7 Little Changes That Will Make a Big Difference with Your Restaurant

Restaurant 7 Tips to a better restaurantDoes your restaurant seem to be lacking something?  Sometimes one little thing can make a huge difference to your restaurant.  You’ll make a change you think is fairly insignificant, but it will increase your sales by 20 percent or more.  What are these little changes?  It often varies from restaurant to restaurant, but here are seven things that often work.

7 Changes to a Better Restaurant

  1. Add something unique to your menu. Every burger joint is going to have your traditional burgers and fries. What if you did something a little different?  Maybe add a fried egg to one of your burgers (it’s delicious) or offer peanut butter and bacon fries (also an odd yet surprisingly tasty combination).  If you have a unique signature offering, you’ll give people a reason to pick your restaurant over the competition.
  1. Add real tablecloths to the tables. It might seem like a small thing that’s more hassle than it’s worth, but you’d be surprised at what this small touch of elegance does. Obviously cloth tablecloths may not look right in every restaurant, but you might give them a try—you may be surprised at what your customers think.
  1. Create a social media page. Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Instagram are all key to promoting a restaurant online. If you don’t have one, it’s time to jump on this bandwagon.  These sites can do wonders for your business.  If you’re going to get one, go with Facebook since it’s the largest, but you should really aim to use all of them.
  1. Think about having a happy hour special. Many restaurants and even fast food joints are doing happy hour now. You can decide when your happy hour (or hours) is and what specials you offer.  For example, many places do half price appetizers between 4:00 and 6:00 in the evening.
  1. Participate in a local business discount. Many cities feature an incentive program for local restaurants and businesses. These shop local programs are designed to encourage people to pick local businesses over retailers and chains.  Often, customers will purchase a card that’s good for a year at a list of different participants.  When they show the card, they get a discount (usually around ten percent off the total bill) or something free (a free appetizer or dessert, for example).
  1. Reach out to local groups. There are many local charities and other organizations that are in need of a fundraiser. You could offer to give a group ten or fifteen percent of the total sales for one night in exchange for that group promoting your business.  Obviously you wouldn’t want to do this very often, but if there’s a cause you’re particularly interested in, this can be a great way to give back to the community plus get your name out there.
  1. Offer biscuits, breadsticks, or some other free bread item for customers to snack on before dinner. It works for chains like Olive Garden and Red Lobster, so why not try it? Breads are fairly cheap, so you’re not going to be stressing your budget too much.  Try to put your own spin on your breads, too.  Make it unique enough and people will be coming in for the bread and staying through dessert.

These are just a few little things you can do to make your restaurant stand out from the competition.  While not all of them may work for you, there should be a few you can try.  Of course, even these changes won’t be enough if you don’t already have great food and great service.