type of restaurant you want to open affects your restaurant’s concept, menu and sales prices. If these three parts are clear, you have a good chance of meeting your sales goals. Therefore, if your restaurant has been open for a while with only a few customers, you should reconsider your target group. You can set your target group based on age range, generation or income base.
At this point, it might be confusing because you’re already way past the point of setting your target group. That’s okay. Just stay calm and analyze what type of customers your menu items, restaurant style and food prices are suitable for and if they exist at your location. If you’re in the wrong location, your biggest challenge is to consider whether to change your restaurant’s style to meet the needs of the target group or to look for a new location with the right target group. Which way is easier and is better for you. You have to consider what’s best for you.
The Menu You Created Doesn’t Meet Customer Needs
If your location and target group match, but you still don’t get a lot of visits from customers and only have casual customers and no regulars, you have to consider factors inside your restaurant, especially when it comes to the menu. Some restaurants have a really good atmosphere with acceptable prices and standard service, but customers don’t know what to order because there aren’t a lot of options. Plus, the menu items offered don’t really suit their taste. For example, if you only offer fried foods, customers probably can’t stop by very often.
So, consider the attractiveness of your menu items, what your selling points are and whether you have variety. Particularly these days, customers don’t just go for flavor, looks are important, too. Is your menu attractive enough that customers want to snap a picture of it? It’s something you need to plan out.
Your Restaurant’s Hours Aren’t Consistent with Consumer Behavior
If your location is right and your menu is ‘wow’, but your restaurant hours aren’t consistent with your customer’s behaviors or ways of life, you could easily fail. For example, let’s say you open a restaurant near Ratchaphruek. It’s a residential neighborhood. Your customers are of working age and your restaurant opens from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. If this is the case, it’ll be hard to find customers, because you’re open when locals go to work in the city. It’ll be dark by the time they get back. So, don’t forget to make your opening/closing times consistent with your target customers’ lifestyles.
Local Customers Can’t Afford Your Prices
This is like decorating your restaurant so lavishly that customers don’t want to stop by because they think everything’s going to be expensive. This problem usually won’t occur if you’ve done your homework on target groups in the first place. However, if you’re experiencing this, don’t rush into any decisions. Find out the prices of the menu items offered at other busy restaurants, particularly the same type of restaurant as yours.
If you find out that your prices are much higher than other restaurants, don’t rush into changing them. Stay calm and look at the food costs for each dish to see if you calculated them correctly. If not only your prices are higher than the other restaurants, but they are also a lot more than the costs-that is, the profit margin is too big, you can lower your prices. Customers won’t criticize you for that.
On the other hand, if your prices and calculated costs are already appropriate and you’d lose money if you lowered them, take another look at your food costs to see if you could lower them. If you can’t, you might have to think of new low-cost menu items, so you can offer prices that are more suitable for the buying power in the area.
Thinking Your Restaurant’s Sign Is Unimportant
This one’s right under your nose. You can find many restaurants that have neglected to communicate what they’re selling to passersby. Some restaurants have surrounding spaces but leave them empty instead of adding signs, pictures of menu items and advertisements where passersby could see. They might not stop by today, but if the pictures or signs are interesting and they see them frequently, they might stop by someday.
This subject makes us think of restaurants along the Bang Khun Thian coastline. From the first to last restaurant, the signs are what make customers decide. Each sign in that area is all bluff, but they all an influence customers, particularly the pictures of food and the fact that some signs have been on some TV programs.
Thinking It Is Unnecessary to Promote Your Restaurant Online
Believe it or not, this is consistent. A lot of restaurants don’t do online marketing. We assure you, this has a big influence today and in the future. For example, some restaurants have a really good atmosphere, but complain about poor sales. When you check the restaurants’ pages, there’s nothing interesting. The pictures of the food are dark and blurry, and pictures of the restaurant’s atmosphere aren’t included. However, they frequently post on the 1st and 16th about the lottery, which has nothing to do with the restaurant.
We want to tell you that a restaurant’s social channel is another storefront, particularly now when customers like to search for the restaurant’s social channels before deciding. So, if you open a channel and don’t include anything interesting, we can tell you now that it’s GAME OVER!
If what we described above matches your restaurant, you can fix it by taking our free online course “Promote Restaurant Online for 10 Times Increase in Sales” The course includes easy-to-understand content that can be followed immediately and implemented. It is taught by Manthita “Thip” Chinda, founder of the Digital Tips Academy fan page.
As a result, every post you want to communicate on your restaurant’s social page needs to be planned. You need to think about the marketing consequences. Every picture taken must be intended for use. You can take them with your phone, but the angle, lighting and shadows need to be considered. Attractive pictures with good captions don’t just attract customers, they might also attract the media to come and review your restaurant for free.
If the pictures you take don’t come out so well, you can learn how to take photos of food like a pro with a mobile phone so you can take attractive, appetizing and mouth-watering pictures with the phone you have in your hand right now!
In conclusion, there are causes and factors for your good or bad sales. As an entrepreneur, you have to find the causes and consider how and if you have the means to solve them. See you next time!