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Do you have a restaurant on your property? Is it bringing in an extra stream of revenue?

If no, why not? I am going to share how you can increase your restaurants potential.

Welcome to another edition of hospitality property school.

I am your instructor, Gerry MacPherson.

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If you have a restaurant and you’re only catering to your hotel guests, then you’re leaving money on the table.

You might believe you have a very good restaurant, in fact, you might believe you have a great restaurant but without good local patronage how would you know for sure.

Hotel restaurants are normally not on the radar of potential customers were looking for a place to eat. Traditionally, hotel restaurants have a difficult time attracting locals. So what can you do to improve your chances?

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I’m going to share some ideas that have worked with many hospitality properties.

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  1. Consider trying a new name, identity and theme for your restaurant, and promote it to the local market separately from the hotel.

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  1. Use social media and the local press to market your restaurant. You can contact journalists from local publications and invite them for a meal on the house in return for a review.

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  1. Set up a competition in the local press and online, with a prize of a meal for four with wine. The contest will cost very little and if done right can be very effective.

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  1. Offer a choice of menus; for families and vegetarian options.

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  1. Highlight what makes you stand apart from your competitors, other restaurants. (Is it better service, bar and lounge areas to relax before and after a meal, space for kids to run around, easy parking, a rural getaway).

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  1. Create a separate website for your restaurant.

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  1. Be sure your restaurant is listed in the local tourist & travel guides.

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  1. A great way to keep both your staff and customers excited is to offer menus that are seasonal and that are changed regularly.

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  1. Use local suppliers and declare this in detail on your menu, your website and any marketing you do. Local suppliers will support you by advertising your verbally.

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  1. Make sure all local hotels have your menus and it would also be very useful to invite the head concierge or front desk receptionists for a free meal. We talked about cross-promoting earlier and know they will be more likely to recommend your restaurant to their hotel guests if they can talk from first-hand experience.

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  1. Get your local businesses involved. Contact and invite the local business associations in for a familiarisation dinner. Offer time-limited discounts to two or three of the largest nearby employers. This could be a 20% discount to their employees, which they could promote in-house and by putting a time limit on the discount, you encourage people to use it sooner rather than later.

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  1. You could offer theme nights, music events, wine weekends and private special events.

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  1. Make sure each guest receives a warm welcome and that you and your employees go the extra mile to make it a great experience.

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  1. Ask for your customer’s opinions. Talk with them and make feedback cards available.

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  1. Make sure to incorporate a method to gather all new customer data information such as e-mail addresses and add them to your newsletter list. Newsletters could be a monthly news/recipe/events letter.

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  1. Market your restaurant as a destination and attract foodies who are looking for a weekend away and offer reduced room rates for diners who stay over.

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  1. Offer gift certificates to local charities, school or social events. This can work well for your branding.

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  1. Make your restaurant is easy to find. Good well-illuminated signage and easy to find parking is important if you don’t want your potential customers to get lost or frustrated and find one of your competitors instead.

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  1. Make sure you have an organizational strategy in place and that everyone knows exactly what their duties are.

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Are these making sense so far? Let me know by leaving a comment.

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20. Turn your current customers into advertisers. As on your property, if you treat your current customers well, they will, in turn, spread the word about how good your restaurant is.

 

21. One of the easiest ways to increase restaurant sales is through restaurant upselling. Upselling means convincing customers to upgrade their current purchase or buy more items. Restaurant upselling is the most common strategy for restaurants to boost their profits.

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22. Offer take-out services. Many people nowadays prefer to order food home, rather than going out and indulging in a scrumptious meal. Having said so, if you are not venturing into the domain of online ordering, check it out.

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23. Create combo meals. Combo meals are a great way to attract customers, especially those who want to keep it low on their pockets. Try and select your top-selling lunch items and pair them with a popular side dish and beverage.

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24. Offer smaller portions. Customers today instead of ordering full meals are increasingly opting for “mini-meals.” You should consider providing a higher number of smaller dishes or options to choose from. The variations should include items that can be eaten as snacks, or that can be shared amongst a group of friends.

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25. Claim your restaurant business on “Google My Business”. Getting featured on Google will increase your reach, merely because it will be easier for your customers to find you on the internet.

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26. Make sure to price your menu right. The menu needs to be priced carefully. While deciding on the menu pricing, you must keep in mind the menu’s food cost, your location, and your target audience.

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27. Use a point of sale or POS system and analyze the reports. This will help you in running your business and augment your restaurant sales. Your restaurant POS must be your best friend, providing you with information about everything that happens at your restaurant, whether you are physically present there or not.

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28. Talk to your employees. A lot of restauranteurs constantly ask about how to increase their restaurant sales or how to increase their restaurant business. Asking for your employee’s opinions or what they think about any changes will help make them feel empowered and is the best way you can run your business and increase your restaurant sales.

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You have to live up to your promise – there is no sense in trying any of the strategies I have mentioned if the quality of service is going to be subpar. I had mentioned before that a restaurant inspector I know told me the first two things he looks for is whether the toilet is clean and the lettuce is fresh.

Last word of advice: don’t try to be everything to everyone, find what you’re great at and do it to the best of your ability.

Whenever I see a hospitality property restaurant or dining area and hear it is empty most of the day, I see revenue floating out the window.

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In Conclusion

Making your hospitality property restaurant accessible to the local market is a wonderful way to garner an additional revenue stream but a way to offset profit losses during the low season.

I know I am leaving you with lots to digest.

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TO READ OR LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE ON KEYSTONE HOSPITALITY PROPERTY CONSULTING:

https://keystonehospitalitydevelopment.com/KHDC166

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And don’t forget to join the “6 Day Challenge” here:

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RESOURCES & LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

The Keystone HDC Training Tutorials

https://courses.keystonehospitalitydevelopment.com/

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Keystone HDC Post Downloads

We add to them every month.

https://KeystoneHospitalityDevelopment.com/KHDC140

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Join our community in “The Hospitality Property School Group” – Check it Out for One Full Week for Only $1

https://keystonehospitalitydevelopment.com/membership-site

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Say hi on social:

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/KeystoneHDC

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Twitter: https://twitter.com/KeystoneHDC

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Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/keystone-hospitality-development/

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Listen to The Hospitality Property School Podcast here:

https://keystonehospitalitydevelopment.com/itunes-podcast

https://www.spreaker.com/keystonehdc

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YouTube

https://youtu.be/oEyeaCOTx0g

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Hospitality Property School is a division of Keystone HDC