As a restaurant owner, it’s important to maximize revenue and profits in all areas possible.
Let’s take a look at 4 ways you can strategically increase profit at your restaurant:
1. Increase Dining Visibility and Exposure With An Outdoor Patio Area
Outdoor seating is perhaps the most overlooked option when it comes to increasing sales, but can sometimes be the most profitable. Combine this with branded patio umbrellas and you will have a powerful strategy to increase your bottom line.
According to research done by VSAG (Vucurevich Simons Advisory Group), a leader in international restaurant and hospitality consulting, by simply adding an outdoor patio to your restaurant, you could increase gross profits by up to 65%.
In their research, they discovered that a restaurant’s investment of $200k in creating an outdoor dining space would yield a gross profit of over $500k. They especially saw growth during peak seasonal outdoor times like summer.
Even if you don’t have an extra $200k lying around, you can create your own patio dining area with outdoor furniture and large patio umbrellas.
Adding an outdoor patio to your location will attract potential patrons who may have missed you otherwise and the visual cues alone of seeing food can trigger them to stop for a preview of the menu or speak to a hostess.
Covered sidewalk seating is the perfect example of using this strategy to bring in more customers. By having themed patio seating combined with branded patio umbrellas, you can grab the attention of passers-by looking for a place to eat.
Implement this into your restaurant, even on a small test scale if necessary with some tables and chairs to see how this will bring more people into your location.
2. Increase Brand Recognition with Branded Umbrellas
We all know branding is crucial to the success of any business.
While we’re a bit biased, having an outdoor dining area with branded patio umbrellas can truly help brand your restaurant and increase your overall sales.
Adding your logo and main brand color will give your restaurant umbrellas more brand recognition to stand out among other restaurant choices. According to a study done by the University of Loyola Maryland, colors alone can increase brand recognition by up to 80%.
You don’t need to look far to see evidence of this.
Think for a moment about a massively successful business called Starbucks. We all know a Starbucks is nearby when we spot the big green Starbucks umbrellas as we drive by a shopping plaza or while strolling through the mall.
Not only have they turned a sidewalk into an outdoor coffee experience, but the sight of a green Starbucks branded umbrella triggers a desire for coffee.
Use this same powerful tactic in your business to attract more customers and build your brand subconsciously in the mind of customers. Feel free to try customizing your own Poggesi umbrella to get an idea of what it might look like at your restaurant.
3. Increase Social Proof Through FOMO
People prefer dining in places that are already popular and approved of by their peers.
This goes back to basic survival instincts. We want to know if something is safe or proven before we try it. Having a busy outdoor area builds social proof in the mind of those passing by and also any potential patrons entering your restaurant.
Through the ‘Wisdom of Crowds’ psychology, passers-by will see a busy outdoor restaurant and assume it is a popular place to eat because others before them have already taken the same action. This will also give them FOMO or fear of missing out as popularly described in recent pop culture.
While FOMO is often joked about, it is actually a real thing and creates a sense of anxiety in someone that they are missing out on something great.
By having an outdoor visible sidewalk dining area, you can provide social proof that your restaurant is a popular, safe choice. As newcomers see your customers having a great dining experience, they will feel more confident in trying your restaurant and gain a fear of missing out on a great meal. Which leads us to our next strategy…
4. Make Use of Unused Space to Create Unique Dining Experiences
Unused space often gets overlooked as potential revenue boosters. You can transform your unused space into a fun garden lunch or romantic rooftop dinner to provide a memorable dining experience for your customers that will also improve your bottom line.
Some ideas for outdoor dining experiences include:
- Garden Dining – Many restaurants are creating a ‘dining in the garden’ experience by turning garden spaces into seating areas. This is a great way to make your customers feel at home or provide a fresh food to table experience.
- Rooftop Dining – If you have a rooftop area that is not being used or could be improved, adding patio umbrellas provides multiple fine dining options. During the daytime, you can provide a shaded rooftop lunch over the city, and in the evening you can easily close your umbrellas for a finer moonlit dinner under the stars.
- Waterside Dining – If your restaurant is near water, you can turn your patio into a delightful waterside dining experience. With the addition of overhead umbrellas, you can keep your customers shaded from the hot sun during the day, and dry on a rainy day. Adding a waterside experience can definitely increase the perception of your restaurant as a fine dining option.
- Poolside Dining – If you own a hotel restaurant or bar area you can easily transform poolside space into a further dining area. Using umbrellas poolside can transform empty poolside space into a revenue-generating machine.
These are just a few ideas to help you increase your restaurant’s revenue. With a little creativity, you can transform previously non-revenue generating space into profitable dining experiences.
Now that you have a few strategies on how to increase the revenue for your restaurant, it’s time to take some action. As mentioned, even if you don’t have a large budget to work with, you can start with some patio furniture and a few outdoor umbrellas to transform any open space into an additional dining area. It’s a very cost-effective way to bring dining outdoors and transform your current unused space into more revenue.
Let us know your thoughts below, what’s worked for your restaurant, and if you’ve found these strategies to help your business.