Category Archives: Restaurant management tips

The road-map to deliver excellent restaurant customer service

Guests – an integral part of the restaurant business (as a matter of fact, they’re that for the whole hospitality industry). On these lines, imparting the superior (and second to none) restaurant customer service and satisfying all the needs of the customer is an ultimate objective of any restaurateur. And why not? As the guests uphold the dominion to make or break your restaurant business.

Besides, most of the successful restaurants flourish because of a loyal customer base. Of course, if your guests are satisfied with your service, they would definitely visit your restaurant again, and even bring new customers for you through word of mouth recommendations. But if your customer’s not happy, you’re going to have to shut your eatery down sooner or later.

Thus we can easily say that –

The customer service that you deliver has a direct impact on your restaurant business.

Now, certainly, you might be puzzling about how to provide excellent customer service at your restaurant. Well, we have sorted it all for you. Here are the few secrets and a clear way which will surely help you meet the customer needs in a restaurant and be the best in the market.

Here’s the road-map to deliver excellent restaurant customer service:

  • Bring the “cool” in your restaurant

  • Delight your savvy guests by serving them using a tablet-based restaurant POS software. Renovate your traditional pen and paper method of taking orders with it.

    The perfect road-map to deliver excellent restaurant customer service

    Moreover, you can achieve the optimum accuracy in the orders as a POS system takes care of the extra food preparation remarks and modifiers too, thus bringing the exact order on the table and delights your guests. On top of this, you can perform a wide range of operations right at your fingertips.

    If you’re not into getting a tablet POS system for your restaurant, you should consider implementing an digital restaurant menu, which helps you display your menu in an interactive manner and modernizes your ordering.

  • Let your Wifi page make wonders (yes, Wifi page!)

  • We’re sure there are hardly any restaurants that don’t provide complimentary Wifi to their guests. Now you might think, what major difference will free Wifi make?

    Let me answer that – through Wifi landing pages. Customize your Wifi landing pages (these pages are those where your guests need to login to start using your Wifi). As the page is going to be sighted by the most of your guests, make sure you take the utmost advent from that.

    Mention about your “bestsellers” and signature dishes of your restaurant. A good enough review of your restaurant will also attract your customers. This will most definitely help you improve your restaurant customer service.

  • Take the muddles out of the payments

  • When it comes to payments, never let these things happen with your guests:

    1. Don’t let them wait too long for the bills.
    2. Ensure that the generated bill is precise and accurate.

    Streamlining the payment process can dramatically improve your restaurant customer service. Make paying for your food as easy as eating it. Be open to accepting payments from any open, cash, cheque, online; anyway.

    An exceptional restaurant management software can help you enhance your restaurant service. It can split the bills, order wise, seat-wise or in any ratios as per your guest’s requirements in just a click. Enchant your guests by providing bills in your their preferred language and currency.

  • Don’t forget your loyalty programs

  • One of the key methods to enhance your restaurant service standards is to reward your guests. And loyalty and reward programs are the assured way to make your first customers, repeated ones.

    At the end of the meal, after they’ve enjoyed your great service, food, and ambiance; offer them to join your restaurant’s loyalty program. Hit the hammer as the experience is very fresh in their minds.

    Once they’re a part of your club, provide something of real value to your guests. Loyalty programs are a sure-fire way of delivering a memorable restaurant customer experience, as these programs make them feel like VIPs at your restaurant with attractive deals and rewards.

    And as a matter of fact, the repeating and loyal customer base plays an important role in increasing your revenue.

  • Whip your staff into shape

  • Your staff is the first point of contact with the guests, and your restaurant’s first impression is laid down by them. They play a vital role in improving the guest experience at your restaurant.

    Keep them on their toes to serve every guest with the handheld technology. Train your staff to interact smartly with your guests, to be friendly and attentive. These are a few top qualities of a great restaurant waiter, which they can surely implement.

    A server can gauge the personality and preferences of the customers by the menu item he orders. If your customer is looking for healthy dishes to order from your menu, your server should be agile enough to suggest some other healthy options from the menu. If the customer is a vegetarian or prefers non-vegetarian dishes, then the server should hint on the best dishes on the list, to provide a good restaurant customer experience.

  • Give a “kids-friendly” touch

  • Train your staff on how to behave with your little guests, i.e the kids you have at your place. Always ensure that your servers have candies or crisp crackles to offer them.

    Delighting this set of guests and keeping them busy will surely make your primary guests happy. Consider organizing activities and games for these kids so that their family can focus on the delicious food you’re serving. You can also add a special menu for the kids by adding their favorite items and more.

    These small gestures can actually make a great difference in your restaurant customer service (YES. It does!)

  • Give them a personalized feeling

  • Your restaurant manager should touch each table and ask about the experience your customers are having, offering to help in any way. Even your chef can go to the table and ask them about the quality of the food. That will have a discretely amazing impression on your guests.

    Involve your customers by offering them a sip of toothsome new mocktails to taste and ask them to give feedback. Set them full of beans before the server arrives with their order. And when they’re leaving, thank them genuinely for choosing your restaurant. Ensure that you exceeded your customer’s needs and expectations.

    Last but not the least, use your customer’s name as and when you could. This will make them feel welcome and valued, raising a notch in your restaurant customer service.

  • Go along with the occasion

  • If you can spot that a group of guests is celebrating a birthday, then prepare three of your waiters to sing the birthday song for the birthday boy, or play any birthday song. This will surely make your customers tickle pink. If possible offer them a piece of cake or any complimentary dessert and wish them personally.

    Just like that, if you spot guests celebrating the anniversaries; carry out the same activity and put them on cloud nine. Basically, you need to align yourself with the purpose of your customer’s visit to improve your restaurant service.

  • Ask them for feedback

  • Last but not least, show your guests that you care about them by asking for a feedback. Seize the opportunity when they are in the restaurant. You can send a link to fill out a review on Google or your website. Or you may choose to send a short guest survey on their email asking customers to rate their experience and leave any comments.

    Collecting feedback is the most beneficial way to improve the restaurant customer experience, those feedbacks or reviews are user-generated content which comes from the guests to the guests, by the guests.

    You can also reach out to your guests for the feedback in the most innovative way. For example, you can ask them to ring the bell three times if they loved your restaurant, or something different. Combining this and your loyalty programs can also help you go a long way, that is; offer them discounts for their next visit if they give a good review and such likes.

As said,

Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.
-Vincent Van Gogh

Incorporate these exciting tips into your restaurant and turn your guests into lifelong customers. We are sure these hacks will definitely help you improve your restaurant service and even bring in more guests and increase your revenue. Make sure your guests have a whale of a time, as delighted customers become repeat customers and repeated customers bring more revenue.

Over and above, enhancing your restaurant customer experience is all about giving more than what they want. It’s about presuming what they want, deliver them the services beyond their expectations, and create an exhilarated fanbase for your restaurant.

11 ways to enhance restaurant inventory management

12 best practices for your restaurant inventory management

For any food business to sustain in this competitive market, what matters the most is; effectively handling the orders, menu items and even a major part of restaurant inventory management. Though that doesn’t mean restaurant promotion and other operations are less important aspects. Each of this has a definite role to play in making your restaurant business a great success.

Now, one of the key investments in an F&B business is that of inventory and stock. Basically, a restaurant inventory consists of all the items or raw materials required to prepare dishes, and managing that restaurant inventory would mean, to accurately track the use of each ingredient, in the right quantity in any dish.

So as the margin gets tighter (with increasing expenses and decreasing profits), you as a restaurateur have to find ways to reduce the recurring costs.

If you’re into traditional ways for food business management, it’s time you switch to digital means.

Because manual restaurant inventory management is a cumbersome and a time-consuming task. And, the bitter fact is; little negligence can lead to a major revenue loss.

On an average 10-15% of the restaurant inventory goes into the trash.

Now the question arises; how to efficiently utilize restaurant inventory and eliminate losses. Right?
So in this blog, I’ll be sharing the best practices for your restaurant inventory management. But, before that let’s have an overview of how crucial it is to keep a track of your restaurant inventory.

In F&B industry, taking stock of inventory isn’t just simply scanning the barcodes. It applies to the counting of items on the kitchen shelves, and even the ones scattered in storage rooms. Straight off, this makes it difficult for you to manage your restaurant inventory efficiently.

11 best practices for your restaurant inventory management

However, securing inventory from various risks such as spoilage, thefts, and calamity is a herculean responsibility. The former threat can be effectively handled, but the later’s occurrence is not in your control.

Here are 12 best practices for your restaurant inventory management:

  1. Automate your restaurant operations with the right point-of-sale software
  2. First-off, employ an active restaurant POS system at your place. Believe me, it’ll do wonders! It reduces the cost incurred on hiring extra staff for restaurant inventory management, and even aids you in your daily restaurant operations.

    The system helps you count opening and closing stock during a shift change, tracks the inventory and stock usage, and performs real-time updates of the current inventory on hand.

  3. Train your staff effectively
  4. It is obvious that when you’ve brought in automation, training is a part of it. Whether your staff is tech-savvy or not, they need to master on the utilities of POS. Interact with them on how you can save on wastage, applying effective restaurant inventory management, tracking all that is coming in and going out, and such likes.

    The success in your restaurant inventory management will witness your F&B progressing in revenues.

    Because once your staff is aware and assure you that they’ll take care of all this, you’ll see that a lot has been saved in spoilt food or wastage.

  5. Restrict access to your usage data
  6. To secure your restaurant inventory from any unwanted usage, you can limit your staff access to the information not pertaining to their role at your restaurant.

    For instance, you can set different types of users such as:

    • Owner
    • Managers
    • Chefs
    • Waiters
    • Cashiers
    • And more..

    Allocate separate credentials and access controls to each one of them. The POS system keeps track of their activity, so that you keep a vigil on inventory, eliminate thefts and wastage.

  7. Use the First-in, First-out (FIFO) method for inventory usage
  8. Ask your staff to line-up the restaurant inventory according to their expiry dates or their In-time at your kitchen; and dispense the inventory as per the FIFO rule. Even the ready-to-serve food dishes that have been cooked for the day has to be taken care of.

    Meanwhile, you need to ensure that:

    • The food item isn’t overcooked or undercooked.
    • The item is tasty, and remains fresh till it’s served.
    • Implement a rigid plan to consume the perishable stock. (You don’t want your stock to rot, right?)
    • Track your weekly or monthly orders and set the storage limit accordingly.
    • If the raw items are not used as per your requirement, update the storage quantity in your restaurant software. (Or consider disposing or donating the unconsumed food)

    Basically, taking care that what you serve is of the highest quality will compel your guest to return.

  9. Set a limit on your storage
  10. Keeping a restraint on your storage in a point-of-sale system is essential (especially for perishable items) in food inventory management. Define the maximum and minimum storage levels at your restaurant to keep the inventory fresh and in an edible state.

    All the while, this also takes care that you never run out of stock while you focus on other aspects of restaurant management. Storage also implies to keep your store, kitchen, serving floor and warehouse clean and tidy. Schedule regular fumigation once a week before stocking up.

    Additionally, you can ask your store manager to maintain the temperature as per the necessity of food stock such as vegetable, fruit, meat, ingredients, and spices. This way you eliminate wastage, which poses as one of the best practices in inventory and stock management.

  11. Keep a regular check on inventory in portions
  12. Now, it’s definitely not easy to do a complete restaurant inventory check night and day. It’s time-consuming, frustrating and susceptible to errors. Even while you’re serving the dine-in orders or taking care of delivery orders, a miscalculation may happen.

    To avoid such instances, you can execute a cycle count as a routine. The cycle count will ensure a daily scrutiny of the inventory in the division while taking care of not disrupting the ongoing movement or usage of items.

    Because of this cycle count, your staff doesn’t need to stay extra hours at daily closing. Once you’ve done it, you can tally with the existing stock on hand and items consumed, which will then give you a clear idea of your restaurant’s inventory consumption.

  13. Maintain the original taste of your menu
  14. Definitely, your F&B outlet is known for the lip-smacking delicacies you serve. In this case, maintaining the original taste of your menu is the biggest challenge for you.

    Here, you need to focus on your recipe management as well, by configuring the recipe in your restaurant POS system. For this reason, you’ll be able to competently segment your dishes. Besides, it helps your chef in keeping your menu taste intact, concurrently keeping a check on the inventory and stock used to prepare the items ordered at your outlet.

  15. Track and approve inventory requests
  16. Often, you may have come across a few unfamiliar entries in your restaurant inventory consumption report. On that account, you can set up a process which gets you a request when your staff wants to consume the stock; and you can approve it accordingly.

    Thus, a software which keeps track of all inventory requests will keep you in the forefront.

    For instance, when your chef wants to use a list of items, you receive a request. Once you approve it, only then will he be able to use it. Basically, nothing is missed from your eye, and any kind of inventory or stock misuse is eliminated.

    Similarly, the purchase orders won’t be sent ahead to your vendors unless you or your store manager authorize them. Though you do need to take care that all the items have been received in an appropriate condition. If you find anything wrong with the order, make sure to report it to your vendor immediately.

  17. Set the inventory rates according to overheads
  18. Apart from purchasing the inventory and stock, you’ll find many overhead costs involved in restaurant inventory management. Since your purchase amount gets flexible with time, you need to update your item rates at your restaurant accordingly.

    The menu item rates should be set in a way that all your production, management and overhead costs are covered with a regular sell.

  19. Transfer items from one outlet to another
  20. If you are a chain of F&B, then you should consider transferring your unused inventory to some other outlet where it’s used well. The restaurant software you choose should give you an option to shift the food items to another outlet.

    As mentioned above your inventory is used in the right way, and not wasted. Usually, the centralized storage helps in proper inventory distribution to multiple outlets. You can also consider exchanging inventory items with your fellow restaurateurs, as what might be a waste for you may turn out to be useful for them and vice versa. (Think about barter system!)

  21. Maintain a backup inventory
  22. Now you may witness a high guest influx regularly at your restaurant if you’re a well-known name in your locality.
    For this, you ought to store an emergency stock of frequently ordered items at your outlet. This can be termed as a backup inventory, to save you from the reactions of disappointed guests.

    Again, do keep a limit on your backup inventory too. Otherwise, it may happen that your backup inventory also gets wasted big time.

  23. Stock up inventory as per your menu
  24. Time and again, you may be setting up seasonal menus at your eatery. Therewith, some items may be available at a particular time, while you may serve some all the year round.

    To handle such scenarios, you need to keep an eye on your changing menu items and be agile enough to pile up your inventory and stock accordingly.

These are just a few of the best practices for your restaurant inventory management which are coming to my mind. And if you notice, all of them can be executed fittingly using an ideal restaurant POS software, which gives you a complete control over restaurant inventory.

eZee BurrP!, a comprehensive POS takes care of not just your inventory, but handles everything right from food ordering to billing, ultimately simplifying your restaurant business management.

A restaurant POS system for your inventory management