Everyone loves to eat, but not everyone loves to cook. That’s why restaurant dining is a top choice for its convenience and variety of menu options.
58% of consumers in the U.S. are dining out more often. Especially now that in-restaurant pandemic restrictions have been lifted.
Owning a restaurant comes with challenges. Among them are increasing turnover rates with employees, supply chain issues, and rising overhead costs.
Many restaurants are also trying to make a comeback after lengthy COVID-19 closures. Restaurant owners must find a way to reduce restaurant overhead costs and maintain a healthy restaurant profit margin.
If you’re looking for ways to increase your restaurant’s profit margin while decreasing costs, this guide can help.
The pandemic threw everyone in the restaurant industry for a loop. Consumers were no longer allowed to go to a restaurant for in-person dining.
This meant restaurant owners needed to adapt quickly to a system for taking online orders. They also had to provide a safe way for them to be picked up or delivered to the customers.
In the post-pandemic era, restaurants may still be looking to boost restaurant profits. They should consider a system to address the needs of consumers looking to order take-out food versus dine-in options.
This could include teaming up with third-party ordering and delivery apps to make it easier to get food to customers outside of the restaurant. Curbside pick-up is also a great way to give consumers the convenience of dining out in a to-go format.
If you want to skip the costs associated with a third-party ordering system. consider setting up your own food delivery and ordering system directly from your restaurant to the customers. This will help bolster restaurant profits even more.
With these methods, you’re increasing restaurant profits while decreasing costs associated with in-restaurant dining. You’re improving your restaurant ordering and fulfillment turnaround. Lower restaurant overhead costs equal a better restaurant profit margin.
Another lesson the pandemic brought to restaurants is the concept of contactless ordering. A contactless ordering system allows customers to scroll through menu options on their mobile devices from wherever they are. They can create an order and pay for it through one portal.
This cuts down on the need for dedicated staff to take and process orders. It is especially helpful for restaurants that are short-staffed. It handles all of the middleman data for a more streamlined process.
Contactless ordering also cuts down on human error. Sometimes in restaurants, it is difficult for employees to hear orders properly due to kitchen background noise. This can result in order errors and unhappy customers.
A technology-driven digital ordering system puts everything in writing. It keeps a record of the order and improves order accuracy.
Digital menus are also becoming more popular options. These digital menus can be accessed through a no-contact QR code scanned by the customer’s phone or through a tablet setup at the table or register. This is also a more sanitary method that can be cleaned after each use.
Paper menus, even laminated ones, deteriorate over time and need replacing. This will mean higher restaurant overhead costs. Digital menus can also be more easily updated than traditional paper menus, which require reprinting or hand editing each time a change is made.
Digital menus can also help your restaurant upsell menu items by automatically suggesting food and drink pairings that go well together. It can also prompt with messages such as adding on an appetizer or dessert for a small additional fee to complete the meal. Even small upsells brought about by digital menu suggestions can help you increase your restaurant’s profit margin.
Another issue of owning a restaurant is customers waiting too long at a table to place an order or receive a check. This could be due to increased turnover of restaurant staff or busy periods of the year when dining out is more prevalent. High wait times influence customer opinions of your restaurant.
Customers who have to wait a long time to get a waiter will become frustrated with the lack of service and leave. They may not come back because of a bad experience. This can cost you precious business.
Some restaurants like Chili’s now incorporate POS digital ordering and payment units on the tables of the restaurant. This allows the customers to order food and drink from their tables when they are ready and pay for their meals when they’re done. The order is transmitted to the kitchen and saves the hassle of having to wait for a server.
Fast food restaurants are also incorporating self-serve order kiosks. Customers can see pictures and descriptions of the items and easily build and pay for their orders. Then they just have to pick it up at the counter or at the contactless food locker when it’s ready.
POS ordering and payment kiosks improve your restaurant’s profit margin because there is less dependency on an hourly employee. They also expedite the ordering process for restaurant customers. The digital payment market is anticipated to grow at a rate of 17.25% between 2022 to 2030.
A restaurant owner should always be on the lookout for ways to entice new customers to come in and try their menu items. But they should also not forget about their loyal customer base as well. As a restaurant owner, having a loyalty program can help you engage with customers and encourage more repeat business.
41% of restaurant patrons believe that having a loyalty program encourages them to buy more often from specific restaurants. Offering, coupons, points, or a set number of visits a customer needs to make in order to get a free menu item will drive up restaurant profits. It will also increase customer loyalty to your restaurant.
These “free items” are a great incentive to help grow your restaurant’s profit margin over time. While also rewarding repeat customer restaurant patronage.
Owning a restaurant comes with many obstacles that can make it difficult to effectively maintain your restaurant profit margin. Moving forward, it’s important to use the technologies available at your disposal to adapt to the changing landscape. That’s why you need the all-in-one POS system from Truffle.
Truffle makes it easy to manage all aspects of restaurant management from ordering to fulfillment, and pickup and delivery operations. Take advantage of features like online and self-service table ordering. You can even create and manage a customer loyalty program.
Book a demo of Truffle to try for yourself today.