Growth Hacking for Restaurants: 10 Things You Should Do Immediately


Below we have compiled a simple outline of 10 Things You Should Do Immediately to put your restaurant in a position for growth.


Step #1: Get a Modern POS

If you are using an old clunky POS system with a back-office server, get rid of it. It’s 2020, you need to be taking a digital first approach. Newer systems offer the convenience of the cloud giving you access to your data from virtually anywhere.


¸Step # 2: Online Ordering

This is a total no brainer. Online ordering increases employee productivity. You want your employees greeting customers, not fielding phone calls. Additionally, you collect more customer data for marketing; name, address, email, phone number, etc.


Step #3: Offer Contactless Payments

Amid the 2020 pandemic, your customers don’t want to touch your dirty pens or pull out their plastic. Give your customers more contactless options; Apple Pay, Scan to Pay, Scan to Order, etc.


Step #4: Adopt Tableside Ordering

Efficiency is key to running a good restaurant. Give your team members the tools they need to stay in sync with the whole house. They can fire drinks to the bar and food to the kitchen in real-time as guests place their orders. This also increases overall order accuracy leading to more happy diners.


Step #5: Adopt EMV Chip Card Technology

Running a restaurant is tough, and the margins are thin. Don’t waste money on customer disputes and chargebacks. Most credit card processors charge punitive fees for chargebacks (e.g., $25). In addition, if you aren’t EMV chip card compliant, you will eat the majority of chargeback disputes if the original transaction was paid using a chip card. The vast majority of cards in circulation are now chip enabled so it’s important you possess the proper payment technology.


Step #6: Start Email Marketing

If you aren’t actively engaging with your existing customers, this is a huge opportunity for your business. Modern POS systems make capturing customer data easier than ever. Whether you take payments at the counter, tableside, online, or book reservations, all these interactions with your customers present a marketing opportunity. Many software applications enable you to keep in contact with your customers and even measure your marketing effectiveness.


Step #7: Get Serious about Social Media

Simply being on social media is not enough for your business to attract new customers or bring back existing ones. You need to allocate a budget and have a paid strategy. Investing $150 per month into reaching potential new diners in your area will pay you back in spades. With the right tools, you can even retarget your existing customers using your existing POS data; customer emails/phone numbers.


Step #8: Streamline Employee Communications

Employee turnover is one of the hardest parts about running a restaurant. Investing in employee scheduling and HR tools can make a big impact in your business. Make your employees feel like they are part of the team by adding a social component to your restaurant. Many apps like Homebase allow your employees and managers to effectively communicate through one platform. It also makes hiring new employees streamlined with integrations to job boards.


Step #9:  Assess Your Inventory Process

If you aren’t using some sort of inventory management system, you need to seriously consider investing in one. Most programs range from $50-$250 per month but they have the ability to recovers thousands in lost profits. Restaurant margins are too thin to be wasting money on perishable food items and over-pours at the bar.


Step #10: Hire an Accountant

It’s incredibly important that you keep clean books or hire a professional to manage your accounting. Restaurants are constantly presented with unforeseen bills and you need to make sure someone is keeping tabs on your expenses. Whether it be malfunctioning kitchen equipment or much needed updates to your building, it helps to know what you can and can’t afford. If you aren’t confident in your ability to manage this yourself, then hire a professional.