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.

Ways to Lower Food Cost in a Restaurant

How to lower food cost in a restaurant

There are many things that keep a restaurateur up at night and the rising food costs are one of them.

It becomes extremely difficult to monitor the profit and loss in a restaurant because of the constantly varying inventory costs adding up to the food costs.

In the journey to alleviate food costs in your restaurant, you’ll likely start cutting quality of the dish, which is the biggest mistake a restaurateur can ever make. Special care should be taken to lower the food cost without sacrificing the quality.

So, what is food cost?. Food cost is the sum total of preparation costs, handling costs, and everything else that goes into a dish, including the salt and ketchup. Even consider the potential food wastage and portion size while calculating the food cost.

Many restaurateurs would argue that instead of lowering the food costs, you should concentrate on improving the menu items. That would be absolutely helpful but improving the menu items alone is not going to get you anywhere. Imagine that you try out the same dish from two different restaurants A and B, which offers the best-in-class service and drool-inducing dishes that’ll leave you begging for more. But the only difference between them is that restaurant A offers the dish at a lower cost. If that is the case, which restaurant would you go back to?.

If I was in your place I would say restaurant B just to prove the writer wrong ;). Well, jokes apart almost everyone would prefer going back to restaurant B.

The key point that ever restaurateur should remember is that it’s not about lowering the food costs, it’s all about improving the food costs. Before jumping right into the article think of at least two ways by which you can improve your restaurant’s food costs and if you can’t find those ways listed in this article do let me know. Are you ready?

Let’s get started.

 

Menu analysis

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.

 

Buy in bulk

Approach local farmers and food manufacturers to buy food in bulk. This is not as difficult as it seems. Because of the growing competition among farmers, you might even end up with a better deal if you do proper research.

Even if the items are being offered dirt cheap take special care to never compromise on the quality of food items being purchased as the taste of the menu items will vary drastically based on the ingredients being used.

 

Negotiate

Negotiate with at least three other suppliers and get the service quoted by them. Also, let the supplier that you are already negotiating with know that you are getting quotes and will go with the best one available.

To have piece of mind, always have a backup supplier in case of a deadlock. This will also grant you more confidence while negotiating a deal.

 

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.

 

Buy Seasonal

The relative abundance of the food items when the produce is in season locally makes it cheaper. During the off-season, the items are grown in a hothouse or shipped from other parts of the world, which adversely affects the taste of the items. As the taste of the food items that we buy is as important as the cost, if not more, consider designing seasonal menu cards.

 

Try Different Brands

Don’t be afraid to try out different brands before settling upon one as the chances of ending up with items of the same quality at a much cheaper rate is high if you keep experimenting with different brands.

 

Automate

Save time and eliminate data entry errors by investing in a restaurant management system that helps in completely automating the processes like inventory management, accounts management, and several other tasks such as menu management etc.

 

Train Staffs

Slow/bad service can doom a restaurant. As every customer who walks out of the door is a loss in revenue, train your staffs well to implement portion control, reduce wastage, and increase the table turnaround time.

 

Control Portion Size

No one notices if you offer too much food, but everyone looses 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.

 

Prevent Theft

Product theft is a major factor of profit loss. Special care should be taken to prevent theft. Consider installing security cameras strategically to monitor employees and let them know that they are constantly being monitored.

In the run to increase your restaurant’s revenue take special care to not cut the quality of the dish. After all, that’s what keeps the customers coming back for more. Implementing the above- mentioned steps will help you in the journey to increase your restaurant’s revenue.

Having anything extra to add? Feel free to post your comments/suggestions down below.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Get out there and find out for yourself.

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

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

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

 

Technical issues

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

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

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

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

 

Lack of flexibility

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

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

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

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

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

 

Lack of support

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

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

 

Lack of additional functionality

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

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

 

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

How to save a failing restaurant

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

 

How to save a failing restaurant-expodine.com

 

 

Review food cost

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

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

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

 

Employee management

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

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

 

Act of kindness

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

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

 

Online reviews

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

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

 

Social Media

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

 

Turn tables quickly

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

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

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

 

Nonessential assets

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

 

Redesign

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

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

 

Update Menu

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

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

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

 

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

New Year Resolution for Restaurants | 2016 edition

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

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

 

New year's resolution for restaurants

 

Let’s dive right in.

 

Social Media

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

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

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

 

Technology

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

 

Staffs

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

 

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

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

 

Go eco-friendly

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

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

 

Security

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

 

Customer service

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

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

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

 

Preservatives

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

Food wastage

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

 

Support

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

 

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

 

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

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

5 Benefits of using tablet-based restaurant POS system

Tablet-based restaurant POS system looks cool and is intuitive to use when compared to conventional POS system. From restaurant owners to customers, chefs to stewards, everyone is head over heels in love with the smartness of these systems. Let’s take a look at the features that are making people go gaga over tablet POS system. Before jumping into the features, many would like to debate the pros and cons of android and iOS operating system. At the end of the day, it all comes down to the developers who built it. Now let’s dive right into the features.

 

5 Benefits of using tablet-based restaurant POS system

 

Low cost:

No one likes to spend a fortune on a product if they can get a better product cheaper. Same is the case with restaurant POS system. Why bother spending a fortune on conventional POS system when you can get a better, feature-rich tablet POS system cheaper.

Unlike most of the conventional POS system dealers who try to reap money from your pocket selling overpriced equipment making false promises, nothing can possibly go wrong when setting up a tablet- based POS system as the dealers provide you with the freedom to choose your own tablet.

Demo:

Unlike conventional POS systems where there is no way to try the equipment live in your restaurant, almost all tablet POS system offering companies offer free product demo ranging from a few days to over a month which saves money as you would not have to pay a single penny during the demo period. The icing on the cake is that you can try a different POS system on the same tablet or use it for your personal use if you’re not satisfied with the product.

Easy Maintenance:

If you ever used a conventional POS system, you might be aware of the problems one has to go through to get the service guy to repair your POS system if anything goes awry. Just like Amazon, everyone loves a service provider who cares for you even if a zombie apocalypse occurs. Tablet- based POS systems are going to be the next Amazon for restaurant owners.  You don’t have to worry about your business coming to a screeching halt as you will receive remote technical support. There’s also no need for maintenance as the updates can be rolled out over the air without any downtime.

Easy integration:

Tablet POS systems may be small in appearance but they pack a big punch, they can be easily integrated with any POS system out there. Being able to monitor a restaurant while being away from it is the feature every restaurant owner desires as they can enjoy their life when they are away without having to worry about their business. Many system also offers robust features like real-time tracking, stock management etc.

Enhanced customer experience:

Everyone loves it when they get more than what they bargained for. The ability to move around with your POS system is a feature that stewards love as it makes the process of order taking fast and, as a result, the processing time of food is reduced to a great extent which in turn makes the chef happy as they can easily manage orders. The customers are also happy as their order gets ready before their expected time. A restaurant is nothing without customers so if the customer is happy the ROI (Return on Investment) on your restaurant’s investment will improve drastically.

P.S. It would be great if you implement a tablet-based POS system as it will make everyone happy (including you), but you are free to pass on the opportunity as well.

Best Restaurant Management Tips and Solutions

Smart owners will always be thinking of ways to improve their restaurant. In the words of Michael Mina “There’s always room to improve in a restaurant. A restaurant is better or worse every day than it was the day before. It’s impossible not to be, because it’s human”.

Let’s dive right in.

 

Best Restaurant Management Tips and Solutions Infographic

 

 

Make your restaurant more appealing

  • Provide a good atmosphere: 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.
  • Avoid an overcomplicated menu: 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.

 

Ways to attract more customers

The most influential primary sectors of a restaurant are ambience, service and food. Apart from these, use the below-mentioned tips to grow your business:

  • Focus on building a great website: Setting up a website for your restaurant is a great way to attract more customers. It really helps you build trust among existing and potential customers and can make a great first impression with new visitors.
  • Check in apps: List your restaurant on famous check-in apps like Foursquare as they are getting more popular day by day. More than 45 million users use Foursquare alone.
  • Special occasion email/message: Send an email/message to your regular customers on their birthday or any other special occasion and offer a free product on the house. This will attract more customers and may get business from other members accompanying him/her.
  • Collaborate on special offers: Collaborate with different organisations to provide offers such as dinner and a movie, discount offered to customers in a nearby motel etc.
  • Consistency: Customers like consistency. It’s important to maintain the quality and consistency of your food to keep your customers coming back.
  • Social media: Best way to promote your restaurant is to post pictures of mouth-watering, drool-worthy, beautifully arranged drink and food online. Use social media to show how many people have tried your restaurant and loved it. Always respond when people reach out to you. Build your following!

 

Save money

  • Energy-efficient equipment and appliances: 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. Also, keep appliances off when you don’t need them.
  • Adapting cost effective solutions: Using apt technological solutions will surely help in efficient management in a cost effective manner. Consulting and finding the right technology and software for your restaurant will make it easier to manage.
  • Low flow toilets and faucets: Installing low-flow toilets and faucets will save up to 40% off your water bill.
  • 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 labour costs and reduce your overall profit.
  • Remove menu items that aren’t selling: Removing menu items that aren’t selling will help reduce food spoilage.

 

Ways to make customers happy

  • Clean restaurant: 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. Check for chewing gum underneath the table and chair.

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

  • Offer perks: Offer perks to your repeat customers. Introduce a card system and offer points based on the bill amount that can be redeemed later.
  • Communicate: Greet customers and answer their questions regarding the menu items and specials. Let customers have a say.
  • Send messages: Send message greetings to your customers on special occasions such as their birthday or anniversary.
  • Avoid insect and hair problems: Customers should never find a hair on their table or ( an insect/a hair ) in their food.

 

Ways to keep your best employees

  • Fair wage: Your employees may be loving their jobs and might be happy, but at the end of the day they are working for you to earn a living. Smart owners pay well.
  • Meetings: Hold frequent meetings. Greet your employees daily and talk with them for a few minutes. Solicit their feedback so they don’t feel voiceless. Make sure your staffs feel part of your restaurant’s success.
  • Resolve conflicts: Resolve conflicts effectively by making sure you stay neutral while negotiating a solution or compromise to the problem.
  • Perks: Provide perks based on the employee’s performance.
  • Make your workplace fun: Make your restaurant an exciting place to be by holding frequent contests, celebrations, and team-building activities. Plan occasional group excursions to get everyone out.

 

Incorporate technology

  • Free Wi-Fi: Offer free Wi-Fi only if you have an unlimited data plan with high speed.
  • Games at the table: Parents are often exhausted after a long day at work. Give the parents of young children a break while occupying their children. Consider handheld gaming devices at the table.
  • Tablet ordering: Invest in a tablet-based POS system like Expodine to boost your sales, reduce upfront and long-term costs, manage your business on the go and create customer satisfaction.

For more info view this awesome infographic.