How to Train Restaurant Staff – Fast

Restaurant staff training is essential for the success of your restaurant as all great performances are a result of hard work and training.

But running a successful restaurant is just like running a marathon where the front of house staffs need to give their best performance to the customer who arrives at the beginning and end of their shift to stay ahead.

The only difference here is that instead of time, the success is calculated based on the revenue generated and feedbacks received.

But finest wait staffs aren’t born, they’re made.

Restaurant-Staff-Training

 

Restaurant Staff Training

A well-trained restaurant staff is the key to repeat business as delicious food coupled with memorable experience guarantees a return visit.

Carefully train your front of the house staffs as the way they deliver themselves in front of your customers can help make or break your restaurant.

Assign restaurant managers to constantly observe and coach your wait staffs to refine their skills.

Finally, ensure that your finest wait staffs are always on the front line.

 

Let’s take a look at the steps that you can take to train your staffs.

 

Hire the Right People

Training is crucial but great waiters aren’t necessarily trained to be champions. Most of it is the talent and personality that is just who they are.

So, consider every aspect of the position when interviewing.

To make sure that they match with the culture within your company hire staffs whose personalities and values are aligned with your concept.

For example, if the theme of your restaurant is calm and quiet hire a staff that has a strong sense of decorum. Hire a restaurant staff that is lively and outgoing if the theme is fun oriented.

If you don’t have years of interviewing experience seek the help of experienced managers or a mentor within the industry to help you come to a conclusion on the personality traits that will best suit your restaurant’s concept.

Conduct group discussions to help determine not only the strategies that did work in the past but also those that did not work.

Who knows, your staffs might come up with a unique idea that never even crossed your mind.

 

Training Program

A well researched standard recipe of KFC made them the brand that they are today.

Likewise, a well-researched restaurant staff training program will ensure that your staffs are well-trained and stand up to your expectations.

Pen down a training programs that stresses the major points to be covered. Observe the results and take special care not to overload your future staffs.

This can be achieved by breaking down the training program into various sessions to reduce the load.

Avoiding the training program is a recipe for disaster as even a single bad review from your customers will have a permanent impact on the reputation of your restaurant.

 

Be Clear

Always stress the point that you want your employees to follow. Be it to always greet the customers with a smile or to up-sell items.

You should lay out everything specifically covering who, what, how, when and where.

Many trainees become frustrated when the job requirements are unclear and this could lead to the loss of a valuable employee. It is simply best to prevent such situations by conducting daily staff meetings that provide clear directions in the beginning.

 

Developing a Training Program

The present generation has higher expectations when it comes to training because of the way they were taught in school.

This means that throwing them into the training program without any proper guidance is not going to work.

To gain their loyalty the key point that should be kept in mind is to mentor them, not manage them.

As a result of this mutually respectful relationship, they’ll want to learn more from your company.

 

Method 1) Video

What’s the first thing that you do when you don’t know the answer to something?

You Google it right?

And end up on Youtube.

Incorporating video into the restaurant training program will make it more interesting as most of you prefer to watch an instructional video than having to read a book to learn the same thing.

This doesn’t mean that you should fire your restaurant’s in-person trainer. To reap the complete benefits of this method, complement it with in-person training.

 

Method 2) Mobile and Tablet Training

How many times have you caught your staffs using WhatsApp or Facebook?

Many a time right?

Even if you haven’t caught them you can guess that they do use their phones behind your back during shifts.

Instead of banning mobile devices what if you could use that to your advantage. Does it sound too good to be true? Well, it isn’t.

Training your staffs to use tablet or mobile-based restaurant management software not only helps them but it also reduces the cost associated with printing the training material.

 

Method 3) Mentoring

Before purchasing a product we rely on reviews from our peers who own that product or know someone who does, as it easier for us to relate to our peers.

As managers don’t have enough time to individually mentor each trainee, assigning a peer mentor for each new staff will work.

As your staffs will be more comfortable around their peer mentor, they’ll open up about their problem areas and mistakes. This will allow you to properly measure their weakness, and where you need to focus more of your training.

 

Method 4) Gamification

Think about how much time your staffs spend on their phone playing clash of clans or mini-militia. If you can use that use that urge to play games to your advantage, you will entertain and teach them something.

That might sound a bit strange, but gamification could involve anything from deadlines and competitions to playful badges or points that can be redeemed online. Because gamification provides such a fun experience, it actually increases the impact of your training as everyone would try hard to stay ahead on the leaderboard.

 

Method 5) Team Building

Training is crucial, but so is retention. Create opportunities for socializing, like after work competitions, parties or anything else that you can come up with that’ll make your staffs socialize more.

By building relationships at work your staffs will be far more productive and are less likely to leave.

Restaurants are competitive and stressful environments, so if you could make your staff’s life less stressful, then they will acquire new skills, increasing their contribution to your restaurant.

 

P.S: For reading this far, I’m going to provide a special offer for the first 50 people who try out the commitment-free trial of our restaurant management software which is guaranteed to make you and your staff’s life a whole lot easier.

Hurry! Grab it before it’s gone!

21 Ways to Increase your Restaurant’s Revenue

Have you ever wanted to increase your restaurant’s revenue without having to spend much on promotion? Then you’ve come to the right place.

This article clearly explains 21 ways by which you can increase your restaurant’s revenue.

 

Let’s get started.

 

As a restaurateur what’s the one step that you would come up with to increase the revenue?

If you came up with the solution that marketing would work then you are right, it really does.

For those of you who came up with a solution like increasing the menu price. This would also work to some extent, but it might backfire as you might end up losing some of your existing customers.

So, be careful while hiking the menu prices.

 

How to increase restaurant revenue

 

  • Increase the number of customers

Increase the number of customers through promotion strategies like targeted emails, mobile apps, and social media.

 

  • Monitor your food costs closely

Make sure that you are not charging more than your competitors. A slight price hike is normal provided you maintain the quality of food and service offered.

 

  • Analyze your profits closely

Analyze the sales and profits of your restaurant closely. If there is an increase or decrease in it check your reports and find out what caused it.

 

  • Increase customer frequency

Provide exceptional service, great food and a relaxing atmosphere inside your restaurant.

 

After you’ve done with that, let your customers know that you value their feedback and appreciate their choice to dine with you by thanking them and replying to their feedbacks. This will set you apart from your competitors.

 

Also, rewarding your customers for return visit will reinforce the value you see in a return visitor.

 

  • Become known for a signature dish

The key is to make specials, special by adding items that tantalize taste buds and increase profits nightly.

This creates a buzz around your business and helps in bringing in new customers.

 

  • Upsell

Upsell items without turning off your customers by making sure that your staffs are properly promoting them.

 

Selling something extra like appetizers, desserts, soups, etc. not only brings money in your pocket but also brings joy to the table.

 

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

 

  • Properly train your staffs

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.

 

  • Marketing

Use marketing effectively to make the presence of your restaurant felt in the market. The strategies that can be followed are

  • Posting drool-inducing images on your website and other social media accounts such as Facebook, Instagram etc.
  • Offering loyalty programs to your repeat customers in the form of discounts, coupons, vouchers, etc.
  • Paid online ads also help to a great extent in bringing in new customers.
  • Distribute fliers promoting your specials and other offers.
  • Conducting contests is also a great way of marketing.

 

  • Item description

We eat with our eyes first. So, the description needs to stimulate a feeling of hunger.

If you‘re using your menu as a list full of prices, then you’re doing it all wrong.

 

  • Menu revamp

Just like fashion, the menu should be changed seasonally as the requirement of your customers varies with season.

Also, remove menu items that aren’t selling.

 

  • Pre-shift meetings

Pre-shift meetings are the best time to decide upon the daily duties  to be performed by your staffs and the changes in service to be made.

 

  • Mentor other staffs

Ask the top performing staffs of your company to mentor other staffs. This will not only help in improving the performance of low-performing staffs but will also improve the overall rating of your restaurant.

 

  • Online ordering

Research shows that online ordering helps in increasing the overall revenue of restaurants by up to 30 percent. The best thing about online ordering is that you don’t have to spend even an extra penny for promotion.

 

  • Target mobile users

In this digital yuga, the number of mobile users is growing day by day. Plan things like mobile apps, advertisements, and social media promotions targeted towards mobile users.

 

  • Retain your customers

For tips on customer retention, read the article titled 10 golden rules of customer retention.

 

  • Incorporate technology

Technologies like table-based POS system, electronic menu, restaurant management software, etc have made the life of a restaurant manager/owner a whole lot easier.

The benefits include increased order accuracy, faster service, and convenience.

The key point that should be taken into account here is that staying on top of the tech helps in increasing the sales and keeps track of everything.

 

  • Warm and cozy environment

Focus on music, lighting and smell to start setting the mood. It should be warm and inviting. Research from the University of South Wales showed that subjects spent more in restaurants with upbeat music. Depressing songs led to less spending, but the worst results happened when there was no music at all.

 

  • Cleanliness

Customers want a clean restaurant. Don’t just wipe the tables, check every nook and corner of your restaurant and make sure it’s clean, including the toilets.

Also, check for chewing gum underneath the table and chair.

 

  • Uniform

In addition to the restaurant, ensure that the staff uniforms are clean. The appearance of your staff reflects on your restaurant just as much as the building.

 

  • Inventory in check

Keep your inventory at an adequate level to control your food and beverage costs.  Overstocking your inventory will result in problems like over portioning, spoilage, theft, wastage and general carelessness.

 

  • Reduce wastage

Food wastage is one of the top concerns when it comes to revenue loss. Following steps if followed correctly will help you in minimizing the wastage to a great extent.

  • Avoid overbuying fresh produce
  • Inspect all food orders on arrival
  • Store everything properly, like pre-cooling hot items before storing them
  • Keep everything labeled and organized
  • Maintain portion control
  • Donate food you’ll not use
  • Ensure that your refrigerator and freezer are maintaining proper temperature.

Restaurant Menu Design: 14 Tips to Make Your Menu Card Stand Out

Selecting a menu card for your restaurant is just like selecting a wedding card, there will be a lot of designs that appeal to you but the key is to select a design that appeals to almost everyone. The added benefit here, when compared to wedding cards, is that it helps in increasing the revenue of your restaurant.

 

Restaurant Menu Design Tips

 

Follow these simple guidelines when selecting a menu card to bask in extra profits.

Great design

Select a great menu design that stands out from that of your competitors and helps project the theme of your restaurant.

If you are finding it hard to select a design, go with a black and white design as it goes well with almost every kind of restaurant.

 

Images

Use images sparingly or avoid using them as it won’t be appealing to everyone. If you must use images then go with high-quality images that stimulate appetite among your customers.

Special care should be taken to use images of your own dishes as many times the image of the dish that appears on the menu card is entirely different from the one that gets served which is bound to leave the customer unhappy unless of course the food tastes great.

 

Divide Menu

Divide the menu into logical groups having clean spacing. This not only makes it easy to navigate through but also reduces the time taken by your customers to place an order as research shows that boxes draw attention to a group of menu items. Place your signature items in boxes to highlight them.

 

Currency Signs

Avoid currency signs as research shows that customers tend to spend less when currency signs are used on the menu.

 

Text

Select effective typography that makes it easy to read menu items. While selecting a font, keep in mind the age of the customers that will be visiting your restaurant. Make it large enough so that your customers can read it effortlessly without having to need the assistance of a magnifying glass.

Use different fonts to highlight a particular item.

 

Colour

Choose a colour that matches the theme of your restaurant, your target audience should know about the theme of your restaurant by just taking a look at the menu card.

 

Desserts

Avoid placing the desserts along with the main menu as your customers might often skip the appetizer to make room for the eye-catching desserts.

To bask in the profits of both the appetizer and dessert sales place the dessert menu after the main menu items.

 

Capitalize

Don’t capitalize everything. It is okay to capitalize the name of the dish but the description should be displayed using lower case letters.    

 

Allergies

The eight most common allergenic foods are milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans. These eight foods and any ingredient that contains protein derived from one or more of them should be listed in dish description.

 

Description

As the words used to describe a dish can boost sales, use an inviting description that tempts the customer and stimulates appetite.

 

Impact

If you use organic vegetables or farm fresh items, then highlight that in your menu.

 

Avoid

Avoid striking out items and other details, misspellings or cluttered fonts as it leaves a negative impression on your customers. Also, avoid placing items in columns and using dots or dashes to avoid price shopping.

 

Tent Menu

 

Tent Menu

Use tent menu to promote specials and offers of the day.

 

eMenu

Target generation z and tech-savvy customers by offering digital/eMenu which lets your customers save the precious minutes spent waiting for the bill and change. It helps you by increasing the table turnaround time and provides you the ability to modify the menu whenever you feel like it without having to reprint the menu card.

After you’ve followed all the steps listed above, make a list of all the menu items that you’ll need, type of menu card that you are planning to go ahead with. List the most popular items or the items that bring in the most profit on the top right corner on a two-page menu and on the top left/right side on a one-page menu card.

After finalizing everything, take a print out of the menu card and see how it looks on real lighting situations.

 

P.S: Moving to a digital menu will make your life a restaurateur a whole lot easier, but you’re free to pass on the opportunity as well.

Design Thinking Approach for Restaurant Operations

We all have had at least one phase in our life where we were not happy about something. During that phase, some of us go into depression and some come off with flying colours. The solution to this lies in a simple trick that has been implemented by many fortune 500 companies out there.

The idea that we are going to discuss here might have been unknowingly implemented earlier by you in one form or the other, we have structured it here into a form that not only makes it easy to follow but also easy to implement.

Implement this method not only in restaurant management but also in your daily life to stay ahead and lead a happy life. Let’s get started.

 

The ultimate guide for restaurant management

 

Empathize: Understand the problem

If your restaurant’s profit is lower than that of last month, the amount of stock purchased increased, or if there is anything that is bugging you. Find out the root cause of the problem.

The increase in wastage might be the reason for the increase in items bought, drop in sales might be due to negative reviews about your restaurant online. No matter whatever may be the reason, identify the real problem and move on to the next step. Coming up with a solution to the wrong problem can be worse than no solution at all.

 

Define: Identify what you are trying to achieve

After you have identified the problem it’s now time for you to identify what are to trying to achieve. Are to trying to increase the profit, lower the wastage, or both?

After identifying that move on to the next step.

 

Ideate: Analyze ideas and solutions

Come up with ideas and solutions to solve the problems that are bugging you. Ensure that the idea that you come up with meets everyone’s needs and is intuitive and can be easily implemented.

Do not dismiss even the most craziest ideas as they might help you down the line.

If you are finding it hard to come up with solutions, seek the help of others.

Now, move on to the next step.

 

Feedback: Get feedback

Get feedback on the ideas that you have already worked out. Sometimes there might be a better solution for that problem than what you have already come up with.

Take note of any feedbacks that you receive as most of the greatest inventions in history were born from a question and move on to the next step.

 

Prototype: Prototype a solution

Create a plan about how you are going to implement the solution in your restaurant. Come up with at least two different ways by which it can be implemented. After that, move on to the next step.

 

Test: Test the solution

Implement the prototype that you came up with in the previous step into your restaurant. Monitor how it performs for at least a week. If it meets your expectations, you are good to go. If it doesn’t, then repeat the process until you get a solution that works just fine.

If you are finding it hard to come up with a solution on your own, or with the help of your acquaintances then seek the help of the experts in your field.

 

To help you better under the concept, let’s take the example of you being in the market in search of software and other devices to simplify restaurant operations. Which device would you choose?

A billing software/device?, a POS system?, or a mPOS system?

Seems a bit confusing, right?

The solution can be achieved easily by implementing the method that you learnt earlier in this article. Understand the problem, why are you on the lookout for a system/software. What is it that keeps bugging you?

Is it due to the tiresome task of having to manage the inventory / stocks / cashflow / staffs on your own?

Just identify the issue and come up with what you are trying to achieve. Are you trying to fully automate the following processes or you just want a system that keeps tracks of everything. After identifying that, you won’t have to come up with ideas to solve those issues as many companies have already done that.

Just try out the free demo offered by various  companies and get feedback from your staffs and others. The article on traditional vs modern restaurant management system will prove to be helpful in that journey.

 

After trying out the free demo offered by these companies. If you are satisfied, then get it installed in your restaurant. If not, move to the next system.

If you have any ideas that can improve this method. Do let us know by dropping a comment down below.

 

 

 

 

Traditional vs Modern Restaurant Billing/Management Software

Do you remember the time when your parents used to compare you with the neighbours kid?

How can you forget that, right?

Well, comparing traditional restaurant billing software to tablet-based restaurant management system is pretty much the same thing.

As you have some strengths and weaknesses that make you the person you really are today. The same thing applies to restaurant management software.

 

Traditional-vs-Modern-Restaurant-Billing-Management-Software

 

Following are the strengths that they have in common.

  • KOT Management
  • KOD Management
  • Inventory/Stock Management
  • Menu Management
  • Cashflow Management
  • Reports Management
  • Detailed Reports

 

But what is it that separates them one another? In other words, how are they unique?

Can you guess?

If you guessed that one of them is tablet-based and the other is not, then bravo! Well done. Otherwise, just keep guessing until you’ve fixed your answer at tablet.

I’m just messing with you.

Do let me know the first difference that struck your mind in the comment section down below.

Now, moving on.

Let’s take a look at the differences that really set them apart.

 

Waiting time

How would you feel if you and your friend decide to meet up at a place at 5:00pm and by the time he/she reaches there it’s already 5:30pm.

How would that make you feel? A bit disappointed right?

But your customers are not going to feel the same way if the waiter shows up late as they are paying for his/her service and have nothing to do with him/her.

They won’t forgive him/her the way you would forgive your friends thinking that at least they showed up. The word will spread about it and it will have a negative impact on the reputation of your restaurant.

In tradition restaurant billing software, your staffs have to run back and forth to the point of sale software, between tables, to the kitchen, etc., to complete the order.

On the bright side, your staffs will become fit as they would have to walk back and forth several times to complete the order.

The downside of it is that it will limit their flexibility to move around and will decrease the average table turn time. As a result of that, your customers will be left waiting for their order to arrive for a longer period of time.

In modern restaurant management systems, your staffs have the flexibility to move around as they can directly take the order from the table using the tablet in their hand or you can fix a tablet on the table so that your customers can directly place the order without having to wait for the waiter.

The order details directly get forwarded to the kitchen which lowers the average preparation time. As a result, the tables get turned easily and your customers might leave the place happily if the quality of the food is also great.

 

Menu

Have you ever been to a restaurant and after having a look at the menu thought, “What on earth is this thing? “.

Some of your customers will also feel the same way  after having a look at the fancy names of the dishes.

Modern restaurant mPOS software offers a digital menu to the customers that contains the details of all menu items viz images, name, details about the ingredients used, etc. There are also features that suggest a combination that would go well with that. The sorting feature makes it easy to navigate through.

In this area, traditional POS software is left behind as they don’t offer a digital menu experience to the customers. As a result of which you would have to print the menu or your staffs will have to by heart the list of the items that are available at the moment.

 

Call waiter

Imagine that you are contacting the service provider of your product to resolve an issue that’s bothering you lately and the reply that you keep on getting is, “Our customer care executive is busy at the moment, please stay online, we will get back to you shortly”. Such a reply is bound to leave you frustrated unless of course you have too much patience.

Same is the case with restaurant waiters during rush hours, which will leave your customers unhappy and will make even some impatient ones to rush out of the door.

In modern restaurant management software, there are features to call the waiter with the click of a button.

In traditional ones, your customers will have to raise their hand or call out to the waiter to grab his/her attention. If everything fails, ask your customers to scream :P. That will definitely work.

 

Order status

Just like we keep on tracking the status of the products that we have ordered online, your customers are also interested in knowing the present status of their order.

Modern restaurant software displays the present status of the order as ready, served, out for delivery, etc.

Traditional billing software does not have this feature but your customers can enquire about the present status of the order by asking your staffs about it.

 

Loyalty program  

No matter how old you are, you would like to receive the special treatment that celebrities receive. Admit it, that you love to get pampered, who wouldn’t?

Just like handing over coupon codes to your customers, modern software programs simplifies this task by alerting your loyal customers via SMS/email. It also keeps track of the number of points that have been redeemed.

In restaurants using traditional software, just print out the coupons or vouchers, or make a gift card and hand it over to your loyal customers. The only feature that you will be missing out is that you would have to do everything manually.

 

Out of stock

Imagine going to your favourite restaurant and after going through the menu card deciding to place the order for an item that you haven’t tried yet, only to find out that it’s out of stock.

I promise that I won’t say, “How would that make you feel? ” again J.

But such an experience is bound to disappoint you.

Same is the case with your customers, so having a feature that automatically displays that the item is out of stock at the moment would be a life-saving feature to have which comes inbuilt in tablet-based restaurant management software.

If using traditional software, after the customer has requested for that particular item you can have your restaurant waiter say that it is out of stock at the moment.

 

Integration

Modern software can be integrated with your old third party hardware or software if you wish to do so. Also, the data can be assigned to be stored on the cloud, which makes it easy for you to keep track of your restaurant’s data anywhere, anytime, and to integrate the data to different branches located at different locations.

The traditional software also allows data integration. Cloud is the only area where it misses out.

 

Interface

The intuitive and easy to use interface of modern restaurant management software is one of the features that sets them really apart. Some of them can be even used without any training, but I do actually recommend it though.

 

All these features combined help you by simplifying the process of restaurant management. As a result of which, your restaurant’s revenue will increase, staffs will be happy due to the tip amount received, and at the end of the day, your customers will be more than happy as they get attended to fast and their orders also get processed fast.

 

At the end of the day, it’s all about selecting the system that is right for your restaurant. If you, your staffs, and your customers are happy with it. What more would you want?

 

I won’t be getting into topics like how to choose the right software, is it time for you to upgrade, etc., as it has been already discussed earlier.

 

So, which one is it going to be?

 

Do, let me know in the comment section down below.

19 Mistakes to avoid while running a restaurant

19 Mistakes to avoid while running a restaurant

Starting your own venture is something that most people can only dream of. So, you’ve already accomplished something. Kudos to that.

After a lot of planning and hard work, you gave wings to your dreams. Now, what?

Research shows that almost 26% of restaurants fail in their first year of operation. No one likes to fail. So, if your restaurant is running well now, you should ensure that it stays that way.

For those folks out there who are worried about the decline in business, stay strong, it’s never too late to start. Let’s explore some tips that will ensure that your restaurant reaches the top of the chain and stays there.

 

Location quotes-expodine.com

 

Location

Many restaurateurs make the mistake of choosing an affordable location to set up their restaurant without taking into account the accessibility, visibility, and the available parking space. Don’t make such a mistake and remember that the perfect location is worth the higher price tag.

If you have already set up your restaurant, do market research and find out about the items that would sell. Make your restaurant environment warm and inviting, and promote your dishes through special offers and other marketing methods.

Make your presence felt, that’s the best thing that you can do. Nothing even comes close to the word of mouth. So, make sure that your customers have a wonderful experience. If you can achieve that, then it is already a battle half won.

hiring quotes-expodine.com

Hire

A bad customer experience can ruin your restaurant’s reputation. So, take special care while hiring your staffs. Don’t just hire bodies, hire caring people with a smile.

Most of the time, the best hires come through the top performers of your restaurant. Play who do you know game with your top performers to come across great talent.

Avoid hiring people with an attitude problem, drinking/smoking issues. Hire people who are better than you, especially for a task you are weak at and pay them well.

Never hire family, friends, or friend’s family.

Instead of just  going through their recommendation letter, reach out to their previous employers and find out why they left. Employee retention is as important as hiring the right employee.

 

 

Interior

Research from the University of South Wales showed that customers spent more time in restaurants with upbeat music. Depressing songs lead to less spending, but the worst results happened when there was no music at all.

Focus on providing a clean, warm and inviting environment to start setting the mood of your customers. Even a single bad review can hurt your reputation. Check every nook and corner and make sure that it’s clean.

Don’t leave everything to your restaurant manager, do a periodic inspection and make sure that the washrooms are clean and also check for chewing gum underneath the table and chair.

 

Avoid over-staffing

It may be tempting to hire more people than necessary in order to ensure that the restaurant runs smoothly. However, too many staffs will increase your labor costs and reduce your overall profit.

 

Latest Equipment

Do not go crazy over buying the latest equipment. Buy the best equipment that you can afford.

 plan quotes-expodine.com

Planning

Lack of initial planning and leaving everything to chance is one of the reasons why many restaurants fail.

 

Present your ideas in front of your close friends, family, and other industry experts and get feedback from them. Don’t take any chances. Do your own research and come up with ideas which will work in the area in which your restaurant operates.

 

A very important aspect that many restaurateurs neglect is having cash in reserve. Have money in reserve to run for at least 6 months.

 

Grand opening

If you have already setup your restaurant and it’s running well, organize small events and bring famous personalities as guests. The idea is to market yourself by making your presence felt in the market.

 

If you are just about to open a new restaurant, plan a grand opening and bring in famous celebrities for the inauguration ceremony. Bringing in a celebrity will draw a lot of crowd into your restaurant and a simple trick like the lucky winner gets to take a selfie with the celebrity, will make the crowd go mad.

 

It’s all about making your presence felt. So, make it happen.

marketing quotes-expodine.com

Marketing

Conducting a grand opening and organizing events is a great way of  marketing your restaurant but you only get to have a single opening ceremony.

 

Well, that was a wrong statement from my side as you can organize multiple opening ceremonies if you renovate and re-open your restaurant. But, the key point that should be taken into account here is that it is not possible to have multiple opening ceremonies without any reason and they are pretty expensive as well.

 

Market your restaurant online by posting drool-inducing images, recipe preparation methods, specials of the day, combo offers and by offering a discount on a particular dish.

 

Another great way to market your restaurant is by partnering with other service providers such as movie theatres, to provide a discount on their services if your customer spends an amount that you have set as a parameter for availing the discount.

 

Be active on social media and get your restaurant listed in different directories so that it becomes easy to find your restaurant online when someone searches for restaurants in that location.

 

Positive reviews will help you drive customers to your restaurant and a single negative review will mar your brand image. Don’t get annoyed or angry if someone posts a negative review or rating about your restaurant online. Be courteous and try to find out the issue that they faced which made them write that negative review. Never lose your cool and work out a form of compensation for the inconvenience caused.

 

Back-end

Pay attention to your restaurant’s back-end, as they are the backbone of your restaurant. This is something many restaurateurs completely neglect and end up losing their star employees.

 

Keep your employees happy and let them know that you’ll be there for them whenever they need a hand. Pay them well.

Instead of treating them as an employee, treat them as family. Also, train your employees to treat your customers in the way they would treat a family member.

Greet your employees and hold frequent meetings in which you communicate with your staffs and ask for their opinion and suggestions. . Solicit their feedback so they don’t feel voiceless. Make sure that they feel part of your restaurant’s success.

If any kind of conflict arises in the kitchen, resolve them effectively by making sure you stay neutral while negotiating a solution or a compromise to the problem and never make a decision when you are mad.

Employee retention is important but never hesitate to send bad talent packing as soon as possible.

 

Listen to your customers

Just because you love it does not mean the customers will. Listen to your customers because they see things from a different angle.

Always remember the golden rule, “The customer is always right” when dealing with customers.

 

Turn tables quickly

Every customer that walks out of the door during rush hours is a loss in revenue. Based on the type of your restaurant concentrate on either increasing the average check size per table or increasing the table turn time. Make sure that your customers get seated and waited on as quickly as possible. Consider training your staffs to manage tables faster or invest in a restaurant management system to increase the table turnaround time.

Also, take special care to never rush customers, but if a customer is causing a loss to your business by sitting there for a long time even after finishing their course, politely offer them a free drink at the bar (If you consider that as a good practice).

 

Nonessential assets

Handover nonessential assets that are on lease like the surplus fridge, ice making machine, utility vehicle etc that is lying around without any use

 

Over-complicated menu

Avoid an over-complicated menu that confuses customers with overwhelming choices, cryptic language and a complex layout. Provide a menu that makes it easy for customers to search for dishes by arranging items sequentially and in logical groups.

Featuring the dishes you’re best at making can also attract more customers.

The menu is the most crucial factor that drives income into your restaurant. Special care should be taken to regularly analyse the menu to keep the food costs in check and the margins up.

When conducting menu analysis, monitor on a day to day basis and try to come up with at least one way by which you can alleviate your food cost. Also, consider eliminating the parts of a menu that are regularly being left uneaten.

 

Reduce wastage
Based on the past sales, maintain a record of what all items you want before placing the order. Special care should be taken to avoid overbuying fresh produce. Upon arrival, inspect the products and store them properly ( Before storing hot items in a refrigerator pre-cool them, ensure that proper temperatures are being maintained inside the freezer/refrigerator etc). Ensure that everything is organised and labelled with their purchase date.

Letting your staffs know that you are going to monitor what gets dumped and following up using clear plastic bags helps. Also, consider donating food items that you are not planning to use.

 

Pre-launch training

Properly trained staffs are the lifeblood of your restaurant. It is impossible to manage the restaurant on your own without loyal employees. Paying them fairly, providing meaningful feedback in a constructive manner, and making them feel valued will make them happy and hard working.

 

Consistency

Customers like consistency. It’s important to maintain the quality and consistency of your food to keep your customers coming back for more.

 

P&L Statement

Know how to do a profit and loss statement to the penny, leave nothing.

Leaving accounting and financing to the last minute is one of the biggest mistakes you can make.

 

Portion Size
No one notices if you offer too much food, but everyone loses their mind if you are giving less.

So, special care should be taken while controlling the portion size as it’s important to keep the portion sizes in check to maintain the overall restaurant profits.

 

Other mistakes that you should avoid making are running out of stock and leaving everything up to your restaurant manager. Having the right restaurant management system installed will simplify these steps for you by monitoring everything and making the data available for you anywhere, anytime.

 

Avoid these 19 mistakes to ensure a smooth functioning of your restaurant. Did we miss something? Let us know in the comment section below.

4 reasons why your business should focus on upgrading your restaurant management system

Internet-based devices have made our life a whole lot easier by almost completely automating our day to day processes.

There have been a lot of technical advances in our world and restaurant industry has been the pioneers in embracing these modern technologies which have led to the rise of tablet-based restaurant POS system.

A lot of changes have taken place in the restaurant industry lately, the front of house staffs have moved from using pen and paper to take orders to a computer and lately they have moved from that to a tablet-based restaurant POS system.

As the competition is high, you have to keep your ear to the ground to be on par with your competitors.

If your restaurant still uses the same old bulky POS system, you might have received the advice to move to a new restaurant POS system at least once. Just don’t make up your mind yet.

Get out there and find out for yourself.

Is it time for you to upgrade your restaurant mangement system?-expodine.com

Getting a new restaurant management system is not like going out in the market to buy the latest smartphone offered by your favorite brand. If you’re ready, the article on choosing the right POS system for your restaurant will prove to be helpful.

If you are not facing any issues with the already installed POS software, then there is almost no need to move to a new system. But if you facing the below-given problems, then you are strongly advised to move to the latest restaurant management system that meets your needs.

 

Technical issues

You are facing technical difficulties more often and are unable to find the root cause of the problem. Just like windows 10’s, something happened error message.

Everyone loses their mind when they are in the middle of something and windows crashes displaying a blue screen of death. Same is the case with restaurant POS system, but we always suppress our anger and reboot the system as we don’t want to risk buying a new system as a result of punching the display.

It’s okay if you are the only one using the system ( Well, it’s not okay. But for the time being let’s just assume that it’s okay).But as your customers always have the option to place the order from anywhere else, you are strongly advised to fix the issue or move to a new restaurant management system if you don’t want to risk losing your customers, as the customers can get frustrated easily and they always have the option to place the order from any other restaurant.

In a restaurant, profit and time are linked. A restaurant POS software that crashes frequently will increase the table turnaround time, thereby leaving the staffs and customers unhappy, which will ultimately result in a loss of business.

 

Lack of flexibility

It’s no secret that restaurant customers dine out not just to have good food as they always have the option to have food from anywhere in the world. They dine out to have a memorable experience and great service always keeps them coming back for more.

The key to great customer service is to treat every customer as if they were your family.

People tend to enjoy quicker meal deliveries and a place where they can enjoy it with their friends/family.

Treating your customers well is the gateway to make them keep coming back and bulky old POS systems hold you down like shackles when you are trying to move freely to efficiently manage your customers. Not only does it slow you down, it also clutters up your counter space.

Everyone likes to dine in a restaurant where they treat their customers in a way that would make them feel special. But if your staffs are running back and forth towards the fixed POS system and back to the table, then your customers are not going to have a pleasant experience.

 

Lack of support

Old POS systems will be more prone to attacks from hackers due to the lack of software patches to fix security vulnerabilities. You can’t risk getting the card details of your customers getting compromised.

If your POS system provider is not in existence anymore and you are finding it hard to get it fixed. Then, you should seriously consider upgrading.

 

Lack of additional functionality

If you think that your restaurant POS system doesn’t seems to be running as well as it once did and needs additional functionalities like inventory management, loyalty programs, and options to manage online orders.

Also, if your staffs are finding it hard to apply special discounts and offers to specific orders, and are not happy with your current restaurant POS. Then, it is time for you to move to a new restaurant point of sale system as it offers many additional
features like providing the customer the option to skip the line and place the order from anywhere, automatic birthday wishes, and think about how much time can be saved by upgrading.

 

P.S So, is it time for you to upgrade?
The fact that upgrading to a new restaurant management system helps you solve the above-mentioned problems makes it easy to recommend, but you are free to pass on the opportunity as well.

How to save a failing restaurant

Even restaurants with good food and service go out of business. This might sound ridiculous but it’s actually true. I have no plans of delivering an essay about the steps you can take to prevent your restaurant from falling into the list of failed restaurants. So, I’m going to attempt to keep this article as short as possible in order to talk about all of the steps without making you doze off. Let’s dive right in.

 

How to save a failing restaurant-expodine.com

 

 

Review food cost

Food and beverages are the main contributors of profit in a restaurant business. But having an overpriced menu item might break your restaurant.

Conduct a proper competitor analysis and review your food costs to make sure that you are not charging too much.

During my college days, I kept track of the best dishes available in the locality of my college and the restaurants which offered a better deal without compromising the quality of food. Same is the case with customers, no one likes to get charged more for the same service offered.

 

Employee management

Properly trained staffs are the lifeblood of your restaurant. It is impossible to manage the restaurant on your own without loyal employees. Paying them fairly, providing meaningful feedback in a constructive manner, and making them feel valued will make them happy and hard working.

Don’t trust your staffs blindly. Place security cameras strategically to monitor if your employees are stealing anything  or taking advantage of free food and beverages and also install a biometric fingerprint time clock in your restaurant to keep track of their activities. Also, consider firing any extra staffs that you have in your restaurant.

 

Act of kindness

Offering free dessert for a well-behaved child and providing special discounts or offering extra portions for a customer’s favorite dish once in a while will make them coming back for more and spending more on other menu items.

If a customer’s card gets declined, respect them as an individual and always be willing to take the blame to avoid embarrassment by using the phrase, “We are having trouble with our machines and the card would not go through”.

 

Online reviews

The best way to find out why your restaurant sales are declining is to read online reviews as they are the greatest source of honest feedback.

Respond to reviews as soon as possible. Tackle negative reviews by showing interest in the problem and always remembering the golden rule of customer management, “The customer is always right”. Try to find out what went wrong and work together to reach a compensation for the inconvenience caused.

 

Social Media

Use social media sites like Facebook, Instagram etc to promote menu items by posting drool-inducing images of cuisines and also use it as a medium to attract customers by offering special offers, this might skyrocket your sales if you succeed in building a fan base. All of this matters only if you are providing delicious food, and a pleasant, relaxed eating and social environment for your customers to enjoy their food.

 

Turn tables quickly

Every customer that walks out of the door during rush hours is a loss in revenue. Based on the type of your restaurant you should concentrate on either increasing the average check size per table or increasing the table turn time. Make sure that your customers get seated and waited on as quickly as possible. Consider training your staffs to manage tables faster or invest in a restaurant management software to increase the table turnaround time.

Take special care to never rush customers, but if a customer is causing a loss to your business by sitting there for a long time even after finishing their course, politely offer them a free drink at the bar (If you consider that as a good practice).

If you are planning to be evil, you can also offer free refills that taste bad, and install an uncomfortable seating.

 

Nonessential assets

Handover nonessential assets that are on lease like the surplus fridge, ice making machine, utility vehicle etc that is lying around without any use.

 

Redesign

If your budget allows, consider updating the décor and focus on music, lighting, and aroma to provide a pleasant, relaxed eating and social environment to make your restaurant warm and inviting.

Research from the University of South Wales showed that subjects spent more in restaurants with upbeat music. Depressing songs led to less spending, but the worst results happened when there was no music at all.

 

Update Menu

I’m bad at storytelling but I’ll try my best to not doze you off. It goes like this, “Neo was a chubby little boy who happens to be  a foodie, with the dreams of having impeccable chicken cuisines he went to a wedding along with his brother Morpheus. With high hopes, he went straight to the catering area without even waiting for his brother. After reaching there, he realized that all that was offered was vegetarian food. His eyes were filled with tears, and they were not tears of joy”.

Now, you might be wondering what does it has to do with this article. Well, I’m getting into that. Conduct a proper study before designing your menu, to ensure that the dishes that you are planning to offer for the area in which your restaurant operates is right for the potential customers of that particular area (Neo in the above case).

Also, consider bringing in experts in hospitality to provide feedback on how to improve the menu and other offerings, and remove menu items that aren’t selling.

 

Want to share your ideas on how to save a failing restaurant? Feel free to post your creative ideas below.

New Year Resolution for Restaurants | 2016 edition

Do you want 2016 to be your best year yet? If yes, read on.

A New Year resolution is not just about getting fit and healthy eating. When it comes to your restaurant, you should concentrate not only on resolutions that’ll increase sales and result in a higher ROI (Return on Investment) but also on resolutions that’ll make your customers happy.

 

New year's resolution for restaurants

 

Let’s dive right in.

 

Social Media

Even if you were hiding under a rock for the past few years, it’s high time you get your restaurant in front of the public. A bit of publicity might sky rocket your restaurant’s sales just like it did for Justin Bieber.

Use social media sites like Facebook, Instagram etc to promote your restaurant by posting drool-inducing photos, recipe preparation methods (don’t post it online if you want it to be a secret) and special offers to attract more customers.

Interact with your customers online and don’t forget to respond to customer enquiries as avoiding enquiries will leave a bad impression among potential customers.

 

Technology

To stay ahead in this technology driven era, adopt to new technologies. If 103-year-old Lillian can use Facebook, why can’t you? Invest in a mobile app to stay ahead and consider installing a tablet-based restaurant POS system to attract customers.

 

Staffs

Your master chef or other staffs might be the only reason why customers are eating at your restaurant. Imagine the loss you’d have to go through if one of your favorite staff decides to resign. No one would like to go through that much trouble. If you want to avoid such a situation in the future, treat your staffs well. Be there for them when they need you, help them in time of emergency, offer perks and make your workplace fun.

 

Redesign
Consider updating the décor and focus on music, lighting and aroma to make your restaurant warm and inviting.

Consider redesigning your menu to make it more appealing by adding a new menu item and consider removing menu items that aren’t selling.

 

Go eco-friendly

There are many ways by which your restaurant can go environment-friendly, they are:

  • Save water by investing in energy efficient toilets and faucets.
  • Invest in energy efficient appliances and equipment to save on electricity bill.
  • Use biodegradable containers for packing food and leftovers.
  • Use green housekeeping chemicals to clean your restaurant.

 

Security

Strategically place security cameras in your restaurant to improve the overall safety. While installing security cameras make sure that it covers the cash counter and the kitchen.

 

Customer service

Keep your customers happy as word of mouth is one of the greatest way of advertising and the icing on the cake is that it’s totally free.

Remember that the customer is always right and try to get feedback from them whenever possible.

If there’s an issue with an order, work out a form of compensation. One way to avoid an issue is to ask questions to be clear about the order.

 

Preservatives

Consumers are becoming more health conscious. So, consider using fewer preservatives or avoid artificial preservatives if you can.

Food wastage

Reduce food wastage by avoiding overbuying, monitoring portion size and offering half sized portions.  Donating food that you will not use is also a good practice.

 

Support

Treat customers well and train your staffs to answer any questions that your customers might have.

 

Expand
Expand into catering but test the waters before making any decision and also consider implementing a different menu to increase sales during off-peak hours.

 

P.S
my new year's resolution - Expodine.com

Following these tips will ensure steady growth for your restaurant in 2016, but you’re free to pass on this opportunity as well.

How to choose the right restaurant POS system

It doesn’t matter if you are planning to expand your restaurant or open a new one. Well, it does, but just

like the mathematical proofs in our textbooks, let’s suppose it doesn’t. You will have to think about

installing POS (Point of sale) system sooner or later as it is the need of the time. Choosing a restaurant POS system

may seem overwhelming, but making the right choice will save a lot of time and money later down the

road.

How to choose the right restaurant POS system image

 

The following tips will help you make the right choice. Let’s dive right in.

 

Define the needs of your restaurant
Just like upgrading from an old motorcycle to a new one, if your restaurant already has a POS system

installed and you are thinking of upgrading. Jot down all the problems and missing features, and also

think about any cumbersome task that needs to be simplified.

 

Do you think that there is a better place than searching for it on Google? Most of you would say no! but

there is a more reliable person who can help you more than Google. Wondering who that person might

be? That person is not Sherlock Holmes, it’s your employee. Talk to your employees as well.

 

Hardware requirements
There is no need to buy a gaming PC if the only thing that you are going to use is Microsoft Word. Same

is the case with restaurant POS systems, look for POS systems that can be easily integrated with any POS

system out there. If you happen to own a conventional POS system, choose the POS vendor who gives

you the freedom to choose your own hardware.

 

Compared to the hardware, the software is more important. So, try the free demo before making up

your mind.

 

License
When selecting a restaurant POS, there are two available licensing options; one time licensing and

recurring SaaS. One time licensing will free you from any recurring payments. Recurring SaaS model can

be easily downgraded, upgraded or canceled anytime, making it feasible and more ideal in the long

run. Choose whichever suits you best.

 

Compare
Just like phone a friend/audience poll option in the show “Who wants to be a millionaire”, reach out to

your friends and seek their opinion or start a discussion on relevant groups and forums. Find out where

the POS vendor is located and their support hours.

 

See it in action
Restaurant POS systems might not be the same as in paper. Request for a free demonstration from the

POS vendor and try out the free demo (if available). Look for issues and other factors such as user

friendliness, features etc.

 

Set-up
Set-up the software and hardware properly, even a Ferrari is useless if not set up properly. Test the POS

system during free hours and train your employees to use it before making the transition.

 

Make the most of it
Don’t just contact your POS vendor to seek technical help. Enquire about any free resources that might

be available. Asking for these resources takes minimal time and will help you in the long run.

 

P.S: What are you waiting for, go choose the right POS system for your restaurant as it will make your

restaurant at least 157% more efficient. That percentage was totally made up. But still, it works.