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.

Remodelling Your Space? 8 Tips You Must Follow to Successfully Transform Your Restaurant!

Have you ever felt that your restaurant has lost some of its shine? Seen a few regular customers become not-so-regular, maybe? Perhaps you’re wondering why the new Italian joint across the road is attracting longer queues, even though you know that your food offerings are much tastier?

The reason is quite simple – if your restaurant has been around for a while, your policies, menu and even the ambience may feel a little tired. Diners’ these days love to have an ‘experience’ every time they go out. This ‘experience’ is what separates the best from the rest!

You may be serving the best food in your genre, yet, unless you keep on improving the customer experience, you’re unlikely to see much growth. As a restaurant, if you’ve waited till the time it seems like you need to start afresh and remodel, you’ve waited too long.

That being said, renovating your restaurant is a hard task. Here’s a simple and effective guide to get you started.

  • Customer is King

Without a doubt, your customers are the single most valuable resource you have. Before doing anything else, you have to listen and analyse what your guests say.

People love to see effort and will leave constructive feedback – 8 times out of 10. You can even host a contest, or a giveaway (discount coupons etc.) to give them an added incentive. Usually, this process of ‘asking’ should be done when they’re waiting for the bill.

One quick way to get started with this is to visit inResto’s feedback and let us do it for you. 🙂

  • Outline and stick to your budget

Here’s a fact: Remodels and renovations always cost a lot more than you expect them to and a lot more than you want them to. Let us give you an example, – You want to change your restaurant’s wallpapers, but upon removal, you find mould underneath. You need to remove this too, of course.

Respect your investors and stick to a budget that you can spend. It’s always wise to have a contingency budget, usually 5-10% of your total budget. So if your total budget is Rs 50 lakhs, you must keep 5 lakhs as a buffer.

  • Consider your Revenue Generators

Suppose your bar and terrace are your biggest revenue generators. Renovations offer a perfect chance to improve upon them!

You could add a bigger, better and a more spectacular bar to increase your alcohol sales. You could perhaps change the entire décor of the terrace area, while keeping your theme consistent.

  • Take Inspiration!

For instance, one of the most trending restaurants in the country; Robot in Chennai is a success story because of massive renovation and remodelling. Earlier known as MOMO, the owners have retained the Thai and Chinese menu but revamped the entire theme along with introducing robots in lieu of waiters!

  • Prepare Your Checklist

You need an architect, a designer, an equipment supplier and a general contractor at the very least. The contractor will then provide you with sub-contractors, workers and all the manpower you need.

If your team and vision is strong, it would go smoother than expected.

  • One fell swoop?

Do you wish to stay open during the renovation? Are you willing to put in the extra effort to manage your bookings, while fielding complaints of noise from your guests?

You need to be clear with your goals. If there is only a minor renovation needed, you could stay open. However, major projects are not a good time to stay open.

  • Your team is your biggest asset, not the four walls

Your staff will look at you for guidance during and after the renovation. They’ll need money to sustain themselves and keep them happy! You could either get them a  temporary job somewhere else or send them on a paid vacation.

  • Let the world know

Use your ‘legacy-data’ and reach out to all your customers. Unless you let people know that you’re open, they will not know!

Send out SMS’s, start email campaigns, offer discounts, and light up your social media accounts – your imagination is your only limit.

Successful renovation and proper advertisement will let you see a 10-25% increase in sales straight away. Afterwards? It’s all about maintaining and increasing your value.

Just remember, inResto is always here to help you!

6 Effective Ways to Up Your Email Marketing Game!

As a restaurant owner, you dedicate time, money, and efforts to create a service with good food, ambiance, and friendly staff at a reasonable price factor. Why? Because you want the customers to keep coming back.

Retargeting the guests, hoping to turn them into regulars for your restaurant without coming off as a nuisance is both, significant for business and achieved efficiently via emails.

Email is permission-centric. Every person on your email list is aware that you may send them messages. It generates the highest ROI for marketers, as per VentureBeat. It’s 40% better than Twitter or Facebook at acquiring new customers, says a McKinsey report.

It’s worth a try for the high-end as well as average restaurants, for email marketing services have low administrative costs. Let’s look at the strategies which work!

  1. Create Your Restaurant Email Marketing List On Your Own

Don’t buy generic email databases. Build one organically.

Request the patrons for their email address in the comment cards they fill after dining. Let them sign up online to reserve tables. Place a signup form on your social media pages, blogs, mobile application, or website. Offer incentives, like 20% off their next meal, to give up their email addresses.

Just remember to tell your customers how they can opt-out of the service.

  1. Make the Subject Line ClickBait

The subject of marketing emails should have two purposes-

  • To specifically state the main point of the message
  • To establish a personal note with the reader

Keep it short and original. Stick to the point. Subject lines restricted to 50 or fewer characters result in 12% higher opening rates than the longer ones. Use the official restaurant email address which the customer can quickly identify.

  1. Personalise the Message

If you want a high performing email, who it’s intended for and how it’s designed become prime factors.

Instead of ‘Dear customer’ or ‘Hello Sir/Ma’am,’ use their names. Stick to one message per email. If it’s a restaurant promotion email with offers like a free dessert, 2-for-1 drinks, or special holiday dinner at slashed prices, keep it concise. Give them an immediate expiration date to maintain the offer’s value.

If you’re sending out newsletters (or a one-two minute read), write stories about your signature dishes, share a recipe for the foodie-customers, promote menu additions, give subscriber-only offers like a chance to meet the chef.

Track the birthdays or anniversaries of customers who have previously been to your restaurant. Marketing emails can contain a special offer, like a free meal, buffet or wine tasting invitation, or gift cards, for such guests. It would strengthen their loyalty towards your brand.

  1. Be Careful with Email Frequency and Timing

Don’t flood the customer’s inbox with hourly emails. Target it once or twice a week or month at an optimal day and time.

For example, restaurant marketing emails for a corporate employee could be free dessert on Wednesday evenings, 35% off on weekday lunches, etc. A Monday Morning email could offer free coffee on buying breakfast.

  1. Prune Your Subscriber List

Remove the non-responders after a duration. But, before you do the pruning, ensure that the reason for no action on the customer’s side isn’t you. Religiously avoid poorly proofread emails, distracting backgrounds, broken links, long paragraphs, or deals that aren’t followed up.

Whenever you end someone’s subscription, send them an email clarifying the reason and the steps to rejoin if they wish to do so.

  1. Track the Email Marketing Campaign via Different Metrics

It’s important to track metrics like open rate and click rate. You must be aware of the number of subscribers who open your emails, click on the link/CTA present in the email, forward the email, complain, or unsubscribe.

When you structure marketing emails, always include a Call to Action(CTA.) Keep your CTA obligation free. State what the subscribers can do next in simple steps and encourage them to act right away.

For instance, if the agenda of your mailer is for diners to book a table, order food or buy a deal, it needs to be highlighted properly. The mailer must end with a CTA button stating your agenda clearly.

If you offer coupon codes to a customer for a particular diner, you can use a feedback application to validate them. The more people use the specific code of a restaurant, the better your marketing strategy performs.

The Indian food services will cross almost 5 Lakh Crores in value by 2021. Indian restaurants have a chance to grow and become a dominant contributor in this industry worth 48 billion dollars. And, 89% of Indian marketers consider Email Marketing a crucial tool to drive sales.

Unquestionably, email is a mighty tool. If you are about to utilize it, understand the email marketing tips for restaurants and do it right.

Diners

6 Reasons Why Your Diners Aren’t Coming Back For Round 2!

Sometimes, you might be checking all the boxes by getting new diners through various PR activities and well-executed social media campaigns, but what if you’re not able to retain them? You know a diner wouldn’t return if they get into an argument with your staff or storm out, but what about those customers who don’t tell you what went wrong? Here’s a couple of reasons why your diners aren’t coming back once they’re out the door:

Inconsistency in Food Quality

No matter how picturesque your restaurant’s ambience is or how great the service is, if your food’s quality dips quite often; your restaurant’s reputation is in deep waters. This would mean average reviews by new customers and if the regulars notice a downfall, you might lose them too. Also, if the quality is up to the mark, but your diner had to wait for their order for a considerably longer time without being informed about it, they’re unlikely to return.

Puzzling Menus

You may have an extensive menu, but if something or the other is always missing; people are going to start pointing it out. Also, if you have an exhaustive menu, it could confuse people. So, it’s crucial to highlight your specials. Lately, since healthy food is on the rise, you could also benefit by including low calorie, gluten-free or even dairy-free options.

Erratic Service

Sometimes tardy service, arrogant or inattentive waiters and unattractive food can also put off diners. If the waiters take too long to tend tables or your diner’s inputs aren’t taken into consideration, there’s a high probability that your customers aren’t coming back and are going to leave a bad review.

Inconsistent Pricing

If your prices are on the higher side as compared to your competitors, diners would only prefer your restaurant for an occasional outing. They always look for affordable meals if they want to dine out somewhere regularly. One way to solve this problem would be to keep some menu items at a relatively economical price as compared to the specials or exclusive expensive items. You must thoroughly study the market, and your position in it, before pricing all items.

Dearth of Well-Executed Loyalty Programs

Diners might like your restaurant, but at the end of the day they’ll compare you to your competitors and wouldn’t choose you if there’s no incentive. Run loyalty programs by offering them discounts for consecutive visits or have a point-based feedback system to ensure they keep coming back for more. Even if you have a great loyalty program in place, it’s essential to remind your diners about it from time to time. You can do this by running well-targeted engagement campaigns.

Attention to Hygiene

Sometimes your restaurant is spic and span but a dirty bathroom, a dirty kitchen or even a delay in clearing tables, could really scare people off. Also, if you’re rigid about the cleanliness schedules of your restaurant, you might be missing out on your staff’s hygiene. Your staff must be well trained and should be prim and proper at all times. Let’s not forget, sometimes one tiny detail could also lead to terrible reviews.

Most importantly, even if a diner doesn’t return what harms you more is the bad word of mouth marketing that ensues.Always keep your food quality top notch, pay heed to loyalty programs regularly, monitor the hygiene factor, make sure your pricing strategy is consistent with competitors, keep a neat and concise menu and never let your servers slack off. All this will ensure happy diners and increase your diner retention rates.

Restaurants Need Waiters

Do Restaurants Need Waiters?

Restaurants have always been considered to need a personal touch, where the staff must attend each visitor personally. But times are changing, and automated systems are gradually taking over the ordering system in the F&B industry and helping deliver a more personalized experience. Some might think that’s counter-intuitive, but let’s dive a little deeper to see what’s going on.

  • When Technology Teaches Manners

How often do you see a guest snapping his fingers or whistling while calling a waiter, while yelling “hero”, “boss” or even “oye”? If one of your waiters makes a mistake, many people don’t hesitate to reprimand them publicly, often loudly, while using demeaning language. Online ordering systems can minimize the chances of mistakes or delays when it comes to placing an order while increasing efficiency and reducing costs by reducing the number of staff needed on the floor. Furthermore, you may even gain the resources and time to train the remaining staff more thoroughly so they can handle such situations more appropriately.

 

  • Avoiding confusion with newly appointed waiters

It often happens that new hired staff take time to pick up speed and are unable to serve your customers the way they expect. For instance, remembering your guest’s name, their favourites from the menu and maybe even their preferred table has a profound impact on how your restaurant is perceived and recalled. Now, with in-restaurant technology, like inResto DineIn, you will be able to keep each diner on record and keep a tab on their preferences so that you serve them better next time.

 

  • Online Ordering and its many benefits

So many relishing and difficult-to-pronounce names on the menu, but how many waiters do you have who can can explain them all? It takes a while for the staff to memorize the menu and gain expertise in explaining it to a diner without having to go back to the manager or the chef. Imagine how convenient it would be if customers could get all the details of the dish through a picture and description, all on a tab or even their own phone? Along with this, the menu could be in multiple languages, thereby appealing to tourists and residents who speak other languages more fluently. There can even be pop-ups on the digital menu about food-pairing recommendations, deals and promotions on certain menu items or even specials for the day. No confusion, no waiting for the waiter, no more delayed orders, and no more dirty menu cards.

 

  • Preventing bad reviews on Social Media

A diner’s visit to a restaurant is incomplete without diners putting a check-in status or posting food pictures on social media. But gradually, these have become platforms for people to vent about their bad experiences. With the emergence of food bloggers and food critics, and just discerning diners, a restaurant’s reputation is always at risk. Having a system that alerts you of bad feedback immediately can save your online reputation and maybe even gain a loyal customer. And now, this has already become a reality with feedback apps giving restaurant managers real-time alerts of bad customer experiences.

 

  • Efficient Resource Management

Good staff makes for loyal customers, but what makes a good waiter? It takes a lot of time and money to train your staff to go beyond taking orders and serving, but also to be friendly with the diners and know how to make them happy. Now, you can replace personnel with ordering apps. Now, your 60 to 100 seater restaurant can actually be managed by one cashier and a couple of waiters. So why spend a fortune on training a large team, which is vulnerable to numerous variables, including human error?

Obviously, completely replacing waiters in restaurants is not feasible, but having a smaller team has many benefits. This is where technology can play an important role. Today, customers are much more accepting of technology, and you can take advantage of it by reducing manpower and human error for more efficient and effective operations. Furthermore, with the customer data you have, you can make the experience a lot more personal by offering them their favourite dishes, drinks and tables, and maybe even offer them a bit of a discount.

Let’s face it. The future of dining is here. Let’s make the most of it for the sake of our customers. inResto DineIn is one of the online menu systems that are making a huge splash in the industry. If you want to find out more about it, click here.