Everything you must know before Starting up Restaurants

restaurant startups software

Have you been longing to start up a Restaurant? Here’s everything you must know.

People never get tired of trying new food platters. i.e., Restaurant is one business area where the demand never declines. You’ve definitely chosen the right path. But hey, have you thought every aspect of it? If not, here you go.

Planning

Planning is the first and the foremost step. Only with the right planning, any business shall survive. Starting a Restaurant is no different. It doesn’t matter how big your budget is, without proper planning, it’s all mere sand art. From Location of the restaurant, menu, hygiene and service to steady financial flow, there are different perspectives to be monitored for surviving in a very competitive business arena.

Location

The location and ambiance of the restaurant holds 40 % of the business traffic. For many people, restaurant is not JUST about the food, it’s also the visual and physical experience. Always, simple and sophisticated interiors give pleasant vibes to the customers. At an extend, the onsite experience covers flaws in other areas. The efficiency of parking area also is a defining factor of the customer flow. Menu itself is an effective honey trap. The variety and innovative presentation of dishes, indifferent from competitors gives an edge over them. Hygiene and Services is the most vital facet of the industry. One minute compromise on these, may lead to the downfall of the entire plot.

Costing

The mistake most people makes and eventually leads to the extinction is the Costing.  A proper costing need efficient cost and revenue analysis. The intention should be on the positive side, to serve the customers at the price and right attitude. Profit driven alone may give false impression to the customers. The steady financial flow is the backbone of the business, which is necessary for the long run. The initial investment should remain as a capital, and spent in the business itself for at least a year. Be patient with the results.The most important mindset to have is the going concern concept for a long period.And with adequate customer management, the smooth functioning of the restaurant can be ensured.

Happy Restauranting. !

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.