Hey, I’m Rachel Osbourne, growth strategist at Bricks to Clicks Collective, and the founder of Plant-based Soirées. Today we’re talking about how restaurants can pivot to add new revenue streams to their businesses. Pivoting doesn’t have to be a complicated process. It’s simply about being responsive to customer needs.
To get started, think about your immediate physical and digital communities. Your strategy should be rooted in who they are and what they need. Customers care about safety and convenience right now. But what else? Consider adding a new revenue stream that goes well with the special sauce that you’re already using to attract customers.
Many restaurants are still serving their community by digging into their freezers and creating special menus for delivery and takeout, offering meal kits that customers can put together at home, partnering with farmers and distributors to create online grocery markets complete with curbside pickup and delivery, or even renting out their spaces to content creators and artists for small productions.
Let us explore some other ways you can make a meaningful pivot in your restaurant business that have long-lasting effects on your brand and turn your raw ingredients and skill into revenue. Some restaurant owners have pivoted to start selling packaged foods. Restaurants are selling everything from sauces, frozen meals, and concentrated soup bases made in their own kitchens.
So if you’re not looking to be a full-fledged grocery store you can still add a retail element to your online store by producing in small batches. And you want to make sure that anything that you’re producing fits within your brand and is stamped with your brand identity, making it easier for customers to adopt. Another long term retail add on to your online-store could be your entry into merch using print on-demand apps.
Print on-demand is not just for t-shirts. Free apps like Printable in the Shopify app store offer home and living products, like mugs, embroidered aprons, and artwork. Gooten, also in the Shopify app store, offers dining trays, cloth napkins, and other kitchen-related products.
All you need is great design! That could be your logo, catchy words or patterns that we’ve downloaded or created yourself. Now let’s enter the arena of content creation and e-learning; my happy place! What you’re selling here is your knowledge and your time.
Consider offering skill-training videos or downloadables or one-on-one cooking coaching at a higher ticket price. Focusing on specific cooking skills and techniques will allow you to make a smaller bite-sized videos that you can sell individually or bundle them together as a master class that you can sell in your online store.
Another pricing model to explore is adding membership to your online store. With customers committed to receiving content from you, you can drip-deliver educational resources over weeks or months. For example, you can offer an indoor or outdoor seed growing program. You can sell your veggie seeds in your online store and bundle them with educational content.
This can be pre-recorded or you can schedule live elements. If you choose this method, you can host all your videos on one page in your online store using a membership app from the Shopify app store. Employ your staff and have them self produce to increase your content capacity. They can shoot from home or you can turn your restaurant or kitchen into a studio.
Be sure you have great lighting and audio. Newer smartphones have great resolution for video. And there are a lot of editing apps available. When making any sort of pivot, choose what works best for you, your audience and your business. Remember, it’s better to plan strategically and implement quickly, adjusting as you go, rather than delaying action.
Now take a look at your audience and see how you can add a new revenue stream to your business. Don’t forget to check the research section for some handy tips.