"During and after a crisis, it is not the big ones who eat the small ones, but the slow ones who fall victim to the fast ones". In the article "Sales up or costs down - which one is better?” we explained that an increase in sales is the fastest way to improve your liquidity.
All you need for your strategy to increase sales are your balance sheet, your cash register (POS), your menu and (if available) your recipes and calculations. Using the digital tool MenuKit would be of even greater help, find out more about MenuKit here.
Balance sheet: turnover control with comparative figures
Look at your sales of the comparative months in which you want to increase sales now. These past numbers, ideally divided into "food sales" and "beverage sales", are your target figures. Draw a white "chalk line" in your mind. This is your starting line. Because you want to check on a monthly basis how your measures have developed.
POS: Extract key figures
Take the following key figures from your cash register (POS):
- The number of your guests (if you don't already count, start immediately). If this number is not available, use the number of main dishes or the number of your best-selling items as a reference. This equates to 80 percent of the number of guests.
- The number of your sold products, divided into meals, drinks and other items.
Menu: Determine top sellers
Identify your "top sellers". Sort your products according to the top-selling frequency for each article group (salads, soups, main courses, soft drinks, beers, wine). This way you can see which dish or drink is your top seller, per group. List your 10-15 most sold items.
Recipes/calculation: Calculate the profitability of your dishes
Should you know the recipes/calculations for your top sellers, this is a very useful starting point to evaluate the profitability of individual articles. Pay special attention to items with a high margin. Why? We will explain this to you in another article, which deals with the right selling price for your items.
When you have everything together, you can start your sales-increasing measures:
TOP-TIP 1: 10% price plus
Increase the sales prices of your top sellers by at least 10 percent rounding up:
- (old) Curry sausage with an order of chips at €6,90
- (new) Curry sausage with an order of chips, €7,60, even better €7,80 rounded up.
TOP TIP 2: 3-price strategy
Decide whether you offer different sizes of the top sellers. For example, your top seller in the non-alcoholic drinks is apple juice, and you had it on offer in 0.2l at €2,10 and 0.4l at €3,80, better offer it in 0.5l as well.
- 0,2l at €2,30 = €1,15/0,1l; before: €1,05/0,1l
- 0,4l at €4,40€ = €1,10/0,1l; before: €0,95/0,1l
- 0.5l at €5,10. = €1,02/0,1l
This way you achieve a price increase of 0,60€ for the 0,4l apple juice between the low/cheapest and the high/expensive price. From our experience, your guest will choose the 0,4l apple juice, because they decide against both cheapest and most expensive.
TOP-TIP 3: Sell more winners & sleepers!
Decide for yourself how and where you can focus the attention of your guests to your "winners" (items with high sales and contribution margin). Use visual, acoustic, haptic, olfactory and gustatory stimuli/aids to put the winners of your offer in the spotlight. Get more information in our “emotion selling" series.
- Additional inlay in the menu & bold typeface in the card
- Blackboard/digital screens on walls
- Stand on the tables, display, decoration
- Recommendation by your service staff
- Tastings, sample portions
- Setting scent stimuli, special lighting
TOP TIP 4: Upselling
There is a huge potential in this! Imagine achieving a 10 percent increase in turnover through additional sales.
Examples of additional sales items:
- 2nd drink
- Water with wine
- Salad/soup before the main course
- Extra sauces, extra dips
- 3rd drink
- Speciality coffee
- Dessert, mini dessert
Only a few of the items listed are worth just 10 percent of your per guest revenue. You don't have to generate additional sales for each guest. To achieve the 10 percent success rate, you need to generate at least one chance of additional sales for each of your guests. The "sales line" that we prepared for you in the first article of the "emotion selling series" will help you out.
If you can measure your successes, you will quickly see an improvement in liquidity. We wish you a lot of grit and creativity for the implementation.
Jens Ertel, after 20 years of a classic hotel and restaurant career, has been working as an independent gastronomy coach/trainer and consultant for 15 years and has owned a hotel and restaurant in the meantime. He has specialised in the topic "active selling" and "turnover growth" in the gastronomy business.