Nowadays, restaurant owners must be highly competitive to succeed: chain fast foods offer cheap over-the-counter alternatives, dietary trends gain fame rapidly on social media and shape picky customers and even one mistake can leave an unerasable bad review on a reputable gastronomic website. So how can they keep on top of the restaurant business today?
Mind the Technology Advancement
Soon, a new generation will enter the workforce and after that, your restaurant. They are numerous, they love mobile technology and they don’t have much patience. So you might want to improve your order waiting time and boost your digital alternatives. In this article, you can see how restaurants POS software can help with these problems, as they automate both front-office and back-office activities. Bottom line? Your waiters will be able to send orders to the kitchen or to process a different type of payments without running around the restaurant.
You can supervise shifts, manage the inventory system and make sales or financial reports from any location. Also, you can link the system to the restaurant’s website or mobile app if you deliver food or take pre-orders. The customizing opportunities are endless and you’ll be able to have a crystal clear picture of what works and what doesn’t.
Capitalize on Food Trends
This New Yorker cartoon summarizes best the dietary obsessions that come and go nowadays. Self-made gastronomic influencers bring new options that quickly spread to their social media followers: gluten-free, macrobiotic, raw-vegan, Paleo. Further on, customers are now putting pressure on food businesses to prioritize organic or at least controlled sources of raw materials for their menus. So what can you do?
To begin with, choose local suppliers and promote your choice on the first page of your menu and on your website. Then, train your staff to answer questions regarding the source of your products and also to keep track of client demands. If you notice that people ask more about gluten-free products, partner with suppliers that can offer you some gluten-free sauces, bread, and pasta. If they want raw-vegan desserts, find a supplier for that.
However, there also other simple trends that come and go every year: street-food inspired dishes, avocado toasts, exotic grains, the reinterpretation of classic cuisines. Inspiration is pretty much everywhere because many reputable publications publish food and restaurant trend articles every year.
Personalize the Customer Experience
Technology enables us to easily find options for everything we need. That is why customer service trends are leaning towards the concept of personalization. Your clients should be able to pre-order on the website, add ingredients to dishes, choose their own ingredient combination for certain dishes, order smaller plates or share with others a bigger portion.
Moreover, you can extend this approach outside the premises of the restaurant. Organize pools on your website and let customers rate, review and make suggestions. All these details engage them and make them feel cherished. Last, but not the least, implement a rewarding system with loyalty points – it makes foodies return to enjoy an earned discount.
Learn to Entertain a Crowd
Events are a great way to build a community around your business. They are also a great way of roping in customers that wouldn’t have specifically chosen you. Cooking shows are rising in popularity, so why not invite a chef and offer a special menu for a weekend? You can organize a live cooking show or even make your restaurant a place for cooking classes outside working hours.
Other options include food tastings of menu innovations, live music events, private parties and charity events. People are more likely to bring a bigger crowd if entertainment is on the menu, besides quality food and spectacular service, of course.
Reach Your Audience
In any way possible. Don’t be afraid of saying hello and asking for feedback personally from time to time. Sponsor a community cause or take part in a community event as a supporter.
Further on, engage customers on social media and take this task seriously. Social media platforms let consumers see how your dishes look, find out about special offers and learn about your staff. Moreover, clients are able to review and rate your business on certain platforms, which can be either harming or helpful – it depends on how you run it.
Managing a restaurant is like the work of a miniature painter: you have to put effort into every little detail to create the final masterpiece – which is a great customer experience. But this work is ephemeral and you start all over again when the client comes back. In addition to that, if you ruin a detail once, the masterpiece will be flawed.