As a chef or aspiring restaurant owner, you’ve probably thought a lot about your restaurant. From the decor, the menu, the ambiance, and everything in between, you want to make your restaurant special. You may even have pulled it off and opened your perfect restaurant, but you are struggling to make ends meet. You are probably thinking you are part of the unlucky statistics that are going to shut down.
It’s a common mistake that restaurant owners make, they think it’s all about the food when it’s not. A restaurant is a business; it must be managed like one to make a profit. So it’s good that you have your decor, staff, and delicious menu in place, now you have to manage them correctly.
An online presence must be part of your 10 Reasons Why Web Design is Critical to the Success of Digital Marketing Strategies. It’s the simplest and most cost-effective way to be found by customers, especially millennials. An online presence will enable you to:
- Tell your story; why is your restaurant different, what does it mean to you, why should it matter to patrons.
- Display your menu; what do you serve? A list of words is OK, but a picture says so much more.
- Showcase your decor and ambiance. Instead of describing your restaurant vibe, you can show it.
- Take orders online; your restaurant could seat 30-50 people on-premises, but the number of people it can serve at home can run in the hundreds.
Here’s the great thing, you don’t need to know coding to build a website. You can use website builders that have a click and drop features to create your website. Jimdo and Let’s Eat are websites built for the restaurant industry; alternatively, you can use general website builders like Wix.
A website forms the foundation for your online presence, but what brings people to your site will be your social media presence. There is no limit to the number of social media accounts you can create, but be mindful of which ones you prioritize. You are more likely to get customers through Instagram than LinkedIn.
A big mistake that restaurant and business owners alike make is believing that having a website and social media presence is enough. It isn’t, to get noticed and to get high search rankings, you need to create content. Here’s how you can get started:
- Your static web pages must clearly state what you offer
- Use listing sites like Google Maps and Foursquare to have your restaurant registered on online platforms that provide directions.
- Create Web content on your website that keeps customers wanting more. You can post recipes, cooking tips, events in your restaurant, or fun stories about your restaurant.
- Social media responds well to relatable content and images. Hashtags are essential in getting your posts noticed too.
- If you are active in the community, then you can share your activities on a newsletter. A newsletter lets the restaurant contribute to community conversations without necessarily being the center of it.
Posting on multiple social media platforms might sound like a tedious chore, but some apps can help you manage them. From a single app, you can post on all of your social media accounts and even schedule the posts. You can try Hootsuite and Buffer apps for social media posting and use Mailchimp to handle your newsletters.
A Smart POS
The Point of Sale (POS) terminal used to be the final step in a transaction, yet these days it does more. Keep in mind that you want the customer’s experience at your restaurant to be as seamless as possible. This requires a POS system that does more than record sales. The market trend is now cloud-based POS software with credit card processing capabilities and that can also:
- Integrate reservation, online ordering, and accounting software.
- Be used on any connected device
- Can produce reports and analysis in real-time and
- Use the cloud to back up data
Inventory is another major function of a modern POS system. It is imperative to manage inventory effectively and efficiently so that you always have the right stock, in the right quantities, and at the right price, but there is more to it than that.
Wastage is a big issue for a business that handles perishable products. Food spoiling is terrible for the quality of food, health of your kitchen, and it is a cost to your business. The USDA estimates that 31 percent of food is wasted, amounting to $161 billion annually. Spoiler Alert is a platform that provides tools and guides on how you can smartly manage and reduce food waste.
Your food is excellent, and some people want to eat it and give you money for it, but they may not be able to sit down in your restaurant. They may be busy at work, scared of traffic, too far away, don’t have transportation, or simply don’t want to leave the comfort of their homes. No matter the reason, that doesn’t mean you should let all those sales go away.
Delivering food to your customers is a great way to increase sales without having to invest heavily in seat capacity expansion or new premises. The investment in providing a delivery service is now minimal, thanks to third-party apps like Grubhub, DoorDash, and Uber Eats.
It’s now time to get your restaurant running smoothly. Keep your menu appealing, your ambiance inspiring, and your administration running smoothly.