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How To Market Your Restaurant Franchise?

How to market your restaurant franchise?- This is the second part of our “How to franchise your restaurant?” blog series. In the previous article, we discussed how to get ready for franchising, including legal requirements, FDD and franchisee registration, as well as hiring and training. In this blog, we’ll focus on the marketing aspects of restaurant franchising. We are going to take you through the basics and the most important aspects of franchise marketing- what it is, the types, and how you can market your franchise effectively.

In this post, we’ll discuss franchise location marketing rather than brand marketing, which includes things like mass media. Because the tactics we propose are focused on local marketing rather than television advertisements or other forms of mass media that help franchisees establish their brands.

As of June 2021, Subway had 37,540 locations in more than 100 countries and territories.

Does your franchise have what it takes to become the next Subway? The right marketing strategy is one of the most important factors here. Anyone, with the right marketing, can reach these figures.

What is restaurant franchise marketing?

How To Market Your Restaurant Franchise?

Before you even consider marketing your restaurant franchise, you must first understand what franchise marketing is.

Franchise marketing is basically all those activities that you do to grow as a brand. Franchise marketing might involve pay-per-click advertising, email marketing, SEO, trade exhibitions, content marketing, commercials, and other activities that a franchise engages in to expand.

It entails attracting new customers, keeping them engaged so that they become loyal patrons, and raising brand awareness.

Now, let’s quickly hop on to the marketing strategies required to market your restaurant franchise.

How to market your restaurant franchise?

How to market your restaurant franchise?

Answering the question- “How to market your restaurant franchise?– might seem like a lot of work, but trust us, with careful planning and implementation, it’s not that hard. Here, we’ll walk you through some best practices for a smooth and effective approach.

The first stage in planning any marketing strategy, let alone franchise marketing, is to conduct thorough research on your customers, their interests, geography, demographics, and other factors, as well as to define the personas you will be targeting. Following that, you’ll need to choose the channels through which you’ll put your message out.

Franchise marketing channels-

Franchise Marketing channels

We’ll go over the franchise marketing channels at each stage of the A2A funnel.

A2A Marketing funnel


1) The Awareness Stage

Social media marketing-

Social media marketing

One of the most effective ways to raise awareness has been through social media. People spend an average of 1.4 hours every day on social media sites, sharing their thoughts and opinions and conversing with others.

This is the time to make a good first impression and position yourself as a thought leader in your field. The goal of the plan is to present your brand to customers by producing material that catches their attention. The benefit of incorporating social media into your marketing strategy is that it allows you to reach a much larger audience without requiring significant marketing spending.

Optimizing the customer experience at each of these touchpoints is critical to converting a cold lead into a profit-generating customer. Developing a social media funnel attitude may assist you in fine-tuning your approach, increasing audience engagement, and, most crucially, increasing conversions at each stage of the buyer’s journey.

2) Engagement stage

a) Online Reputation Management

Online reputation management

Restaurant franchises have long relied on word of mouth to reach out to their consumers and establish their brand, in addition to traditional marketing techniques and paid advertising. While the internet’s expansion provided chances to promote your company to a larger audience, it also brought a number of obstacles. 

Maintaining an online presence isn’t enough; you need to monitor and update your listings on a regular basis. Customers are attracted to a restaurant based on online ratings and reviews. A negative review is no longer limited to a disgruntled customer’s personal circle of friends; instead, it can reach millions of potential customers. As a result, managing your restaurant’s online reputation is critical.

b) Local Marketing

Local marketing

Local restaurant marketing is more than just handing out flyers. Contributing to causes that are important to your customers and match your company’s beliefs is, in fact, the best approach to generate goodwill with your customers. Collaborating with local companies can provide your restaurant with a number of advantages, including increased brand recognition and revenue.

In fact, most well-known restaurants, such as Chipotle and Pizza Hut, have regular fundraisers with public schools, sports organizations, libraries, and youth community groups.

Working with local groups such as animal shelters and non-profits, you can organize charity events, fundraisers, and Spirit Nights for your franchise businesses. The collaborating organization receives a percentage of the traceable sales revenues.

c) Email marketing

Email marketing
  1. According to Marketing Sherpa, 72 percent of consumers prefer to communicate with businesses via email.
  2. Every day, at least 91 percent of consumers check their email.

Sending emails to promote your business is known as email marketing. Restaurant Email marketing has been around for a long time and is still being used by businesses to send out brand updates, promotions, coupons, and to stay in touch with new and existing customers.

Emails are an excellent way to communicate with your consumers and stay in touch with them on a regular basis. In fact, there are a plethora of inventive methods to use emails to communicate the proper marketing message to your restaurant’s patrons.

3) Acquisition stage

a) Website

77% of the diners visit a restaurant’s website before placing an order. 88% of online website visitors are less likely to return to a website after a poor experience [Gomez], losing you a wealth of potential customers. Numbers speak for themselves, hence you need to consider creating a quality website, that is fast, easy to navigate through, and the most important thing, it should be mobile-friendly.

There should be a balance between having a single website and having several location-level websites – restaurants are hyperlocal in nature, yet managing a single website provides the appearance of a chain and comes with scaling and ensuring consistency. You should make sure that your store’s information is up to date on Google My Business, Yelp, and other sites.

Also have a properly optimized and easy-to-understand menu, with proper descriptions for your customers to easily place orders. Make sure that you have proper contact information and pop CTAs (order online) for you to not lose a single customer to the fact that they didn’t know where to place an order on your website!

b) SEO

According to research based on more than 80 million keywords and billions of results, 28.5 percent of searchers click on the first Google result, 15.7 percent on the second, 11% on the third, and 24.8 percent on the fourth to tenth. Many people rely on Google to discover the appropriate answers to their questions, with little over 3.5 billion searches per day. This is where search engine optimization (SEO) comes into play in your franchise marketing plan. The difference between a continuous flow of leads and no visitors can be determined by optimizing and ranking for the right keyword.

4) Loyalty Stage

a) Birthday clubs and loyalty programs

Birthday clubs and loyalty programs

Restaurants had been successfully using punch cards to create a regular client base long before the switch to mobile platforms. The entire landscape of loyalty programs is undergoing a revolution as a result of the introduction of simple mobile platforms. 

With nearly 30% of restaurants offering a customer loyalty program and 69 percent of consumers reporting that where they may earn rewards influences their restaurant decision, it’s clear that a loyalty program is a great way to market your franchise restaurant.

Birthday clubs can be a fun way to interact with your clients.

Customers who had not planned to visit your restaurant may decide to do so after hearing about the deal.

5) Advocacy Stage

People are more likely to trust a brand that comes highly recommended by their friends and family than any other type of advertising. Referral programs are a great way to turn your most loyal customers into brand ambassadors while also collecting consumer data.

IMPORTANCE OF DATA DRIVEN-MARKETING IN MARKETING YOUR RESTAURANT FRANCHISE

IMPORTANCE OF DATA DRIVEN-MARKETING IN MARKETING YOUR RESTAURANT FRANCHISE

In practically every industry, data is used, and the restaurant industry is no exception. The days of restaurant owners thinking of this as a day-to-day operation are long gone. Read this post to learn how to adopt data-driven marketing in your restaurant franchise- https://www.mkonnekt.com/blog/resources/7-strategies-to-boost-your-restaurant-sales-with-data-driven-marketing/

Wrap up

Now that you know how to promote a franchise, you can pick and choose which strategies to employ and get to work.

We can be of great assistance to you if you’re wanting to market your franchise restaurant. Know more and request a demonstration of our 4Q-marketing platform today!

How Do You Get Customer Data To Boost Your Restaurant Sales With Data-Driven Marketing

How Do You Get Customer Data To Boost Your Restaurant Sales With Data-Driven Marketing? – The Answer, The A2A Approach 

It is very vital to get customer data to boost your restaurant sales with data-driven marketing. Understanding a customer’s journey as they learn about your organization, develop an affection for your products and services, and eventually become an advocate for your brand is an important part of expanding your business.

The process isn’t easy, but once you grasp the customer’s perspective, you’ll be able to guide them through the many stages of the journey.

The customer life cycle boils down to this. You carry out marketing operations that move customers through the stages of the customer life cycle. This allows you to expand your company.

One of the key problems that arise when talking about data-driven marketing is, “Where do you get your consumer data and how do you collect it in order to analyze and use it afterward?”

The answer is simple; it is just a matter of understanding marketing to see how you can turn small platforms into data-producing machines.

Get Customer Data To Boost Your Restaurants Sales With Data-Driven Marketing

Here in this article, we’ve gone over the foundation of how and where you may get customer data to boost your restaurant sales with Data-Driven Marketing in each buyer stage of the A2A funnel.

Get Customer Data To Boost Your Restaurant Sales With Data-Driven Marketing at Different Stages-

The Awareness Stage

  • Organic and paid social media
Organic and paid social media

One of the most effective ways to raise awareness and collect customer data is through social media. People spend an average of 1.4 hours every day on social media sites, sharing their thoughts and questions and conversing with others.

This is the time to make a good first impression and position yourself as a thought leader in your field. The quantity and quality of leads you generate at this level are determined by your actions. At this point, the aim is to expose your brand to the customer by posting material that catches their attention. The benefit of incorporating social media into your marketing strategy is that it allows you to reach a much larger audience without requiring significant marketing spend and in turn Get Customer Data To Boost Your Restaurant Sales With Data-Driven Marketing.

The Engagement Stage-

  • Specials and contact page on your website
Specials and contact page on website

Create a contact page on your website and invite people to sign up for your restaurant’s specials. It’s a really straightforward method of obtaining client information.

You may also run Facebook and Instagram advertisements and give a CTA for the same when your aim is to collect customer data.

  • Social Media
Social media

Determine the variants of posts that drew the most attention and write content that engages your customers and distinguishes your product while answering the question of why they should buy from you.

It would benefit you to also plan activities such as live Q&As, webinars, tournaments, or live events, as well as host contests or giveaways.

Spend some time responding to reviews, comments, and mentions of your brand. These activities with help you get customer data to boost your restaurant sales with data-driven marketing.

  • Chatbots
Chatbots

Chatbots are an excellent method to connect with your visitors, interact with them in real-time, solve their queries, make the ordering process seamless, and send promotional offers directly to your consumers’ inboxes. They deliver an interactive experience that is completely automated. When you communicate with a chatbot, it’s as if you’re conversing with a real person.

According to Statista, 11% of the world’s population uses Facebook Messenger every month. Facebook Messenger and other live chat services can gather a wealth of information about each individual customer.

The Acquisition Stage-

  • POS systems
POS Systems

You have complete control over your POS systems. You’ll be able to manage your delivery and takeaway orders while simultaneously collecting and tracking all of the information your customers give you. This provides you, as a restaurant owner, to categorize them, ranging from the casual user to committed customers. You may contact your consumers directly, send them excellent offers, retarget them, and fully automate the process—your restaurant, your customers—using the power of data and information. From beginning to end, the service is completely branded.

  • Integrated feedback software
Integrated feedback software

At mkonnekt, we have developed a software called Kritiq, which is incorporated into our online ordering platform Foodkonnekt and sends a feedback email with each order. This allows you to learn extensive information about your customers’ experiences and how you can use it to vastly improve your strategies.

You can do something similar by sending out feedback email campaigns and online surveys and getting a hold of your customer experiences.

The Loyalty Stage-

  • Loyalty Clubs And Birthday Programs
Loyalty Clubs And Birthday Programs

On multiple media platforms, ensure that you promote your birthday clubs and loyalty programs. These are some of the most effective methods for gathering vital client information. You may give your consumers personalized weekly deals, birthday specials, and many more freebies using these platforms. When a customer joins your program, it’s a sure sign that they’ve reached the loyalty stage of the marketing funnel!

The Advocacy Stage-

The Advocacy Stage

The ultimate goal of your marketing funnel should be to convert loyal consumers into proactive advocates for your company. People are more likely to trust a brand that their friends and family recommend over any other form of advertising. Referral programs are an extremely beneficial method to transform your most loyal customers into brand advocates and collect customer data as well. Essentially, they function the same way targeted promotions do, attracting customers who have brimming interest in your restaurant’s products.

Wrap up-

Getting customer data at every part of the marketing funnel is essential to a restaurant’s sales and performance. Learning how to incorporate this data in our technologically reliant society is a must to ensure success.

Strategies to boost your restaurant sales

7 Strategies To Boost Your Restaurant Sales With Data-Driven Marketing

Here in this article, we have come up with 7 strategies to boost your restaurant sales with data-driven marketing. Data is no longer an option; it is a requirement. Data is used in almost every industry, and the restaurant industry is no exception. The days of restaurant proprietors seeing this as a day-to-day business are long gone.

Considering sales based on the number of feet that landed today, with no notion if they will return. Gone are the days when we couldn’t predict restaurant sales and had to rely on what we sold at the time. Gone are the days when we didn’t know how much inventory we’d need in the future and had to rely on how much we utilized today. 

GONE ARE THOSE DAYS.

Enter- Data.

Consider this- Organizations that are data-driven are 23 times more likely to acquire than their less agile counterparts. That means data is something, right?

Let’s be clear: only those restaurants will survive who are able to collect and, more crucially, exploit critical consumer data.

After you’ve gathered vital customer information, it’s time to devise strategies to boost your restaurant sales with data-driven marketing- with this information.

1. Understand And Segment Your Audience

Understand And Segment Your Audience

With so much data at your disposal, you can figure out the characteristics of a typical restaurant patron and learn about their background, style, and personal preferences, among other things. Interaction with your visitors on social media, online ordering habits, phone conversations, and customer feedback, among other things, provides you with a lot of data on client behavior.

Begin segmenting your audience and developing marketing initiatives that will specifically target them which will, in turn, help you to devise strategies to boost your restaurant sales with data-driven marketing.

For example, if you notice a customer who does not order tacos on Tuesday, send them an email or a text message reminding them that you have a taco Tuesday at your establishment. Alternatively, if a customer never gets wings with their pizzas, inform them that you have a lunch special where they may have pizzas, wings, and a beverage for a cheap price.

2. Manage Your Restaurant Inventory

Manage Your Restaurant Inventory

Inventory management is a critical component of every restaurant, and it becomes increasingly difficult to manage without effective tracking and reporting.

You can better adapt your ordering cycles and ensure you have the proper amount of inventory at the right time by using data to better understand cooking and ordering behaviors. You really don’t want to overstock and run out of stock because either can cost you a lot of money.

3. Boost Customer Loyalty

Strategies To Boost Your Restaurant Sales With Data-Driven Marketing

Are you aware that attracting a new customer costs five times as much as keeping an existing one? As a result, rather than chasing after newer clients, concentrate on your existing customers. It’s all about customer loyalty in the restaurant industry! Loyalty is one of the most important strategies to boost your restaurant sales with data-driven marketing.

4. Manage Labor Costs

Manage your labor costs

You need to know how much you’re paying your employees. When you combine sales data from your POS with scheduling software, you can determine when you have too many cooks in the kitchen. However, delving a bit deeper can reveal missed profits. Are your tables turning too slowly because you’re short-staffed during a particularly busy time of the week? As a result, you should make use of the platform to objectively monitor employee performance and determine who is meeting your professional expectations.

5. Menu Management

Menu Management

It’s not always the case that the most popular dish is also the most profitable. There may be times when a large number of customers order a particular item on your menu, but none of them return for more. Big data may help you find the worst and best products on your menu, as well as dishes that need to be promoted or discounted on a regular basis. Aside from that, you can compare visitors’ preferences based on time of day or week to create a highly tailored menu.

6. Improve Upon Guest Experience

Improve guest experience

It’s a lot easier to improve the visitor experience when you have a lot of data about your customers at hand. When visitors enter a restaurant, they are anticipating more than just the food; they are anticipating the entire experience in order to return. As a result, depending on your experiences with and research into your clients, strive to give the finest experience possible.

 7. Sales Forecasting

Sales Forecasting

When you keep a constant watch on your audience (through social media, feedback mechanisms, etc. ), which is the essence of marketing, you learn about what’s new in the marketing world. That is to say, eating habits, what’s “in” these days, and so on. This aids in the forecasting of sales. Using big data to forecast business will assist you with all aspects of organization and planning, ensuring that no unpleasant surprises arise.

Wrap up-

Finding strategies to boost your restaurant sales with data-driven marketing can be challenging, but having the right facts and stats to help you along the way can make it a lot easier. Tracking and utilizing these crucial data points will help you better adjust and prepare, giving you more control over your strategic growth.

Social Media ROI

How to measure your social media ROI?

What is Social Media ROI?

What is social media ROI?

With social media getting used as a great device in enterprises to grow, it’s been more and more vital to track the effects of your social media ROI, ie, your social media efforts. 

The most pressing question now is how to comprehend the consequences of your social media strategy. Are you on the right track when it comes to your content strategy? Return on investment, or ROI, is the solution. It is nothing more than the returns a company would expect from the time, resources, and minds invested in the company’s entire social media strategy.

In terms of math, it boils down to–> Revenue-Costs/Costs*100.

Now imagine you were running a grocery store and you purchased the groceries for $100 and sold them for $150, then you’d get: 150-100/100*100= 50% by plugging these numbers into the formula.

Isn’t it easy enough? But, in terms of social media marketing, how do you apply this concept?

The return on investment (ROI) on your social media campaign is the amount of money you’ve made. But not all social media efforts are directly attributable to monetary benefits. As a result, all marketers must be able to extract and apply relevant data, as and when required.

Why is it important to measure Social Media ROI?

Why is it important to measure social media ROI?

It’s crazy how many marketers have no idea what kind of ROI they’re getting from which channel or how their social media practices are impacting their enterprise. Since every step, every effort you put into your business has repercussions, this underestimation of social media can cause havoc for your business. As a result, it’s past time for you to start treating your social media sites with the respect they deserve.

If you’ve figured out which social media activities are yielding the best results, you can start planning strategies in that direction. For example, you will discover that posting stories on Instagram or running competitions on Facebook generates more momentum on specific days, resulting in increased monetary benefits to your company; as a result, you’ll know what you need to do in the future. That’s the power of studying ROI.

How to measure social media ROI?

How to measure social media ROI?

Step-1 

Identify your goals:

Identify your goals

Always determine the goals you want to achieve from your activities before calculating returns or even thinking about analyzing the consequences of your social media efforts. Do you want to increase your following? Do you want more people to sign up for your newsletter? Do you want to increase your sales? Following that, you should consider calculating the social media ROI.

Step-2

Understanding marketing funnel: 

Marketing funnel

After you’ve figured out your marketing objectives, you should move on to understanding your marketing funnel. Understanding how social media metrics connect to the customer journey is a crucial first step.

Engagement with the consumer, which translates to reach in social media terms, is the first step in the customer journey, as it is in the early phases.

Similarly, while learning about your audience in the middle stage, it translates to CPC, or cost per click, and CTR, or click-through rate. Finally, at the last stage, encouraging your audience to purchase equates to conversions like sales, subscriptions, downloads, etc. 

Step-3: 

Calculate!

Calculate social media ROI

Now that you have targeted your KPIs and understood what to calculate, now comes the tricky part, calculating them.

In order to determine your ROI, you’ll need the correct tools. Many built-in technologies, such as Facebook insights, Instagram insights, and LinkedIn insights, provide granular information on how people interact with your material.

With these, you can keep track of all of your engagement. You can observe when your audience is active, where they are from, what demographics they have, so on and so forth. You can check how your audience reacted to your ad using Facebook Ads Manager.

Another significant tool is Google Analytics. To find out how much traffic and conversions your social media marketing efforts are producing, add Google Analytics UTM parameters to the URL of your social media ads.

Why is measuring social media ROI difficult?

Why is measuring social media ROI difficult?

Due to a variety of factors, social media managers and executives are finding it increasingly challenging to measure social media marketing ROI. Executives are unsure about what to measure. Many people believe that if their content gets a lot of likes and shares, their strategy is good enough; however, this is not always the case. We need to see if our efforts are yielding any quantitative results. 

Is your product being purchased? Is the quality of your online orders improving? Is your eBook gaining popularity? Always measure all the relevant KPIs and do analysis accordingly. 

Wrap up:

Social media marketing ROI is a parameter that should never be overlooked, if you are putting in genuine efforts in it, and want good results out of it, keep measuring and keep analyzing!

How To Optimize Your Restaurant's Online Ordering Menu?

How To Optimize Your Restaurant’s Online Ordering Menu?

Restaurants can easily leverage their online ordering platform to generate additional revenues. A fully customizable online ordering platform coupled with a great marketing strategy can help you reach more customers online. However, to keep those customers coming back, restaurant managers should spend some time optimizing their restaurant’s online ordering menu to streamline the customer experience. We have put together a list of 10 steps you can take to optimize your restaurant’s online ordering menu.

10 Tips to Optimize Your Restaurant’s Online Ordering Menu

  1. Rethink Your Menu
  2. Include High-Quality Photos
  3. Clear Menu Item Names
  4. Precise Descriptions
  5. Categorize Menu Items
  6. Make it simple for guests to customize
  7. Create upsell and cross-sell opportunities
  8. Order Of menu Items
  9. Leverage Data
  10. Keep Your Menu up-to-date

1. Rethink Your Menu

Often, restaurant owners make the mistake of taking their entire dine-in menu online without giving any thought to individual menu items. Some food items may be very popular in-store but what you need to consider is if they will hold their taste and integrity in a packaged container.

Imagine receiving a cold soup or soggy nachos for lunch or a curry spillover crisis ruining your work table! As a restaurant owner/manager, it falls on us to deliver a consistent brand experience for pick-up and delivery orders. If you feel that a particular item on your menu will not carry well, it is best to take it off the online menu.

However, if the item in question is your signature dish and you feel your online customers would like to see it on the menu then you would need to go the extra mile. Experiment with different packaging options to find what works best for you. Pack the individual component of dish separately. For instance, to retain the crunchiness and flavor in your salads, you can pack the dressing and croutons separately.

How To Optimize Your Restaurant's Online Ordering Menu

Before preparing your final menu, factor in the cost of additional packaging and take into account both the popularity and profitability index of each menu item. Your final online menu should contain items that

  1. carry well/ or alternatively figure out special packaging to retain flavors and texture
  2. Popular
  3. Profitable even after including the additional packaging costs

2. Include High-Quality Photos

Imagine sitting down at a restaurant and waiting for your food to arrive. A scrumptious platter arrives for the fellow on adjoining table, and suddenly, you are more hungry than you thought! Food appeals to all our senses, and the first assault is almost always visual! In fact every time a customer walks in to your restaurant, he is taken over by a host of aromas and visual treats that hook them on to your food. But, how do ensure that any prospect who lands on your website orders instantly?

You guessed it, images! Food pictures that make them drool.

You don’t need to be a professional photographer to take great pics. All you need is a smartphone and a little practice. Use these tips to capture great food images!

a. Use Natural Light

Stay away from bright sunlight to avoid shadows. Although, you can shoot outside in the shade or bring your plate to a window with natural light.

Keep your background simple; close-up images of food with no distractions can look great.

b. Compose The Shot

Put some thought into composing your picture. A great food arrangement ensures that food is visually appealing and the accompaniments go well together when someone takes a bite. Try these tips

  • Apply The Rule of Thirds to plating by placing the focal point of the dish (often a protein such as meat, fish, or poultry) to either the left or right side of the plate 
  • Arrange the accompanying items (Vegetables or fruits) to accentuate your focal point.
  • Plate moist ingredients first and place other items beside them or on top of them to prevent them from running.
  • Accentuate contrasting yet complementary textures and flavors by arranging them strategically on the plate.
How To Optimize Your Restaurant's Online Ordering Menu

c. Take Your Pics A Notch Above By Creative Food Styling

  • Serve individual foods such as Ravioli and shrimp in odd numbers.
  • Use complementary colors to create  a bright colorful meal.
  •  Add green vegetables, herbs and fruits to add color and flavor to the dish.
  • As you finish plating, take your food presentation a notch above with delicious sauces. Use a squeeze bottle and spoon or a plating wedge to create unique designs.
  • Pair garnishes that complement the flavor of the meal and place them thoughtfully to add color or texture.

3. Clear Menu Item Names

Quirkiness aside, customers should be easily able to find what they are looking for. While fun, creative names of menu items may be all rage, the name of food items should also be intuitive! You can name food items to reflect your brand position, or use creative adjectives to highlight the item. Here are a few classic winners:

  1. Mac donald’s “Big Mac”: The name clearly highlights two things; the brand and the size of the burger.
  2. Loaded Bacon Cheddar Tots : Creative adjectives to draw attention to the distinguishing features of the dish.
  3. Piada Italian Street Food’s “THE FARMERS MARKET SALAD”: stresses the their locally sourced, sustainably farmed, organic ingredients.
  4. Wendy’s signature Dave’s triple: named after the founder
  5. California Steak Salad or NASHVILLE HOT CHICKEN SANDWICH: the names surmise the flavors and ingredients to expect in a dish simply by adding the name of a location.

4. Precise Descriptions

Descriptions should be short and to the point. Think of it like painting a picture of menu items using words. Work on bringing out the flavors of the dish by using descriptive adjectives. A great description can help you personalize your dishes and let your customers know what to expect. Focus on 3 main aspects of the dish:

  • Ingredients
  • flavors
  • Origin of ingredients

“Fire-roasted Roma tomatoes” sound so much better than tomatoes.

Take a look at this example: “served with homemade marinara” / “served on homemade bread”. The menu stresses that all sauces and bread are prepared in-house from scratch using fresh ingredients.

“Calamari from Point Judith” consider how this example grabs the attention of the customers by talking about the source of the main ingredients of a dish.

5. Categorize Your Menu

Organizing your menu into categories makes it easier for your customers to find the desired dish. On most online ordering platforms, categories function like accordions or drop downs menus, which makes it easier to handle and read especially on smaller screens.

Chipotle Online Ordering

6. Make it Simple for Guests to Customize

No matter how perfect you feel your dish is, customers want what they want. They truly appreciate if you tweak a dish according to their specific requirement whether its adding extra cheese to their pizza or a choice of toppings. Make it simple for your guests to opt for substitutions and select add-ons and customization options. Provide your patrons with a quick and easy way to add special instructions to the menu items to accommodate for allergies.

Your staff is continuously engaging with your patrons and is well- aware of the customizations that your customers usually want in their order, so you would want to take their inputs when building your online ordering menu.

7. Create Upsell or Cross-sell Opportunities

When patrons dine at your restaurant, your staff takes care of suggesting wine pairings or sides that go well with the dish. You have boards drawing attention to new menu additions or the day’s specials. Your staff encourages patrons to try out new dishes. You are motivating your staff each morning to upsell and cross-sell menu items.

Chipotle Online Ordering

Your online ordering platform can easily do all that for you and more!

  1. Highlight your specials
  2. Feature sides that go-well with the selected menu item
  3. Suggest wine pairings
  4. Enable auto-suggestions based on customer’s previous orders
  5. Create sliders featuring popular items ordered by other customers
How To Optimize Your Restaurant's Online Ordering Menu

8. Order of Menu Items

The in-store menu is traditionally built in the order that customers have come to expect; broadly, appetizers followed by main course and desserts. The printed hard copy restricts your ability to move around things occasionally and figure out what works best.

The online ordering menu, on the other hand, is your playground. You can arrange and re-arrange it based on requirements and observations. Initially, you should go with the traditional order of categories that customers expect and then use data and insights to optimize the order of menu items.

  • You can highlight the frequently ordered items by showcasing them at the top.
  • Reduce visibility of lower margin items pushing them towards the bottom
  • If you want to increase the sale of certain items, you can consider featuring them at the top or toggling them to the first position under their respective category.

The best way to go about this is to reorder your menu based on the insights that you draw from the online ordering data. Observe how the changes you made pan out to optimize your restaurant’s online ordering menu on an ongoing basis.

9. Leverage Data

Your online ordering platform provides you with rich data on your customers. You can use this information to optimize your online menu.

  • Check the items that customers are frequently ordering together; You can use this information to create combo deals
  • You can use the data to add/remove items

10. Keep Your Menu Up-To Date

Streamline the customer experience on your online ordering platform by updating the menu on a regular basis. Remove items that are no longer available, include new menu items or update changes in menu items wherever applicable.

Increase Your Restaurant Revenues with FoodKonnekt Online Ordering

How To Increase Restaurant Sales With Online Ordering?

Competition in the restaurant industry can be cut-throat and with the rapidly changing trends, it can be difficult to acquire new customers or retain existing. As more customers seek out the ease of take-out–and especially delivery, third-party for delivery services provide an easy way to increase restaurant sales with online ordering.

Although these delivery services offer an opportunity to reach new customers  and increase sales, the benefits  come at a cost: giving up access to valuable customer data and losing loyal customer base to the delivery partners. 

It, therefore, becomes pertinent for restaurants to explore strategies to engage with their customers to keep the regulars coming back, attract new customers, and build their native platforms to increase online orders on their website. In this article, we will discuss some strategies to increase restaurant sales with online ordering.

How to increase restaurant sales with online ordering?

  1. Opt for A Robust Online Ordering Solution
  2. Streamline your online ordering menu
  3. Optimize your online ordering platform
  4. Make it easy to order from your website
  5. Leverage Digital channels to Promote Online Ordering
  6. Optimize Your Website For Local Search
  7. Promote your Online Ordering Platform
increase restaurant sales with online ordering

1. Opt For A Robust Online Ordering Solution

Many restaurant owners/managers opt for third party delivery services to provide the convenience of online ordering to their customers. The general belief is that it is easier to get started on such platforms and get more orders without any investment in terms of time and resources. However, what they fail to factor in is that the additional revenues generated by orders received via these platforms is usually diluted by the hefty commissions charged by them.

At this point, it is advisable to consider the long-term benefits of building your own online ordering platform. Initially, you may have to put in some efforts to promote your online ordering platform but these are resources invested in building your brand that have the potential to deliver huge dividends in the future.

There are several robust online ordering solutions in the market, which are commission-free and are available to restaurants totally free of cost. There are a few things you should keep in mind while selecting an online ordering solution:

What are the key features of an online ordering solution?

  • Simple configuration: Most modern solutions are easy to setup and configure and allow to start taking online orders within 24 hours.
  • POS integrations: An integrated online ordering solution does away with the need for manually updating orders. Your online orders appear on your POS along with other orders, and all menu updates on the POS are automatically reflected on your online ordering platform.
  • Customer data: if your online ordering solution is integrated with your pos, the customer data from online orders appears with all other data on your POS.
  • Customizable: You should be able to customize the platform, upload pictures and add descriptions to align with your brand identity.
  • Customers should be able save their preferences and customize their orders easily.
  • Accept Multiple Payment Options
  • Integrated feedback and loyalty program help you to build a loyal customer base.

2. Streamline your online ordering menu

increase restaurant sales with online ordering
Chipotle Online Ordering

A lot of thought should go into creating your online ordering menu. Some items that may be very popular in-store might not lot lend themselves to pick-up or delivery. Evaluate each menu item on the following three criteria to come up with the ideal menu.

  • Whether they do or do not travel well
  • Whether the margin on the food item is enough to cover packaging/delivery costs.
  • Packaging considerations

Your online order menu should include only those items that travel well and at the same time have a high popularity and profitability score.

3. Optimize Your Online Ordering Platform

The online ordering platform is an extension of your brand, and you should take utmost care to build the same customer experience on your online ordering page that customers have come to expect from your brand.

  • Customize every aspect of the solution to align with your brand identity.
  • Upload good quality food images and detailed descriptions of food items.
  • Arrange menu items like they would appear on your in-store menu.
  • Create up-sell or cross-sell opportunities by creating pop-ups for popular items or items that are usually ordered together.
  • Streamline and smoothen the customer journey on your online ordering platform by setting up automations such as helpful tips and suggestions or allowing customers to save orders or delivery address etc.

4. Make It Easy To Order Right From Your Website

In most case, customers land on your online ordering platform from your website. The order online button should appear prominently on the top of your home page and menu page to grab the customers attention. Highlight your specials and consider adding add to cart buttons to menu items.

5. Leverage Digital Channels to Promote Online Ordering

You should build a strong online identity by adding the order online button to all your social media handles including Facebook, Instagram and GMB page. Platforms like Yelp and Tripadvisor also allow you to build your restaurant page and add an order online button to lead customers to your order online platform.

Each day thousands of customers are searching on Google for restaurant like yours using keywords or terms related to your business/menu. You should optimize your website for these key search terms. Research keywords for your restaurant and include them in your page’s body, header, title tags, and Meta description and your sit’s SEO.

Build your website’s credibility and trust with the search engines by adding your restaurant to relevant local listings including Google maps, Apple maps, Yellow book, Map quest and Nextdoor.

increase restaurant sales with online ordering

7. Promote Your Online Ordering Platform

You would want your customers to know that you are accepting online orders. Promoting your online ordering platform through organic and paid channels can help your reach more customers and increase restaurant sales with online ordering.

In-Store Promotions
  1. Promote your online ordering link via window displays and posters in prominent places such as the check out counter.
  2. Grab the attention of your customers when they are waiting for their food to arrive with table tents.
  3. Menu inserts are also a great way to reach your customers.
  4. Ensure that your online ordering link is prominently printed on your takeout packages and receipts.
  5. Train your staff to promote your online ordering platform to your customers.
Online Promotions

Social Media platforms can be a great tool to reach your customers. Besides regular posts promoting your online ordering link, you should also consider advertising to reach your target audience on these networks.

  • You could create a special offer or discount to promote online ordering among your customers.
  • Run contests to promote online Orders.
  • Run Ads to promote online ordering

8. Leverage Data To Build Loyalty

Use data from your online ordering solution to create targeted promotions fostering brand loyalty. Segment customers based on their purchase history, preferences and visit frequency and come up with customized offers to bring back customers. For instance;

  1. Offers to bring back dormant customers
  2. Offer on kids meal to bring back customers with kids
  3. Deals to increase average order value of regulars
  4. Flash offers to increase online orders on slow days
  5. Offer available only on online orders to incentivize customers to place pickup orders during rush hours.

Streamlining the customer experience on your online ordering platform and targeted promotions can help you build your brand and increase restaurant sales with online ordering.

Increase Your Restaurant Revenues with FoodKonnekt Online Ordering

Restaurant Technology Trends in 2022

Talking about the restaurant technology trends in 2022, Greg Golkin, managing partner at the Kitchen Fund, a company that invests in restaurant brands like Sweetgreen and Cava said, “Food is the biggest industry on the entire planet,” After all, food is something all humans need to survive.

Restaurateurs, especially owners of SMB’s initially never dared to invest in technology because they never saw a need to. They just saw no need to disrupt the natural flow of things.

However, times change, and the industry did along with it. During the pandemic, many restaurants shut down for extended periods of time, leading to a shift in their systems. Due to consumers’ desire to eat out not slowing down, the utilization of technology in the industry was focalized. Read on to get a scope of how this ever-changing field of restaurant technology will look like in the upcoming year, and what we predict will be the most prominent restaurant technology trends in 2022.

QR Codes-

QR Codes

QR codes have become extremely vital in many restaurant operations and are on the top of our list of restaurant technology trends in 2022. They’re popular not just because they provide a touch-free experience, but also because they’re simple to use and offer a variety of advantages. There is no need to install a specific app because today’s smartphones feature built-in QR Code readers with the camera.

Customers are able to follow extremely simple actions as a result of this. Restaurants can send diners to digital menus using QR codes, reducing the spread of germs between parties. Additionally, firms such as Coca-Cola are investing in touchless beverage dispensers, which reduce staff exposure. Your staff and customers should expect a safer eating experience as contactless technology becomes more widespread, with QR codes, in particular, having the potential to go a long way as far as future restaurant technology is concerned. 

Online Ordering-

Online ordering

Not only as a result of the pandemic, which drove many restaurants to close their dine-in options, but also because of the convenience, online ordering sales have witnessed a considerable increase in recent months. A good website and restaurant app provide a solid foundation for online ordering, and allowing customers to pay for their online purchases through the website would make the process even easier.

Customers appreciate the ease with which they may order and pay for food from their computer or mobile device and have their favorite delicacies delivered right to their door. Expect online ordering systems to continue to be developed, and take a huge leap this upcoming year.

Cloud Kitchens-

Cloud kitchens

Meal delivery orders climbed by more than 150 percent from 2019 to 2020, according to recent data, and UBS expects the food delivery business to grow more than 10 times in ten years, from $35 billion to $365 billion. As the need for food delivery grows, more restaurant owners and food entrepreneurs are looking to cloud kitchens as a viable business solution.

Cloud kitchens are centralized licensed commercial food production facilities where restaurants rent space to prepare delivery-optimized menu items. One restaurant may operate many brands or virtual restaurants under one roof, or the kitchen may function as an incubator, with different vendors sharing the space. Imagine a vast warehouse with multiple stations (mini-restaurants) of stainless steel prep tables, hood vents, burners, ovens, and sinks, each with its own set of orders flowing in from customers.

By 2023, the market for cloud kitchens is predicted to be worth $1.05 billion, and people have begun to favor online platforms as a result of the digital transformation of all services. We expect them to grow as one of the most prominent restaurant technology trends in 2022.

Delivery Robots and Drones-

Delivery drones

Customers and restaurant businesses are finding their groove with AI, from burger-flipping and salad-making robots to machines that power order-taking.

McDonald’s bought AI business Dynamic Yield in 2019 with the intention of utilizing the company’s automated personalization product to improve the customer experience at drive-thrus. Menu options are displayed based on the time of day, weather, current restaurant traffic, and what’s popular on the site. It also proposes menu add-ons based on the choices made by each consumer.

When the COVID-19 pandemic required people to stay at home, demand for third-party delivery services skyrocketed. While firms like UberEats and DoorDash have risen to the occasion, restaurants have an opportunity to improve delivery even further.

Automated Inventory Software Management-

Automated inventory software management

The marketplace is becoming increasingly competitive, and those that recognize current demands and adapt accordingly are the ones who prosper in the long run. The world is growing to be extremely technologically dependent due to lifestyles becoming extremely fast-paced, with customers wanting increased efficiency, quick service, and high-quality items. An automated inventory system is a modern answer to the manual inventory methods numerous problems.

These inventory systems are more efficient and simple to handle since they are automated, allowing management to manage these activities with ease. Restaurant inventory management software aids in the administration of ingredient stock levels, purchase orders, recipes, and menu expenses in restaurants. The best restaurant inventory management software systems integrate with or are built into point-of-sale (POS) systems, reducing administrative time. These services range in price from $99 to $129 per month.

Some tools, however, are free despite having restricted functions. These systems will continue to be extremely beneficial to restaurants since they will allow them to save money on unused food and minimize the under-stocking of ingredients and other merchandise throughout the day. In addition, according to Dirk Izzo, president and GM of NCR Hospitality, these systems allow for the analysis of data for more precise forecasting and an improvement in restaurant operations.

Wrap up-

Restaurant Technology Trends in 2022

Here, we discussed the most noteworthy restaurant technology trends in 2022. The clear winners in any industry are those who are readily adapting to the shifting times. The technological impact on the restaurant industry will continue, so ensure that this year, you are ready to use this technology to your benefit, and succeed.

How Restaurants Can Manage Disruptions Better: Preparing Your Restaurant for 2021

How Can Restaurants Manage Disruptions Better: Preparing Your Restaurant for 2021

With repeated lockdowns and restrictions on dine-in, the food and services industry is facing one of the biggest challenges in recent years. Amidst these troubled times, restaurants are struggling to create contactless dine-in experiences and scrambling to online delivery models all in a bid to win customers’ trust and stay afloat. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed us to the need for crisis management and adopting a disruptive mindset regardless of the size or concept of the restaurant. In this article, we will talk about the steps you need to take to handle disruptions better and for preparing your restaurant for 2021.

How Restaurants Can Manage Disruptions Better?

How can restaurants respond to a crisis?

You should be the first one to announce anything negative that is affecting your restaurant. Even if someone else brings a crisis to light ensure that you respond to it. Your response should present the right facts  and appear to be in control of the situation. Have several people proofread your comments before you publish it.
With adequate planning and preparation, your crisis management team should be ready to handle the situation.

How restaurants can manage a crisis?

1. Be Proactive: Remain aware of the current events and trends in the restaurant industry
2. Establish systems and practices to detect early warning signals of any potential crisis.
3. Have a well- documented crisis response plan and allocate specific tasks to individuals in your management team covering different aspects 
4. Ensure that your crisis management team is well aware of its role in a potentially delicate situation and has been trained adequately to handle it.
5. Build a robust supply chain
6. Embrace disruption and evolve Change is the one constant in the restaurant industry. You have to evolve and innovate continuously to stay relevant in the face of the ever-changing customer tastes and preferences.

How to Prepare Your Restaurant for Digital Disruption?

The goal of every technology upgrade should be to simplify an existing system and make it more efficient. Adopting a customer-first mindset and analyzing the frustrations that customers may face can help you identify and leverage technologies to eliminate the pain points and create a more satisfying customer experience.
a. A Cloud based POS integrated with your online ordering and 
b. Invest in long term changes to create contactless dining experiences such as table reservation systems and contactless payment options.
c. A Kitchen Display System (KDS) system integrated with your POS can also help reduce the interactions between front-of-house staff and the kitchen staff. 
d. Partner with third Party Delivery services

1. Remain Aware Of Current Events

As a restaurant owner, you must be proactive and aware of the market trends and potential threats to your restaurant.  This will not only enable you to anticipate an upcoming crisis but also prepare your team to deal with it. 

Whether you are relying on gut instincts or a combination of guesswork and past week/months sales data, you should have the ability to monitor demand trends and forecast sales. You can also use demand forecasting tools to get more accurate estimates. This enables you to have realistic expectations for profits and expenses, and streamline your inventory accordingly.

2. Crisis Planning and Preparation

A crisis management plan outlines how you would respond to any situation that can have an adverse impact on your restaurant’s profitability, reputation, or ability to operate.  Having a crisis management strategy allows you to take quick and strategic actions to minimize damage and salvage your restaurant amidst a crisis. 

Your restaurant crisis management strategy should focus on

  • Controlling and managing the adverse effects of a crisis on your restaurant.
  • Adopting measures to normalize operations while containing costs.
  • Maintaining brand image and customer relations.

Establish systems and practices to detect early warning signals of any potential crisis. Have a well- documented crisis response plan and allocate specific tasks to individuals in your management team covering different aspects such as financial forecasting,  supply chain management, community outreach, and customer relations. Ensure that your crisis management team is well aware of its role in a potentially delicate situation and has been trained adequately to handle it. During any crisis, employees look to management for leadership and guidance. Your managerial team should be ready to take up the responsibility and communicate the expected roles and actions to each employee.

3. Embrace Disruption and Evolve

Whether it is a legacy brand like Dominoes or chipotle’s or a startup like SweetGreen success in the restaurant industry is mainly dependent on your ability to adapt to changing technology and keep up with the trends.

As a restaurant owner, you must develop a mindset for constantly evolving and embracing change. Let’s take the example of Tender Greens that revolutionized the way the supply chain worked.

Before opening its first store, Tender Greens entered into an agreement with Scarborough Farms. Instead of just buying produce from Scarborough Farms, Tender Greens brought them in as an equity partner. The arrangement proved to be a lucrative bet for both parties and paved the way for future innovations.

Over the last decade, we witnessed the fast-casual boom redefining restaurants as we knew them and forcing operators to focus on speed and convenience. As digital technology reshaped the market and consumers got accustomed to shopping online, food aggregators and third-party delivery services stepped up to provide customers with the convenience that they had come to expect from online orders. Self-service kiosks and mobile ordering took food on the go to a whole new level. 

Change is the one constant in the restaurant industry. You have to evolve and innovate continuously to stay relevant in the face of the ever-changing customer tastes and preferences. All innovations in the restaurant industry ultimately boil down to one question- what do the customers want? Convenience, speed, ease of use. 

Convenience

While embracing technology we must consider the problem that we are looking to solve. Let’s take the example of customers struggling to keep up with their busy schedules who hate waiting for their meal to arrive. What can you do to reduce wait times in your restaurant? A table ordering system is a great solution that allows customers to immediately view the menu via their tablet, place an order when they are ready, and pay after their meal. 

You can also go for something as simple as this Texas restaurant that provides a bell at each table to call for a server’s attention. Similarly, to cut down wait times on takeout and delivery orders, you could consider allowing customers to order and pay from their mobile devices. 

Analyze each aspect of the customer journey inside your restaurant and work out ways in which you can optimize it.

Speed Vs Experience

Many restaurants focus on speed while compromising on experience. What we must understand is that there can be no trade-off between these two. As restaurant owners, we must learn to balance speed and experience and ensure that you deliver a stellar dining experience to all your customers including takeout and delivery.

Speed Vs Experience- How Can Restaurants Manage Disruptions Better: Preparing Your Restaurant for 2021

Ease of Use

Another thing you must consider before adopting any new technology is the ease of use. For instance, while more and more customers like to order food on the go, the last thing they want is another app on their mobiles. Adopting platforms that allow mobile orders, text orders and voice ordering from digital assistants can help you resolve this.

Embrace Technology

Technology can enable you to deliver stellar customer experiences. Adopting a customer-first mindset and analyzing the frustrations that customers may face can help you identify and leverage technologies to eliminate the pain points and create a more satisfying customer experience.  

To provide a great customer experience you need to streamline operations both at the front end and back-end. The front-end of your restaurant does not work in isolation. If your back-end is slow or disorganized,  it not only impacts your operating costs but also affects the ability of the front-of-the-house staff to deliver orders efficiently and in time. Technology can help you manage and automate almost every aspect of restaurant operations. However, the goal of every technology upgrade should be to simplify an existing system and make it more efficient. 

Efficient Use Of Data

Efficient Use Of Data-How Can Restaurants Manage Disruptions Better: Preparing Your Restaurant for 2021

Another issue that restaurants face is the collection and use of data. The accelerated rate of growth of technology and automation of processes in the restaurant industry has set in the process of data collection from various sources. Restaurants, now, have access to an overwhelming amount of data, but they are still struggling to use this data to add value to their business. A CRM tool can help you collect and organize data from your POS system, reservations management system, marketing campaigns, and other sources. By analyzing this data, you can understand the behaviors and meal preferences of the different segments of your customers, and create customized marketing strategies.

4. Establish A Robust Supply Chain

A robust and consistent supply chain minimizes disruption and is crucial to your restaurant’s success. You must invest time and resources to strengthen your restaurant’s supply chain.

  • Build strong relationships with your vendors and suppliers.
  • Diversify your supply chain by building relationships with several suppliers to ensure that you can maintain continuity in your supply chain and are able to bargain the best prices. 
  • Use tools to collect, integrate, and analyze data to ensure that you have reliable sales and inventory forecasts. This can help prevent overstocking and wastages.
  • Always have a backup plan in place so that you can meet your inventory requirements in case of a supply chain crisis.  

Preparing Your Restaurant For 2021

Restaurants in 2021 How Can Restaurants Manage Disruptions Better: Preparing Your Restaurant for 2021

1. Implement Native Online Ordering

Circumstances over the past year have forced more and more customers to order food online for takeout or delivery. Due to the pandemic, a large section of your customers are using digital channels to order food for the first time and are struggling to adapt to this new way of ordering food. Your goal, therefore, should be to provide a seamless online ordering experience;  menu suggestions based on order history, ability to save orders, and fast checkouts can help you retain customers.

If you haven’t gotten on board with online ordering just yet, now is the time to implement a system. With a native online ordering solution, you can have complete control over the customer experience and make huge savings on third party commissions.

2. Invest in Long-term Changes 

a. Delivery Services

For some time to come, customers will prefer to order from restaurants that offer delivery. You should ensure that you provide a seamless delivery experience to your customers from start to finish.  Create a delivery-specific menu that only offers items that can travel. Pack delivery orders in good quality containers and hire trained delivery riders. By using a delivery app powered by real-time navigation, you can update customers in real-time with the order status and expected delivery time

 If you don’t offer delivery already, now is the time to consider adding it.  If proving an in-house delivery service looks like too much work and is beyond your means you can always tie-up with third-party services like GrubHub and Uber Eats.

b. Offer Curbside Pickup

Contactless Delivery and curb-side pick up are here to stay

  • Advertise to your customers that they can still get contactless delivery and how to go about it.
  • Publicize that you provide curbside pickup and customers can pick up their to-go orders safely.
  • If possible,  start offering drive-thru.

c. Rethink Your Restaurant’s Layout

You may want to rethink the seating plan in accordance with the capacity requirements in your area. Make adequate distancing arrangements for customers in the waiting area. Consider waiting area for delivery and pickup orders and the possibility of providing a dive-thru.

d. Say Yes To Outdoor Dining 

Outdoor Dining How Can Restaurants Manage Disruptions Better: Preparing Your Restaurant for 2021

Restaurant patios are becoming increasingly popular in both the US and Canada with the restrictions on indoor dining. This offers a great opportunity to increase available seating for dine-in customers. Several U.S. cities have relaxed and streamlined processes for obtaining outdoor dining permits. In cities like San Francisco, restaurants have moved to close streets to facilitate outdoor seating. If you have an outdoor patio, now is the time to capitalize on it. Even if you cannot afford fancy decor, invest in durable weatherproof furniture and outdoor heating to welcome dine-in customers.

e. Table Reservation Systems

Table Reservation systems
Image Source

With limited indoor seating and guests still stressing over gathering in public places, taking reservations well in advance can help you avoid large crowds in the waiting area and also help you adhere to the social distancing requirements.

Besides taking reservations over the phone, you could also get onboard an online platform to take reservations, reduce wait times, and monitor capacity.

f. Contactless Dining Experiences

Contactless Dining Technologies
Image Source

Invest in technologies that can help you minimize person-to-person contact. Identify the nature and type of interactions between employees and customers to figure out solutions and pin down technologies that can help you minimize contact. Self-service kiosks, table-side ordering devices, and mobile order-ahead solutions enable guests to place an order and pay with no human contact and also reduce wait times for take-out orders.

3. Innovate and Diversify

Several Restaurants are adapting to the change by rethinking their menu. For 70 years Canlis in Seattle, Washington has been synonymous with fine dining. During the current crisis, they reinvented by narrowing down their menu. They now provide bagels and breakfast sandwiches in the mornings and burgers, salads, and ice-cream, in the evening all available via a drive-through.

Saint Dinette in St. Paul, Minnesota renowned as a fine-dining haven released its new menu exclusively for takeout, and delivery offering sandwiches, sides, and “combo meals.” 

Swedish hotel Stadt in Lidkoping transformed its bedrooms into private dining spaces,  accommodating groups of 2 to 12 people. Orders are taken over the phone and diners can opt to stay overnight for an additional fee.

Pizzerias known for their fresh handmade pasta and wood-fired pizza are taking up a challenge by offering pizza kits for home delivery.

Many states have lifted their laws on alcohol delivery, allowing restaurants to serve drinks to go. As Alcoholic drinks are a high-margin menu item, restaurants have grabbed this opportunity by offering  Margarita to-go, Whiskey Tasters, and Cocktail Kits.

Here are a few more ideas:

  • Offer family size meals
  • take-and-bake meals
  • Promoting gift cards – In addition to being an immediate source of revenue, gift cards encourage repeat visits and help you reach new customers. Considering the current situation you should opt for e-gift cards. There are several service providers that are working to provide restaurants with digital gift cards. Compare and select the best available option.

4. Managing Your Staff and Backend Operations

The safety and wellbeing of your staff is equally important. Working with smaller teams, staggering shifts, limiting the number of employees allowed simultaneously in break rooms and monitoring staff’s health on a daily basis can help you cope up with this challenge to some extent. 

Technological solutions can also help you in streamlining operations and minimizing contact.

a. Use communication boards or digital messaging to convey pre-shift meeting information.

b. Consider switching to a digital time card system that allows employees to clock-in from their phones.

c. A Kitchen Display System (KDS) system integrated with your POS can also help reduce. the interactions between front-of-house staff and the kitchen staff. A KDS displays orders as they are fed in the POS and updates change in orders and additions in real-time. It also tracks the time taken to prepare an order which helps the service staff work more efficiently.

Integrated with your restaurant POS, Kitchen Display Systems help to reduce wastage at your restaurant by monitoring order volume and inventory levels and alerting you when there is a shortage.

Wrap-Up

In the coming year, we can expect customers to pay more attention to cleanliness, health and hygiene standards, convenience, and ease of use.. as restaurant owners, it should be our goal to implement solutions and technologies that help create a stellar dining experience for our customers.

How To Write A Restaurant Business Plan?

The restaurant industry operates on thin margins and competition is cut-throat, to say the least. According to the stats, 60% of restaurants shut down within the first year of operations, and up to 80% of the restaurants close their operations in the first five years. Opening a restaurant in itself is a daunting task, there are so many costs and factors that need to be weighed in before actually starting out. So, how do you ensure success in such a scenario?

Like some would say, a good concept and great food are all you need to get started. But, the truth is that it may be enough to get you started but to keep you in business in the long-term you need a good plan and foresight.

A restaurant’s business plan is the blueprint of what your future restaurant will look like, how it will operate, breakeven, and finally be the profit-making venture that you envisioned. It lays down your goals for your restaurant and the path you must take to achieve them. 

Why Does Your Restaurant Need A Business Plan? 

1. Helps You Define Your Vision

Having a business plan helps you give shape to your ideas. When you sit down and put your vision on paper, it helps you put your ideas to test and analyze each aspect more fundamentally. This exercise can also be very helpful in getting your ideas across to your team or partners.

2. Builds A Road Map

A restaurant business plan not only defines your visions but also lays down the detailed path that you can follow to execute your ideas.

3. Accounts For Operational & Financial Expenses

A restaurant business plan enables you to consider all the expenses that will be incurred for the first six months of operation including fixed costs and re-occurring expenses. Projecting these expenses and comparing them to your expected revenue streams helps you gain a better understanding of your financials. It also gives you an opportunity to plan your investment and loans while controlling and managing expenses.

4. Evaluates Your Roadmap

A business plan not only helps you create a roadmap to follow, but it also helps you set benchmarks for your business and assess the on-going progress. Setting up timelines helps you adhere to your plan.

5. Reduces Risk Factors

There are many factors, internal as well as external that could impact your restaurant business. It is essential to plan and be on top of opportunities and the risks that are involved in running a restaurant. A restaurant business plan helps you stay on course and prepares you for contingencies.

How to open a restaurant?

1. Decide on the concept of your restaurant
2. Decide The Location For Your Restaurant
3. Design A Stellar Menu
4. Arrange Suppliers & Vendors For Your Restaurant
5. Evaluate All Restaurant Costs
6. Prepare A Business Plan
7. Work Out Investments To Fund Your Restaurant Business
8. Choose Your Restaurant’s Name and Legal Structure and Procure Licences
9. Get Restaurant Insurances
10.Get Manpower For Your Restaurant Business
11. Install Right Technology At Your Restaurant
12. Create a Restaurant Marketing strategy

How can I get a loan to open a restaurant?

There are several types of loans available for opening a restaurant
A term loan from a “brick and mortar” bank.
1. SBA Loan.
2. Working Capital Loan
3. Merchant cash advance
4. Business line of credit
5. Equipment financing
6. Crowdfunding

How much does it cost to open a restaurant?

Opening a restaurant can cost you anywhere between $95000 to 2 million depending on the nature of your restaurant and also on whether you want to own the building or lease it.

How long does it take for a restaurant to become profitable?

Restaurants operate on a thin profit margin with the average profit margin after removing all other costs hovering at around 6.2 percent only. Very successful restaurants are able to break even after approximately two years of operation while average ones may take 4-5 years.

How much profit should a restaurant make?

The average profit margin for the restaurant industry is somewhere between 3-6 percent , however for individual establishments it can vary between 0-15%.

How much does a successful restaurant make in a year?

Successful restaurants can make anywhere between $29,000- $160000 per year while the national average is at around $65,000 per year.

How to create a restaurant business plan?

Here are some of the key elements of an effective restaurant business plan:
Executive summary
Business overview
Industry analysis 
Marketing plan
Operations plan 
Financial analysis 

Key Elements Of a Restaurant Business Plan

Key Elements Of a Restaurant Business Plan

Here are some of the key elements of an effective restaurant business plan:

  1. Executive summary
  2. Business overview
  3. Industry analysis 
  4. Marketing plan
  5. Operations plan 
  6. Financial analysis 

Now let us take a deeper dive into the specifics 

1. Executive Summary of Your Restaurant Business

The executive summary of your restaurant acts as a summary introduction to your business. It should cover all aspects of your restaurant including the concept, your target audience, and the financials. 

The executive summary is essential in business plans that are being presented to outsiders, say bankers or investors. A lot of investors make their decision based only on this summary, so it falls on you to grab their attention from the word go! Start with a mission statement and the concept behind your restaurant and include the legal structure and ownership. Add a short overview of your target market, your team, competition, and your financing needs. Mention your previous experience in the restaurant industry, your areas of expertise, and your plans for the future of your current restaurant venture. Remember people have short attention spans so your summary should be persuasive but also to the point.

On the other hand, if the executive summary is only for internal purposes then you would be better off spending your time on Business overview and operational plans.

2. Business Overview

The Business Overview is like a description of your restaurant. It should talk about the concept behind your restaurant and what makes it unique or stand out among the competition. Focus on the following aspects:

  • What is your restaurant’s USP
  • How is it different from other similar restaurants in the market
  • Who will be your target audience?
  • What service/product will you provide to your target clientele?

Once you have explained the concept of your restaurant, you can move to other specifics.

  1. Management Team
  2.  Type of Service and Interior layout
  3.  Sample Menu
Restaurant Business Plan: Business Overview

a. Management Team

The business overview should include the details of your Management Team and the responsibilities assigned to each member.

b. Type of Service and Interior layout

Based on the concept of your restaurant, you may already have a service type in mind; fast-casual, fine dining, or others, so you can start working on particulars like restaurant layout, interiors, and other details. 

The layout and the interiors of your restaurant should not only be in-sync with the brand identity that you want to project but should also be practical keeping in view the service type. The colors and the imagery you use inside your restaurant should be a reflection of your brand. Adhere to your brand theme while designing your menu and deciding on the uniform of the waitstaff.

c. Sample Menu

It goes without saying that if your customers like your food, your restaurant will be able to survive the competition. So, thw menu should be the focus of any restaurant plan. Discuss each item that you wish to include on your menu with your head chef before finalizing it. Analyze details like recipes, raw material sourcing, and price points. Once you have come up with an initial list with prices, compare it with the menu of other similar restaurants in your vicinity. Check what items they are offering and how your prices compare to them.  After you have weighed up all aspects, prepare a sample menu including only those items that meet both the popularity and profitability criteria.

The right way to go about menu additions is to optimize your menu over time.  Menu items that are not popular and less profitable can be replaced with new entrees that you feel have a higher chance of success.

3. Industry Analysis

The Industry Analysis primarily consists of 

  • Target Audience Analysis
  • Location Analysis
  • Competition Analysis
Restaurant Business Plan: Industry Analysis

a. Target Audience Analysis

 Based on the concept of your restaurant, you would obviously have an understanding of the type of customers that your food and restaurant would appeal to. Analyze the customer demographic including their income level, education, interests, and behaviors such as specific food habits, and spending habits. This study will help you understand your customers and serve them better.

b. Location Analysis

Finding the ideal location for your restaurant is one of the biggest challenges that you will face. While selecting the location keep the concept of your restaurant and your target audience in mind. You should select a location that has ample space for the layout you have in mind and is in an area that is frequented by your target audience. Here are a few things you should consider while selecting a location for a restaurant.

  • The location of your restaurant should be easily accessible and should ideally have a parking area.
  • Figure out how you plan to manage the supplies in the future. 
  • If you have plans to offer delivery through third-party services, you should consider a waiting space for delivery drivers.
  • Also, consider if there is adequate space for any expansion plans that you might have in the future.

c) Competition Analysis

The restaurant industry is a highly competitive industry. Analyze the competition in your area. Identify and create a list of all the restaurants in your vicinity both with similar concepts and those with an entirely different concept catering to a different target audience altogether. Study each of your competitor in detail:

  • Restaurant type/ their target audience
  • The kind of cuisine they serve
  • The strengths and weaknesses of your competitors.
  • Promotional/marketing strategies
  • Their growth rate 

You should also check their website, reviews on their pages, and their other social media profiles to get a comprehensive view of their business.

SWOT Analysis

A SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, and Threats) Analysis must be included in your Restaurant Business Plan as it helps you identify all factors that can impact your restaurant. 

a) Strength- Focus on the key strengths that distinguish you from your competitors. Something that you do better than anyone else- it could be your food, your competitive pricing, prime location, superior service, low-cost resources, etc.

b) Weakness- Weaknesses are inherent features of any organization. These are the weak links that you need to work upon. Analyze each aspect including your staff, resources, procedures, training, and equipment to check where you might be falling short.

 c) Opportunity- Opportunities are upcoming trends in the market that your competition has failed to capitalize on. If you are able to spot and exploit these opportunities at the right time, it can help you leverage your restaurant’s growth. 

d) Threats- Threats are external factors that you have no control over yet they can affect your business. It could be anything from new competition, a shortage of supplies, or a natural disaster.  The best way to deal with threats is to have a contingency plan in place.

5. Operations Plan

The Operations Plan covers every aspect of the daily operations of your restaurant

  • Restaurant Licences and Permits
  • Technology Stack
  • Staff Management
Restaurant Business Plan: Operations plan

a. Restaurant Licenses and Permits

There are several licenses and permits that you need to acquire to open any kind of restaurant.  The nature of licenses and permits that you require depends on the kind of restaurant that you are planning to open and the costs to acquire them may vary from state to state. 

Here are some other licenses and permits you’ll most likely need:

  • Restaurant Business License
  • Restaurant Food Service License
  • Food Handler permit
  • Employer identification number
  • Certificate of occupancy

Licenses may take time and money to acquire so you should start procuring them beforehand.

b. Restaurant Technology Stack

Over the past decades, we have seen a huge growth in restaurant technologies that assist almost every aspect of the day to day functions of a restaurant. Investing in some basic restaurant technology is crucial to the success of your venture. Create a list of technologies that you consider essential to your restaurant and research the different options available in the market before investing in anything.

Some of the essential restaurant technologies should be looking at are

  • Point of sale system
  • Kitchen Display Screens
  • Guest Management Systems
  • Tabletop ordering and mobile payment
  • Online ordering
  • Customer loyalty and gift cards

c. Staff Management

The success of any restaurant depends on its food and customer service. Your staff is an extension of your brand so you should take utmost care while hiring employees. It is best to create certain guidelines for hiring staff and adhere to them as closely as possible during the recruitment process. 

Work on an outline framework of the staff you would need including the number of employees you would need in each area of operations; kitchen staff, waitstaff, and management staff. You should also work out details of the recruitment procedure and job descriptions for each category of employee. 

Training the Staff

Every restaurant should have a training manual in place for each category of employees. While it is important to provide training to all new employees it is equally important to organize training programs on an ongoing basis. You can maintain service standards at your restaurant by keeping your employees up to date with the latest guidelines for food preparation, healthy kitchen practices, and smart waste management.

While training your staff you should lay down structured guidelines on what you expect from them in terms of customer service. Make a list of all tasks that a server goes through in a day, for instance greeting guests, pre bussing tables, taking orders, making menu suggestions, serving food, taking orders by the phone, and the like. Provide clear guidelines for each task in your training program. It is critical to train your front staff in dealing with customer complaints and queries.

Technology has completely changed the way restaurants work and function. Training your staff to use the full stack of restaurant technology that you may have invested in helps you increase their efficiency and productivity and make full use of the available resources.

6. Financials

While writing the business plan for a restaurant, you must include financials including a balance sheet, cash flow statements, revenue projections, and cost analysis. This will help you to keep track of your cash flow and control expenses. 

Restaurant Business Plan: Financials

a) Cash Flow Statement

It is the record of where the money is coming from and where it is going. 

Capital:

Opening a restaurant requires substantial capital and you need investors or partners, so it becomes important to plan financials. Your restaurant business plan should include details of your finances and how much you are ready to invest.

  • How much capital you are investing and where it is coming from?
  • Allocate funds to operating expenses, fixed expenses, marketing, and other departments of your restaurant.
  • How long can you support the system? 
  • When do you expect to break even?
  • Apart from that also set up a contingency fund for unforeseen events. 

Expenses:

Capital and Operating expenses give you the details of where the money is being spent.

  • Capital expenses are long-term investments that are non-recurring in nature. It includes the cost of equipment and machinery, cost of utensils, interior designing cost, furniture, cutlery, crockeries, and other fixed expenses.
  • Operating Expenses:  These are the costs that you will incur to run your restaurant on an ongoing basis like salary, rent, electricity, etc. You need to project these costs and include them in your plan.
  • Cost Projection- You should include cost projections for at least 6 months in your business plan.
  • Revenue Projections for the first six months.
  • Projected Statements of Income

For a more comprehensive guide on how much does it cost to open a restaurant, you can check out this article which breaks downs all the relevant costs involved in opening a restaurant.

7. Restaurant Marketing Plan

You should have a marketing strategy in place before the launch. Plan out a budget and a strategy for both online and offline marketing.

Restaurant Business Plan: Restaurant Marketing Plan

a. Online Marketing

 Research your competitors to understand how to utilize the various social media channels. Needless to say, your online identity is an extension of your brand and you must ensure that you adhere to your brand image and voice in all your online communications.

  • Website
  • Social Media Platforms
  • GMB
  • Email Marketing
  • SMS Marketing
  • Chatbot Marketing

b. Offline Marketing

A sound offline marketing strategy can help you reach more customers and generate footfalls in the initial days of your restaurant. Plan your launch carefully, most restaurant owners prefer to go for a soft launch for only close friends and family to generate initial feedback on their food and services.

However, going for a soft launch does not mean that you need to slow down the promotions. Ensure that you promote aggressively during the pre-launch period through flyers, and ads(both off-line and online. Organizing an online contest is also a great way to generate interest in the community before your launch. 

Your long-term off-line strategy should include:

  • Engaging with Food Bloggers
  • Hosting Events 
  • Advertising through signages and billboards
  • Distributing pamphlets
  • Radio Mentions
  • Television or Newspaper Advertising
  • Partnering with local organizations for fundraisers
  • Coupon distribution

c. Customer Relationship Management

It is vital for any restaurant to manage and use customer data to guide their future marketing strategies. An integrated customer relationship management tool can help you to store and use important customer data.

  • Contact Details: Phone number, email, address, bday, etc.
  • Visit Frequency
  • Preferences or most ordered Menu items
  • Average Spend per visit.

A restaurant CRM platform that is integrated with your POS system will help you stay engaged with your guests and customize your marketing messages based on the previous purchase history of the customers. Ideally, your online ordering solution and loyalty program should also be integrated into your POS. This will help you gather customer data from all sources and use it to provide a superior customer experience.

Here are a few sample Restaurant Business Plan Templates

Wrap Up:

Coming up with a restaurant business plan requires a lot of patience and attention to detail, but is it definitely worth the effort. The time that you spend strategizing and fine-tuning every aspect of your restaurant business translates into smooth execution of your ideas.

4 Tips to Create a Powerful Brand Online

Outstanding customer experience is the basis of any successful restaurant. It’s what sets you apart from the plethora of competitors and drives loyalty with your customers. In the digital age, knowing how to create a powerful brand online is as important as the in-store experience. Online presence not only strengthens your brand identity but also helps you reach a larger audience.

In this article, we’re going to show you how to create a powerful brand online by delivering seamless customer experience.

How do you attract customers to your restaurant?

1. Use Social Media to share pictures of your food and restaurant
2. Mobile Optimized and SEO Friendly website
3. Use Email Marketing to Reach More Customers
4. Run a restaurant Birthday Club
5. Partner with the local community for fundraisers 
6. Host Local Events
7. Give Coupons for Local events
8. Run a loyalty Program

How do you create a restaurant brand?

a. Define Your Identity
b. Identify your Target Audience
c. Give Your Brand a Voice
d. Work on your Look and Ambiance
e. Ensure that your Online Platforms reflect your brand identify
f. Customers service should be a reflection of your brand identify
g. Reward Loyalty

Tip 1: Respond To Every Comment and Complaint

For online reviews, the way you answer can affect other users’ experiences because they can read the reviews. So, as you respond, don’t forget that your comments are for more than just one customer. Best practices recommend you respond to every review, both positive and negative, in a timely manner. Online Reputation Management is therefore very important for a restaurant business.

Respond to every comments and complaints on Social Media to create a powerful brand online

Tip 2: Incorporation of  Chat-bots

At the core, restaurants are service businesses — they primarily care about providing the best possible experience for guests who visit their physical stores. Everything else, from their website to their marketing campaigns to their online customer service, is just a method to accomplishing that goal. For this reason, we think that chatbots are perfect for service-based businesses that are so focused on in-person experiences.

By answering questions automatically to real humans only when necessary, chatbots can help restaurants concurrently improve customer service and also save up time for their staff to spend promoting their actual in-restaurant experience. Dive in into these 8 examples How Restaurants Can Effectively Use Chatbots

Incorporation of Chat-bots as a strategy of create a powerful brand online

Tip 3: Emphasize On Customer Reviews

Capitalize on your positive customer reviews.

If a restaurant has great reviews on Google, make sure they show up on the website and all social media handles. Do the same with Google my business reviews.

By highlighting your reviews on your website, you’ll improve the customer experience. Your potential customers want to see social or material proof. They want to know others think highly of your restaurant. Learn more about our product KritiQ to take care of the reputation management requirements for your restaurant business.

Emphasize on customer reviews in order to enhance customer experience as a tip to create a powerful brand online

Tip 4: Make It Easier To Place An Order 

One more thing you can do to enhance the customer experience is making your online menu and shopping cart as easy as possible. A bad online ordering experience does zero for your website’s overall usability. Don’t dissipate your customers’ time by asking for too much information or by asking for too many item confirmations before the ultimate purchase. Discard the pop-ups and don’t incorporate too many additional offers. Have a look at our product Foodkonnekt-our integrated solution that can help you to add an additional revenue source while expanding your customer base.

Make it easier to place an order on your website

Wrap Up:

The grounds of any strong and successful restaurant begins with providing exceptional customer service. Whether you are a large chain restaurant or a small business, going above and beyond with your customers is a tactic that will drive repeat customers and thrust your revenue today, as well as in the future.

Images by: Rod Long, Jonas Leupe on Unsplash, Miguel Á. Padriñán on Pexels

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