Driving Top-Line SalesTechnology
In today’s ever-changing hospitality landscape, small business entrepreneurs often find it difficult to stay current with industry trends. A proven way to continue to drive top-line sales in your business is to take a look at the technology currently being utilized within your business and see where processes can be streamlined, changed and/or implemented by making use of today’s technology. Here are some excellent ways you can make tech changes in your business to further drive top-line sales.
Gone are the days where till systems simply ring through purchases to track sales and inventory. It is imperative that businesses find the best system for their on-premise or retail store that will be robust enough to manage volume customer sales, as well as providing the capacity for a small business to grow into multi-units without having to incur more expense with large hardware upgrades. Consider a cloud-based POS. This type of system allows managers easy access to real-time sales reports from anywhere in the world.
The addition of a cloud-based POS will maximize a business’s efficiency by reducing overhead expenses
They can link with tablets and phones for easy inventory tracking, build their CRM, place product orders, and grow a sales channel via the web. These systems are even capable of payment tracking, loyalty program initiatives, and e-commerce. The addition of a cloud-based POS will maximize a business’s efficiency by reducing overhead expenses, such as labour, and offer better inventory control systems to further streamline the business.
Social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are now mandatory for hospitality businesses to keep up within the industry. Social media allows managers to participate and frequently engage with their customers. Customers connect via social media sites to get quick up-to-date information such as events, hours of operation, a map to your location or to connect to make a reservation. Social media is a convenient way for your guests to find you. If the information is not continually updated, guests get frustrated and disinterested and don’t feel the business is staying relevant to them.
Simple Internet marketing campaigns – whereby a liquor store manager sends out real-time information on location-specific LTOs, tasting events and exclusive products – are proven, successful methods in getting additional traffic in the door. Pub managers are showcasing their happy hour information, entertainment lineup, or contests/promotions inside of their establishment.
Notably, consumers that use social media platforms to seek information also use them to post their thoughts and experiences. For a business to stay current and truly see their sales trend upwards, managers must find new and creative ways to continually draw guests back to their social media posts – and ultimately the business. When guests post either a negative or positive comment via social media, management should provide a quick response. Consumers trust the opinion of friends and family over advertising campaigns, so be prompt in your response time to consumer comments – showing that you care – and this will translate through to top-line sales.
Online Booking and Ordering Systems
It’s vital to build a convenient relationship with your customers. Online booking and ordering systems allow consumers to make reservations at their favorite pub or pre-order products from their local liquor store either for pick-up or delivery. E-commerce technology can be integrated to work via a business’s user-friendly website or mobile app to further drive alternate sales that don’t come from guests inside of the store. If your company is still in the growth phase and hasn’t implemented a proper electronic POS system yet, consider working with a third party company, such as lazymeal.com, or a liquor retail delivery service company.
E-commerce technology can be integrated to work via a business’s user-friendly website or mobile app
Please note that there are very specific rules and regulations in the province of BC with respect to alcohol delivery, so be sure that you carefully review all those regulations.
Many restaurants – including quick-service food primaries through to fining dining establishments – are making use of digital menus. Quick-serve restaurants are using TVs to list menu items and prices. The digital display toggles between menu items and product advertisements, including product images, to build incremental purchases when the consumers are viewing them. Printing expenses are drastically reduced for the traditional printed menu. The easy upload capability allows for current, fresh menus and saves time for food and beverage managers.
Some casual dining venues are supplying tablets to guests upon their arrival. Guests can review the menu items, order extra drinks, play games on apps, and even pay their bill all on one tablet. These added convenience options are seeing companies add significant dollars to top-line sales as average ticket prices increase when drinks can be ordered without a server always at a table. Furthermore, additional revenue channels appear when guests can swipe a credit card to pay for app game rentals during their meal time.
Guests can review the menu items, order extra drinks, play games on apps, and even pay their bill all on one tablet.
Technology is always changing, and should be viewed as a mechanism of support for your core business. If used effectively, business owners will see top-line sales increase and productivity streamlined. The intent of technology is not to take over your hospitality business, but to enhance and simplify your customers’ experiences. This will allow them to feel special within your environment. When customers feel special and taken care of, their experiences become memorable. When customers remember their experiences with your business, they continue to come back and talk about your company in a positive light to others. Quality, consistency, and fantastic customer service should never be pushed aside for the sake of technology, but technology should be a key component when you’re considering initiatives to maximize business growth.
Rebecca Hardin, Vice President with Rising Tide Consultants, specializes in liquor license and operations consulting for the hospitality industry across BC, Alberta, and Ontario.