Smart Foodservice Sales Growth
From staffing shortages to supply chain issues, smart foodservice brands have had their work cut out for them lately. But thankfully, consumer demand is still running strong – and there’s no sign that people will stop wanting food and beverage service anytime soon.
If you want to grow sales, several strategies can help you, from smarter positioning to exclusive discounts. But what are the best strategies to respond to your challenges in 2022 and beyond?
1. Anticipate and Plan Around Your Biggest Challenges
First, you’ll need to acknowledge, anticipate, and find alternative plans related to your biggest current challenges. If you’re like most modern foodservice companies, you’re probably dealing with some combination of the following:
- Staffing shortages. People don’t want to work anymore. At least, that’s the collective attitude. If you take a short drive throughout your city, you’ll probably see countless “help wanted” signs – the same as last week. You won’t be able to grow your business if you don’t have enough people to help you cook, clean, and serve your customers. But there are plenty of alternative strategies, such as reducing labor needs and employing automation.
- Supply issues. Supply chains and shortages have wracked the industry, making some of your favorite ingredients either prohibitively expensive or unavailable entirely. How do you navigate this while still offering the best possible products to your customers? Finding creative substitutes, experimenting with portion sizes, and incorporating novel new ingredients can all help you here.
- Lower demand for in-person dining. During the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of people resorted to ordering food for delivery rather than going to a restaurant in-person. In some ways, this trend has stuck, with entire segments of the population ordering food for delivery even now that restaurants are open. You can selectively cater to these audiences, make it more attractive to attend your restaurant in person, and incorporate other strategies to plan around this.
- Increased competition. Foodservice is still a thriving industry, and it’s full of competition. So how do you make your brand stand out in a practically oversaturated field? Fortunately, you have almost infinite creative possibilities for differentiating your brand.
Now let’s talk about some of the most effective strategies for smart foodservice sales growth in 2022 and beyond.
2. Get Some Professional Help
You might be used to making your marketing and building sales independently, but getting professional help is a good idea. Hiring a dedicated marketing agency can take some of the pressure off you and introduce you to authoritative experts who can make better recommendations for increasing sales in your organization. Of course, it’s a significant investment, but you’ll also likely see a much higher return on investment (ROI) as a result.
3. Target a Niche Audience (or Several)
One of the best ways for a company to grow sales is to spend more effort targeting specific niche audiences rather than appealing to a broad, generic audience. Doing so competitively differentiates you and allows you to reach audiences with more relevant messaging. But, of course, you’re not limited to only one niche audience; you can target many niche audiences simultaneously, as long as you’re targeting them with unique segment tactics.
If you operate a groceraunt concept, Shopper marketing is a fantastic way to make this tactic work for you since it allows you to specifically target your audience across multiple channels to guide their behavior. For more information on shopper marketing, check out our latest eBook on the subject – Own the Cart!
4. Cater to Culinary Trends
Smart foodservice operators pay attention to the biggest culinary trends in our current culture and incorporate them as best you can into your menu.
These are just a handful of examples:
- New proteins. Plant-based meat alternatives and other new sources of protein are growing in popularity.
- Vegan and vegetarian options. Increasingly, people prefer vegetarian, vegan, and flexitarian options.
- Salt-forward flavors. It’s been claimed that “salt is the new fat,” with salt-forward flavors taking precedence over their counterparts.
- Novel ingredients. Interesting, esoteric ingredients are an excellent way to provide unique, compelling experiences to your patrons.
Food trends come and go quickly, so be prepared to adapt to changing consumer preferences.
5. Prioritize Convenience
In-person diners and delivery enthusiasts share an expected high demand for Convenience. If you want more people to visit your restaurant or buy your food, you need to make the experience as fast and convenient as possible. People don’t want to deal with complicated ordering systems or wait an hour or more to get their food. Figure out new ways to incorporate technology, better processes, and better systems to make things more convenient for the average customer.
6. Provide a Brand Experience – Not Just Food
You’re a foodservice company, but you’re probably focused more on the food than the service. However, you’ll need to emphasize the service part of the equation to keep growing sales. That means providing a full, unique brand experience. Make people remember the experience of engaging with your foodservice company (in addition to offering great food). Simple touches, like calling out people by name or serving food with a creative presentation twist, can make the experience more memorable.
7. Build a Customer Loyalty Program
An easy way to boost sales is to appeal to people who have already bought from your brand; after all, you’ve convinced them to eat at your restaurant at least once. Smart foodservice operators understand the best strategy here is probably developing a customer loyalty program. What benefits do customers get if they return to your foodservice establishment in the future?
8. Offer Exclusive Discounts
In line with your customer loyalty program, or as an independent strategy, offer exclusive discounts on your best products. It could be what motivates a new customer to try your business finally.
Is your foodservice brand looking to increase sales? Are you struggling to align your marketing, advertising, and sales strategies? NewPoint Marketing can help you from start to finish. Contact us for more information today!