Increasing the sales of your restaurant is a process. And if you are going to invest both your time and effort into growing your restaurant's sales, why not follow tips that have the most likelihood of success?
In this mini-guide, we've compiled the five most effective tips from across the restaurant industry for you to increase your restaurant's sales online. We searched official blogs of Swiggy and Zomato, read tons of tips shared by restaurant experts, and scoured research papers.
What did we learn?
There's one idea that lies at the core of selling food online - visibility.
Food apps offer the highest visibility to their best restaurants. They have build metrics and processes to evaluate restaurants based on which their rank and visibility is decided. The math is simple.
The more visible your restaurant is, the more orders it receives.
Here are the five most commonly understood parameters that food apps evaludate restaurants on. Essentially, restaurants optimizing for the below five parameters are likely to increase their visibility and sales on food apps such as Swiggy and Zomato.
Don't feel like reading? Learn from our video below!
1] Kitchen Preparation Time
Kitchen Preparation Time (KPT) plays a key role in determining the visibility of a restaurant. KPT affects the average delivery time displayed on your listing on food apps. Having a low KPT not only offers you visibility from the food apps' end but also helps your restaurant show on top when customers filter restaurants by fastest delivery time. This is often the deciding factor for customers because they want their food to be delivered in the fastest possible time.
How to reduce Kitchen Preparation Time of your restaurant?
The single most effective way of reducing your KPT is getting a Kitchen Display System. This usually comes as part of a POS and can help streamline all of your kitchen operations so that orders are processed speedily.
At UrbanPiper, our POS solution - Prime can help you do just that. It can also help you integrate all your orders from Swiggy and Zomato on the very same screen. Restaurants using our POS, Prime, have reported significant improvement in KPT, growth in revenues, and reduction in cancellations. So it’s something you must definitely consider having in your restaurant.
2] Restaurant Ratings
Maintaining high ratings is crucial for restaurants planning to sell online because food apps value restaurants that maintain quality and this is reflects by the ratings of restaurants.
But how do you increase your ratings? Here are 3 quick tips!
- Improve guest experience
Right from the sanitation in your restaurant to the taste of your meals, every touchpoint must be optimised to offer a memorable dining experience to your customers. In addition to that, everytime customers make custom requests, make sure to fulfil them. They’re one of the simplest ways to make your customers feel valued.
2. Ask for reviews
To get good reviews, you have to ask your customers. But rather than reaching out to customers to only ask for reviews, make them feel special by sending personalised thank you messages first. Follow these up with a request to rate your restaurant and see how your positive reviews bump up.
3. Manage negative reviews
Even the best restaurants eventually run into negative reviews. It is how you respond to the negative reviews that can either make you look like you genuinely respect your customers or that you wouldn’t care if they ever came back. Reputation management includes building social proof to drive the next set of customers to your restaurant.
4. Reward customers who rate you
Create a reward journey for customers who give positive and negative feedback both. For the unhappy customers, rewards such as a free meal on the next visit would act as compensation. For the happy ones, coupons, meal vouchers, and discounts would encourage them to repeat business and bring in more reviews. Additionally, you can feature customer feedback on your media handles while tagging your customers. This would not only increase your restaurant’s credibility but also encourage other customers to give feedback and rate your restaurant.
3] Menu Optimization
Your menu lies at the centre of your restaurant’s online experience. Knowing that your menu must be at its best is no rocket science. While traditionally, restaurants largely focussed on what their menu looked like, there’s plenty that goes on behind that scenes that make a great menu. As far as online food apps are concerned, here are:
3 key areas you must focus on to optimise your menu for greater visibility.
1. Food Descriptions
That one line of description below the name of your food item can in fact create a huge difference. Customers want to know exactly what they’re going to be served. And good food descriptions give them clear answers.
For your online menu, you need to keep in mind search-friendly words that your consumers would type to search for a dish. Use category names such as 'vegetarian', 'burger', 'cake', 'spicy', 'sweet', and other keywords that customers use when ordering food online.
Having search-optimised, clear food descriptions gives your customers clarity and your restaurant visibility.
2. Food Photography
We live in the age of social media where aesthetic pictures are an instant eye-catch. Aesthetic food pictures in your menu will create a visual appeal for customers, something that often propels them to order.
Pictures also act as a proof of the quality of your dishes. You see, everyone wants to know what they’re going to be eating. Present your dishes beautifully to show customers what they’re going to be served and increase your likelihood of converting those leads.
3. Recommended Food Section
The majority of people who order online are in some sort of rush. They don’t have the time to browse through your whole menu. And even if they did, endlessly scrolling through a menu wouldn’t exactly help them.
Instead, if you present a separate category of Chef’s Recommendations to them, there are high chances that they will order directly from those dishes. Usually, these include repeatedly ordered items, cost-friendly dishes, and 'out of the box' elements. You could use a mix of these to create a Recommendations section and keep it on the top of your menu for easy accessibility.
Additionally, remember to keep your menu crisp. Large menus with too many choices may end up confusing your customers.
4] Discounts & Special Offers
The discount approach is a tried and tested marketing strategy that you wouldn’t want to miss out on. Both Swiggy and Zomato have a special section for restaurants offering discounts. So everytime you offer a discount, your restaurant gets a special feature there. Consider giving offers such as, say
- 30% off on orders above Rs. 300
- Buy one get one free
- Free dessert on orders above Rs. 300
You could be creative here.
- Offer ‘Meal Of The Day’ on specific days to spur curiosity in your audience while offering them lower prices on combos.
- Set up ‘Happy Hours’ where you offer great deals at specific times of the day! Something like buy one pizza and get another one free between 2 to 4 PM!
Consumers love getting good food at discounted prices and these offers
would encourage them to buy while increasing the amount of your sales
of your restaurant.
5] Paid Advertising
Swiggy and Zomato have been driving the online food delivery business for quite a while now. And they continuously strive to attract more users and restaurants both to their platforms. A key element to achieving this is offering restaurants the opportunity to gain higher visibility than their competitors. Here’s where advertising comes in.
Swiggy and Zomato offer various advertisement and listing options to restaurants. You can host banner ads, promote your offers, list restaurants under categories like ‘trending’, ‘popular near you’, or 'recommended’ sections on the app, and more.
Advertising is a sure shot way of boosting your restaurant’s visibility. Ads will make sure that when people are looking for dishes you serve, your restaurant pops up at the top of the results. This way, you could take your sales to the next level over time without having to do too much.
Boost your restaurant's sales, reduce cancellations, and increase operational efficiency by getting a POS here.