Restaurant Location Selection: 5 Most Well Guarded Secrets

Restaurant location selection is the most crucial factor when setting up a new restaurant. A perfect location combined with good food and service will help you to outrank your competitors and who wouldn’t want that.

So, what are the most important factors you look up to when searching for a restaurant location? Come up with five, I’ll wait.

Okay, now that you have five factors that matter to you the most. Let’s set out on a journey to find out the best location for your restaurant.

Since I don’t know what all factors you’ve come up with, I’ll just list a few factors that are important.

If yours is listed below, good, otherwise, do let me know by posting it in the comment section down below.

Restaurant location selection


Visibility

Setting up a restaurant in a location where no one sees it during its initial days is just pouring money down the drain.

Select a location where others notice your restaurant and feel like eating there sometime. 


Size

Make sure that the restaurant location has adequate space for all the equipment needed to run a restaurant. What looks like a huge space might not be enough, so make sure that it isn’t congested.


Competitors

If you think that you can outrank your competition, then set up your restaurant close to your major competitor. As your competitor spends huge amounts on advertising, you can also benefit from that. It’s just like access to free candy.


Lease

If you’re not interested or don’t have the budget to purchase the location, then just take it on a lease, but make sure that you read the entire lease and if you don’t understand anything get help.

After you’re read it, reread it and make sure that there are no minute clauses containing and/or can make the whole difference.

Once you’ve established your restaurant, you can sign a lease for 5-10 years. But if you’re just starting out, then it’s better to sign a one or two-year lease, as even if your restaurant fails your landlord can demand monthly rent if you’re roped in for a longer lease.

Don’t just take your landlord’s word for it or just shake on it. Make him sign the lease.


Parking

No one likes to walk after having a heavy meal and if your customers have to walk to get to your restaurant, then they may go somewhere else. So, make sure that the location has adequate parking space and the parking lot is close by.


Curse

Now that I have your attention, let’s talk about the curse. I’m not talking about voodoo or anything. Even if it is located near a bustling pedestrian street just research about the place and find out if there were any restaurant nearby that failed. If the answer is yes, then it’s your call, but it’s better to avoid that location instead of knowingly taking a risk.

Ways to Increase Restaurant Sales using Technology

Do you know to use technology to increase restaurant sales? If not, you’ll be left behind and that’s something no one would want.

Technology has already transformed the way we live and is quickly infiltrating every aspect of restaurant operation.

So, let’s take a look at ways in which you can exploit technology to increase your restaurant’s sales.

 

Ways to Increase restaurant Sales

 

  • Go digital Taste matters but people are also behind quality and freshness these days. Organic foods are the craze these days so if you could just mention that in your menu it would help bring in more sales.

 

Grab every opportunity to capture new customers by listing all the relevant information in your menu, which is something hard to achieve using traditional menu cards. So, opt for a digital menu instead which lets you list every detail that you can possibly think of, even the nutritional and allergy information and top it with a compelling image.

 

  • Go online Set up a website for your restaurant which lets your customers reserve table and order food online. This will not only help you reach people who prefer to eat at home but will also help you increase sales as people usually tend to order food for the entire family instead of just for themselves.

 

  • Games – Parents are always in a hurry to leave the restaurant as their children keep pestering them or start to cry without any reason. Keeping a few tablets handy containing games and interactive content will keep the children busy and parents relaxed. As a result, they will spend more by ordering appetisers, drinks or desserts.

 

  • Survey – Even though it is impossible to determine which is the best mobile OS, as everyone has their own personal preferences.

 

Tweaking your restaurant’s dishes based on the feedback received is something that can be easily achieved.

 

A tablet-based restaurant management software lets you accept instant feedbacks before the customer even leaves the table which in turn helps you take informed decisions.

 

  • Social Media – People love to post pictures of dishes online and review eateries. Having a strong online presence by having several positive customer reviews and posting pictures of drool-inducing dishes helps reach potential customers by making them aware of your restaurant’s name and influence their choice.

 

  • Loyalty Program – Having a loyalty program in place helps you in luring existing customers to come in more often by offering coupons or special discounts specially tailored for them. This can be done manually in the form of an SMS or email, or you can automate it by using a restaurant management software.

 

If you follow all the above steps, you will have an edge when it comes to capturing spend-happy, food loving customers, and increasing restaurant sales.

5 Easy Steps you can take to Retain Restaurant Staffs

Imagine that your restaurant is growing at a steady rate or is at the brink of success. But what if a star employee decides to leave?

You can manage, right?

But what if more than one employee decides to leave?

That won’t be good for your restaurant.

So, take the following steps to ensure that your staffs stick with your restaurant.

Retain Restaurant Staff

 

Be a Good Manager

There is a difference between being good and being a jerk.

If you are a business minded person who doesn’t care about their staffs at all, then you are going to regret it in the near future.

As everyone has a breaking point and it’s no different with your staffs. If you continue to act in the same way, your staffs are going to leave.

But don’t lose hope yet. There are some steps that you can take to prevent that.

Offering support, organising a special event, sharing responsibility, and encouraging your staffs are some of the steps that you can take towards it.

 

Fire Poor Performers

You might me wondering that, “I thought that this article was about retaining staffs, not firing them”.

Well, if the staffs are dragging your restaurant down then it’s better to fire them without hesitation.

Failure in doing so will require your star performers to outperform; the added stress will make them leave soon enough and you’ll be left with the poor performers. As a result, the sales and service will suffer.

 

Get Rid of Poor Equipment

Making your staffs work with outdated equipment that clearly needs to be replaced or repaired is mental torture.

Your staffs are already going through enough stress and pressure. They will try their best to work with the equipment as long as they can tolerate. But sooner or later, they are going to walk out of the door if you fail to repair/upgrade the equipment.

 

Train your Staffs

If you want to keep your staffs, you should have a comprehensive training program in place. Read the following guide to achieve that: How to Train Restaurant Staff

 

Compliment your Staffs

A simple “thank you” or a genuine compliment can go a long way. Stop taking your staffs for granted.

The mistake that most managers/owners make is that they never compliment their staff. But never miss the opportunity to criticise them for their poor performance or mistakes.

The way you treat them is going to reflect on how they treat your customers.

So, change before it’s too late to avoid any kind of regret.

 

How to Keep Pests from Closing Down Your Restaurant

Think about the last person you would like to meet on earth even if a zombie apocalypse takes place. How would you feel if they pay you a surprise visit?

Not a happy situation, right?

Well, pest sightings are worse than that. If your customer happens to see a pest in your restaurant it will not only result in loss of business and a marred reputation but is also followed by an inspection from the health inspector which might result in getting your restaurant shut down.

 

Restaurant Pest Control

 

So, what can you do about that?

As you might have heard several times over that prevention is better than cure, keeping pests away is the best step you can take rather than having to worry about getting rid of them.

If pests have successfully breached into your restaurant, don’t worry just follow this guide and your restaurant will be pest proof.

But to win any battle, you should have an idea about the enemies that you are going to face.

Let’s take a look at the four most common pests found in the restaurant kitchen.

  • Flies
  • Stored-product pests
  • Rodents
  • Cockroaches

Most common pests found in restaurant

 

Flies

The most common type of flies found in a restaurant is house and fruit flies.

Houseflies carry more than 100 types of disease-causing germs and they contaminate the food items by tasting through their feet.

Fruit flies feed on decaying items, mainly fruits, and vegetables.

The body of flies is coated in bacteria most of the time and they contaminate the food items by landing on it, which leads to illness such as shigella, E. coli, and staphylococcus.

 

Rodents

Rats and mice carry a number of diseases, including salmonella, plague, rat-bite fever and Hantavirus.

To find out if a rodent has successfully sneaked into your restaurant, look for rub marks and other signs, such as droppings, burrows, gnaw marks on plastic pipes or electric wires.

 

Stored-Product Pests

Despite their small size, stored-product pests should never be ignored as they contaminate much more than they can eat which incurs to heavy losses.

In addition to ruining commodities, some species secrete chemicals that alter the flavour of food products, while others cause an allergic reaction if ingested, which irritates the human digestive tract.

Inspection food supplies and storage at regular intervals by employees for signs such as live larvae, webbing, and adult pests, and removing the infested commodity immediately will keep them at bay.

 

Cockroaches

 Cockroaches carry an average of 25 disease-producing bacteria that can lead to foodborne diseases such as diarrhoea, pneumonia, food poisoning, and leprosy. They also pick up germs as they crawl through sewage or decaying matter and carry these onto food items.

As if that wasn’t enough, research shows that their excrement and cast skins contain allergens that result in allergies and asthma.

Operating a restaurant is hard enough, having to deal with pests like these is just like adding oil to the fire.

Now that you know what you’re dealing with, let’s take a look at a few steps you can take to reduce the risk of infestation and get rid of pests if already present.

 

  1. Inspection

Pests are like Tom Cruise from the movie mission impossible; they can sneak into almost anywhere. So, to catch them you’ll have to turn into Sherlock Holmes.

Don’t worry, just ensure that you perform the following step and you’ll end up being a pretty good Sherlock.

  • Keep a black light handy and use it to monitor for the sign of infestations, pest urine and bite marks before taking the shipment inside.
  • Inspect for egg cases, faeces, cast skins or live pests in every single place.

 

  1. Storage
  • After taking them in, store grain products in a glass jar to monitor for larvae.
  • Store dry foods away from the floor and walls.
  • Ensure a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit inside your refrigerator.
  • Rotate products on first in first out basis.
  • Seal all containers tightly.

 

  1. Sanitation
  • If spillage occurs, immediately vacuum or clean.
  • Regularly clean appliances and equipment.
  • Wash the kitchen floor to get rid of elements that attract pests.
  • Use drain cleaners to get rid of pests that hang out in the sink or floor drains.
  • Regularly remove waste from all trashcans.

 

  1. Keeping them Away
  • Ensure that your restaurant’s doors and windows are weather sealed.
  • Avoid keeping doors or windows open, unless absolutely necessary.
  • Encourage your employees to speak up about pest sightings.
  • Consider installing wall mounted fans that will blow air out against pests.
  • Ensure that all trash cans have tightly sealed lids.

If you and your staffs work together, you can win the war against pests.

P.S If you think that the situation is getting out of your hand; it is recommended that you call a professional pest management team for expert help.

 

Inventory Management Tricks to Boost Your Restaurant

Inventory management can turn an already successful restaurant into a profit machine. The added benefit includes a more productive place and repeat business due to a satisfactory level of service.

 

But if not managed properly can hinder efficiency and effect cash flow.

 

Without further ado, let’s jump right into the steps you can take to efficiently manage your inventory.

 

Restaurant inventory management

 

Your restaurant’s warehouse is your battleground, and no matter how large or small it might be, improper management can cause you to lose your customers and cause havoc.

 

If the items in your warehouse are hard to access, it will cost you a lot of man hours to find the items that are misplaced or lost. Which further adds up to the loss.

 

But with proper management, you can turn your warehouse into an efficient place. This, in turn, results in more revenue.

 

The steps to be followed to achieve that are:

 

1)    Floor plan

Create a floor plan for your warehouse to get an idea of what you need to work with.

 

2)    Category

Just like arranging the furniture in your restaurant, grab a piece of paper or sticky note and write the name of different product categories that you will be purchasing.

 

There’s no hard and fast rule, so just select a category name and write it down on that. You can even give fancy names to your product category but do take special care to name it in a way that it can be easily understood by your staffs.

 

After you’ve done naming, stick them into the floor plan in the order you want them to be arranged.

 

Take special care to arrange the items that need to be fetched often close to the door or any other place where it is easily accessible.

 

3)    Storage

Select a storage that will best suit your products. The shape doesn’t matter here, you can even go for a product that looks like Pikachu, but the only thing that should be kept in mind is to ensure that the storage is large enough so that the items can be easily accessed and the storage can hold the weight of the products.

 

4)    Signs

Prepare a list of products you’ll be purchasing and group them into different categories.

 

For example, if the main category is desserts you can group the different items that come under that such as ice-cream, sweets, etc. into different sections by assigning a number/name to them.

 

You can also draw lines of different colours on the floor (floor demarcation) that guides to that specific category. If that seems too much, then go ahead and name each category with an alphabet and assign a number to the subcategory.

 

5)    Layout

Make sure that these signs match the category name created in step 2. If not, then update it to match with the category.

 

6)    Manual

Create a booklet or digital manual that clearly explains the layout and the steps that needs to be performed, such as which staff is supposed to update the inventory details, who is supposed to fetch the items and what all steps should be taken while accepting delivery of the items, taking items to the kitchen and maintaining records of the items delivered to the customer.

 

7)    Assess

Once you have successfully completed these steps, assess the plan to make sure that everything is the way you would like it to be.

 

If not sure, seek the help of an industry expert.

 

8)    Rinse and repeat

Implement this and monitor the way it performs. Conduct a meeting with your staff members and discuss the issues or ways by which it can be improved.

 

Modify it till you have a perfect plan in hand.

 

Points to keep in mind while managing inventory

  • Ensure that the items are stored in a way that your staffs can easily access it.
  • Track inventory metrics to take informed decisions.
  • Set a point to re-order the items i.e. place the order for an item if the stock goes below a specified number.
  • Avoid wastage by ensuring products are stored at the required temperature, etc.
  • Dispose or donate the extra inventory items.

 

 

P.S: A good inventory management software will let you concentrate on your restaurant’s business without having to worry about managing the inventory.

How to Market your Restaurant in 17 Unique Ways

Before getting into restaurant marketing I want to stress three things:

1) Offer tasty food.

2) Provide great service.

3) Control food cost.

Failure in doing these three basic things is a recipe for disaster, but if done right and coupled together with a great marketing plan can skyrocket your restaurant’s sales.

Let’s take a look at 17 marketing strategies to promote your restaurant and build a strong customer base.

How to Market Your Restaurant

  1. Food Porn

The best way to promote your restaurant online is through high-quality, drool-inducing images.

Having delicious looking photos on your website and other social media accounts such as Facebook, Instagram, etc. will grab the attention from growling stomachs everywhere!

Hire a professional photographer or do it yourself, but special care should be taken to ensure that the images are top-notch.

You can find some helpful tips for photographing food in this bbcgoodfood post.

 

  1. Reviews

How many times have you gone through product reviews before purchasing a product?

You might be thinking I lost count, don’t you?

Public opinions have taken over the internet and you can use it to your own advantage by gaining positive reviews on websites such as Yelp,  Zomato, Trip Advisor, etc.

It is a major factor in deciding if customers will be dining in your restaurant or your competition’s.

Simply taking care of the three factors that I stressed at the beginning of this article will help you gain a positive review for your restaurant.

 

Negative Reviews

If someone leaves a negative review online reach out to them, apologize for the inconvenience caused, promise to improve in the future, and work out a form of compensation.

This shows that you actually care about your customers and leaves a good impression.

In many cases, this has also proved helpful to get the reviewers back in the door for a second chance.

 

Points to keep in Mind

  •           Always answer in a polite, professional manner.
  •           Thank them for their review, whether good or bad.
  •           Work out a form of compensation for the inconvenience caused.

 

  1. Be Found

 Claim your spot in online directories and review sites. Also, set up a responsive website that has your restaurant’s location, special offers, latest menu, etc.

Even just having a website is not enough. You need to publicize it in your advertising materials and stationary.

It is also important to set up a Google my business page for your restaurant to help it get found.

 

  1. Loyalty Program

Partnering with nearby business or online apps can help bring in more business.

For online apps strategy to be effective offer a discount or free purchase if a person visits a certain number of times.

For the partnering strategy to work, promote one another and offer a special coupon that can be redeemed at your partner’s business place.

 

  1. Blog

Start a blog to establish an online presence and engage with your customers.

Blog about recipes or anything else that your customers might find interesting.

Instead of spitting out junk bring quality in your posts. It’s better to have quality over quantity.

 

  1. Email Newsletter

Set up an email newsletter that informs your customer base about the latest offers, new menu items etc.

 

  1. Traditional Marketing

In this digital era, traditional marketing methods are mostly ignored, but if done right can bring in a lot of customers.

The traditional methods to focus on are brochures, flyers, newspapers, texting, and magazine ads, etc.

 

  1. Show off your staffs

Capture an image of one of your happiest staffs working, be it the chef, waiter, or the busboy.

Post these images with a small description to your restaurant’s social media accounts to show that you value your staffs.

The added advantage of this strategy is that this not only makes your staffs happy but also helps build an image that your restaurant is a fun place to hang out and has great customer service.

 

  1. Food bloggers

Request food bloggers to review your restaurant in return for a free meal/drink.

The review will help with your reputation and the outside link will help with your website ranking.

Some bloggers might decline your offer, but the more you ask better your chances.

 

  1. Test new waters

There are many marketing platforms out there other than Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest that can be used to promote your restaurant.

Try to find out about them by staying current with the latest technology.

Once such app is FourSquare , use it to your own advantage by creating a personalized offer where the first 50 to check in get a free drink/appetizer.

 

  1. Social Media Presence

Use social media accounts to strengthen your word of mouth watering by sharing pictures of the newest dishes, special discounts, and other posts to have an interesting and interactive online presence.

This provides you with the priceless opportunity to represent your restaurant and engage with your customers 365 days a year.

Also, let people check –in at your restaurant through your Facebook page.

To enable this option, ensure that the category of your Facebook page is set to Local business and follow the following steps.

  1. Click About on the left side of your page.
  2. Click Page Info.
  3. Add your restaurant’s address in the address section and click Save Changes.
  4. After saving your changes, a map will appear in the address section. Click on the edit button again and check the box next to Show map and check-ins on the Page.
  5. Click Save Changes.

 

  1. Free Wi-Fi

Offer free Wi-Fi if your data plan allows it, but if you are using a tablet-based restaurant management software ensure that it doesn’t interfere with the network.

One issue that you might face because of this is low table turnaround time.

Monitor how it goes and decide if it’s good for your restaurant’s business or not.

 

  1. Packaging

Promote your restaurant on the packaging. Partner with a nearby business and offer them something in exchange for promoting your restaurant on the packaging.

 

  1. Email Marketing

Market your restaurant to potential customers through Gmail ads or emails by pushing the latest offers and discounts.

Special care should be taken to not overdo it, as users will appreciate a less flooded inbox.

 

  1. Online Delivery and Reservation

Partner with online delivery and reservation services. If done right, this will help bring a lot of business.

 

  1. Engage  

Engage with user-generated posts to show that you appreciate your customers. This will help build a fan following.

Greet your regular customers on their birthday or any other special occasion, and forward a coupon that can be redeemed for a free drink/appetizer. This helps in bringing in the business of the people accompanying him/her to celebrate.

 

  1. Monitor

Monitor the web using monitoring application such as Google alerts to find out mentions about your restaurant, staffs, cuisine, and competitors.

Doing so not only keeps you informed but also lets you safeguard your restaurant’s reputation.

Following these 17 marketing strategies will help grow your restaurant gradually without breaking the bank.

 

How to Manage a Restaurant: Guidelines for Restaurant Managers/Owners

Restaurant management involves taking care of several tasks ranging from customer, staff, and inventory management, and so on. This guide contains information and guidance that will help you manage and grow your restaurant.

Let’s get started.

 

How to manage a restaurant

 

Customer is king

There are only two rules in restaurant management

  • The customer is always right
  • In case the customer is wrong, refer to rule number 1

That’s the way it is whether you like it or not.

There might be instances when you want to punch the customer in the face. When such a situation arises, keep your calm, simply listen to everything that the customer has to say and apologize to patch things up even though it was not your fault.

 

Proper training

Provide proper training to restaurant staffs as they are the backbone of your restaurant. From the list of popular training methods implement a training program that you think might be ideal for the staffs.

If you are not sure, go with the shadowing technique where the trainees follow around a mentor while the mentor performs his regular job duties. This gives the trainees a feel for the job before they attempt to perform their responsibilities by observing seasoned employees handling real-life scenarios.

 

Use sales techniques

Use sales techniques like the Sullivan nod which is designed to encourage people to purchase a particular item with the power of subconscious suggestion.

 

Never lose twice                       

As human beings, we sometimes do make mistakes but it’s necessary to never repeat the same mistake over again as the reputation of the restaurant that you manage is at stake here.

 

Groom/Broom

Groom your low performers or broom them, it’s as simple as that.

 

Accept & monitor feedbacks/reviews

It’s important to accept and monitor feedbacks to find out about the areas that need improvement or are doing well.

Reply to queries and reviews posted either online or offline. Special care should be taken to find out about any negative reviews about your restaurant posted online.

In the case of negative reviews, reach out to them and work out a form of compensation for the inconvenience caused.

 

Be inspired

Go out to other famous/competitors restaurants and be inspired by their service. Share the experience with your staffs and try to duplicate it in your own restaurant.

 

Encourage & Motivate

A pat on the back, kind words and service support go a long way. The key is to make your customers feel like family.

Conduct weekly or monthly contests and reward the top performers with gift cards that can be redeemed in the neighboring stores, this helps to build bonds with the neighboring stores and inspires your staffs to work hard as part of your team.

 

Daily to-do list

Maintain a daily to-do list and stick to it.

 

Daily/Weekly meeting

Conduct daily/weekly meetings to set goals, discuss the changes to be made, and publicly praise your staffs for their achievement and support.

 

Over deliver

Always deliver more than what is expected from you.  As small changes add up to greatness, try to improve the operation of your restaurant by at least 0.01% each day.

 

Inventory Management

Make sure that daily inventory records are kept and assign at least one employee to monitor inventory related activities, this not only helps to prevent pilferage but also helps in maintaining the food cost.

Special care should be taken to confirm expected usage and investigate significant variances.

 

Restaurant POS

Get a restaurant management software if your budget allows it as it will make it easy to manage and keep track of your restaurant’s day to day operations.

Other qualities that set a manager/owner really apart are self-control, courage, effective planning, pleasant personality, and clear and decisive decision-making ability.

 

Did we miss something? Let us know in the comment section down below.

How to Calculate Food Cost per Meal

Calculating the food cost per meal is a process that requires at most care. Charging more or charging less is a recipe for disaster.

The following guide will simplify these steps for you to ideally price the menu items.

 

how-to-calculate-food-cost-per-meal-expodine.com

1) Calculate the cost of each and every ingredient

Take into account even the slices of tomato that go into a dish. Special care should be taken to only include the specific amount of that particular item that goes into the dish. For example, include the price of the tomato slices used instead of adding up the price of a whole tomato.

 

2) Calculate the cost of items in small amounts that go into a dish

Account for even the items that are served as a side dish or go into making the dish attractive (seasonings and garnishes). Be it a squirt of ketchup, a slice of lemon or anything else.

 

3) Calculate the cooking cost

Calculate the monthly cooking cost by including the price of cooking oil, cooking gas, and everything else that goes into cooking.

To find the cooking cost for a single item just divide the monthly cooking cost with the total number of items served. This will roughly give you an idea about the cooking cost.

 

4) Calculate the transportation and handling costs

Calculate the cost of transporting and handling the items on a monthly basis. This can be achieved by adding the cost of transporting and handling the items from one place to another and the expenses of the person transporting and/or escorting the items.

To calculate the transportation cost of each item, divide the (monthly transportation and handling cost added to the expenses of the accompanying person) by the total cost of all the items added together.

 

5) Calculate the wastage

Calculate the amount of items that get wasted during the preparation of an item on a monthly basis. Also account for items that cannot be used because they passed the best for use date.

 

6) Calculate the wages paid to your staffs

Calculate the wages paid to each and every single staff of yours. Be it your master chef or the cleaning lady.

 

7) To price each menu item, follow the following steps

  • Divide the amount obtained by adding the amount obtained from step 1,2 and 3 with the total number of dishes served (Take the average of the total number of dishes served during a particular period of time, ranging from weeks to months or even a year ).
  • Add to it the handling and transportation cost of each and every item that goes into that dish.
  • Add to it the wages paid to the employees divided by the total number of employees. Before adding this amount to the previous step divide it by the total sales (Take the average of the total number of sales made during a particular period of time, ranging from weeks to months or even a year).
  • Add to it the extra charges like the tax paid, rent (if applicable), loss due to food theft, marketing cost, etc. Before adding this amount to the previous step divide it by the total sales (Take the average of the total number of sales made during a particular period of time, ranging from weeks to months or even a year).
  • Next step that should be followed is to add how much profit you would like to reap by selling the dish and price your menu item accordingly.

 

8) Do market research

Visit the restaurant of your competitors and determine the cost of items that you are offering. Also, steal any idea or recipe that can improve your dishes.

 

Competitively price your menu items and to bring in customers into your restaurant sell the dishes at a lower price than that of your competitors for a small period of time. After the customers start to flow in, you can marginally increase the price.

After setting the menu pricing for each item, you’ll have to update the pricing due to market rate fluctuations and the price changes in the seasonally available items. This process can be completed manually or can be automated with the help of a restaurant management software. Read the guide on how to choose the right restaurant management software if you would like to automate this process.

 

Feel free to post your comments down below.

10 Golden Rules of Customer Retention

Retaining your customers is just like retaining your friends, the longer your friend list the happier you will be (Virtual friends doesn’t counts here unless of course you know each other well). The only difference is that your bank balance increases because of your customers and when it comes to friends it’s the other way around.

To be more specific, let’s talk numbers here: If you and your friend both have 100 friends each, and you succeed to retain 70 of them and your friend 80, then at the end of a year provided the number of new friends that you both make is equal. Your friend is bound to have more friends. If the number is large then it will amount to much and over the years the difference is going to be huge.

 

10 Golden Rules of Customer Retention

There are many steps that you can take to retain your customers. Some of them are listed below:

 

Get in touch

Treat your customers like you would treat your family, get in touch with them. Greet them on special occasions like their birthday or anniversary etc. Let them know that you actually care.

Special care should be taken not to annoy them by spamming their inbox with messages that they are not going to be very happy about.

 

01

 

 

Surprise them

Surprise and delight your customers by throwing in complimentary dishes and offering special discounts.

Offer free dishes for them on their birthday on any other special occasion. There’s no need to make the whole menu free, even offering a small beverage for free will do. This will not only make them happier but will also result in bringing in more business as it is highly unlikely that a person would be visiting a restaurant alone on special occasions. He/she will be accompanied by friends/family members.

 

Thank them

Everyone likes to feel appreciated. Thank them and make your customers believe that they made the right decision of buying stuff from you by reaching out to them in the form of feedback forms or coupon codes towards the next purchase.

The key is to make them believe that they have made the right choice by choosing you over your competitors.

 

03

 

 

Feedbacks

Get feedback from your customers, as it not only helps in identifying how your customers feel but also helps in identifying the issues that are bugging them.

Collecting feedbacks helps you to take informed decisions and shows that you’re engaged in the business and are looking for ways to improve.

As important as it is to collect feedbacks, responding to feedbacks is equally important.

 

Testimonials

Collect and highlight testimonials to show that you actually care. It also helps to generate a sense of trust among your customer base.

 

Extraordinary customer service

With instant help, make your customers feel that you will be there to help anytime they need you.

The key is to make them feel that you actually care.

 

Tailored offers

Almost every single person has different needs and behaves in a particular way. So, it’s important to tailor your offerings based on your customers as one might love chocolates and the other might not.

 

02

 

Train

Train your staffs in customer service skills to prevent jeopardizing the reputation of your restaurant. As word of mouth is still one of the greatest forms of advertising and a bad review is definitely going to spread like fire.

Don’t just train your staffs, treat them well and also reward them well for their performance. This small step will go a long way towards retaining your staffs as well.

 

Personalized video

You can also try forwarding personalized video to your customers to add a personal touch. It shows that you took time out of your busy schedule just for them and as a result they are bound to think that your business does really gives importance to your customers.

 

04

 

Review

Analyze the reviews posted online about your restaurant and respond to them.

For positive reviews, thank your customers and offer a discount coupon or something else to show that you value their business.

For negative ones, reach out to them and try to find out the root cause of the problem. Work out a form of compensation for the inconvenience caused.

 

 

Customer retention is often neglected as businesses focus on bringing in new customers at the expense of old customers.

Don’t make this mistake.

Focus instead on building your customer base by retaining your old customers along with bringing in new customers, and you’ll likely be rewarded with higher returns.

Do you have anything extra to add? Please drop your comments and suggestions down below.

How to start a restaurant?

How to start a restaurant

 

The worst thing about cooking at your own house is having to do the dishes. Everyone hates that no matter how much you love to cook. People dine out to get away from this and to have a wonderful experience.

The restaurant industry is a rapidly growing industry and it is one of the fewer industries that will never go out of business.

If you’ve already decided to set up your own restaurant, then you’re going to make the right move. You might have heard that it is not a money making machine where you can get great returns without  doing much work. The reaps need to be earned through hard work.

For those folks out there who are planning to start a restaurant just for the sake of returns, I would strongly advice you to jump right in only if you’re interested in this industry as the growth of your venture depends directly on the hard work that you put into it, and if you can’t stand it then you’ll find it hard to go ahead.

The following tips will help you to start your own restaurant and keep it up and running.

 

 

restaurant location

 

Location

Accessibility, parking space, and features offered play a major role in determining the success of your restaurant. Many restaurateurs completely neglect this step in the belief that they’ll make up for it by investing the money they saved on location by investing it in marketing.

Your potential customers always look out for ample parking space, and how close it is to prime locations for easy accessibilty, which also plays a major role in driving in the crowd visiting these locations.

 

 

Environment

Restaurant environment plays a major role in bringing in the crowd as the first thing your potential customers notice is the way in which the restaurant is set up.

No one would like to be at a place that doesn’t look good. When was the last time you went out to a restaurant and didn’t see anyone taking a selfie.

Probably not in the near future right? It is the latest fap. If your restaurant looks good then there will be people waving their mobile here and there to have that perfect pose for their social media account.

The article on how to design a restaurant will be of help to achieve that perfect design.

 

 

Type of restaurant

It is impossible to be everything. So, just choose a theme that would be right for the area in which you are planning to set up your restaurant and work on that.

If you like it that doesn’t mean that your customers will also do so. After making up your mind bring in your family members and friends, and if possible some locals and have them try out the food. Try to get honest feedback from them and find out the favourite item of the lot. Based on these feedbacks set up your restaurant.

 

Money

Raising capital

If you are short of money in opening your dream restaurant then you might have to mortgage your belongings for a loan.  If you are having mixed feelings about starting your own restaurant. Then, give it an another thought.

You can’t have your leg in two boats at the same time. Make your mind up first and try to avoid mortgaging your property if possible. Making your friends or family members your partners is a big no-no if you are not certain that it’ll end up well.

 

Name

Your restaurant’s name should sound good and needs to be a reflection of the products that you are planning to offer.

Go with fancy names that would make you stand out. There’s no point in having a name if the google search for that particular keyword returns a thousand results. Unless of course it is related to a brand that you own.

 

 

 

 

food

 

 

Food concept

Make up your mind about the type of food items that you are willing to offer.

Do market research and find out about the items that are selling.

 

Menu

It is not about the items that you like, after all your customers are the one who will help you pay your bills. So, make sure that you bring in experts and some locals to try out the food items that you are planning to offer in your restaurant.

Avoid complicated menu listings that are going to leave your customers confused. Come up with a unique design that catches everyone’s eye and is easy to navigate through.

 

Purchase plan

Do proper research before deciding to stock anything up just for the sake of having it. Never purchase a product just because it was on sale as the next thing that you might come to know is it stopped working on the day on which the warranty period expires.

Buy equipment that’ll last you for a lifetime. Well, that was a little bit exaggerated but the point that should be taken into account here is that the equipment should be of a popular brand and never ever purchase something that you don’t need just because your competitor has it.

 

Staffs

Your staffs are the backbone of your restaurant and proper care should be taken while hiring them as they can help make or break the reputation of your restaurant.

During the recruitment process closely observe the way they behave and instead of just going through their resume reach out to their previous employers and enquire about the reason they left. Also, find out if they were fired.

 

Target audience

Make  your restaurant appealing to generation X,Y, and Z.

Maintain an area to keep the children’s entertained so that the parents can enjoy their time without having to worry about them.

To keep youngsters entertained you can offer free WiFi if your data plan allows it.

You can hire artists who perform live to drive in more crowd.

Conduct a research and find out about the expectations, and the likes and dislikes of your target audience.

Restaurant marketing

Marketing

No will come to know about your venture without proper marketing. Plan a grand opening by bringing in some famous personality and organize some competition and music events to make your presence felt.

 

Legal formalities

Complete all legal formalities and get certified in what all things a restaurant should have.

 

 

For further reading

Restaurant management tips and solutions.

How to save a restaurant from failing.

How to choose the right restaurant management system.  

 

Did we miss anything? Do let us know in the comment section below.