November 27, 2018 |
This article gives you some ideas on how to make a few extra bucks for your restaurant by using the power of the internet. Making money from a website is easier than most people think and it is even manageable if you don’t have a tech background.
While there are probably a gazillion ways of monetising websites and creating an online business, you need to be well aware that the online presence of your restaurant/cafe/bar sits in a small niche within the world wide web, and you may not be able to scale the number of visitors on your page up to infinity. Therefore, the traditional approaches of website monetisation like adSense, direct ad selling, and clickthrough revenue are not your best bets. So then, how do you actually generate additional income for your F&B venue?
1. Create content
Everything starts with the simple fact that you need to give people a reason to visit your website, other than checking out your menu, opening times or location. Content creation are the magic words as this is what keeps people engaged and coming back to your page. The easiest way to create content is to add a blog to your website where you can talk about the philosophy of your restaurant and the chef, go into detail about the fantastic fresh local produce that you use, or how you are making an impact in your neighbourhood community by feeding leftovers to homeless people. Also updating information about upcoming events, regular happy hours, and other such promotions will keep people coming back to your page.
We are not going to suggest that you give away your secret sauce here, but there is nothing wrong in extending your customers’ relationship with your brand. Get your chef in front of the camera and prepare the oh-so-delicious sea bass that the whole town is talking about. Videos are a great way to drive engagement to your website. Additionally, you can create “home version” recipes of your best sellers in a downloadable pdf format, and once you collect a few of them, make the collection available as an ebook.
Creating physical products is another easy way to both earn some extra money and create a marketing buzz around your venue, as your customers then become ambassadors of your brand. Absolutely crucial however, is that whatever merchandise you are thinking of selling needs to be in line with your brand proposition, as otherwise it could have the exact opposite effect and dilute your brand value. Nobody really wants to buy a branded tank top from a French fine dining restaurant or a book on flower arrangements from a rustic biker hangout. You get the point. Now looking at what you can actually sell, the opportunities are endless. There could be spice mixes that you offer as a bundle together with the recipes mentioned earlier, t-shirts, stickers, high end lighters, bar equipment, steak knives, and the list goes on and on. Just look at which products would go well with your crowd and would portray your brand in the right light.
4. Recommending products
In addition to selling your own products, you could recommend products and earn through commission-based sales with affiliate marketing. Do you have any special kitchen or bar equipment that you could not imagine your venue working without? Recommend it on your site and just provide a link to a market place or to the supplier directly where your readers can purchase the item. Essentially there are two strategies used for affiliate marketing. First you can very easily sign up with an affiliate programme such as amazon associates, which lets you earn a commission (usually between 10-15% of the selling price) every time a buyer comes from your website. The second one which might potentially get you much higher commissions (30-50%) is to create direct affiliate partnerships with your suppliers that you are using to buy your pretty espresso cups or that special stone bowl which is all over your Instagram.
5. Sell food & beverages
Do what you do best, and get your great dishes and drinks onto your customers’ plates and glasses. Use your website to promote home delivery, as all of the big companies have widgets that can easily be installed. You could start preparing meal kits with the exact ingredients as well, where your customers can enjoy the flavours of your menu just by preparing the dishes at home themselves. And lastly, don’t forget that your new content-heavy website will bring in a stream of customers to your brick and mortar shop which will and should be the heart of your business!
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