Digital Menu Boards and foodservice industry trends

expodine

Trends in the Foodservice industry are constantly changing to balance the ever-changing interests, and needs of people. Keep pace with these trends is important to restaurant owners and anyone working in the industry. 

Past few years have marked a significant change within the Foodservice industry as the food culture shifts towards higher quality food and expediency. Customers will spend their money faster when they see what they are getting. With the progress of the new age of technology where everything is getting digitized, restaurants are striving to provide a frictionless experience for consumers.

The restaurant menus too are stepping forward and going digital. Digital Menu Boards are the new trend which will help Foodservice business to win customers. The hard copies of restaurant menus are replaced with digital ones due to the many benefits of a digital menu. Since a digital restaurant menu can be edited easily, it gives the advantage of your cafe or restaurant to be dynamic in your offerings. All the changes in the menu relating to the menu items and the pricing can be managed remotely and it will be able to provide a personalized experience to the customers.

If you have an e-menu on every table, then orders need not be taken down by your servers, which will, in turn, free up the reliance on staff and reduces dependence on manpower. This will reduce your need to tap the right restaurant staff, and then train and retain them and it will also reduce the scope of mistakes while order taking and the instances of misplaced orders. 

The never-ending growth and success of the food and service industry do not limit its constant progress and continuous developments with the changing trends and innovations. Keep up with the time and incorporate with the latest technology to grow your business unique and don’t become outdated.

Keys For Sustainable Restaurant Success

key for restaurant success

A good business runner is the one who improves the leadership skills to develop a better working environment. For that various aspects has to be considered for the sustainable .

As a Business

A Restaurant is not always all about the drinks and dishes. For a successful restaurant, understanding it as a business is very crucial. You might have the best quality and tasty food served in the town but if not marketed accordingly, it becomes ineffectual.  Establishing the business into a “Brand” is the most hectic task. Along with the brand comes the promotion, reach to greater radius, loyal customers etc. This enables the owner to charge higher price for the service along with the product.

The Culture

The Ethics and culture is very important for the restaurant to be differentiated among others. The food items served may be same. But to be unique in the industry, the presentation, ambience, service quality etc. has to be top notch and out of the box.

Employees

Employees are the greatest asset of the business. The customer experience is enhanced by the service delivered and staff hospitality. The staffs treat the customers how they’ve been treated, so basically the owner has to treat the staffs as the vital customer. The slightest gestures of the employees can influence guest experience and there by customer loyalty.

The System

The overall concept and ambience of the restaurant do give an impression to the customers. But from the management point of view, the system which the business evolves is also decisive. The efficiency of the POS hugely impacts the performance of the restaurant.  Expodine is one among the restaurant management POS that increment the overall productivity of the business. The easiness and competence of Expodine curtails the overhead of the restaurant owner immensely.

7 Things To Keep In Mind Before Choosing A Software For Your Restaurant Operations.

7-things-to-keep-in-mind-before-choosing-a-software-for-your-restaurant-operations

Choose the best software for your Restaurant !

A Restaurant Management Software is chosen in a way such that it is designed with the best capabilities of promoting the business to the next level. This yielding high profits and capturing the heart and trust of the customers. It is very important that the restaurant operations are managed and tracked effectively for an efficient working of the management and ultimately gaining profits.

Running a good hospitality business is a great risk . This carries lot of challenges. Hence it is very important to understand the functioning of the management and choose the best software that can handle the day to day operations very well. There are many features and objectives of any restaurant management software. which are basically designed to carry out the most common functions that include order taking, quality, billing and maintaining the finance etc. However there are few points to be kept in mind while choosing a software for any restaurant operations.

We Expodine are here to give you the best in the market without entering into dilemma of choosing the exact software. because our product takes care of all the needs and requirement for running the business in the most effective way possible.

Few options to be noticed while deploying the software into the business are as follows:
  • Simple Menu Set-up: Customers love dynamic and flexible menu listing along with the prices. Hence having a simple configuration and setup of menu designs invites more trust.
  • Tracking of Sales and Performance Reporting: It is helpful to keep an analytics track of the bestselling items in the menu, the prices, peak time of sales in a day, location and best servers for improving the business and reporting details for comparing the performances.
  • Ordering and Payment Facility: A secure payment process and table-side billing are some of the ways of attracting the customers and increase the guest satisfaction.
  • Best Employee Management: Tracking the working hours and productivity of the employees. Different access and security levels can be set up according to the business to calculate the sales performance and monitor the performance of the employee and calculate their payroll.
  • Inventory Control: It is important that the restaurant management software has inventory feature to ensure profitability and Long-term success by keeping a record of every item sold.
  • Technical Support: A good technical support team is needed for the initial setup, periodic software updates and training of the product.
  • Maintaining Customer Database: Restaurants tend to maintain lot of customer information like transaction details, surveys, reward programs and functions which are very valuable. Hence the restaurant operation software’s are expected to maintain those with high security and use it for careful promotion and communications.

It is always a happy dinning if the ambience is peaceful and facilities are compatible with the latest technology.

Why choose “Expodine” For Your Restaurant Management ?

expodine banner

Expodine is the futuristic restaurant management software solution bookmarked by almost all the restaurants in Kerala and even extending up to various other cafes and restaurants in India and other countries like US and Middle East for managing and controlling restaurant operations efficiently.

A very simple, time efficient and easy to learn ,use product, Expodine has all the modules that covers a café and restaurant operations to higher levels. With a user friendly and easy to use interface along with loyalty modules and feedback forum, this product has gained the trusts of customers and retained them. The built-in loyalty program works on a point collection based terminology where customers can collect points and redeem them or even get gifts/rewards from the restaurant. There is a module called inventory management that tracks the real time inventory thus reducing the wastage and theft in stock level and automatic updation of the prices in the menu along with the market rates. The cloud reporting feature allows the customer to view the reports and performance of the restaurant operations related to dining, take away, home delivery on a daily, weekly or monthly basis and take decisions based on them.

The system has features that trigger alert notifications through email or sms for any cancellations or order modifications. This product is autonomic from internet and functions like a self-managing software.

The security features coming with this product are highly efficient and effective and tracks all the scenarios where a kind of malpractice can be avoided.

The software has all the modules necessary for a smooth operation and the various features can even replace a manual effort thus allowing the café or restaurant to run effectively without your presence. Customer-order-kitchen-delivery-billing, a very small concept of restaurants, but when handled with technology and innovation, modifies the concept to the higher level and generates a higher revenue and trust. Our product helps you cross that dimension in the field of restaurant management.

ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE UNIFIED PAYMENT INTERFACE(UPI) IN EXPODINE

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What Is UPI ?

With India moving a step closer towards becoming a cashless economy with the launch of Unified Payment Interface (UPI) last year, every business is trying to get into this system so that they can also benefit from the new technology and in turn boost the sales with simplified cash transactions. With this new payment method, your smart phones will double up as virtual debit cards.

and you’ll be able to send or receive money instantly. Along with Bharat QR code, it can help you get rid of your wallet all together.

Here bank uses to transfer money and make payments using the IMPS (Immediate Payments Service). IMPS are faster than NEFT and let you transfer money immediately and it works 24×7. This means that the online payments will become much easier without requiring a digital wallet or credit or debit card.

With the Unified Payment Interface, all bank account holders can make secure fund transfers in an instant without the need to enter bank account information or net banking credentials.

As far as the end customer is considered, they need to download the third party app which has the payment method UPI. Like  Trupay,BHIM,Phonepe etc. Once done, they need to link account with app with one time registering with UPI giving your phone number as identity for registering and setting up with 6 digit code(which can be used to connect any app with account later on). Voila… that’s all. One can do payment and receive payments with that app.

How UPI will Help the Restaurant Business

By implementing UPI those who are into restaurant retail business can save the extra cost which they have to pay to the banks when they use a swiping card machine to accept payments from customers.

According to experts, the UPI will help to increase the business of the restaurants, takeaways and home delivery  joints by removing the hassle of keeping exact change for the remaining balance when the customers pays in the outlet or at their homes and reduce the delivery or table turnover time. Secondly, the people who do not have cash at home can pay through this app, giving your customer a convenience of paying through a card.

Scan and Pay with UPI Method is Readily available and integrated with Expodine Restaurant Management system, which will change the ways in cash settlement management are done.

Listing more to its advantages

For RESTAURANT OWNERS
  • With UPI there is no need to install any additional hardware or Swiping POS machine making it a cost effective solution.
  • All due amounts will be credited instantly into the Bank Account of the Merchant automatically.
  • Can view the live reports of the transaction.
  • Faster settlements means more table turnover ,which will directly effect the revenue of the restaurant .
For End Customers
  • Most advanced and cost effective payment system where the end customers can scan and pay directly from their bank account using any UPI app from their mobile phone
  • Unlike Mobile Wallets there is no need to top up money into mobile wallet account. With UPI you can directly pay from your bank account.
  • Customer can make UPI Payment through any UPI supported Apps or online banking applications
Conclusion

With a one-stop point for accessing different bank accounts in single app, single click authentication, try out  another new,super fast and secure payment mode available in present technology !this blog will may help users to adopting the new UPI system for there secure translation

Ways to Increase Restaurant Sales using Technology

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

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

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

 

Ways to Increase restaurant Sales

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

How to Market your Restaurant in 17 Unique Ways

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

1) Offer tasty food.

2) Provide great service.

3) Control food cost.

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

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

How to Market Your Restaurant

  1. Food Porn

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

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

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

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

 

  1. Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

 

Negative Reviews

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

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

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

 

Points to keep in Mind

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

 

  1. Be Found

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

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

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

 

  1. Loyalty Program

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

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

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

 

  1. Blog

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

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

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

 

  1. Email Newsletter

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

 

  1. Traditional Marketing

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

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

 

  1. Show off your staffs

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

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

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

 

  1. Food bloggers

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

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

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

 

  1. Test new waters

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

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

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

 

  1. Social Media Presence

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

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

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

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

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

 

  1. Free Wi-Fi

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

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

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

 

  1. Packaging

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

 

  1. Email Marketing

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

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

 

  1. Online Delivery and Reservation

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

 

  1. Engage  

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

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

 

  1. Monitor

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

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

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

 

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.