How To Grow Your Restaurant Occupancy with Seated
by Alec McGuffey July 25, 2022
Rising Costs, Falling Profits…
The restaurant industry has been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, and new challenges (from labor shortages to rising costs to reduced traffic due to inflation) continue to plague restaurant operators, making it more difficult (and expensive) than ever to operate a restaurant.
The natural first line of defense for most operators is to start cutting costs. Reducing staff, shortening hours, tightening menus – all of these are tried and true strategies to counteract external forces putting pressure on already low margins.
But is cutting costs really the best way for operators to increase profits?
Is There An Easier Way to Get New Restaurant Customers?
Most of the cost cutting strategies that restaurant operators employ might help temporarily, but they ultimately hurt the guest experience and are just a band-aid.
If you own a restaurant and want to tackle the root cause of low profits, you need to look beyond just cutting costs – you need to focus on growing your restaurant occupancy.
Why is Restaurant Occupancy important?
The benefit of getting more people in the door is obvious – every table you are able to fill that otherwise would have been empty means higher profits and more tips for your staff.
Fixed costs like rent and labor are relatively fixed, so for each incremental customer, nightly profit margin grows (once you pay F&B for a new guest, the rest is pure profit).
So why isn’t occupancy top of mind for every restaurant operator?
A Better Way to Get More Butts in Seats
The main reason why operators generally don’t focus on growing occupancy is that there aren’t many marketing strategies that can be easily deployed without huge financial investments.
Leveraging channels like email marketing and loyalty programs is a great strategy, but even these require large time investments that may not be feasible for every operator.
Luckily, there is one easy way for restaurant operators to get more customers in the door with zero upfront cost, no time investment, and no impact on operations or their teams.
The answer? Using a Restaurant Occupancy Management tool like Seated.
More Guests, No Operational Impact
Most operators rely on a few main channels to fill their seats: organic (i.e. word of mouth, online discovery via your reservations system and platforms like Google), Walk-ins (people who find them while in the area), and Regulars (your existing customers).
So how do you fill the seats that those channels don’t fill?
Seated was designed by restaurant operators for restaurant operators to make it easy to target slower times and fill those empty seats.
Here are some of the benefits of being on the Seated network:
- Your restaurant is featured in the Seated app where over one million diners look for local restaurants to support.
- There is zero work required by anyone at your restaurant.
- Once you’re listed on the network, you’ll start getting more reservations, walk-ins, and direct online orders without changing a thing.
Restaurant operators are busy, so Seated requires zero operational changes for your team, no new technology, and no staff training. Instead, it just plugs directly into your existing reservations system or online ordering platform, so you’ll get new guests with no extra work.
How Does Seated Fill Empty Seats?
Seated lets restaurants tap into a first-of-its-kind rewards platform to offer premium rewards to potential diners who fill seats during quieter times.
This unique approach means that operators don’t need to discount their food to incentivize new customers to dine with them – guests pay full price in the space and only receive a reward from Seated after the meal by uploading their receipt.
And even better? Most guests spend higher than the average customer, since the reward incentivizes them to spend more (i.e. ordering an extra bottle of wine).
“With no operational lift required by the restaurant, Seated handles everything and brings actual people through your door!” says John Simeonidis, Co-Founder of Bareburger.
The reward an operator chooses is 100% customizable. Seated’s goal is to target slower times, so operators can customize the reward down to the meal service and day of the week.
Ready to Start Filling Empty Seats?
Until now, most operators have generally accepted that slow days are impossible to change, and rely on busy days to make up for those losses.
But with new easy-to-use tools like Seated, operators can start filling empty seats in minutes and make adjustments as often as they like to ensure they’re driving new customers to the times when their existing customers aren’t coming in.
Want to see if a tool like Seated could be a good fit for your business? Reach out to their team today and start filling empty seats this week!
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