Customer service is one of the deciding factors for the success of a restaurant. Wait staff pagers are slowly cropping up as a better way to serve customers, but are they the right way to solve the puzzle of smoothly running the dining room? Waiter call buttons are a useful way for customers to let wait staff know they are ready to order, need something, or want to pay the bill. Restaurant pagers are also an efficient way for chefs to notify restaurant staff that dishes are ready to be delivered to tables. However, restaurant pagers may be uncomfortable for customers to use, eliminating the personal contact and challenge of getting the attention of wait staff, and replacing bad customer service with a foolproof technological solution.
Customer Service and the Restaurant Ambience
Top notch customer service is a very impressive characteristic for venues to have. Hiring caring and attentive restaurant staff is a sure-fire way to improve customer loyalty. Restaurant pagers enable customers to notify staff when they need something, providing the table location to wait staff for the fastest and most efficient service possible. However, to some extent, restaurant pagers also eliminate the challenge of providing good customer service, making it less impressive to customers. If waiters know exactly when and where a table needs service, can serving those tables quickly be labeled as good customer service? On another note, when a venue is packed and wait staff are obviously having a hard time juggling all their tasks, pressing the call button may be uncomfortable for customers, but they may not have a choice. If restaurant pagers are present, wait staff will not necessarily check on a table if not summoned by the call button, making use of
Food selfies are taking over Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media sites. Chefs and culinary professionals have mixed feelings about the trend and, in some cases, chefs have banned taking pictures of food in their venue, while others have gone to the other extreme, offering free food to those who take pictures of their food and tag the venue on Instagram. Food plating and presentation has always been viewed as an important aspect of running a restaurant. However, with food photography ballooning in popularity food stylist worthy dishes should be a key focus for venues. By pulling out those garnishes and squeeze bottles, and giving customers dishes worthy of the best food photography, businesses can get effective and free restaurant marketing from customers’ pictures of food.
Making Customers the Food Stylist
Let’s face it. The majority of customers do not know how to photograph food on a professional level. They lack the artistic knowledge and equipment. However, the widespread restaurant marketing that can result from customers uploading their pictures of food in a venue can bring in new restaurant business, and draw back old customers. Restaurant marketing is often at the forefront of the minds of managers and owners. Luckily, with the rise in social media and smartphones, as well as an appreciation for culinary culture, much word of mouth restaurant marketing is being done for businesses, for free, by the customer. Venues can easily get in on this type of restaurant marketing by persuading customers to take pictures of food and mention the venue. Offering prizes for the best food photography each month, or offering discounts for mentioning the venue, along with pictures of food, on social media sites, can get the trend started. Instead of worrying about food photographers or learning how to photograph food, venues can benefit from customers’ food pictures. Customers a likely to get a wide range of shots and, even better, flaunt them to their friends, giving a venue great restaurant marketing.
With relatively new food labeling laws, large restaurant chains are required to print restaurant nutrition information on their restaurant menus. Small food businesses are not obligated to do so, but some may choose to offer their customers this option, in order to show their support of healthy restaurant eating. Other venues may choose to simply provide menu labels near healthy options, rather than specific nutrition facts. Either way, a study by Drexel University’s School of Public Health has shown that restaurant nutrition information impacts customers’ purchasing decisions, ultimately leading customers to ordering fewer calories. Restaurant menus with healthy restaurant eating options may benefit from letting customers know about their healthy restaurant menus. However, despite the added comfort for dieting and health-conscious customers, restaurant nutrition labelling is usually not a worthwhile investment for small businesses, when not required by law.
Menu labelling is a restaurant marketing strategy that can attract customers on a strict diet. Those effected with diabetes and obesity can clearly benefit from knowledge of carbohydrate, sugar, fat and caloric meal content. A venue that offers healthy restaurant eating options should be confident enough in their restaurant menus to add a nutrition facts label, at least to some menu items. Many consumers are aware of the studies that have been done, showing that an overwhelming majority underestimate the caloric content of restaurant and fast food chain menu items. However, by being shown the estimated restaurant nutrition information for
Fast casual restaurants are minimizing the required amount of restaurant staff. At many fast casual venues, waiter training only needs to focus on ensuring that the floor is operating smoothly. However, like almost all fast food restaurants, fast casual restaurants also need to take orders and serve food quickly, usually with no empty space between the customer and the computer. The reduced number of employees, due to less need for wait staff, is an obvious benefit for fast casual venues. However, this business plan is not an ideal solution for how to run a restaurant for all businesses. Some venue concepts demand high levels of waiter training in order to provide the best customer service possible. These venues are not considered fast casuals, but in some cases great customer service can increase restaurant business in equal measure to offering fast casual dining.
Don’t Leave Out Staff
Though fast casual restaurants do not need many waiters, they do need people manning the cash registers and taking orders, as well as more kitchen staff on shift to supply meals faster than a typical venue. In a study done by the NRN, it was found that about 85% of Americans visit fast casual restaurants at least once a month. These numbers show not only the potential success of fast casual restaurants, but also their urgent need to have
Catering is a relatively sure business compared to owning a restaurant. By becoming one of the many restaurants that cater, restaurants can expand their profits and success, while building a larger client base. Though restaurants that cater must invest time and money into planning the catering ideas, hiring restaurant staff to prepare and serve the food during event catering, and ensuring that all the restaurant equipment is up to par, the business expansion that can come about by offering a catering service can make owning a restaurant a lot more profitable.
Why Restaurants that Cater Have it Good
Restaurants that cater, and any catering service for that matter, have early income indicators. When a customer chooses a catering menu and hires a catering service, the service then knows the amount of food that needs to be ordered and can rest assured that it will all be used during the event catering. Whether the service is wedding catering or event catering of another kind, extra food will have to be prepared to cover any extra unexpected guests or hungry diners. However, the catering service can
Tea time is generally associated with the British tradition of having a small snack and cup of tea in the late afternoon, usually around 4 p.m. Though tea time has always been a great excuse to have a social hour, today it is gaining attention as an extra meal, creating an opportunity to split meals to improve health. Many health studies have shown that eating many small meals throughout the day helps people reduce their caloric intake and prevent overeating at meals due to hunger. Due to the health benefits of light fare, the Food Channel is predicting that split meals, or tea time, will be one of the major food trends this year. Conveniently for restaurants, tea time has the potential to boost business and restaurant profit, similar to the way happy hour specials do.
Tea Time Restaurant Meals
Every consumer appreciates a good bargain. Some even rely on them to justify dining out in today’s economy. Limited time offers are a great way to draw in customers at any given time of year, by compelling them to frequent the venue for fear of missing out on a good bargain or a guilt-free chance to try a new restaurant. Despite the obvious benefits that offering limited time deals can bring, businesses must be careful not to abuse this restaurant marketing strategy.
Unlimited Time and Fake Offers
Consumers, as a whole, are smart. Chances are that if they are being cheated continuously, they will quickly catch on. In the restaurant market, if consumers feel cheated by a venue, they can usually turn to another similarly priced, nearby venue that offers comparable quality food. In order to avoid dissuading customer loyalty, businesses should have honest restaurant marketing and restaurant deals. In terms of offering limited time restaurant deals, this means using those restaurant deals to increase restaurant business during slow periods, but not keeping them over extended periods. Limited time offers that are offered all the time will be less exciting to customers and therefore less effective for increasing restaurant traffic at a venue. Limited time offers can also fail to increase restaurant business when they are not an offer at all. Though initially customers may be drawn in by the visual restaurant marketing of a limited time offer, if a customer realizes that an offer is actually just an everyday price disguised as restaurant deals, the venue can expect
Food businesses are constantly on their feet, struggling to succeed in the cutthroat world of restaurant competition. Venues compete with other food businesses on their tier, in order to draw in enough customers to make restaurant profit. By embracing restaurant competition, instead of fearing it, food businesses can build important learning relationships and make the most of competition in business. By realizing that restaurant competition can mean learning and improving for all venues, food businesses can take advantage of the opportunity to forge relationships with their competition.
How to Become Friends with the Enemy
Restaurant staff can always learn more, and stay on top of restaurant trends, by talking to others in the field. The first step in making the most of competition in business is to adopt a modest approach. Other venues will have different strategies to increase restaurant business, implement culinary trends and restaurant trends, and offer a different restaurant ambience. Food businesses
Tabletop marketing is different than traditional restaurant marketing because it focuses less on getting the word out about a venue, and more on convincing those who are already familiar with the business to return in the future. Tabletop restaurant marketing is an almost-free restaurant advertising strategy, but it must be done right to be effective. There is a fine line between being persuasive and pushy, which must not be crossed in tabletop restaurant marketing, in order to preserve a pleasant restaurant ambience.
Tabletop Restaurant Marketing Platforms
There are a few ways that a restaurant marketing plan can incorporate tabletop marketing. Firstly, for venues with electronic menus, direct links to the business’ social media advertising pages can be available, allowing the customers to “like” the venue or join the mailing list at a touch of the screen. In general, the synchronization of social media and restaurants is extremely helpful to restaurant marketing, since it can help spread the word about a venue through reaching people that customers are connected to on social media platforms. Restaurants may even consider offering customers a discount or customer reward for joining the customer loyalty programs, especially while dining in the venue. Another popular way to do in-house restaurant marketing is with tabletop menu cards. Simple cardholders can hold
Chefs like Eméril and Paula Deen are now the faces of branded retail chef products. Wolfgang Puck has his name on dish sets as well, and Taco Bell co-Branded with Doritos to make the popular Doritos-flavored taco shells. For budding chefs, who have yet to make a name for themselves, chef products will not succeed based on name alone. But, in regards to restaurant brands, is it worth it for more modest businesses to pursue branded retail food product lines? The answer depends on the business’s goals, interests, and funds or investors.
Going Big in Food Branding
Selling branded retail food products in supermarkets is not as simple as it sounds. Businesses will need to make sure they have all the proper licenses for operating a food manufacturing business, as well as ensure they are aware of all the food safety regulations related to preparing and packaging retail food. Though homemade food such as artisan bread and homemade sauces are great additions to a restaurant, restaurant brands of retail food will be subject to a lot more regulation and requirements. In addition, supermarkets will usually only buy from suppliers that have the ability to keep up with their demand. This means that a business must be prepared to invest in equipment to facilitate large quantities of production. For some restaurant brands, projecting an appearance of offering homemade food is extremely important. However, even retail food marketed as homemade sauces or artisan bread will