How To Increase Footfall and Boost Sales In The Hospitality Sector
June 1, 2017 at 1:41 pm
The hospitality sector is different from other retail environments in that it starts to ‘conduct business’ long before the customer actually steps inside your restaurant or gastro-pub. That’s why a cleverly integrated Epos system will provide an even greater return on investment, as it ‘goes to work’ much earlier in the sales cycle. Kevin Greene – International Product Manager at CBE outlines 9 ways in which you can get your Epos systems working harder for your business, helping you to increase footfall and boost sales in the hospitality sector while enabling you to recoup your investment in double-quick time.
Linking your Epos system to a booking engine not just makes it easy for your customers to reserve a table at any time of the day or night, but it also means that there’s no need to have physical staff answering a Reservations Line, with its attendant cost. And while you sleep, those bookings are still coming in!
2) Gives you invaluable real-time management information.
An automated booking system also gives you real-time management information on how full or empty your premises will be on any given day or night. If it’s looking like a quiet Thursday night, for example, you can instantly throw in an incentive such as a free bottle of wine per table, letting you address a potential slump immediately and directly. This is infinitely preferable to working on a ‘hunch’ as to how full you’ll be on any given night.
3) Know what your customer prefers.
Integrating table management into your Epos system means that you get highly useful information on which of your restaurants your customers prefer, how much they tend to spend, what days of the week they eat out – and lots more besides. This allows you to firmly target any marketing efforts accordingly, e.g. tailor a special offer at one of your less frequented restaurants.
4) Add an extra stream of revenue to your income.
It’s also worth remembering that even high-end restaurants can easily add takeaway revenue to their sales total via services such as Deliveroo. As a general rule, this is not cannibalised revenue, but income that you wouldn’t have actually got as the customer was looking for an at-home experience. Similarly, linking your Epos system to a Click & Collect function means that busy lunchtime diners can order online, then pick up their meal in person with no annoying waiting.
5) Minimise ‘course gap’ and maximise customer satisfaction.
The additional level of workflow and kitchen prep automation means that you can significantly reduce ‘course gap’ – the delay between courses. Not only does this yield a more satisfied customer, but it also means you’re maximising table turnover rates.
6) Get it right every time.
Introducing automatic technology right across your major workforce functions significantly reduces the risk of staff error, but also ensures consistency right across your service offering – from the quality of your food to the fact that there’ll never be a booking error.
7) Increasing your spend per order.
Another big plus is that adding mobile ordering via tablets or mobile devices can have a huge impact on the spend per order. The system can provide prompts for an additional side order, the wine special of the week, or the more expensive Daily Special. It also lets you take orders in the waiting are, so the kitchen staff are already busy on meal preparation while your customers enjoy a Gin & Tonic at the bar.
8) Let your customers move on more quickly.
Another consideration when looking to increase footfall & boost sales in the hospitality sector is by offering a Pay At Table service. This provides a slicker and faster experience for your customers, who may well be anxious about moving on to the next part of their night out once they’ve finished their coffee and dessert. It also reduces the number of staff needed to facilitate checkout and payment.
9) Getting the best from your online presence.
And finally, an integrated Epos system lets you maximise your current online presence, whether this is a formal website or simply a Facebook or Twitter presence. It is obviously preferable to have prospective guests check out your offering on your own web presence – rather than TripAdvisor, for example – and direct them to your reservation service rather than a generic service that will also highlight your competitor premises.
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