Dining Alliance | New Markets

5 Surprising Ways Restaurants Can Save Money

You know that you can cut expenses at your restaurant by reviewing staffing or inventory. However, there are a few surprisingly easy changes you can make at your restaurant that will save you money in the long run. Here are five ways you can save money and boost sales at your restaurant.

Create Customer Loyalty Programs

Loyalty programs reward customers and incentivize them to come back – which adds up to more revenue for your restaurant. Whatever you offer as a reward, these programs encourage your customers to return. Your credit card processor can help you set up gift card and customer loyalty programs as part of your merchant account.

Common loyalty programs include one free item after 10 purchases or a way to accrue points for every dollar spent which can then be exchanged for menu items.

Accept New Payment Types

When you accept credit cards, customers will spend more. First and foremost, your restaurant should not be cash-only. Being a cash-only restaurant limits customers to spending only what they might be carrying in their wallet. And, costly ATM fees can deter customers from giving your restaurant a chance.

Today, more and more customers want the freedom to pay using mobile wallets on their phones and smartwatches. If your customers can pay however they want, they’ll order and spend more, becoming loyal customers in the process. It’s a win-win for you and your customers.

Update Your Point of Sale System

How long has it been since you’ve replaced your POS system? When you use outdated technology, you open yourself to a number of costs that add up. Ongoing maintenance and software updates can result in more costs than just replacing your system with a new one. Plus, you may be opening yourself up to costly security threats if your software is outdated.

In addition, newer systems are faster and more efficient. Your staff will spend less time using the POS to enter orders and complete transactions, resulting in faster service and happier customers. Consider adding a mobile payment solution so you can take payments tableside.

Use Sales Data to Plan Specials

Every restaurant has slow days, but you can pick up speed with business intelligence. Heatmaps display your busiest and slowest times of day by measuring how many sales you’ve made per hour.

With this sales data in mind, you can plan specials and offers to boost those slow days. This works especially well for restaurants who want to offer a happy hour or daily specials. You can even track their success with the same feature to see if your offer is working.

Save with Flat Fee Processing

Traditional credit card processors will charge a markup on top of what you’re already paying – plus fees. It may not look like much, but that can add up to hundreds of extra dollars each month. Some processors even make you lease your hardware instead of buying them outright. When every penny counts, this is an extra expense you can definitely save on.

Flat fee processors like Fattmerchant offer the same services as traditional processors, but for a flat monthly membership. You’ll get the true cost of interchange with no extra fees and no contracts required. You can save hundreds by making the switch. And you’ll get the personalized attention of an account manager who knows you and your restaurant.

Making small, simple changes to your day-to-day operations can have a huge impact on your bottom line. You won’t just save money on costs – you’ll boost sales at the same time.

Guest post by Fattmerchant