With deliveries and takeaway forming a significant proportion of restaurateurs’ business it makes sense to look at strategies to optimise what is an important, and competitive, revenue stream.
Mathematician Clive Humby coined the phrase: “Data is the new oil.” From a decision-making and revenue-generating point of view having access to good sales data and knowing what to do with it is invaluable.
Start with the basics
Before you begin to plan a strategy you need to put into place the best restaurant EPOS for your needs. You need a solution that captures data at all touchpoints both for dining in or dining out.
Look for a solution that includes:
- Delivery sales
- Sales reporting
- Menu planning
- Kitchen automation
- Labour management
The best restaurant EPOS solution will offer a seamless process for integrating all the touchpoints of your business in real time. At an enterprise level look for a solution that offers a view of sales across your estate.
By being able to analyse your online ordering sales versus your physical sales you can start to make improvements both operationally and at a revenue generation level.
Analyse and boost sales
Once you have your technology stack in place you can start to do some basic data analysis. That’s basic but valuable.
Look at your online ordering solution and consider:
- Visitors per month or per week
- Abandoned carts
- Which menu items are selling (or not)
With this basic information you can drive many improvements. For example, if there is a lot of cart abandonment then look at your pricing strategy – are the prices too high? Could you reduce cart abandonment by offering combo deals? Is the order process too complex?
There are a lot of questions you can ask yourself which you can then use to improve the online experience.
Streamline your menu
One sure-fire way of turning off potential diners is offering too many items for online ordering. This leads to analysis paralysis and they may just click away to a competitor.
The best restaurant EPOS will enable you to analyse sales data historically and across many sites to pinpoint exactly which items are selling. Also think about how the food is being transported – best to leave fragile items off the menu.
Create your online menu around a small selection of those best-selling and robust items.
In addition, with an enterprise level solution you can make menu changes across your estate and get it online within minutes.
This approach has other benefits – your team can minimise food waste and their time spent on prep, speeding up service and improving the guest experience and driving those positive online reviews.
Look at demand
By being able to analyse demand you will also be able to predict more accurately your kitchen staffing levels. Pointless having staff in the kitchen doing prep in the early afternoon if your peak deliveries are at 10pm.
In addition, you can also make educated decisions about what stock is needed and how much needs to be prepped.
The best restaurant EPOS solutions have labour management built-in to accurately roster staff and to manage payroll.
Also, look at which channels are proving popular. If the delivery channel is bringing in most of your revenue then you can look at redeploying front of house staff to the kitchen and removing some of your tables to allow an efficient throughput for your delivery riders.
Time to expand – virtually
With some creativity you can expand your offering without needing to open another outlet.
Thanks to the internet you can create as many “virtual” food brands as you like. You may not serve pizza in your restaurant but there is nothing stopping you creating a whole new business dedicated to Italian cuisine and use your existing kitchen to do the prep.
Alternatively, why not create a breakfast menu and offer that through a virtual brand? Again, look at your existing sales data and see what can be adapted or expanded upon to create a successful all-day offering. Maybe you have a breakfast burrito that is doing particularly well – you could create a whole Mexican-themed brand around that with vegan and gluten-free offerings, for example.
The beauty of this model is that by using your existing staff, kitchen, and stock you can maximise your revenues while at the same time minimising fixed and variable costs. Also, by being digital the start up costs are low, you can plug in to third party sites like Deliveroo for an instant marketing win, you can quickly test ideas and it is easy to refine the site so that it performs at an optimal level.
If it goes really well you can then think of expanding by opening delivery-only kitchens to meet the growing demand – the sky’s the limit.
With some basic data analysis you can use your existing sales data to make huge improvements to your online business and to power future expansion.
At the centre of this is the restaurant EPOS solution, the central repository of all sales data. The best restaurant EPOS software solutions offer a fully integrated online experience with enterprise-level – enabling you to spend more time formulating sales strategy and less time on admin.
And this is only the beginning – check out our blog on customer retention for more ideas.