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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 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.

Marketing Tools For Smart Marketers

Marketing tools for smart marketers

Marketing tools for smart marketers- to say the least, marketing is not that easy! With years and years of working in the digital world, we have known this for a fact, that just knowing who your audience is, is not enough. You need to think out of the box and come up with strategies that will actually reach out to potential people and get the results. 

Once you have come up with effective strategies, it is time to get rolling and implement them. Then again, you need on-point smart marketing tools, which will help you get people to your business. 

We have got an infinite amount of smart marketing tools that can be leveraged to our benefit. Because we have used most of them, we have come to know that some of them are just what we need, some of them are just fine, and some are an utter waste of time. Being marketers, we really need to be on our toes to be aware of what are the new trends and practices in the market. So, we have come up with a list of tools that can be very helpful for you in your marketing journey. You need not waste time on any further research, because we got what you just need- marketing tools for smart marketers!

So without further ado, let’s see what we got here.

Email marketing

Email marketing

(a) Hubspot email marketing

Hubspot email marketing

This tool allows you to reach out to customers with personalized email campaigns that are professionally designed and look great on any device. Personalization, segmentation, and tracking are all included in every campaign because HubSpot’s free email marketing tool is built on the HubSpot CRM platform.

Special features

  1. It helps you to Increase the number of people who open and click on your emails.
  2. Create emails that are automatically tailored to the recipient.
  3. You can do it all on your own, you don’t need any IT or professional designer’s assistance!

(b) Mailchimp

Mailchimp

Mailchimp is a comprehensive marketing platform that allows you to manage and communicate with your clients, customers, and other interested parties. Businesses use it to manage their mailing lists and to create email marketing campaigns and automation to send to their customers.

Special features

  1. It is a very user-friendly tool. It’s creative assistant helps to create designs for your emails baked on your brand.
  2. It’s Subject line helper helps to draw your customers in with the right subject lines based on feedback and keep them reading with content that is dynamically personalized for them, or experiment with different content versions with A/B testing.
  3. It’s Customer Journey builder sends emails based on your customers’ behavior and interactions, resulting in better experiences and increased engagement.
  4. With their Reports, you can see what’s working in your email campaigns and track your sales. With Click Maps, you can drill down into where people clicked in your emails to better tailor your content.

2. Online fax for smarter business communications

Online fax services

COCOFAX

Cocofax

CocoFax is a provider of all-in-one online fax solutions dedicated to smarter business communications. Times have changed. There is no need for a dedicated fax machine. Physical fax machines are utterly outdated. You can now save a lot of money, space, and fuss with their user-friendly online fax service. You can check further information here- Olivia Tan, Cocofax.

Special features

Among its high-end offerings are:

  • Free fax number
  • Delivery Reports for Faxes
  • Permanent storage
  • Email to Fax Solutions
  • Safe & Encrypted Faxing
  • Smartphone faxing

Data analysis

Dana analysis

(a) Sprout social

Sprout social

If you want to try an easy-to-use platform with a dashboard that allows you to manage and analyze all of your social media efforts across major platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+, and Linkedin, give Sprout social a shot. It provides a free 30-day trial period. 

Special features

The most distinguishing feature of this tool is that it allows a brand to receive genuine feedback from customers, allowing you to build long-term relationships with them. The new Engagement Report sheds light on team dynamics (Premium Plan only). Examine social engagement trends by day and time, and see how you compare to profiles with similar message volume. The Smart Inbox feature from Sprout is the ultimate social media monitoring tool, combining every message, alert, and action from all of your profiles into a single, filterable stream.

To get a high or low-level view of performance, Sprout combines profile-level, group, and roll-up analytics reports. You can report on your social profiles in a way that is relevant to your company.

(b) Socialinsider

Socialinsider

SocialInsider is a benchmarking and analytical tool that assists you in measuring the various metrics and KPIs associated with your social media strategy. 

Special features

It is applicable to all influential platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. The tool employs powerful analytics to provide detailed information for each social media profile, resulting in increased interaction, improved content design, automated report generation, and dashboard management from a single location. Users can also conduct extensive competitor research across major social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. As a result, customers can contrast their channels with those of top competitors and influencers.

Text message marketing

Text meassage marketing

(a) Attentive

Attentive

Attentive helps you increase your digital revenue using personalized mobile messaging. Text messaging is a highly effective form of advertising because it is a direct communication channel that can be tailored to your specific needs.

Special features

  • With their valuable first-party data provision, you can better understand your audience and send personalized messages that elicit action. 
  • It helps to scale your SMS and email list more effectively than many other solutions.
  • It helps you to build a revenue-generating SMS marketing program with confidence, keeping compliance in mind.
  • With strategic guidance and resources, you can easily measure and optimize the impact of your brand’s mobile messaging program.

(b) Postscript

Postscript

Special features

  1. Postscript works closely with Shopify to provide the best SMS marketing platform for Shopify stores. That starts with best-in-class Shopify integration, which auto-syncs with your store and instantly accepts any new relevant customer. Custom coupon generation, results-based analytics, and customer+order level segmentation are among the features.
  2. Don’t be satisfied with estimated performance. Postscript includes cutting-edge analytics and attribution, allowing you to adapt, learn, and grow. Investigate overall or per-message performance over time. We are constantly updating and expanding Postscript’s analytics functionality as former ecommerce marketers.
  3. Correspond with customers 1:1 within Postscript to answer questions, provide customer support, or close sales through chat. Send all communications to your support email address to keep everything in one place.

SEO

SEO

(a) Ahrefs

Ahrefs

Ahrefs is a software company that creates online SEO tools as well as free educational materials for marketers. A fantastic platform for easy searching, optimizing, and managing various results. It’s amazing how quickly you can get help with all of the features related to growing your business with a new set of techniques.

Special features

  1. It’s site auditor helps you to optimize your website.
  2. You can study what your customers are searching for using it’s keyword explorer.
  3. Learn what your industry’s top performing content is using it’s content explorer.
  4. Use it’s rank tracker to track your ranking progress.

(b) SemRush

SemRush

Semrush is a tool suite that helps you improve your online visibility and discover marketing insights. Our tools and reports can assist marketers who work in the following industries: SEO, PPC, SMM, Keyword Research, Competitive Research, PR, Content Marketing, Marketing Insights, and Campaign Management are some of the services available.

Special features

  1. The market’s largest and fastest backlink database allows you to find and track backlinks. Analyze your competition and look for ways to develop links to boost your SEO.
  2. Learn the organic and advertising value of any keyword based on search volume, keyword difficulty, number of results, CPC, competition level, SERP Features, variations, and other factors.
  3. With a high-speed crawler, you can process your pages in minutes and get actionable solutions to your website’s problems. Use our flexible crawling settings and run our in-depth on-page and technical SEO checks.
  4. With the Position Tracking feature, you can keep track of your daily online performance. Keep track of any keywords and device types, keep an eye on your competitors’ domains, and track your search engine performance on a ZIP code and local pack level.

Bonus tool- Q4 platform

Q4 Platform

You just got lucky today! We are here with a bonus tool for you- one of the absolute smart marketing tools for marketers! It is the Q4 Dashboard. It is a super smart dashboard with which you can get a rapid snapshot of your offline and online marketing strategy’ Key Performance Indicators for quick analytics and insights.

On a single dashboard, our Q4 platform collects, presents, and gives insights to consumer data from all of your marketing channels, providing you with actionable insights to increase brand awareness and earn incremental sales. From a single dashboard, you can manage all of your marketing channels and utilize data to deliver the correct message at the right time. 

In the four quadrants, you can manage your reviews, buzz creation, local marketing, and analyze data from all social media channels.

Get started with mKonnekt today. Schedule a demo with us to learn how mKonnekt can help you develop your restaurant.

Labor Shortage In The Restaurant Industry

The struggle of labor shortage in the restaurant industry is real right now. Restaurant owners have been posting job requirements after job requirements, hiring signboards after hiring signboards, with no success. The restaurant industry is suffering from a severe staff crunch.

But what is going on with the labor shortage in the restaurant industry? Why aren’t people applying for jobs in this industry? Is it due to the covid 19 pandemic? Is it due to the supplemental unemployment benefits? We really need to think about this situation before making up our minds about it. We really need to get real and talk about the practical side of things here. 

Some Facts And Figures-

Some facts and figures

Let us take a look at some data that can help us understand what exactly is going on with the labor shortage in the restaurant industry.

  1. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job openings rose to a record 9.3 million in April, 2021, an unprecedented number that has remained stagnant in the following months. 
  1. By May 2020, the industry was down 5.9 million jobs , and the number of restaurant jobs scheduled was down 75%.
  1. 17% of restaurants closed for good, and laid-off employees had to find new ways to make ends meet.
  1. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. unemployment rate sits at 6% or 9.7 million people

Now the real question is, when the U.S. unemployment rate sits at 6% or 9.7 million people, then why is the restaurant industry still struggling to fill the available positions?

Reasons For Labor Shortage In The Restaurant Industry –

Reasons for labor shortage in the restaurant industry

There are many reasons for labor shortage in the restaurant industry besides the Covid-19 pandemic hitting the world which may have been a cause of the earlier staff not showing back to work as per some restaurant owners and other executives.

Recruiting new employees is difficult due to the restaurant industry’s poor reputation for workplace quality. It’s known for high-stress shifts in hot kitchens, few employee benefits, and frequently low pay. Restaurants are finding it difficult to provide competitive wages and unemployment benefits. According to the New York Times, the median cook or food preparation worker earned $13.02 per hour in May 2020, and dishwashers earned $12.15.

Hence people would naturally find it better to work in other industries with multiple employee benefits as well as better pay, or maybe use the unemployment benefits and never return to the hot kitchens!

Pandemic hit us all very hard. And with everyone sitting at home, people had a lot of time to self-analyze and think about what they are making out of their lives. 

They now feel empowered to be more selective when choosing jobs. According to a recent Joblist survey, 58 percent of job seekers are not interested in hospitality jobs and prefer a different work setting, such as an office environment.

During the peak of the pandemic, many of the workers must have been subjected to the deadly coronavirus. Because of the uncertainty surrounding safety conditions and the insecurity of working in a restaurant, many people have left the industry permanently in search of other opportunities.

With the pandemic around the world, the daycares and creches closing down, they had no way to go but essentially quit their jobs to take care of the family commitments. Everyone has to think twice before getting back to work.  In the United States, 72 percent of families report paying more for childcare now than they did before the pandemic, and many parents are reducing their work hours or leaving the workforce entirely to care for their children. 

Realistically, it is a mix of these factors and many more that have driven the U.S. labor shortage in the restaurant industry.

We really need to come up with certain new and innovative ideas to combat this labor shortage issue, otherwise, the restaurant industry is going to be in deep trouble.

Leverage Tech To Combat Labor Shortage In The Restaurant Industry –

leverage tech to combat labor shortage

With the Covid 19 restrictions slowly lifting up, and people getting ready to eat out, restaurant owners are facing the biggest nightmares of their lives. With trying to reduce their opening hours to reduce the items on the menu, they have tried everything and failed. “Now is the time to incorporate tech into the restaurant industry and focus on how to combat the labor shortage”, this is what everyone says, but the biggest question is- HOW?

Let’s find out.

HANDHELD POS!

Handheld POS

Gone are the days when your staff used to move around the restaurant, back and forth to the customer’s tables to get the bills ready, then getting the payments done. With the provision of handheld systems, your staff can easily get the payments done then and there. No hassle of moving all the way around. With less staff by your side, you should absolutely do this so that the staff can save that amount of time to wait on thirty other hungry tables!

Promote Online Ordering

Promote online ordering

Not only because of the pandemic, which forced restaurants to close their dine-in options, but owing to the fact that it is far more convenient, online ordering has seen a significant surge in recent months. People nowadays prefer to have their favorite foods brought to them, at their doorstep. 

One way to see this is that you will need less front of the house staff to wait on the tables. You give your guests the ability to order on their own personal devices, freeing up time for your present staff to focus on bringing food to tables with that extra revenue coming in. Check out our branded online ordering solution- Foodkonnekt!

 Online Targeted Recruitment and Hiring 

Recruitment

When putting the HIRING banners used to drive applications after applications in, are the talks of old days. Websites and software are becoming increasingly important in the recruitment, hiring, and onboarding processes. Indeed and LinkedIn, for example, are frequently optimized to present job opportunities to potential applicants who are the best fit for the job. You can also use Facebook to post jobs and then run ads to target the most suited audience. Check out some of the best practices to find and hire great staff for your restaurant. Then see the applications flying in, thank us later!

Focus On BOH Too

Back of the house

To be very frank, you could have world-class equipment, state of the art decor, but if your food doesn’t taste good, you’re nil. Hence, in these difficult times, we have to focus on the back-of-house operations also. To speed up the process of delivering high-quality food in a timely manner, kitchen display systems replace paper tickets and kitchen printers. It has the tech to give the chefs what ingredients to use, specific instructions, and even what to prioritize first. This is a very good option to actually get work done faster and in an efficient manner, considering the fact that we have a labor shortage at our hands.

Leverage Data Analytics

Leverage data analytics

Use analytics to inform scheduling decisions – using historical and predictive data can help you better plan, staff up for busy hours, and operate on a leaner scale during slower hours. Using data from your restaurant can help you optimize your scheduling methods and save money on labor.

WRAP UP-

All of us at this stage have to really understand the fact that there is a severe staff crunch right now, whatever the reasons may be. Instead of thinking about what has happened or what is happening, we should also focus on what can be done. Tech is something that can be our best friend right now. So let’s come together and fight ourselves out of this struggle.

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.

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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