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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Top 17 Restaurant Design Ideas

Ways to design a restaurant

 

People eat out to have a wonderful dining experience, and a beautiful interior is something that stands out and helps draw customers in before they even experience the most important factor, that is, the quality of the food being offered.
Furnishing your restaurant with the colors and designs that will allow your customers to relax will have them come in time after time.
You should take care of the following things while designing your restaurant.

 

 

Interior color scheme

 

Interior color schemes
How would you feel when you see a person wearing yellow shirts and green trousers. Not so interesting right?
Same is the case with the walls in your restaurant, always choose the right color combinations and remember that it is not about your favorite color, it is all about the customers’ feelings.
Every color is designed to meet different needs. Consider the colors that appear throughout your restaurant, including the tables and chairs. Bringing it all together under one theme will help set the mood and will also help in driving in more customers.
If your restaurant is meat-centric, use more browns. Use more greens if it’s vegetable-centric. Use orange to make your customers happy and use white to make the shop feel clean.
If you want to invoke thirst, you can go with blues. But it’s not commonly used as it doesn’t make food look appealing and fails at evoking a feeling of hunger.
If you are running a fast food restaurant then go with red as research shows that the color red increases heart rate, blood pressure, and stimulates impulse eating, and increases the table turnaround time. However, special care should be taken to not go with bright red as it will repel your customers.

 

Go with soft natural colors like browns and green if you are running a casual restaurant as these colors encourage customers to relax and enjoy themselves, which increases the chances of them staying a while longer for an appetizer, coffee, or dessert.

The kitchen is more prone to stains, so go with tough enamel finishes or washable paint to make it easy to clean.

 

 

Upholstery
Would you like to eat off of a table cloth that has food stains all over it? Probably not, right?

Same is the case with your customer, choose something that you’d want to eat off of, and make sure that it’s regularly being cleaned.

 

Choosing an upholstery for your restaurant is a tiresome task, following tips will help you to lay your hands upon the best material that you can possibly find.

 

Samples

Never make your decisions based on the images shown online or in brochures, as the color and texture will always differ when seen through the naked eye. Always ask for samples.

 

Weave
Smaller the weave the tighter it will be, making it more durable in restaurants with high traffic when compared to large weaves as large weaves get damaged easily even by studs on jeans.

 

Stains

No matter how careful your staffs are spillages will happen. Avoid flat colors as it will stain more easily and becomes difficult to clean over time. Go with a multi-colored weave instead. Faux leathers are also a good alternative as they last longer and can be wiped down and cleaned easily.

Plastic table covers are easy to wipe, but they are stubborn when it comes to stain removal.

 

Colors

Light colored fabrics are a big risk, choose appropriate colors to suit your customer base and business type.

 

 

Artwork

 

Artwork
Choosing an artwork that is attractive and unique will draw in customers, it also makes your restaurant stand out against the competition.
Take care of the following tips while choosing an artwork

 

Color
Choose an artwork that complements the background color of the wall.

 

Theme
Choose an artwork that will get along with the theme of your restaurant. If your restaurant is family-oriented select an artwork that appeals to both parents and children.

 

Menu design
Avoid an overcomplicated 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.

 

Uniform

 

 

Uniforms
Involve your employees in the decision-making process as they are the one who are going to have to wear it all day long. Before approaching your employees narrow down your search and then share samples to get feedback.

Special care should be taken to choose fabrics that are easy to clean, fade-resistant, and not easily wrinkled. (Cotton/Polyester blends are a popular choice).

 

light

 

 

Lighting
Once you have the color chosen and the walls painted, take into consideration the lighting of the room. Having a soft glow or bright lights will again reflect the overall environment of your restaurant.

For areas where touch screens or POS stations are installed, the light level should be low to prevent glare on the screen.

You can also get creative with mood/decor/art lighting, but make sure that the lighting is soothing to the eyes.

 

Music

 

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.

 

Security cameras

Place security cameras strategically to prevent theft and improve the overall security of your restaurant.

 

Restaurant designers

 

Consult professional restaurant designers as they have more experience in the field and, in the end, it’s not about your personal taste, it’s about creating something that your customers will like.

 

furniture

 

 

Furniture

 

Make up your mind about what kind of feel and style you are planning to achieve for your restaurant before making the purchase as furniture can make or break the look and feel of your restaurant.

 

To make the theme of your restaurant complete every item should be chosen carefully. If you are planning for a minimalist look, go with all white/black. For a natural look, go with ash timber or chocolate colored furniture. For a retro look, pair red and black

 

Also, take into account the environment in which they will be placed. Outdoor restaurants should invest in furniture that will withstand harsh weather conditions. While indoor restaurants have the freedom to select any type of furniture they want.

 

 

Sink

 

Place multiple hand wash sinks in different areas of the kitchen like prep areas, warewash room, etc., to make it easily accessible to employees.

Also, provide at least one mop sink to take care of mop water.

To prevent cross-contamination, have a separate entrance for your staffs to deliver the dirty dishes without having to walk through the prep area.

 

Equipment
Equipment should be positioned strategically to improve the execution of the menu efficiently. Also, special care should be taken to prevent contamination of foods items due to improper storage and handling.

 

Windows
Select windows with energy conservation and lighting concerns in mind. As single pane windows are the least energy efficient, select windows with three panes of glass (if possible).
Also, install shades, blinds, etc, to improve energy usage.

 

Waiting area
If you often find your customers waiting to be seated due to the rush it might be a great idea to invest in a waiting area.

 

Energy efficiency

 

Investing in energy-efficient appliances and equipment will save money in the long run. While they might cost more at the start, they will help you save money in the long run.

 

Storage area

 

The storage areas should be easily accessible from both the docking stations and the production areas. If you are finding it hard to place them conveniently between these two areas, place them close to production to save labor time.

 

Restrooms

 

An attractive, clean restaurant that carries through the design scheme of the restaurant shouts out about the caring attitude of management.

 

A dirty washroom may lead customers to believe that the kitchen is dirty, too. Also, consider installing wall-mounted ashtrays to keep the floor clean and prevent disposal of cigarettes in the restroom.

 

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

Expodine introduces Kerala’s first digital/eMenu for restaurants

Digital/eMenu for restaurants-Expodine

 

Digital/eMenu is the latest addition from Expodine, a leading global provider of tablet-based restaurant management software that promises to transform the way restaurants operate. It’s more than a digital restaurant menu. It’s a complete menu management solution designed to save time and increase your restaurant’s revenue with features including

  • Order Management
  • Menu Management
  • Feedback Screen
  • Loyalty System
  • Category Filter
  • Item Modifiers
  • Bill Generation

Expodine is the pioneer in Kerala to provide digital restaurant menu with all the features restaurant owners have been crying out for, and among the first to implement it, is the Calicut branch of Hug a Mug. It’s an extraordinary, yet intuitive app that outperforms your expectations. So, how does it work?

Emenu takes the form of a clever android application, much like the ones that we have all become accustomed to. From your android tablet now you’re able to perform all the functions of order/menu management that a waiter had to perform earlier. It takes care of menu management, placing and tracking orders, staff communication, and feedback management. It optimises customers experience, speeds up performance, empowers staffs and restaurant managers like never before.

Many restaurateurs remain sceptical of restaurant management systems, menu management systems or POS systems, which have been limited and cumbersome in the past. But, these concerns are fully laid to rest with Expodine. Mr Rijas Backer, M.D, Expodine, explained “Almost every restaurant was looking for a way to make the cumbersome task of menu management easier by digitizing the menu. Emenu is Expodine’s response to the demand for a digital restaurant menu. Once you have it, you simply don’t need anything else”.

Now, you may ask, what about implementation? A key aim for Expodine is seamless integration, requiring minimum hardware, training or installation. You can switch over to Expodine within a day. Getting started is incredibly easy; all you need is an android tablet, the app, a cash drawer, a WiFi router and a printer if you would like receipts. Setting up the app is a simple, fully customizable process with a smart intuitive back-end that allows restaurant owners to edit menu, alter pricing and apply specials, discounts and much more. For those who get stuck, Expodine also offers screen wise tutorial, as well as full-time customer support.

So, what’s the catch here? Well, there doesn’t really seem to be one. The app is intuitive, it’s affordable and incredibly smart. Overall, Expodine is set to make big waves in the restaurant industry, a no brainer for progressive thinking restaurant owners who want to maximise efficiency and take their business by the horns.