email marketing mistakes

Common Email Marketing Mistakes & How To Avoid Them

72% customers still prefer companies to contact them via email – and restaurant business is no exception. For a restaurant, sending promotional and offer related emails is one of the most common marketing strategies to get customers and generate revenue.

But how often you send an email campaign that has a significant effect on your restaurant business or your email engagement rates? Will sending more emails get you more customers? Why your customers might not be clicking your emails?

In this article, we will reveal the answers to the above questions, common mistakes that a restaurant makes while sending their emails and the best solution to avoid them 🙂

You’re Sending Too Many Promotional Emails
One of the major reasons that your user unsubscribe from your emails is due to high frequency. There is a chance of losing potential value customer if they unsubscribe from your email list. While the ideal time and frequency of sending promotional emails vary from industry to industry, data suggests that people are open to receiving emails once a week or twice a month.

Solution
Don’t bombard your user’s Inbox with frequent emails. Plan your email marketing strategy and opt for weekly or bi-monthly newsletter or discount code. Also, you can go for “manage email preferences” instead of “unsubscribe” where you can give your users an option to reduce the frequency of emails received by you. This way, you won’t lose a chance to connect with your valuable customer.

Your Mailing List Is Not Relevant
One of the most common reasons that your email is not working for your business is because you are sending it to the wrong database. Building a relevant mailing list for your business is extremely important. Once you have your own base of interested foodies, you’ll see a significant change in your email performance.

Solution
It is extremely important to understand the source of your customer data and its relevance. The best way to get the customer data is by collecting it yourself. When a diner visits your restaurant, ensure that you collect user’s data either during walk-ins and/or while taking the feedback. For error-free data collection, we would suggest you to go for a digital platform to collect feedback and manage reservations.

You Are Sending The Same Email To Everyone
A common user received 121 emails per day. Now, that’s a lot of emails. If you want you email to stand out, then it is important that you should go for email personalization and customization. Compared to non-personalized emails, personalized promotional emails have 29% higher unique open rates and 41% higher unique click rates. (Source – invesp)

Solution
Segment your mailing list based on loyal diners, new diners, diners who haven’t visited your restaurant for a while (say 2-3 months) and diners whose birthday/anniversary are coming. Personalize the communication and trigger targeted email campaigns based on the user’s data. Greeting your diners is not only common courtesy in email marketing But also a perfect reason to include an offer that’s hard to resist

To Sum Up
Email marketing is a powerful tool to promote your restaurant, given that you avoid these mistakes. To conclude, here are the three most important points to remember:

  • Use digital platform to a high quality mailing list.
  • Create an email marketing strategy where you define the frequency of your emails.
  • Choose appropriate criteria for segmentation and personalize communication accordingly
SMS Marketing For Restaurants

How To Use SMS Marketing To Get Better Return Of Investment (ROI)

With an approximate 98% open rate and 90% is read within 3 minutes, SMS is one of the most effective marketing channels to communicate with your customers and keep them coming back. Far from being dead and buried, even after the emergence of alternative messaging channels and marketing platforms, SMS marketing is alive and thriving.

Why SMS Marketing Should Be A Part Of Restaurant Marketing?

Even after having an amazing menu, ideal location and perfect staff, no restaurant can survive without consistent demand. While some marketers still grapple about the value impact of SMS marketing, there is no other marketing channel that can guarantee to be seen by the customer at such affordable rates. Here’s why it’s worth the effort

1) It’s Effective

Unlike email which has an open rate of approx 25%, SMS’s open rate can go up to 90% – which is perfect to hold customer’s attention. SMS message arrives quickly and is read in seconds – thereby performing 4-5 times better than any other forms of advertising.

2) It’s Omnipresent

Your coupon might get lost, menu gets buried on road or junk drawers, emails might land up in spam but text messages are available anytime you customer wants to refer to them. And since SMS is a more intimate form of communication, there are higher chances that your diners will go through it.

3) It’s Super Affordable

If used correctly, SMS can give you maximum ROI than any other marketing channel. The cost of 1 SMS in India is close to 16 paise. An enticing text sent at the right time can attract more diners. This means more profits.

6 Ways To Use SMS Marketing To Get Better ROI

The small difference between SMS Marketing and a Profitable SMS Marketing is the way you utilize this platform. Here’s how you can use SMS Marketing that will help you increase your business revenue.

Promote Your Limiter Period Offers

Limited Time Offers & SMS compliment each other. Send time-sensitive offers to your customers to drive immediate traffic.

“3 COURSE MEAL FOR Rs.740. Choose from a wide range of starters, mains, & deserts. FREE drink with all KIDS MEALS. Limited Seats. Hurry! Call us at 01234567890”

Send Exclusive Birthday/Anniversary Discounts

Personalized message is a warmer approach to connect with your customers. Extract the details of customers with upcoming birthdays and anniversaries and send them a short and sweet message with an exclusive offer, discount or a freebie, which is enough to win over a lifetime customer.

birthday wish sms

Build Long Lasting Relationship By Showing Gratitude

As soon as your customer make a reservation or walk-in, send them a “Thank You” message and provide them with necessary details.  You can also include the special of the day or any event that you are organizing.

Decrease No-Shows With Reminder SMS

One of the major reasons for a no-show is because your customer forgot about his/her reservations. Ensure that you remind them about their upcoming reservations by sending a reminder SMS with necessary details. Also, add a Call to Action to change or cancel the reservation so that you can use the table in case of any cancellation.

Advertise Your Loyalty Programs

According to a study, retaining customers can increase your profits by 25% or even more. Of course, it makes sense to put in more efforts to nurture existing customers. Not to forget loyalty programs are one of the best ways to make your customers come back to your restaurant. Invite, Update & Remind your customers about your restaurant’s loyalty programs.

Ask Them For A Feedback

Didn’t take feedback? Worry not, send SMS to your customer and take feedback online.  Instead of filling out a feedback form, send them a text an hour after they have finished, ask a couple of questions about the food, service, and environment.

Conclusion

With a data-powered marketing automation platform, you can easily automate these SMS marketing campaigns. This way your SMSes will send whenever a customer satisfied the criteria set by you. This way you can save time & money.

seating layout tips

5 Seating Layout Mistakes That Are Affecting Your Business

Did you know that 65% diners say that getting their preferred seating arrangement in a restaurant would increase their loyalty? Investing in a perfect seating layout means investing in the success of your restaurant. A smart seating layout is an important element of Restaurant Revenue Management (or RRM). RRM is basically examining the most effective ways to sell the right seat, to the correct customer, at the best price, and for an ideal duration of time.

Decoding a seating layout that helps your restaurant sales can be daunting. You might be doing many small yet major mistakes, affecting your restaurant’s sales. What are those mistakes and how you can overcome? Read on to find out!

#1 – Not Utilizing Restaurant’s Data To Drive Business Decisions

The idea behind collecting any sort of details from customers is to drive better business decisions. Collecting this data on a digital platform allows you to recognize your restaurant’s trends that can help you improve your service. Identifying and analyzing simple metrics like average wait time by cover size, most used sections/tables, preferred table types of your customers, average time spent on each table, etc. will give you important insights that would help you optimize your seating layout.

For example, if the average waiting time for 3 people is more, then you should increase the number of tables having 3 or more seating.


#2 No Clear Paths

Having plenty of seats to accommodate your customers is surely one of the major aims of a smart seating layout. But, people’s comfort should be kept at the forefront. Ensure that you have mapped a clear and direct path that would take your servers from kitchen to serving station (kitchen) to table, bar, etc. Similarly, the pathway from door to tables and then to the washroom for your customers should be clear. The space between seating should be at least 2 feet. Most importantly, keep a clear pathway to fire exits in case of emergencies.

#3 Not Investing In Millennial Seating

If you wish to attract insta-savvy millennials, don’t go for yesteryears’ seating and tables design. Invest in tables and chairs that can be easily moved. A mashup in flexy furniture design, communal tables, variable tables, riotous amount of bright tone pillows is surely in. Create a communal dining environment by impromptu shoving tables, something like younger patrons expect.

#4 Boring Uniform Seating

Same seating for your complete restaurant might be easy but unfortunately, it’s boring! For example, having fixed high booth seating everywhere might make your customers feel like a maze. It also obstructs the view of your restaurant for other diners. Diners might struggle to contact the staff and vice versa. Booth seating is fab but when placed on the perimeter of your seating area. Experiment with the middle area with open tables which are easily movable in order to accommodate both small and large parties.

#5 Keeping Everything Public

While an open kitchen and right-in-front bar attract your customers, areas like wait stations, restroom areas, and storage area should be kept out of your customer’s sight. Make them easily accessible with proper signage and without keeping them in the full view of the restaurant.

Do you have any useful tips for a more efficient seating layout? Do share in the comments.

managing food waste

How To Reduce Your Food Wastage To Under 2%?

According to a study, approx. 70,000 kg of garbage is dumped by the restaurants every year. Food waste in restaurants has more than merely what the customers choose not to eat. It also contains pre-consumer kitchen waste due to incorrect food preparation, spoiled food, trim waste, over-production, etc. This means 4-10% of purchased raw materials becomes a waste even before reaching the table.

This food wastage not only affects your food cost but also affects your overall business profits. So, how you can reduce your food wastage to under 2%? Read on to find out!

Avoid Overbuying

4-10% of pre-consumer wastage occurs because of overstocking of perishable raw materials. For lesser wastage, you need to understand the daily and weekly raw material requirements based on the following:

  • Number of diners coming to your restaurant in a day or a week
  • Raw material required in the popular dishes in your restaurant

Give your Chef and his/her team an estimated number of diners based on last week’s turnout, ongoing promotional activities, last year findings, etc. This would give a better sense of expected food quantity to be prepared. With time, this data would become more valuable and eventually, you will be able to plan better.

Use ‘FIFO’ Rule

Make FIFO (First In, First Out) a must-follow practice of your kitchen’s Standard Operating Procedure. In this, the newer stock is routinely placed behind the old stock. This way the older stock will always be used reducing its chances to expire or go waste.

Monitor The Portion Size

Sit with your head chef to plan the correct portion size for your customers. The best way to plan this is by asking your customers directly. Take feedback from your customers about the portion size. Based on their feedback, re-analyze the portion size. You can also add multiple portion choices to your menu to encourage your customers to order what they want.

Start Weekly/Seasonal Specials

Re-purpose your unused raw material with weekly special promotions. You can promote a food item at a discounted rate for a limited time offer. You can also run seasonal special to sell items during certain months to prevent storage issues. You can also engage your waiting customers by serving them an appetizer made from extra food products stored. You can make these events backed by data to help you be more accurate and prevent stock issues.

Use Technology to Reduce Food Wastage

When it comes to reducing and monitoring food wastage, your POS Software can be your best friend. If integrated with an intelligent inventory management system and receipt management software, your POS system will give you detailed reports about what to purchase, when to purchase and how much to purchase. Based on your requirements, you can set alerts for low stock items. This way you can control stock wastage by preventing over-purchasing as well save your restaurant from running out of a certain item on the menu.

Know Your Inventory Days on Hand (DOH)

Inventory DOH (Days on Hand) is the average number of days to which you can hold your inventory before it becomes a ‘waste’. For example, if you order 280 kg of chicken and use approx 70 kg of chicken every day based on the number of diners and how popular your chicken dishes are, then the chicken is ‘on-hand’ for 4 days.

Food items having lower inventory days means that that food item is quite popular among your diners. You can reach out to your vendor and negotiate a better deal on these items. What we would suggest is to revisit your inventory reports every two months to be on the top of what is selling and what’s not along with increased cost of food items due to seasonality, market trends, etc.

Conclusion

For an average restaurant, the cost of raw materials is the second largest expense after rent. If you follow the above-mentioned practices of inventory and recipe management, you can reduce your food cost by 10% and food wastage under 2%. Since, food cost can represent 28-35% of sales in restaurants, capturing pre-consumer food lost can offer a critical boost to profitability.

4 Small Yet Effective Changes Your Loyal Customers Want In Your Restaurant

Being in the restaurant industry, you must be well aware of the fact that how even a  small change in a way your restaurant functions can impact your business in a big way. But what are these changes and how can a restaurant execute them with minimum efforts. Read on to find out:

1) Personalized Recommendations

Each of your customers has their own taste, which might be different from other customer’s needs or even your restaurant’s special dish. For example, if your customer is a fan of spicy food, then recommending a less spicy dish does not make sense, even if it’s a popular dish at your restaurant. Your customer would love if you recommend dishes based on their taste.

Solution – Keep Your Customer’s Timeline Handy

Keep a track of your diner’s timeline which includes details like last visit date, number of covers, frequently ordered dishes, billing history and much more. Before serving your customer, you can quickly have a look at his/her timeline and recommend dishes accordingly. Today, a restaurant management platform can not only help you collect this information but also help to analyze it so that you can offer a better dining experience.

2) Surprise Your Guest

Who doesn’t love surprises? Make your customer feel like a ‘celebrity’ by giving them something complimentary, especially on special occasions like birthday and/or anniversary. We are sure that your guest will love this gesture and your restaurant’s customer experience will surely stand out.

Solution – Offer Occasion Based Discounts

Keep customer information like birthday and anniversary handy with the help of a restaurant management app. Offer special discounts and communicate the same to your customers. Keep a small cake or dessert handy for such guests to give exceptional service.

3) Frequent Emails & SMS – A Big No-No

Stay in touch with your customers without spamming them. Not all your customers need to know everything that’s happening in your restaurant.

Solution – Go for Targeted Marketing Campaigns

Instead of sending every communication to each customer, divide your customers into various segments. Run targeted and personalized campaigns, informing them about exclusive offers and events in which they would be actually interested in.

4) Take Feedback Seriously

While bad customer experience is surely a deal breaker for your customer, not taking any action on that feedback is worse. Like mentioned above, your customer love to feel special. Another way of doing this is by taking your customer’s feedback (both positive & negative) very seriously.

Solution – Act Immediately On Negative Feedback

If your customer has appreciated your service, thank them, In case of negative feedback, apologize and act upon it as soon as possible. How to do that? With the help of a feedback management software, you can not only collect feedback but also analyze against each department (Food vs Ambience vs Service). Also, negative feedbacks are escalated to restaurant managers and other concerned authorities in real time so that you can do damage control before unhappy guest walks out of your restaurant.  

Want to know more? Ask your customers directly!

The best way to understand what your customer wants is by asking them directly. Successful restaurants understand the importance of customer feedback. They depend upon well-designed cloud-based feedback system that collects data in one place, crunch it and make easy to understand reports to help restaurants address their concerns.

Why Your Loyalty Program is Not Creating Loyal Customers?

There is no doubt that customer retention is not just important but a necessity to sustain your restaurant business. According to a study, retaining customers can actually increase your profits by 25% or even more. Ofcourse, it makes sense to put in more efforts to nurture existing customers. Not to forget loyalty programs are one of the best ways to make your customers come back to your restaurant.

However, there have been cases where the loyalty program failed miserably. To ensure that your customers love your loyalty program, check out the do’s and don’ts of creating and executing a loyalty program for your restaurant:

Identify The Right Program

Firstly, you need to understand that loyalty program means that you will give freebies that means cash burn. Before you roll out your loyalty program, understand your business’s financial profile and then decide the basics of your loyalty program. For example, decide that offering discounts on the customer’s visit would be more beneficial or whether you can offer discounts based on spends.

Make The Best Use of Data

What differentiates a good loyalty program with the best one is the effective use of customer data. After you create the program model, understand your customer. For example, if you are creating a loyalty program based on spends, you need to check the average bill of your customers. Accordingly, decide the limit of the spends on which you will give discounts or cashback or any other freebies. You can also create multiple loyalty programs for your customers. For this, we would suggest you to go for a loyalty program platform that lets you create and manage multiple programs easily.

Keep It Easy

Nobody likes a complicated loyalty program. While strategizing for the loyalty program, ensure that it is not only easy to join but your customer is able to understand it easily. A complicated loyalty program can do worse than good for your brand. One such example was of Starbucks. In 2016, they made a small change in their super successful loyalty program, where the shopper had to spend more to get rewarded. In their older program, the customer had to spend approx $48 to get a free coffee but after the change, the customer had to spend $63.50 to receive the same reward. Due to this, their buzz score dipped by 50% within 8 days. (Source)

Inform Your Staff

Even the most appealing and cost-effective loyalty program might not work if not well executed. Before you roll out your loyalty program, inform your staff about the same. Ask questions and answer them immediately. Don’t forget to ask your customers about your loyalty program through the feedback form to understand its impact instantly.

Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.

There are high chances that your customer might have enrolled in other restaurant’s loyalty program along with yours. To ensure that they don’t forget your restaurant, send them reminder messages about the loyalty program. Try to create an urgency to attract more customers.  However, don’t bombard them with the same otherwise they will lose interest.

Don’t Make It Boring

Try to introduce new and different benefits that attract your customers at a reasonable cost. What we would suggest is to start small if you are trying something new. This way, you can understand its result as well as its impact on your business while not taking bigger risks. Don’t forget to analyze data that supports your business.

Final Thoughts
The tried and tested a way to drive customer engagement is by gaining your customer’s loyalty. With this, you can seize opportunities to build a long lasting relationship with your customer, build your brand and drive market growth.

Statistics source – Invesp | Bain.com |

 

restaurant reservation management

Tried & Tested Restaurant Reservation Management Tips

The biggest sports event is ongoing! For restaurants, it is the perfect time to capitalize as dining out at their favorite restaurant is their go-to place for the game screenings. Though the holiday rush will surely surge your restaurant’s revenue and profits, it can be extremely disappointing for your customers if they don’t get good service amidst all the hassle. And this disappointed service can affect your restaurant’s reputation not only during the holiday season but after that as well.

While many customers prefer to reserve tables beforehand, the average number of no-shows for a normal restaurant also increases to around 15%. Empty tables mean lost sales. So how to prevent that? The key is to optimize your reservation processes and effectively manage the mix of walk-ins as well reservations. To help you out, we are sharing the tried and tested restaurant reservation tips that will help you capitalize the most during the busiest hours of the season.

Place Time Limit On Reserved Tables

While booking a reservation, communicate clear policies to your customers to avoid any confusion later. Clearly ask your guests to reach on time or risk losing tables after 15 minutes. If possible, send a reminder email or call them to confirm their reservation one hour prior.

Avoid Overbooking Your Tables

During peak hours, avoid overbooking and keep some tables free. In case of a high number of reservations, try to push them to a less popular time slot or add them to waitlist instead. A reservation management software lets you do this with utmost ease. It also helps you know your repeated diners, prevent overbooking, manage guest flow as well as your waitlist. This way, you can impress your regular walk-in customers with instant service.

Never Say ‘No’ To Customers

No customer likes the ‘NO’ word. Instead of declining reservations, create a “Waiting List” with the help of reservation management software. As mentioned earlier, the number of no-show increases during busy hours. For diners looking to book a table during the busiest hours, add them to the waitlist. This way, these diners may have to wait 15-20 mins, even if they arrive at their preferred reservation time, which might be less than the time taken for walk-in customers

Engage Your Walk-In Customers

The average wait time for a restaurant can vary. To avoid losing your customers, you can update them their wait time or queue number in real time. This way, instead of making them wait in a crowded area and making them more impatient, they can roam freely and come back once their table gets free.

Final Thoughts

The majority of restaurants still use handheld paper and pen to make reservations. During busy hours, the pen-paper system makes it difficult to update or organize reservations and wait times. Also, there is a huge risk of missing these sheets. With a digital reservation management software, you can have a versatile, reliable and easy system to manage reservations so you can focus on other operations of your restaurants.

Why Your Restaurant Needs a Feedback Management Software Right Now!

The secret of a successful restaurant business is not just serving good food, but offering an exceptional customer service that includes and not limited to your restaurant’s ambiance, staff behaviour and much more. If you don’t try to find out what your customers actually think of your service and food, you will never be able to give them the best customer experience they need.

Why You Should Take Feedback From very Customer?

According to a Harvard Business School study on Starbucks (source), customer satisfaction can increase your revenue by 82% (approx.). As per the study, a satisfied customer visits 4.3 times per month, spends $4.06 and is a customer for 4.4 years. Whereas a highly satisfied customer visits 7.2 times per month, spends $4.42 and is a customer for 8.3 years.

Amazing isn’t it? But what happens when you have a dissatisfied customer?

Studies show that 43% American diners don’t complain/leave feedback because they don’t think that the business cares. Of those same customers, 81% said they would be willing to leave feedback if they knew they would get a fast response!

The secret to understanding your customers’ needs, wants and concerns is making the most of customer feedback. That means not only collecting feedback, but managing and acting upon that feedback to improve your services.

Feedback Taken…Now What?

Successful restaurants understand the fact that feedbacks not only inform and instruct but also creates a connection to drive better business practices, higher customer satisfaction, better retention and increased sales, ofcourse! To ensure the same, it is important to have a systematic platform to not only capture and organize feedbacks but also take necessary actions on the given feedback  – be it positive or negative.

The challenge for restaurant is to know:

  1. If the feedback is captured,
  2. Who captured it,
  3. Where it is stored,
  4. Who is following up with bad as well as good feedback,
  5. If anyone is actually analyzing the feedback based on various metrics.

This also makes it difficult to use this information to improve customer relationships.

Things To Evaluate In a Feedback Management Software

Feedback Management Software is basically a handy software which helps you capture feedback, organize the same and analyze the same. While you are going for a feedback management software, ensure that it has the following features:

Capture Customer’s Feedback

All your customer needs is to tap on the given options. Capturing feedback from a digital software hardly takes 50 seconds. While the host is settling the bill, your customers can easily fill the feedback on the tab.

Organize Them With Ease

Another challenge that most restaurants face is organizing the feedback based on days, time, table, host staff, customers etc. A good feedback management software organizes your feedback based on these metrics and more so that you have a better understanding of your restaurant’s operations.

Real Time Alert For Poor Reviews

Connecting personally with customers goes a long way. With feedback management software, get real time updates if a customer gives poor feedback. Connect with them instantly and try to solve their issues. You can also offer them a concession. This way, you will have a chance to serve them better.

Run Loyalty Programs

The oldest trick in the book to attract customers is with loyalty programs. The feedback management system acts as an effective backbone as it easily collects your customer’s details. The database comes extremely useful for marketing campaigns and run special promos on customers’ birthdays or anniversaries.

Understand Your Staff Performance

The purpose of gathering feedback and reviews is to get insights, analyze data, and make informed decisions on their basis. With a feedback management software, you can understand and analyze your staff’s performance based on metrics like food, service and overall dining experience.

Remember that customer feedback is the key to not only develop strong relations with your customers but also improve your business to amplify your sales. Do not underestimate any comment about your restaurant be it good or bad. And more than anything, don’t forget to be responsive. Your customer will appreciate you value their opinion. Customer voice is priceless for your business, so never stop listening!

Thrive without Offers: 6 Ultimate Ways to Promote Your Restaurant

Before you launch another marketing campaign for restaurant-specific offers, riddle me this – what happens when offers begin to cost you more than they are worth? Promote your restaurant, bring in new customers, make the old ones happier and do it without losing a fortune.

As competition has risen significantly, restaurants often turn to discounts to attract customers, but it’s definitely not a sustainable strategy for growth. You may have an inaugural discount or offers during festive periods but running offers around the year can be detrimental to your business. Discounts being a prerequisite to acquire and retain customers is a myth many bigwigs in the restaurant industry still believe in. Let’s see what can be done to promote your restaurant without offering discounts:

Offer an Additional Quirk

Between 2014 and 2015 in the US, people bought 110 million more combo meals than the previous year. 62% of Indian football enthusiasts, as per an Ipos poll, were watching the FIFA World Cup 2018 at restaurants or bars. A study by North, Shilcock, and Hargreaves presents that customers spend more in a restaurant playing classical music than in ones that play pop or no music.

What does that tell you about marketing for restaurants?

Host Events

What’s a real crowd puller apart from discounts? Attract your diners with gig nights, stand up comedy performances, food tastings, DJ nights besides other events. If you call prominent artists or offer something out of the ordinary, you wouldn’t have to resort to discounts in order to get more business.

Seasonal Specials

In order to keep things interesting, you must add seasonal specials to your menu. For instance, in summers, restaurants curate special menus with mango being the essential ingredient. Similarly, you can have a special festive menu, a seasonal menu or introduce new dishes overtime.

Make Your Food & Space Instagrammable

There’s a great probability that an influencer or blogger may decide to pick your restaurant for their next meal just to jazz up their Instagram feed.

In order to achieve marketing through Instagram, you must be highly active through your own restaurants account and you must give your customers a reason to feature your restaurant on their feed. You can have an unusually plated dish, dry ice to make your drinks look mystical or delicious fusion dishes to catch people’s attention.

Keep Your Customers Happy

88% of diners are less likely to return to your restaurant if you leave the complaints on your social media pages unhandled. 95% of adults between 18 and 34 years are very likely to follow a brand via social media. And, by 2020, price and product will be replaced by customer experience as the key brand differentiators.  

The point – when guests leave a review, work to make sure it’s a good one and invest in an unbiased feedback system. You must ensure that every complaint is taken care of and nobody leaves your restaurant unhappy.

Stop Offering Discount as an Incentive, Right Away

It’s more of a concluding argument; nevertheless, you must stop looking at the faces of price-slashing offers to get to new or old customers. Gradually, they’ll read into the pattern and wait for you to lower the prices before they put in the order.

Bad for business!

Instead, when you begin to invest in constructive ways of acquiring and retaining customers and offering them a content dining experience, you’ll condition them to believe in your service.

Your Guide to Effectively Managing Walk-Ins, Queues & Reservations!

There’s nothing more off-putting for a diner than to wait outside a restaurant in a never-ending queue. As a matter of fact, 89% of all customers will leave your restaurant and never return, if you have long wait-lists and queues. 65% of these will immediately go over to a rival and might never give your restaurant a shot.

So, if you do not have an effective strategy to manage your queues, you’re hurting your business. Worry not, though; For here’s how you can handle your restaurant’s wait-lists and queues like an absolute boss. 😎

  • Keep Them Updated About the Waiting Period

Your customers know that they have to wait if your restaurant is busy. The thing that they do not know is how long they’ll have to wait. Believe us, this ‘not-knowing’ is an agony!   

Studies have shown that this uncertainty will lead to a negative experience, even if the food you served was delicious. You need to be honest about the amount of time your customer will have to wait before being served.

15 minutes don’t really seem that bad when the customer knows that it’s only 15 minutes. What if you could keep diners updated about the waitlist with a real time countdown? With inResto, diners get periodic notifications regarding the wait time and queue status.

  • Keep ‘em close and caffeinated

It is your job to create an awesome environment where even a 45-minute wait goes by in a jiffy. No business should ever leave their customer high and dry. You have to keep them entertained! Barbeque Nation, for example, has a very active staff that keeps everyone entertained, even while they are waiting.

86% of all customers will spend a lot more if they have a positive experience. For example, an extremely popular café in Fort Collins doubled the size of its patio, added seating, free-rolls, blankets and coffee to create a very comfortable space for waiting guests.

You could do something like that or think up unique ways to keep your guests entertained while they wait. The most common strategy many restaurants use is digital signage, or HD TV’s that don’t let the customer get bored.

You could even let your waiting customers order drinks! 😊

  • Is seating incomplete parties an option?

Quite a lot of times, groups aren’t complete before they reach and get seated. Allowing these groups to park before their full party shows up means that everyone else will have to wait longer!

Use this time to have someone else seated and eating. This is one strategy that can be extremely useful for small restaurants and cafés.

  • Reservation & Walk-In Management Applications

One effective way to manage wait-lists and let customers have a greater control over the process is by using reservation or walk-in management applications, such as the InResto Guest or inResto Reserve!

inResto Guest is an app that enables diners to add themselves to the waitlist. On the other hand, inResto Reserve is an app that lets your host at the reception add customers to the waitlist along with collecting their information.

Why inResto is the only tool you’ll ever need:

  1. With inResto Reserve, diners receive a link in a personalized message that allows them to remove themselves from the waitlist. Follow up calls will soon be a thing of the past!
  2. This personalized link is quite useful to engage with customers as well. It incorporates the restaurants’ menu digitally, their social media handles, showcases their specials and also helps diners track their current status of booking.

You have to remember that long queues are a scary prospect and people dislike waiting for more than 9 minutes at a stretch. A customer that is unhappy will most probably never return to eat at your restaurant again.

That means that you have to manage your wait-lists and queues effectively, for they are the single most effective way towards building loyalty, and a successful business.