Takeout has become the name of the game for restaurants, these days. Here are a few things you can do to boost your takeout sales.
#1. Have a “Pickup Special of the Day.”
Create a pickup special of the day for lunch and dinner. Make sure that you make these meals in bulk to make the process efficient, which will make it easier for you to give your customers a nice discount on the special.
At dinner, this should be focused more on families, so consider making it easy to order food for multiple people. For families that have found themselves stuck at home, making meal after meal after meal, having some sort of discount for feeding multiple people will be huge and very difficult to turn down. You could also adapt the same concept to a lunch special for workers each day.
The idea is to encourage your customers to order in bulk so you can offer a nice price.
#2. Offer online ordering.
Most people would much rather order from your website than place an order by phone, and anything you can do to make the process easier and more convenient for your customers, the more likely they’ll be to keep coming back. Not only is online ordering great for your customers, it’s great for you, as well.
When you make it possible for meals to be ordered online, it means that the payment can be collected upfront and the pickup time can be scheduled. This makes it easier to keep up with a large volume of carry-out orders and ensures that the food is ready and hot when the customer arrives, and that there’s no waiting!
In addition to offering your full menu on your website, make sure that you update your website with your specials of the day.
#3. Get the word out on social media and Google Maps.
Once you have your daily specials in place, you need to spread the word about them, and the best way to do that, organically, is through social media, as well as through the Google My Business (GMB) listing for your restaurant.
People are using Google Maps to find local restaurants all the time, and when your listing is constantly updated with your specials, it means people see them right away. When people see your specials right from Google Maps, it prompts them to act immediately.
Social media is incredibly powerful, and it’s the other place where you should actively be posting about your daily specials. The beauty of social media is that you don’t have to spend a lot of time creating a fancy post. Even a simple picture of your hand-written special of the day can make an impact — and it costs nothing.
#4. Send out daily specials via email.
One of the best ways to get the word out about your specials is through email reminders. Email is powerful because it’s created for people who have already shown an interest in what you have to offer. Many other digital marketing channels are about introducing your brand to a new audience, but with email marketing, it’s all about increasing the lifetime value of your existing customers.
Start by collecting email addresses and allowing people to subscribe to daily reminders. Give them plenty of subscribe options to choose from. By giving your readers a chance to select exactly what they want, in terms of email frequency and subject matter, they’re less likely to feel inundated with emails and unsubscribe.
Give your readers the ability to subscribe for daily alerts for lunch, dinner, or both. You should also give them the option to pick any day of the week to subscribe to reminders for, and simplify your process by using a CRM and email marketing tool.
#5. Send out specials via SMS.
SMS alerts, otherwise known as marketing texts, are another channel you should be taking advantage of to get the word out about your specials. One of the benefits of using SMS marketing is that, unlike email marketing, text alerts are opened in real time. When you send an email, your readers might not see it for a while, but text alerts are often seen and opened immediately.
Email marketing and SMS marketing are both powerful in their own right, but you’ll get even better results when you use them together. Send out emails with your daily specials first thing in the morning so that, when they think about lunch or dinner later on, they’ll already have you in the back of their mind. Close the deal by sending a reminder via text alert right before lunch or dinner.
Much like with email, your customers have to actually subscribe to text alerts, which means that you’re only sending text reminders to people who have already expressed an interest in what you have to offer.
#6. Boost sales with a free gift card.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to boost takeout orders, offer a free $5 digital gift card to be used only for takeout orders. Make sure to put an expiration date on it in the near future — in 10 days, for example — so that it encourages people to place takeout orders right away.
This is essentially just a $5 off coupon for takeout orders, but if you design it like a gift card, it will generate a lot more attention and sales.
Share your digital free gift card on social media and email, and let people know that they can either use the gift card to get a discount on their next takeout order, or they can share it with a friend. This is an incredibly effective way to get people to take action right away and to share it with their friends.
This isn’t something you’d want to do every week, but if you’re seeing your sales start to stagnate, it’s a highly effective way to give them a big boost.
#7. Equip yourself with the tools and talent you need for success.
It takes a lot of organization and savviness to manage all of the moving pieces in your strategy to boost takeout sales, including social media marketing, email marketing, and SMS marketing. Align yourself with the tools and the talent you need to accomplish your goals.
You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore. Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can. Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.