A customer hands cash to a restaurant worker at the register.

Reach for Revenue-Generating Ideas

Open the door to sales that go beyond traditional takeout and delivery.

’Tis the season to plan for profiting during the holidays and beyond. Lean into the best parts of the past 18 months, calling on technology and innovation to achieve what’s paramount—increasing sales volume and reducing overhead.

“Restaurant operators are experiencing a new era of enhanced takeout and delivery,” says Nathan Voulgaris, a Winnipeg-based Gordon Food Service Business Solutions Specialist. “As your business looks for growth opportunities, there are many options to explore.” He offers eight sales-boosting ideas that can add revenue now and position you for a banner year in 2022.

1. Ghost kitchens 
Ghost kitchens. Dark kitchens. Cloud kitchens. Virtual restaurants. No matter what you call them, they’re a hot topic for off-premise dining. With lower real estate and menu innovation costs, ghost kitchen momentum is expected to continue. E-commerce platforms for accepting orders and taking payment, along with connections to delivery networks, help operators keep costs low and manage labour needs. 

2. Meals at home 
Call on meal kits to take the restaurant experience to customers’ homes. Options include sous vide, InstantPot, boil in bag and various other retherming or cooking techniques to broaden the offerings, experience and food quality beyond takeout bags and boxes. “Try partnering with local small businesses and vendors to add a community feel and extra value,” Voulgaris says. “You may be able to trade the marketing of their business for ‘atcost’ or better pricing of their goods.”

Meal kit options that bring the restaurant experience into people's homes.

3. Cocktail kits 
Takeout/delivery alcohol is an option in many areas. Develop at-home kits for wine tastings, martini events, craft cocktails, beer flights, pairings, cooking with spirits, etc. “The holidays are a great time to impact liquor, wine and beer sales,” Voulgaris notes. “And don’t overlook ways to enhance the in-home spirits experience with fresh garnishes, syrups, tools, tips and tricks.”

 

4. Event in a box 
Combine the meal and cocktail kit with decorations, trivia cards, music playlists, candles or other ambiance enhancers. Set the stage for a premium casual dining experience, date night or party (birthday, anniversary or wedding). Encourage cookie swaps during the holidays or include a snowman-building kit complete with hot chocolate or snacks for after the fun. 

5. Merchandise and retail 
People who pay for your food are likely to want your gear. Shirts, hats, masks or even packaged products like dressings, sauces or spices. “E-commerce platforms make it easy to sell a favourite hot sauce, proprietary miso blend, daily fresh baked options or prepped ingredients like candied nuts or snack mixes,” Voulgaris explains. 

6. Gift cards 
Generate cash flow today with gift card sales. They help bring customers back during the sometimes slower months after the holidays. Make gift cards more appealing by offering $5 off for every $50 purchase.

7. Lunch programs 
As people head back to work spaces, this may be a good time to enhance or promote your pre-made deliverable lunches. Get the word out to local businesses, medical offices, construction sites, etc. 

8. Marketing 
Build awareness by promoting everything you do. “Adding a new service will not drive the business, so think of it like launching a business,” Voulgaris advises. “Social media is your best friend in this space. Drive excitement with stories, videos and “tag a friend” initiatives to grow your audience and carve your niche while promoting your brand values.”

Your Gordon Food Service Sales Representative can explain ways to get your revenue rolling into 2022.