Category Archives: Restaurant Management

15 best restaurant marketing strategies for 2019 – Part 1

Running a restaurant is really not an easy task to handle. And besides all that hustle and bustle of the restaurant operations, the restaurant marketing strategies also come out to be a major aspect for a restaurant’s success. Plus, marketing of a restaurant with the RIGHT combination of trends and strategies stands second to none in making a business successful.

Now, with the holiday season on our heads with 2018 almost on the verge of ending, it’s the time to take a stock of 2018 and gear up to make 2019 the best year for your restaurant business.

Any business owner for that matter would aim higher in terms of business growth on the approach of a new year. Same’s the case with you, isn’t it? So pull up your socks with determination and get started with the right restaurant promotion for your business.

15 best restaurant marketing strategies for 2019 - Part 1

Here we’ve listed down 8 out of the 15 best restaurant marketing ideas based on our knowledge and expertise. To make it easier for you to understand these in-depth and implement these one-by-one, we’ve divided this into two parts. Let’s take a look at them:

Best restaurant marketing strategies for 2019

8 best restaurant marketing strategies

1. Research and analysis

A proper analysis of the past and present is the first step for devising a long-term strategy in any business. So it is very essential to have a good and thorough analysis of the current situation of your restaurant. On that note, to have the best marketing plan for your restaurant in 2019, you need to have a detailed chronicle of 2018. You need to analyze which different marketing plans were exercised during the year, how effective they were, how many sales they generated, which were your peak and weak seasons and a lot more.

Now you’d need to perform 2 major kinds of analysis in this case:

Competitor Analysis:

Well, you must’ve surely heard about this saying often:

Keep your friend close and enemy closer.

Having said that, when you are forming marketing strategies for the next grand success, you cannot overlook how your competitors are doing. You need to find out what different marketing strategies they are implementing for increasing their sales and what’s making their customers come to them. If they are doing better, you can learn what to do. If you’re doing better, then you learn about what not to do.

Target Audience:

Figure out what the type of guests and the purpose for which your guests visit your restaurant. Are they youngsters, or families or corporates and so. Do your guests host parties, corporate meetings, or family gatherings at your eatery? Try to find and list some more attributes of your guests such as their attitudes and expectations. Get a hold of cuisines or dishes that are preferred over others among your guests. You have a lot of data lying around you. USE THAT.

2. Get your restaurant a dedicated website

Many restaurateurs don’t consider website important enough. And why would they? Because they’re already getting enough customers and their restaurant is already famous in the city. But here’s where they are missing out an important part. It’s not just about getting customers or being famous, but you also have to ensure that you at least stay put against the hundreds of competitors emerging every day.

In this tech-driven space, no business can refrain from having an online presence. You won’t realize the impact of having a website for your restaurant unless you experience it yourself. For an instance, if any of your guests recommend your restaurant to his friends or family, their very first step would be to look for your website.

Actually, 89% of consumers research for a restaurant online prior to dining.

So if you don’t have a website for your restaurant, then it’s really uncertain whether he’ll visit you or not.

Through your website, you can provide the basic information your customers may need to know such as hours of operation, directions, cuisines you offer, payment methods and more. By answering these basic questions, you can decrease the amount of time your managers and staff need to spend answering phone calls. Show the best of your restaurant on your website. Add those amazing pictures of your restaurant signature dishes. Thus often neglected- but having a website is indeed one of the beneficial restaurant marketing strategies. You can also keep customers aware of any promotions, such as special festive menus, lunch deals or combo packs and even happy hours (if you’re not setting up such dynamic menus at your restaurant, then now’s a right time to do that using a restaurant POS software.)

3. Social media

When in Rome do what Romans do. Quite similar to that, when we’re approaching towards the digital-era it is necessary to walk hand-in-hand with the latest trends, especially when it comes to restaurant promotion. So, while planning your restaurant marketing strategies, social media can NEVER be left out.

Just FYI, you may not be a part of this mass media, but your guests definitely are.

So, here’s how you effectively perform social media marketing for your restaurant:

Facebook

A platform with more than 2.25 billion users can make great wonders for your restaurant. Create your restaurant business page and get started by posting regularly. You can post some high-resolution pictures of your food with some catchy and mouth-watering description that induces your followers to visit your restaurant. As the users trust the brand with more followers (Believe me, it works like a magic).

Check out how one of our clients, Tokyo Diner in the United Kingdom have set up their Facebook page:

Set some budget aside for Facebook Ads as well. These paid ads are capable to get substantial traffic to your website and followers to your Facebook business profile.

Instagram

These days, Instagram is second most cherished social media after Facebook. The food gets uploaded to Instagram first and then to the belly (#foodporn). Thus it can turn out to be a big profit center and an amazing restaurant marketing idea. Similar to Facebook, set up an Instagram business profile and start engaging with your guest. Take your guest engagement a level up with contests such as post an interesting picture where you ask your followers to “caption this”, ask customers to name a new dish.

Get more visible through hashtags. Find the hashtags that will work the best for you. Don’t merely add the trending hashtags to gain views. Instead, you can add hashtags connected to your area. For an example: #nyfood and so. You can also create a hashtag of your restaurant any signature dish or drink and make it trending by using it every post.

Give equal importance to videos. For example a slow-mo video of your chef kneading a pizza dough, or your lasagne being baked in the oven, or any of your signature dish being garnished by parsley. Happy Instagramming 😉

Lastly, don’t just create a business profile; stay active in initial days and drop it dead for an entire year. Keep the engagement consistent by sharing the content regularly. You can hire a social media expert too. These restaurant marketing trends may take some time to come into full throttle, but they’ll yield you long-term benefits. Check out more ideas on social media marketing for restaurants here.

Get listed on food ordering portals

Gone are those days when the guest has to come to you reluctantly to eat your gourmet food. Get ready to serve your customers at their favorite place- their doorstep. The online food delivering companies like UberEats, Swiggy, Zomato, Foodpanda, and such likes have brought the convenience of having our desired food at our front door.

That’s why connecting or listing your restaurant on these online food delivery portals will help you get a gleaming online presence. You become open to accepting and catering to all your online orders in real-time and even and reach to a wider clientele. Thus these food delivery companies shower you with milk and honey, making them the most effective restaurant marketing idea these days.

Run promotions

Promotions – running effective promotions is one of the certified restaurant marketing strategies to increase sales and business. You must be running promotions in past years too, but try giving them a makeover this year. Do continue running promotions on festivals and special days, if you found them fruitful. Also, try your hands on some new promotions on unusual days such as Columbus Day or Veteran Day. You can even make your own days, for instance – today my restaurant celebrates a vegan day – get a 20% off on all the vegan food.

Set some really interesting and easy-to-attract promotions that will actually bring the visitors back to your restaurant. For example: Get 10% off on Sushi at your second visit. Get fries for free at your fifth visit and..you get the idea, don’t you?

Check out how one of our clients Mister Baker in Dubai is celebrating versatile days:

Regain your loyal customers

Loyalty programs: A traditional but always a profit-making restaurant marketing idea. These programs in restaurants include offering memberships to guests, and in turn presenting them with exciting food coupons, discounts and reward points when they re-visit your restaurant. The reason why you should include loyalty programs in your restaurant marketing strategies for 2019 is – they increase your brand value, repeat customers and eventually your restaurant business too.

The repeat customers account for as much as 15% of your total customer base, but that 15% totals about 1/3 of your entire revenue.

Besides, it works best for filling the slow periods in restaurants. While heading towards the tech-era, you cannot stay adamant to authentic physical loyalty cards. Go cashless with digital loyalty membership cards.

If managing your loyalty programs is a major concern for you then you can go with any restaurant loyalty program software.

Festivals and events

The food festivals and events are an excellent podium for the restaurant to showcase the best they’ve got. Getting along with food festivals is an ideal way to connect with your customers and market your brand. Some famous food festivals like the Gourmet High street or Bacon festival or Pizza fest receives enormous crowds.

Participating in such events will bestow your restaurant with a golden opportunity to showcase your delicacies and attract more customers. You can connect to a wide potential audience personally and thus create a word of mouth marketing. And you know already nothing is better than you being on the grapevine.

The most important advent of getting along with these events is you can collect more customer data and feedback too.

Food bloggers

One of the compelling restaurant marketing strategies today is to attract the crowd with the help of social media influencers aka food bloggers. An influencer is a user on social media who has established credibility in a specific industry. They have a large fan following and can persuade their audience through their words and recommendations.

It’s really easy to contact and approach them through their email on their social media handle. Partner with writers who have popularity as local bloggers and provide them incentives like discounted food or drinks to show appreciation for their effort.

In case if you’re planning to introduce a new dish or reviving your restaurant’s ambiance then it is the best time to invite an influencer. These food bloggers don’t only write mere about the food, they tend to write and share their thorough experience with your restaurant. Their audience trusts what they say and thus they can substantially increase your website reach and customers too.

Take a note of these restaurant marketing strategies and start planning on implementing them to achieve the best results out of these restaurant promotion ideas for your eatery.

The best is yet to come

Well, this is just the first half of the ultimate guide to hit the home run in 2019. Other interesting restaurant marketing strategies are coming to your way soon. Stay tuned to get fully familiar with how to promote your restaurant and be good at it in 2019.

A good restaurant POS for streamlined restaurant management

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

8 effective ways to do social media marketing for restaurants

MARKETING is a tough yet a must-know concept to manage any business these days. And when it comes to the restaurant business, you cannot afford to sit back and watch the show.

There can be thousands of questions coursing through your mind as an F&B business owner. How to increase your footfalls? Which is the best way to attract more customers? It all comes down to marketing. You need to pave the way towards relevant audience building, effective and right marketing, and create yourselves a brand. And, if you are planning to include the social media marketing for restaurants in your strategies this time, there are a few important tips which will unquestionably help you.

Social media replaces nothing but compliments everything. – Neal Schaffer

So, why do social media marketing for restaurants anyway?

Well, more than 2.62 billion social media users across the world share their celebrations and events shot in a restaurant, not only with their friends but beyond that. So, it only seems natural that social media is the perfect place for people to connect and share a bit of themselves through their food posts.

Social media marketing for restaurants

For restaurant or any kind of food business owners, this is a huge opportunity to contemplate and derive the best ideas to do social media marketing for restaurants.

The most important factor lies in the fact that, social media marketing is very low on cost. And the 2-way interaction is yet another benefit which makes it more reachable. This makes social media inevitable for businesses now.

Now, when you begin to create an effective restaurant social media strategy, there are a few aspects which you need to look after, which go like:

Choosing the target audience: This is determined by various factors such as the theme you follow at your place, the type of eatery you have, and the kind of cuisine you offer.

Next, the message and platforms you use: Once you’ve zeroed in on your target audience, the next step you take is to finalize on what kind of message you want to send through to your target audience and from which platform.

Know your competitors and their strategies: Analyze your opponents to be aware of where you stand and work towards being better.

Once you have done all of these, you can go ahead and sketch out the social media marketing for your restaurant with below-mentioned tips.

8 effective ways to do social media marketing for restaurants

  1. Setup a complete social media profile
  2. The first step towards productive social media marketing for a restaurant is to create a profile on the platforms available. Currently, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and Pinterest form the core of any social media marketing strategy. This will give your restaurant a good enough visibility to your targeted audience.

    And don’t just create the profile for the sake of doing it. Add each and every information that’s required, and set up the complete profile. Be active through that profile and gradually you’ll see how your restaurant reaches your audience.

  3. Be trendy in terms of content
  4. Social media is all about engaging with your audience, reaching to them right where they are. So, you need to be impressive with whatever content you create and post on the social media.

    Either you can display your culinary expertise, put up drooling pictures of the decadent dishes you create, share selfies with guests and staff, offer attractive discounts, and even show how your restaurant’s ambiance is .. well you can do lots of things!

    If you’ve got a proper recipe management system, you can even post recipes for your dishes to fascinate your guests.

  5. Your guests are the best marketing medium
  6. Because you’re interacting with your guests at a personal level, you can certainly ask them to rate and review you on your social media profiles. This will help you reach wider audiences and even be preferred by many.

    80 % of social media users said that they’re more likely to try new things based on what their friends suggest.

    More than that, there are high chances that they’ll check-in at your restaurant on Facebook or so, even post pics while dining at your restaurant. This will appear when anyone searches for your restaurant on social media.

  7. Do some audience building
  8. Adding guests as your friends or followers, and being active in one way or the other can be very fruitful. The more friends and groups you are connected to, the more recommended you’ll become on social media.

    You can even set up loyalty programs at your restaurant for your guests, which will make them visit again on a regular basis.

  9. Try connecting with online food apps
  10. You should consider partnering or signing up with online food apps viz. Zomato, Swiggy, Yelp, Foursquare and such likes to do social media marketing for restaurants.

    These food apps will increase your visibility and bring in more customers. Not only that but if you’re open to home delivery and takeaway options, then these apps will work to get orders for you.

  11. Use short videos for your restaurant’s branding
  12. Short videos are game changers. You can very effectively communicate with your audience by posting such videos, like the chef preparing a dish, how a day at your restaurant looks like or a 360-degree view of your restaurant.

    These kinds of messages get easily viral. Even a video of your customers savoring your dishes can help in social media marketing for restaurants.

  13. Manage your reviews on social media
  14. You need to be active on these social media platforms. If not anything, you need to be agile with the reviews you get there. Positive feedback is definitely good, but you need to keep an eye on the negative feedbacks. Even a single negative review can nosedive your rankings, if not handled wisely.

    So, keeping eye on such kind of activities is a very critical part of social media marketing for restaurants.

  15. Run paid advertising campaigns
  16. You can run paid ad campaigns on social media. Ads are much cheaper on Facebook and you can easily get more likes by running the ads in less advertising investment. Even if you spend $1 per day, you get across more than 4,000 people. So, if none of your competitors is investing in social media, then this time you’ve got to gain an edge over them.

Are you still wondering: Is social media worth it? Well then, know this:

eZee to manage your restaurant business

9 reasons you need to change your restaurant POS in 2018

Running a restaurant includes considering a myriad of factors. You need to hire and manage a team, you need to make them work together, you need to maintain the taste of the food you offer, you need to make your guests happy, and all the while; you also need to ensure that you’re in line with the trends of F&B businesses to keep up with the competition.

And as you plan on deciding your daily requirements, be it inventory and stocks management or maintaining the finance or something else, what matters most is the guest experience you provide at your outlet. The first step towards offering superlative guest experience is to get your operations streamlined in such a way that it requires your minimal efforts and supervision. Technology in this predicament is a definite solution.

Technology cannot work per se.
You have to select right technology and make it work for you.

Whether you manage a single outlet or chain of restaurants, a POS software with the right technology will take your business to the next level. Evidently, you wouldn’t want to implement a software which is not keeping up with your needs. Therein, contemplating on various aspects of right technology for the software you use, here we’ve listed down few parameters to help you identify if your POS is outdated and needs to be changed.

Here are 9 signs which define whether your restaurant POS is outdated or not:

1. It gives no clear idea on sales data

An ideal restaurant POS system lets you clearly manage your sales data with strong and reliable stats on daily revenue, summary et al. Simply said, if you’re not getting any of these in your restaurant POS, it’s a clear sign that you need to replace your current POS.

2. Old-styled loyalty programs

Still stuck with the traditional loyalty programs? Now you’re in need to apply for a restructured loyalty program at your restaurant and your POS system is unable to handle your loyalty program.

3. Limited integrations

You want to integrate with a guest feedback system or a payment gateway, but you find yourself helpless because your POS is not capable of holding that integration.

4. Expensive to maintain

Regular maintenance of technology is a must. But doing that for your current POS system is a cumbersome task, eating up your money and time. Your guests are in line waiting for their turn for payment and all of a sudden, the system crashes; and this happens repeatedly. So, it gets expensive to maintain with frequently encountered bugs, hardware defects or technical faults; thus adding up to your cost.

Are you using an outdated restaurant POS system?

5. Inactive support

Often times, you get stuck at an operation or the system stops working. And with a lot of expectations, you call up your POS system vendor only to find a dead end. Inactive and delayed support is one of the few factors pointing towards an outdated POS.

6. Tiresome UI

The interface of the system is not user-friendly and its not making your operations easier. Instead, you’ve been compromising a lot on its efficiency, making it an outdated POS system.

7. Doesn’t catch up with your performance

You’re unable to synchronize your POS system with your restaurant’s performance. In brief, the system doesn’t provide any real-time data on your revenue, sales and even expenses to help you get an idea on your ROI.

8. Takes up too much hardware

A POS with latest technology will require minimal hardware resources. But if you need one system to manage your reservations and a separate one to keep a check on your stock and inventory; or a completely different PC to handle cashiering, then its time for you to change your restaurant management software.

9. Guest waiting time’s getting longer

Usually, technology is supposed to make our work faster and easier. But if that’s the other way round with the POS system you’re using at your restaurant, and your guests have been waiting for a longer time than usual because of the technology you’re using; its a sign that you’re using an outdated POS.

There are a lot many factors which can help you determine whether you’re using an outdated restaurant management system or not. But if ‘yes’ is the answer to at least half of the above-mentioned aspects, then you need to consider changing your POS system.

What should you look for in a restaurant POS system?

An ideal and a complete restaurant management software offers everything from:

And a lot more.

Try looking for a brand new management system for your restaurant and you’ll have everything taken care of. We have an on-premise and even a cloud-based restaurant POS system to handle your day-to-day restaurant operations.

Check out our on-premise POS system Know more about our online POS system