Increasing Your French Restaurant's Sales
Find opportunities to offer customers more value
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Whether you're looking to bring in new diners or entice customers to buy more during visits, there are a variety of approaches to increasing sales at your French restaurant. Of course, exploring marketing and upselling tactics for both of these goals is the most efficient route to more business and more profits. As you work to increase sales, keep in mind the expectations the public has about French restaurants. Don't let marketing efforts undermine your restaurant's image as a sophisticated, refined establishment.
Turn Your Website into a Marketing Tool
Online marketing is a powerful tool for reaching new patrons. If you don't have a website, set one up; if you do, improve it. Make sure all basic information is easily found by visitors, and that the site is user-friendly. Keep colors, fonts, images, and content as tasteful as a French restaurant. Post professional photographs of your dining room and top-selling dishes. Include unique pages. For example, explain the basics of French cuisine. Offer recipes to accompany the text. Put up a guide to French wines. Write about the processes that go on in your kitchen. An engaging website will attract new patrons and encourage existing ones to refer others to your site.
Expand Your Online Presence
Businesses across all sectors are increasing sales through social networking and forums online. Try Facebook or Twitter. Find active forums devoted to French cuisine or dining, restaurants in your town, or other subjects relevant to your establishment. Participate and have genuine interactions with members; repeated advertising without participation is spam, and it will hurt your restaurant. Use social networking accounts to post news about the restaurant industry or local food issues, items about French cuisine, and other things of interest to your friends and followers. Don't worry about establishing a presence on every website you find. Rather, pick a few and devote yourself to building a real following with consistent effort. Make special offers available to your customers through your online accounts.
Consider Serving Lunches
Many French restaurants serve dinner only. If you operate one of them, consider opening for lunches as well. Lunches provide the opportunity to serve less labor-intensive, less expensive meals in less time. This can make your restaurant available to many new customers, and even entirely new demographics. A successful lunch business is not just a new avenue to more sales, it also increases dinner sales.
Find Opportunities for Cross-Promotion
Pursue cross-promotions with other local businesses that appeal to your clientele. Is there a French bakery, cafe, or dessert shop in your town? Do you get products from other local businesses, or do other shops in the area serve your house-made desserts, breads, or other items? These are key opportunities for businesses to spread the word about each other. If you have no such arrangements, consider making some. Look for less direct opportunities for cross-promotion, too. If your restaurant is upscale, your clientele is mostly affluent, and probably interested in other upscale dining establishments, cultural entertainment and attractions, and professional services.
Written by: Jon Mohrman