The outbreak of COVID-19 has impacted lives all over the world in the last few weeks. This is an uncertain time for us as a community as there is still a lot we don’t know.
With an annual turnover of approximately Rs. 4 lac crore, the restaurant industry in India provides direct employment to over 70 lac people. In this state of temporary lockdown, these 70 lac Indians are in a very precarious situation, fighting a crucial battle for their basic survival.
The industry functions on a very high proportion of fixed operating expenses; with even moderate revenue fluctuations, it makes the restaurants and related parties high-risk businesses.
Dineout and the F&B industry thrive on social gatherings, but practising social distancing is the need of the hour, and that is what we shall do to prevent this from turning into grave circumstances. Amidst this uncertainty and a country-wide lockdown, restaurants have taken a severe hit. They have either had to shut operations altogether or limit their services to takeaway and delivery options.
We are looking at almost zero revenue in the immediate term and a drop of 50% for months after that. We as a community have taken a hard call to shut down our operations in an effort to contain the spread of the virus, despite incurring financial losses in the process.
With restaurant-first being our motto, we as a partner have taken an initiative to support our restaurant partners in this crucial hour and also ensure that all of us stay safe and come out of this much stronger as a community.
Petition To Immediately Introduce Employee Unemployment Pay Cover for F&B Industry:
The F&B industry is reliant on cash-flows and maintaining its huge employee base is turning out to be a strenuous task during the shutdown, with manpower being the second largest expense. This, coupled with upcoming statutory dues, utility bill payments, EMI payments & interests, rental dues, etc. puts immense pressure on them. We realised that the need of the hour is to provide the F&B sector with immediate relief by way of deferment of these dues, to avoid wide-scale job cuts.
We have thus started a petition on Change.org, asking the Ministry of Finance to introduce employee unemployment pay cover immediately, so that no one has to worry about their salaries in this difficult time.
Please sign the Petition at https://www.change.org/ReliefForRestaurants to show your unconditional love & support for the team behind your favourite restaurants.
We are seeking your support – as a partner, a fellow industry colleague or a human being who enjoys dining out, to support the F&B ecosystem in this time of crisis.
We need a Total of 50,000 signatures to be able to present it to the Finance Minister. Help us get there.
Sign the Petition: https://www.change.org/ReliefForRestaurants
Women have been ruling the kitchens for ages. Some genius said, if you are good at something don’t do it for free, and they took it seriously. So here’s a toast to women restaurateurs who have been ruling the food industry with their gifted talents.
1. Anahita Dhondy Of SodaBottleOpenerWala
Success comes to those who wait, but that was not so much the case for this young lady. She is an award-winning, youngest female chef in Delhi. She has her name written on various awards and magazines. She has been taking her native Parsi cuisine to another level. In a city like Delhi, where we cannot obsess enough over Chole Bhature, Anahita made Parsi cuisine loved by hundreds of people.
Her journey in her own words:
“From being one of the ten women at IHM-Aurangabad to working at the Taj hotels and then to Le Cordon Bleu which later led me to work under the guidance of Chef Sabyasachi Gorai and Mr AD Singh at SodaBottleOpenerWala and now managing and being a chef-partner at one of the outlets have been a huge learning experience.”
2. Usha Batra of Cafe Delhi Heights
The woman with the most inspiring story is Usha Batra, the Culinary Director of Cafe Delhi Heights. Coming from a not so well off background, Usha struggled to and worked hard to reach where she is today. Her journey started in the year 1976 when circumstances were difficult, and she couldn’t even provide one square meal for her kids. To manage, she took a loan of sixteen hundred rupees from a friend to start a garment fabrication business.
Her sons encouraged her to explore new opportunities and follow her passion that is cooking. This led to the inception of Café Delhi Heights, which is one of its kind three-generational café where all 3 generations can enjoy a meal together at any time of the day. With an ambiance that is vibrant, quirky yet comfortable, warm and loving.
3. Pooja Dhingra- Le 15 Patisserie
The Macron lady, Pooja Dhingra, is the one who introduced us to an entire collection of macarons. She brought a whole new trend of desserts to India. Her bakery has the most delicious and the most Instagrammable desserts you have ever seen. Apart from being the owner of Le15 Patisserie, she has written two books- The Wholesome Kitchen: Nourish. Energize. Indulge. And Big Book Of Treats.
4. Natasha Jain Of Plum By Bent Chair
Have you ever walked into a restaurant and thought to yourself what if you owned one of those beautiful dining tables or that antique chair or that quirky showpiece?
The Stanford University alumnus, Natasha Jain, juggling with startup ideas, built this thought into a business model.
Plum by Bent Chair is India’s first retail restaurant with the most delicious Asian food.
5. Megha Kohli- Lavaash By Saby
The youngest chef of India is Meghna Kohli. The secret of Meghna’s success at Lavaash By Saby is that she puts her heart and soul when it comes to making the most exquisite dish. Her experience with top restaurants has helped her refine her skills.
She has a strong opinion on gender equality, and as the head chef, she makes sure that men and women meet shoulders at the workspace.
All these women, young and bold, are redefining the restaurant space by bringing in innovations, and new trends. With the restaurant industry rewarding and recognizing the male chefs more often, they had their hurdles, but nothing stopped them from being the boss ladies that they are.
Just how amazing these women are, so are their restaurants in their unique way. It’s inspiring, and the delicious food keeps us going back to these restaurants.
In the world of check-ins, self-proclaimed “Foodies” and endless #FoodPorn posts, a pretty obvious assertion that one can make is the undeniable connection between eating out and social media, that is certainly here to stay. Restaurateurs have started capitalizing on this trend by making sure their restaurant’s Instagram profile is catchy enough to tempt customers. To make the most of it, it is imperative for restaurants to have a comprehensive Instagram marketing strategy that includes much more than old school social media marketing.
Here are some of the most powerful (read – effective) Instagram marketing tips to make the most of your social media strategy.
Try Instagram Stories
On an average 80% users ‘Forward Tap’ through Instagram Stories rather than ‘Exit’, proving that people like to stay on for the ride. Therefore, your users are lured into watching things they didn’t even know they wanted to, which is why it’s the perfect place for businesses to be. Add your restaurant’s personality, use quirky gifs and give your followers glimpses of your restaurant to keep them updated.
Did You Know that Instagram posts with at least one hashtag get 12.6% more engagement? Using the right hashtags is the single biggest thing you can do to drive organic impressions and increase your reach. Other than the common food hashtags, add relevant trending hashtags like #WorldFoodDay #InternationalTeaDay, etc.
Tip – To search for relevant and popular hashtags, use hit and trial to look up popular hashtags on Instagram (e.g. pasta).
Interact With Your Followers
Search out and engage with other Instagram users. Use Instagram to search for photos that are tagged to your location. You can then interact with those users by following them, liking their photo, reposting the photo, or commenting with a compliment on the photo. This will help build your fan base on Instagram and engage customers.
Tip – Put a strategy behind your interactions with followers. Since you probably don’t have time to interact with every follower’s post about your restaurant, be sure to interact with the individuals who have a bigger following. This will ensure that your business gets subtle visibility through the more prominent Instagrammers even if you can’t reply to everyone.
Don’t Forget to Add A Personality
Letting your personality shine through can be tricky when you’re trying to remember colors, hashtags, fonts, and handles, but it’s Instagram — so remember to have fun! Add in some creative polls or ask questions about food or the restaurant. Taking advantage of Instagram’s features will, in turn, will help keep viewers interested and more engaged.
Data is the new gold. It is not just numbers but an identity to understand one’s customers. Today, a restaurant wants to know what Neha wants and Manish wants. To understand your customers on a personal level, you need an unprecedented amount of data and machine learning and utilize it in the best possible way.
Taking The First Step Towards Data-Driven Marketing – Collecting Data
The best source of gathering customer’s details is from your customer only. Ask your diners for feedback along with their details like name, contact details, special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries. Feedback gives you direct insights on multiple levels like what did your diner like or disliked about your restaurant – food, ambience, music, service, or something else.
With a digital feedback system, you can collect these data safely and gather all these insights in one place, giving you a proper timeline of your customers with dining history, feedback history and other information. Other than this, we would also suggest you to build a strong database by adding no-show customers, people who have placed an online order or take away orders, etc.
Why Data Driven Marketing Is A Must For Every Restaurants?
With evolving technology, 80% of customers prefer personalized experience from restaurants. Send one broad message to everyone is no longer advisable. Today, restaurants should focus on providing relevant experiences that are tailor-made for your specific customer’s needs. This way, you won’t only reach to the right audience but also increases the chances of getting more diners, thereby growing your business. Here’s why data-driven marketing is super important for your business growth.
“By focusing on customer data collection and analysis and combining those insights with artificial intelligence, TGI Fridays doubled their business over the past 12 months*.”
Why Data-Driven Marketing Can Help You Drive Revenue Growth?
Here’s why data-driven marketing is beneficial for your restaurant and can help you increase your sales.
Increased Customer Retention
The secret of retaining more and more customers is fueled by data. By knowing which customer hasn’t visited your restaurant for how long, you can run email and/or SMS marketing campaign. You can influence them with special loyalty programs, discounts, offers, new menu items, latest events, etc. Similarly, you can target no-show customers to visit your restaurant again.
Personal Marketing = Better ROI
The right type of marketing means sending the correct message to the correct audience at the correct time. For example, sending Isha a personalized SMS offering special birthday discount precisely 2 days before her birthday – a time when she might be planning her birthday party with family or friends. This in-depth information came from Isha herself when she gave her feedback during the last visit to your restaurant. Running personalized campaigns like this will help you reach more customers in the most relevant way, promising a better ROI.
Improve Overall Customer Experience
Today, it all about offering a world-class experience to your customers. With a proper customer timeline in place, you know your customers on a personal level – all at one place. So, the next time a customer visits your restaurant, your host will have a brief idea of his/her likes, dislikes, previous experience and more by just asking his/her phone number. This way, you will be able to provide a better experience and your customers will enjoy their dining experience at your restaurant.
In an industry that gets more competitive by the day, data-driven marketing can provide you with the much-needed edge over others. Using guest data and understanding customer behavior s extremely necessary to make intelligent decisions and eventually grow your business by prioritizing investments.
*Data Source – The Wall Street Journal
You may serve the absolute best food in town, but if your customers don’t order it, what good will it do you and your brand? We’ve often said that a good menu is the heart of any successful restaurant. After all, your menu is the showcase for your restaurant’s signature dishes as well as a representation of the theme, ambience and the style of your establishment.
A properly designed menu will also serve as a powerful tool to persuade and influence your customers to order more. Therefore, as a restaurant owner, it is extremely important for you to carefully plan, organize and design your menu!
Before you begin: The Food Cost
Food cost simply refers to the menu-price of a certain dish when compared to the cost of the ingredients used to prepare the same dish. In layman terms, the amount you pay for the dish will determine the amount you charge for it.
The food cost is generally 30-35% of the final price. That means that if you are paying ₹100(food-cost) to prepare a dish, you should charge about ₹286(final price) for it. It may seem a bit inflated at first, but this cost encompasses everything from paying someone to make the dish, to serve it and to clean up afterward. Everything in your restaurant, from your electricity bill to the payroll has to be covered by the food you serve.
Price is Right
Figuring out what the right price for your dishes is one of the most important steps in designing your menu. You have to keep in mind the food cost, while providing Value-for-Money to your customers.
A simple formula you could use to find the minimum menu price is:
Min. Menu Price = Food Cost/0.35
This will give you a rough idea on the minimum amount you must charge to make a profit. You could, of course, charge more or less! You could even use relative pricing.
Pick the Right Material
The answer to “What is the right material for my menu?” depends entirely on your restaurant. Keep in mind that your menu is an accurate representation of your brand’s image. Different materials can provide different impressions to your diners, just by their overall look and feel.
If you are, let’s say, a high-end, classy space, you could use hardcovers; whereas, a simple paper menu on a cardboard will do the trick if you’re a simple café.
In addition, think long term – if you laminate your menu, every reprint will be expensive. You’d be better off using simple plastic covers in which updated items can be slid in.
Your customers want to eat; not go on a scavenger hunt! Avoid incorporating huge chunks of text in your menu. Your menu should be very easy to read and very well organized.
Do not have illegible fonts. An old English font may seem very classy, but it is very hard to read. Also, make it very easy to find items. A simple way to do this is Appetizers first, desserts last!
Build up your Vocabulary!
The description of your menu-items is a prelude to the actual eating. You should spend time on your choice of words, for words are a useful tool to fire up your customer’s imagination!
You don’t have to use sophisticated language; your aim is to educate and entice the diners about the dishes. It may seem tacky, but we believe that buzzwords usually get the job done!
Promote your Signatures
Your signatures are usually your highest selling dishes. Your menu should be such that the signature dishes catch the eye of your customers. A box or well-placed-space will draw attention. You could also emphasize the importance of the dish and promote it using a simple “Chef’s Recommendation” tag! 😊
Get Customer Feedback
Now that you’re finished with the price and design of the menu, you have to constantly test its effectiveness. The best way to do this is to ask your customers.
How InResto DineIn Helps You Upsell Your Dishes!
With inResto DineIn, you can create a digitized menu that diners can view with the help of a link while they wait for a table. This digital menu can highlight your signature dishes on top and even help you promote combo deals. Another great feature of this digitized menu is that it gives you great insights on your top-selling dishes.
Did you know that 80% of all diners look for a menu online, before physically visiting your establishment? Well, now you do! It is a very nice idea to have your menu and your own online-presence, not just to let the customers know, but also to promote your own brand. inResto is a suite of products that will help you manage your menu, as well as your restaurant.
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