Every restaurateur is undoubtedly familiar with the recent study that revealed 60 percent of restaurants go under within one year and 80 percent fail within five years.
This high rate of failure can be traced to a number of factors. Proprietors could choose the wrong location to open their establishments. The economy could tank, thus causing customers to cook their own meals instead of eating out. A manager could hire the wrong people who are seemingly incapable of providing good customer service. The list goes on.
As a small business owner, you want to do everything within your power to ensure your restaurant avoids an early demise. Sometimes, that involves getting a little creative.
Like small business owners in other industries, restaurateurs routinely face cash crunches. The prices of ingredients can shoot up. Inclement weather can force restaurants to close their doors for a few days, thus leaving the establishment unable to serve customers (and generate revenue). Equipment can unexpectedly break, thereby incurring unbudgeted expenses.
When cash is short, covering recurring operating expenses can be difficult— and making strategic investments to grow your business can be downright impossible.
If your restaurant is facing a cash shortage, it may be time for you to apply for a simple restaurant loan from a non-bank lender. Not only will a loan give you the cash you need to expand into new markets, buy new equipment, and hire additional workers, but you can also use the funds to grow your business in a variety of unconventional ways. Here are four of them:
Revamp your restaurant’s website
When’s the last time you gave your restaurant’s website a facelift? If it’s been awhile—say, more than three years—you probably should start thinking about a redesign.
Consider the following:
- 38 percent of users will stop engaging with a website if it’s unattractive.
- 39 percent of users will leave a website if it takes too long to load.
- 47 percent of users expect a website to load within two seconds.
The older your website is, the less likely it loads quickly and looks modern to users. Not only will redesigning your website generate some buzz and attract new customers, but you can also opt to integrate e-commerce capabilities into your site to enable visitors to place orders online. Learn more about creating an amazing website in our ebook on the topic.
Build an app for your restaurant
Believe it or not, 16 percent of Starbucks’ revenue originates from its mobile app—despite the fact that customers must go to physical coffee shops to get their java fix.
You can use your restaurant loan to build a customized mobile app for your business. With your own app, you’re able to push out location-based deals to your users. So when customers are nearby, you can send them push notifications advertising a 10 percent discount, for example, which should boost revenues.
Mobile apps make it even easier for your customers to place orders and make reservations when they are on the go. Additionally, apps can also increase customer loyalty and improve the chances folks leave reviews after they’re done eating.
Purchase a branded delivery vehicle
Does your restaurant offer delivery? If not, you may want to think about using a restaurant loan to acquire a vehicle for that specific purpose. Outfit the vehicle with your logos and advertising, and in addition to providing your customers with an additional useful service, your new delivery truck will double as a mobile billboard of sorts.
Unlock new revenue streams
Most restaurants earn a majority of their revenue by simply selling food and drinks. But that doesn’t mean your establishment should be similarly confined.
Use your restaurant loan to open up new revenue streams. For example, you can launch a catering side business to feed folks who attend local events. You can also invest in branded apparel (e.g., t-shirts, pint glasses, and hats) that can be sold to your most loyal customers. Do you use any spectacular original sauces or marinades that your customers love? Consider bottling some of them to sell as well.
With money from a business loan in the bank, your restaurant will be much better positioned to avoid becoming another statistic. Instead of worrying about whether your restaurant will fail within one year or five years, you can focus on what matters most: thoroughly satisfying your customers and growing your business.
To learn more about the easiest way to secure a small business loan for your restaurant, check this out.