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Finding ways to drive additional revenue is essential for restaurateurs, particularly as 99% say that they plan to take steps to weather a potential recession in 2023, according to the Square Future of Restaurants report. One potentially beneficial strategy: Make the most of your website and online presence to generate additional revenue streams for your restaurant, or enhance the revenue streams you’re already prioritizing in-store.
Here’s a list of ways you can use digital strategies to grow your food and beverage business.
1. Optimize your online store
- Link your order page on your website and social channels.
- Optimize your website for search traffic and ordering through Google.
- Keep your menu items and specials up to date.
- Invest time and resources into digital marketing, including content partnerships with influencers.
- Create email, text, and social media campaigns (consider offering a special or a discount for first orders or bulk orders).
Also consider how you can expand the offerings in your online store. San Francisco restaurant Yo Tambien has found success with nine different revenue streams, including subscriptions, retail, and catering. If you’re selling things such as grocery items, cocktail kits, or merchandise, Square Online has the tools to make them readily available for your digital customers.
2. Get creative with digital-friendly subscriptions and loyalty programs
Los Angeles coffee shop Go Get Em Tiger offers multiple types of subscriptions — from an unlimited in-store service to regular home shipments — all of which can be maintained through their website and sent as gifts. More and more customers want easy ways to manage these kinds of programs from their phones. Thankfully, Square Subscriptions t and Square Loyalty make this easy to implement with your POS and online store.
Once you decide on a subscription or loyalty program that fits your business (here are some tips to get started), feature it prominently on your online store and promote is across your social, email, and text channels. This kinds of recurring revenue and customer retention can help your business during the natural ebbs and flows of busy and slow times.
3. Offer bundles and online-only deals
Another way to boost interest in your online offerings: Push online-only bundles or deals for your customers to drive them to your site more consistently. A few ideas that could fit your restaurant:
- Add a discount to any gift card orders over $100 if spent by a certain date during your slower periods.
- Offer online-only bundles, such as a lunch special for preorder that comes with an appetizer, a main course, and a drink.
- Package your merch and retail items at a discount. These can be offered for in-store pickup or delivery using Square partner integrations.
4. Streamline private bookings
Private events can be a great source of revenue for restaurants. They come with more predictable costs and labor requirements and can often have higher margins. Rather than relying on email to book these kinds of services, you can use tools such as Square Appointments and Square Invoices to streamline the booking process for potential clients.
Before moving to Square, Jessica Bryan of The Plating Society was working with multiple disjointed systems because many of the business’s offerings required different payment methods. After researching many software systems, Jessica chose Square because it was an all-in-one solution.
“Once I started using Square, we could easily invoice for dinner parties. Now I probably get on Square Dashboard three to four times a day, checking invoices, running reports, and sending out contracts for the week for dinner parties, catering events, or whatever’s coming up.”