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How to Create Diverse Revenue Channels for Your Restaurant

Restaurant Channels-1

The restaurant industry is constantly evolving and growing. We’ve all witnessed firsthand the impact that a global pandemic can have on restaurants. Now post-pandemic many restaurant owners have been searching for new ways to maximize their revenue. While moving to a larger location or adding more seating to your restaurant may seem like the best solution, there are many simpler ways to see a change. Overall restaurant sales can be increased by optimizing non-food and beverage sales. Many restaurants have started to offer additional services and features to their guests. These simple solutions have become responsible for 25% of their total revenue!  

Why Restaurants Should Have Diverse Revenue Channels

Success in the restaurant industry comes from continued updates and improvements. Pre-pandemic, roughly 90% of restaurants in America used a single method to generate 90% of their income. During the pandemic, restaurants struggled because of their restrictions on capacity or forced closures. Even without those circumstances, profit margins can become tight within the restaurant industry. In these scary scenarios, diverse revenue streams can provide enough wiggle room to be a savior for restaurant owners. 

Incorporating diverse revenue streams doesn’t just provide profitable revenue, but it also can serve as a way to further connect with your customers. Depending on the ways you decide to diversify, they may start thinking of your restaurant as a brand instead of just somewhere to go eat. This will open up even more opportunities for your restaurant to grow! Here are 5 ways you can create new revenue streams for your restaurant!

5 Diverse Restaurant Revenue Channels
1. Branded Merchandise

Selling branded merchandise can be an easy revenue booster while also bringing more attention to your brand at the same time! If the pandemic showed us anything, it’s that people love to show loyalty to their local restaurants. Creating merchandise that features your restaurant logo or slogan is a great way to cash in on that loyalty. You can get creative with it and produce a design that people would love to wear, or keep it simple and stick to just a logo. While the classic type of merchandise sold by brands is t-shirts and hoodies, there are many different types of merchandise that you could feature these designs on. Other restaurants have started to sell travel mugs, tote bags, hats, and even postcards! 

Not only is selling brand merchandise an alternative stream of revenue, but it also doubles as an advertisement. When your merchandise is worn out in public, it serves as a walking advertisement for people passing by. Sit back and watch your loyal customers drive in more foot traffic to your restaurant! The items you choose to create can be sold both in-store and online. That way even the customers who live farther away can show their support. Merchandising can go a long way towards encouraging brand awareness and personalizing the guest experience. 

2. Gift Cards

There are many benefits of offering restaurant gift cards to guests. One of the largest advantages is the immediate revenue. The purchase secures a future dining experience whether it be with the buyer or someone else they may gift it to. Oftentimes when a guest uses a gift card to pay for their meal it may not cover the whole cost. This secures extra profit that may not have been made otherwise. The non-perishable product is a great way to upsell! Cashiers and servers can seamlessly market the product to customers during their experience and possibly secure a larger sale or use restaurant software to autonomously upsell and cross-sell as guests checkout via the restaurant app or online ordering.

Gift cards are excellent gifts all year round but can be used as an opportunity to generate more revenue specifically during the holiday season. Restaurants can run promotions during these times to encourage more sales. 

3. Catering

Catering is a simple way to further elevate your business! You already have all of the ingredients and recipes needed to make the meals, so all you’ll need to add is a little bit of planning. With all of that, you’ll easily be able to increase your recipe volume and serve a large crowd. Not every meal on your menu may be suitable for catering. Take the time to look through and decide which entrees and prices will work best for your kitchen. Just like many other diverse revenue streams, this one also helps advertise your brand. At large events, there's a chance not everyone there has tried your food before. Now they have an opportunity to do so, and it may even leave them wanting more!

4. Cooking Classes

People are constantly searching for new ways to expand their skills, including in the kitchen. Why not learn from a restaurant that they already trust and love! Offering cooking classes can be a fun and informative way to secure a revenue boost. This can be done either onsite or online. During the pandemic, some restaurants started offering online cooking classes to stay relevant in the community. Get creative and make this an entertaining experience for your guests. These culinary crash courses can be an outlet to connect with your audience. Guests would love to meet the chef who's been cooking their favorite meals. Use this as an opportunity to get your back-of-house employees engaged with your loyal customers. You may even want to start hosting classes with your bartenders!

5. Meal Kits

Meal kit boxes were put in higher demand following the pandemic. Due to the change in habits and staying home more, people tend to order out from restaurants at least once a week. An alternative and fun way to change that is by using a meal kit box to recreate their favorite dish instead. Restaurants can join in on the success of meal kits by selling their own. It puts an engaging twist on the classic restaurant takeout, and is also a great opportunity for someone to use the skills they gained during their latest cooking class! Don’t forget to incorporate captivating packaging into your meal kit!

How to Market Your New Offers

Now that you have a few ideas on how you’re going to diversify your restaurant's revenue streams, it’s time to promote them and test the waters! There are many ways to start maximizing your revenue, but not every idea will work with your specific audience. It’s important to use your resources and test out the market before fully committing to an idea. A good way to start is by conducting marketing research with your guests to figure out what unique offerings will work the best. 

Specializing in something new and different will give you an advantage over your competitors. Marketing these differences will have to extend beyond just your website. Try advertising these new offers on social media, emails, and newsletters! Using a restaurant social media marketing strategy to promote these services will allow your guests to easily share the news with their audience. The more people the better! By properly promoting your new products and services you’ll generate a new income with your diverse revenue streams right away! Start today and you’ll begin unlocking additional income at your restaurant!


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