Six new ways to earn revenue at your restaurant or foodservice operation
Thursday, August 23rd, 2012 -
As our economy continues to struggle, restaurant and foodservice owners and operators must come up with more ways to bring in additional income. Instead of discounting your products or cutting back on labour/staff, it’s time to get creative and use all facets of your operation to generate more money. There are several ways in which a restaurant or foodservice operation can create additional revenue streams.
Diane Chiasson, FCSI, President of Chiasson Consultants Inc., a restaurant and foodservice consultancy firm based in Toronto offers the following ideas:
1. Develop new dayparts
People’s eating habits are slowly moving from the traditional three square meals a day to six snacks a day. Your restaurant or foodservice operation can benefit from this shift of the traditional meal by offering a wider range of meals like all-morning breakfast, afternoon snacks or late-night menus, as well as brunch on the weekends. However, you will need a marketing plan to alert your regular customers, as well as new customers about your new hours and menus.
2. Rent out space
If your restaurant is only open for certain times during the week, consider renting out your dining room or kitchen space. Corporations are always looking for space to hold meetings or seminars – just make sure your dining room is equipped with LCD screens that can easily be hooked up to a laptop for presentations. There are also several small or new business owners that are looking for commercial kitchen space to cook or bake their products, cook a meal for a catering job, or teach a cooking class without investing in the necessary commercial equipment.
3. Offer signature products
Work with a food manufacturer and grocery retailer to get your signature products on supermarket shelves. This will not only create a new revenue stream, but will also help boost your brand awareness. Whether you bottle up a secret sauce or sell frozen meals, any kind of outside presence will help increase your sales.
4. Offer catering online
Most restaurants probably already offer catering, but you can take your catering business to a whole new level with a custom catering platform online that allows customers to order all their food for their event in just a few clicks of the mouse. Be sure to include set or boxed meals for corporate breakfast and lunches, as well as platters for entertaining and parties.
5. Start a food truck
Instead of expanding your restaurant to another location, why not get a food truck instead? A food truck can help market your brand and restaurant, and the cost is minimal compared to investing in a new location. You can also use the food truck to test the demand for your products in different neighbourhoods before you sign a lease.
6. Ramp up take-out business
In a recent survey, around 60 per cent of consumers said that they purchased take-out food at least once a week. In today’s fast-paced society, it’s not surprising that sales of take-out meals will continue to grow each year. Consider ramping up your take-out business by giving out take-out menus, creating a take-out counter with a refrigerated unit for selling beverages inside your restaurant and having parking spots reserved for take-out customers. Design special boxed meals or value meals for your take-out operation, and promote more family dining options.
About the author:
Diane Chiasson, FCSI, president of Chiasson Consultants Inc., has been helping restaurant, foodservice, hospitality and retail operators increase sales for over 25 years. She is recognized as one of the best restaurant consultants in Toronto. Her company provides innovative and revenue-increasing foodservice and retail merchandising programs, interior design, branding, menu engineering, marketing and promotional campaigns, and much more. Contact her at 416-926-1338, toll-free at 1-888-926-6655, or visit www.chiassonconsultants.com.