5 Easy Steps you can take to Retain Restaurant Staffs

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

You can manage, right?

But what if more than one employee decides to leave?

That won’t be good for your restaurant.

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

Retain Restaurant Staff

 

Be a Good Manager

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

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

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

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

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

 

Fire Poor Performers

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

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

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

 

Get Rid of Poor Equipment

Making your staffs work with outdated equipment that clearly needs to be replaced or repaired is mental torture.

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

 

Train your Staffs

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

 

Compliment your Staffs

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

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

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

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

 

How to Keep Pests from Closing Down Your Restaurant

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

Not a happy situation, right?

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

 

Restaurant Pest Control

 

So, what can you do about that?

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

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

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

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

  • Flies
  • Stored-product pests
  • Rodents
  • Cockroaches

Most common pests found in restaurant

 

Flies

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

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

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

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

 

Rodents

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

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

 

Stored-Product Pests

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

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

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

 

Cockroaches

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

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

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

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

 

  1. Inspection

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

Inventory Management Tricks to Boost Your Restaurant

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

 

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

 

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

 

Restaurant inventory management

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

The steps to be followed to achieve that are:

 

1)    Floor plan

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

 

2)    Category

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

3)    Storage

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

 

4)    Signs

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

 

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

 

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

 

5)    Layout

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

 

6)    Manual

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

 

7)    Assess

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

 

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

 

8)    Rinse and repeat

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

 

Modify it till you have a perfect plan in hand.

 

Points to keep in mind while managing inventory

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

 

 

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

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.

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.