andy falconer cafe coffee shop

Tips to Boost Revenue and Beat the January Slump

Kadence Edmonds
14 Dec 2021

After a busy Christmas and New Year, many hospitality businesses experience a slump in footfall when January arrives. 

With the exception of some delayed Christmas celebrations (in many cases booked by other people in the industry), it’s likely that footfall and revenue will take a dive. The lull is further impacted by New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier, drink less, and save money. All this combined makes January one of the toughest times of year for the hospitality industry.

There’s no doubting that running a hospitality business is difficult. From mastering your brand to successfully developing an online persona, there are a number of steps that can be taken to help you drive an increase in foodie footfall. It’s more important than ever to ensure that your brand experience stands out, with consumers being bombarded with choice.

Make your business more visible online 

One of the best ways to increase the number of bookings you receive is to ensure you make it as easy as possible for your customers to book a table at your venue. It’s easier for you to manage your business if you have an idea of how many customers you are expecting, as you can ensure you are staffed appropriately and can prepare more thoroughly. 

Although it’s impossible to control how many walk-ins you get, it’s a good idea to encourage booking in advance. There are a number of methods for this, including advertising a discount for tables that are pre-booked or by making it really easy for customers to book. Online booking has really taken off, and taking bookings through your website, or through a third party site can add a lot of value to your business.  

In addition to this, make sure your website and social media accounts contain the information that your customers are looking for. This can include making sure your online menus up to date, opening hours are clearly defined and displaying your contact information and location clearly. 

Read more about keeping your customers informed of your trading status here.

Up-selling to increase average spend 

One of the easiest, and most common, strategies to boost revenue within your restaurant is upselling. Simply put, it means you’re offering an upgrade to a customer’s current purchase, or encouraging them to purchase more.  

If your customers order just one extra item from each table it can help you to take your sales to a new level. This means you could turnover an extra sum of revenue just by just adding one side, starter or dessert to half of your tables.

With this in mind, it’s important to train your staff to read customer buying signals, and how they can up-sell and cross-sell your products. Something as simple as recommending a wine that would compliment their meal, or offering a starter or side can be all a customer needs to make the decision to spend more with you. 

You can also involve your staff in your mission to beat the January slump by running incentives. Examples of this include encouraging your staff to up-sell certain products and rewarding them with prizes, or points. 

TIP: Use automatic multiple choice pop ups on Epos Now to prompt the staff to remember upsells on particular items. This is a great feature to use on menu items that are better with a side or a meal deal combo.  

Offer a new way to order

You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again: the popularity of online ordering is on a meteoric rise. Revenue growth in the Online Food Ordering and Delivery Platforms industry has been strong over the past five years, well before the pandemic. 

Many customers in today's climate prefer to order food from home for delivery or pick up rather than dining in. Not only will offering online ordering in your business help you increase your audience base, decrease in store takeaway wait time but it can also potentially increase takeout revenue by 30%

Studies show that online ordering customers spend more than customers placing phone orders because they don’t feel rushed or pressured to finish up. Additionally, since your customers pay directly through online ordering apps, it means you can bring in extra revenue without needing extra staff to take orders or payment.

Epos Now Order & Pay App now available 

You can access a whole new customer base by using apps like the Epos Now Order & Pay app. Our new mobile ordering app offers seamless online ordering, encompassing delivery, collection, and table ordering. Additionally, the mobile ordering platform has been designed to be entirely contactless so you can keep serving through any operating restrictions.

To get started, you simply have to create an online profile and import your products - and the Epos Now Order & Pay app takes care of the rest. The platform is accessible to diners on any device with a web browser, by simply scanning a QR code or typing in a URL for a seamless mobile ordering experience.

Increase table turnover rate

An important way of increasing revenue, is by making your table turn, and flow-through, extremely efficient. The aim is to increase the number of customers you serve in a day - but by no means do you want to rush your customers out of the door. A way to ensure this is by making sure you have enough staff in the front of house, as well as in the kitchen, to deal with the amount of customers you have. This will help streamline the ordering process, allowing the kitchen to prepare items with little delay and minimising the wait time for customers.  

Another factor is ensuring table checks are processed and completed in a timely manner.  And then the tables need to be cleared and reset as soon as the guests leave so they are ready to serve the next customer. Quick and efficient service will not only delight your customers but is a large part of helping your business to turn tables quicker.  

One way to manage this efficiently is to have a system in place that allows you to keep track of what stage your tables are at. For example, Epos Now’s table map can tell you what stage your customers are at so you can see at a glance when your tables are ready for their next course, or may need to be cleared. Something as simple as leaving finished plates on your customer’s table for 5 or 10 minutes can really slow down your whole day of service.

Tailor marketing and promotions to your audience

One of the best ways to bring customers in the quieter times is by running time or day specific offers. This can help you to maintain your profit margins and give you a boost in footfall during the times when you most need it. 

It is a well known fact that alcohol brings in the most sales and profit in hospitality businesses. So offering something as simple as a happy hour within your business will encourage customers to visit you out of usual peak times if they know they’re getting a bargain. 

Developing a happy hour strategy is important. You need to work out a deal that entices your targeted market like a two for one on beer and spirits or half price cocktails. Happy hour deals can also include food specials like free starters or provide the perfect opportunity to upsell menu items alongside drinks. 

Prepare for the future with Epos Now

Your point of sale system is crucial to your business, but it can do much more than simply process transactions. With the Epos Now hospitality POS system, you can:

  • Connect with 100+ apps to help with items like marketing, customer loyalty, and accounting
  • Accept credit, debit, gift cards, and contactless payments
  • Manage your store from anywhere with 24/7 cloud access

Contact a consultant to learn more about Epos Now!