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The Restaurant Affair- Bengaluru Chapter

Introduction

The Restaurant Affair is a series of events for restaurateurs to get updated on the notable insights and ongoing trends that are shaping the restaurants of today.

The Restaurant Affair- Bengaluru Chapter was the first edition where about 100-150 Restaurateurs and Industry icons of restaurants and chains like Vapour Pub and Brewery, Theobroma, TOIT, Byg Brewski Brewing Company, Conrad, and more of the likes gathered. It was an opportunity for restaurateurs to reconnect with their industry folks and meet new ones.

Here’s what happened:

1. Panel Discussion

When our panelists got to talking, secrets were spilled, and the audience was all ears. The restaurateurs were exposed to insights, and business ideas, no book or classroom lecture will tell you about yet! There were talks about how restaurant technology is changing the face of the industry and how the technology product suites like the one inresto has to offer, helped established restaurants and newbies make a mark.

2. Dineout’s journey

Among various restaurateurs’ stories, there was ours too! Our co-founder Mr. Vivek Kapoor took to the stage, and the audience was thrilled and inspired to hear the journey. From being just a reservation platform to being restaurant enablers, we have come a long way. 

The B2B arm of dineout – inresto aims at enabling restaurants to achieve maximum efficiency through the valet to valet, cost-effective, and plug & play product suite that has helped 10000+ restaurants boost their business, globally.

3. Technology Workshops

After being introduced to technology solutions and dynamic innovations, we took the restaurateurs through the working knowledge of the products. Our audience got to try their hands on the latest technology solutions. 

If you missed being a part of the event or happened to miss this session, you can experience our entire product suite here

We topped it all off with a happy hour of wine, dine, and unlimited conversations!

If you are enticed to be a part of a restaurant affair like this, let us know at info@dineout.co.in so that we can meet you while we’re on the road. We are city hopping, and our next destination is Hyderabad. We can’t wait to hear that city’s restaurant story! 

 

How to Choose the Right Restaurant Management Software

No matter what the size, scale and spread of your restaurant operations may be, the right set of restaurant management solutions is your most reliable source when it comes to both efficient management of operations and optimal planning for long-term growth and expansion.

Understanding the Complete Restaurant Management System

A complete restaurant management software is your solution to every possible challenge your restaurant faces in its day to day operational activities. Solutions that are developed and customized to fulfill the specific needs of the F&B Service industry. It lets you manage your restaurant without hassles, saves human effort and costs.

The complete restaurant management solution includes the following functional modules:

  • Point Of Sale 

    A Billing and settlement system that works across all conceivable payment modes.

  • Supply Chain Management (SCM)

     A tailored, ingredient-level solution for recipe and inventory management.

  • Digital Menu

    A digital ordering system that simplifies KOT management, and enables automated direct-to-chef orders through a smart Kitchen Display System or kitchen printer.

  • Reservations 

    A technology system that efficiently manages Table Bookings and walk-in Reservations.

  • Digital Feedback 

    Customer Feedback is taken on your smart device which stores all the customer data and also enables instant grievance redressal.

  • Customer Relationship and Loyalty Management 

    You can do targeted marketing by running customized campaigns and loyalty programs through an automated programmatic approach.

  • Reporting & Analytics

    There are relevant modules to analyse data for continuous cross-functional improvement.

  • Digital Presence 

    Developing an informative website and mobile app for your restaurant.

With the emergence of multiple restaurant management software-as-a-service based solutions, and a mushrooming of online software providers, the solution is now not only accessible and affordable to the smallest and newest players, but there is also a plethora of choices. Today’s cloud-hosted solutions cater to your restaurant’s every possible need. 

Criteria Of Selection

Considering we have a vast pool available to choose from, you might need a guide to select the best of the options. Here’s that:

1. Customizability 

It’s best if the software you choose can be tailored to suit your restaurant’s specific requirements. In some cases, open-source software allows for customization at a coding level.

2. Compatibility 

The solution has to be compatible with your restaurant’s legacy software, with other commonly-used software and with the hardware devices in your restaurant.

3. Scalability  

Choose a solution that seamlessly supports volume growth and geographic expansion, as well as the diversification of operational models within your business. You don’t want to keep changing your software as and when your restaurant expands. Remember, these software are meant for you to save costs and not raise them further.

4. Flexibility

A solution that allows you to pick and choose, add to or delete modules within the overall software package, based on stage-of-life-cycle needs, is the optimal solution. A smart software for you to make smart choices is what you need for your restaurant.

5. Usability 

When the customer interface is friendly, instinct-driven, and informative, it is easier to use, and you don’t waste too much time figuring out how to operate the system. 

6. Advanced Analytics 

When the solution tracks performance, provides insights and indicators, one can analyse and make continuous improvements and optimize operational performance.

A restaurant that is customer-friendly and has revenues flowing is every restaurateur’s dream and you don’t want to compromise on that. And you don’t have to! Now that we have created a guide for you to choose the correct solution which can make it happen, you don’t have to wait any further!

Ways to Go Green at your Restaurant: Make it an environment-friendly space

Don’t you think the world looks good in green? The restaurant industry definitely thinks so, and the last decade has witnessed some efforts by restaurants to go green. The movement has gathered steam, and ‘Go Green’ is fast becoming the new mantra. Some restaurants have even adopted eco-friendly themes as their principal USP.

The Indian Food Service industry will be worth Rs 6 lakh crore by 2022-23, with a CAGR of 9%. While the industry does much to sustain the growth impetus for the economy, in terms of its impact on the environment, it leaves much to be desired. 

Here are a few guidelines for restaurateurs who sense the winds of change, but remain unsure about how to get the ball rolling: 

1. Ethical sourcing

One of the best secrets to keep an eco-friendly environment lies in your own backyard. Grow your own or source organic foods and follow a strict farm to fork policy.

You must ensure that suppliers follow ethical crop production and animal welfare norms.

2. Ditch Paper, Log in with Technology

Cut down on paper usage. Living in the digital age and time, this can’t get any simpler

We know that the billing systems are all on your computers. Gone are the days when you had to sit at the counter writing bills on paper. 

Adopt digital Menus. This upcoming concept has been adopted by many restaurants- Lord of the drinks (First fiddle restaurants), Slay coffee and Pind Balluchi being a few examples. And guess what, you don’t even have to invest in a computer system or tablet. The diners can open the menu on their phones by just scanning a QR code and you can also cross-sell / up-sell, through these, easily.

3. Water conservation and efficiency

Recycle used water for cleaning and watering plants.

Fix leaky fixtures and install low-flow faucets in toilets and kitchens.

And the most simple way in which you can do your bit for water conservation is by joining NRAI’s initiative called #GlassHalfFull, which instructs the waiters to fill glasses half-full unless otherwise requested by customers.

4. Waste reduction and management

Invest in a tailored and analytics-based inventory management software that is smart enough to inform the management about the excess stock in inventory to maintain efficient inventories, particularly with perishables.

The advanced data analytics solutions in these software help the management to study consumption patterns and arrive at optimal serving solutions and portion sizes. 

Follow government guidelines in segregating and managing waste efficiently to minimize greenhouse gas emissions and reduce your carbon footprint.

And don’t forget to donate the leftover food to local shelters. 

5. Ditch plastics. Go eco-friendly.

Explore alternatives to plastic for packaging, straws, stirrers, bottles, tumblers, and cutlery. The alternatives could be bagasse packaging and cutlery made of wood – just like JustBe café in Bangalore. 

Use eco-friendly paper towels in bathrooms and kitchens.

Consider going back to our roots with banana leaf plates, clay tumblers, and papaya leaf straws.

6. Sustainable interior décor

Use furniture made of biodegradable wood, such as bamboo.

Buy organic cotton only from local sellers. 

Use all-cloth linen, such as tablecloths and napkins.

 

Remember, going eco-friendly is not just the right thing to do. It’s responsible, noble, and selfless. It can also pay-off tangibly. It helps you connect with your millennial customers over a shared cause, to earn their appreciation and repeat patronage. 

According to a recent green dining survey, a total of 65% of customers said that they are willing to pay 10% more to dine at an eco-friendly restaurant. 

Who thought being eco-friendly can result in hiked revenues too? You cannot not go green after reading this.

 

Restaurant Industry Trends that Shaped the Past Decade

This decade saw an array of new trends, from theme-based restaurants and cafes to rise of restaurant tech, third party dining out and food delivery aggregators. Further, emerged many unheard concepts like buffets and cloud kitchens which uplifted the industry and spoiled the consumers for choices, especially in metro cities. 

Trends that dominated the industry in the past decade: 

Online Ordering & the Rise of Food Delivery Aggregators 

 

Keeping up with the smartphone generation, emerged online ordering which offers varied menus & live-tracking. While direct delivery from restaurants is popular, the online food delivery aggregator app space has interesting deals and offers to attract new diners to their platforms. 

Another set of aggregators is the dine-in food aggregators who promote restaurants, cafes and more. These aggregators allow customers to rate and post reviews for a particular restaurant, helping other customers to choose where they want to dine out. Fortunately, food aggregators also allow restaurants to launch offers and discounts online to attract more customers.

Traditionally, dining out was an occasional affair and a luxury for many. Now, it is a trend and at-your-disposal service. This has sprouted the rise of food aggregators and the services they offer. 

Growth of Restaurant Technology

 

With customer centricity being the disruptor, restaurants aim to provide a delightful experience to diners and restaurant tech companies do the same for restaurants. 360-degree restaurant management solutions have emerged as a valuable tool for restaurant owners and managers as they help elevate the customer experience and restaurant sales. Here’s how: 

  • POS software can help  manage billing, order queues, online orders and more
  • Supply Chain Module can help manage inventory, vendors, and minimize wastage
  • Reservation Applications allow customers to book a table from anywhere and arrive later to avoid waiting time
  • Feedback Applications aid in collection of customer feedback and instant grievance redressal 
  • Automated marketing campaigns enable engaging customers online, based on their demographics and other preferences.

Digital Menu Solutions help customers place orders at restaurants directly from their phone and simplify menu alterations, cross-sell and up-sell  for restaurants

Having all this and more in a single connected ecosystem gives the restaurant insights on customer preferences and behaviour to take their experience to the next level.

Casual Dining became the Preferred Dining Choice

 

In the last decade, dining out has become more than an occasional affair. The decade caught glimpses of friends partying and families catching up on gossip at casual dines the most.

Casual dining has emerged as an informal way of eating food and creating memories. Mostly preferred for after-work outings or by college students, these restaurants not only provide scrumptious food but are also easy on the pocket.  People can go out anytime, eat all-day food, and they don’t have to follow a dress code. 

Wellness Warriors Enter the Industry

The restaurant industry has seen a rise in health-conscious consumers following which a trend of wholesome and clean menu choices have emerged with dedicated health-based restaurants. Restaurants can easily take advantage of this trend by modifying recipes and offering options to their customers. And the best part is the food is still tasty!

With so many healthy eating restaurants opening up, dining out is no more equal to counting calories later, but only counting memories! Catching up with the healthy eating trend has never been this easy.

Staying on top of restaurant and food trends will give you an edge over the competition. Whether it’s focusing on healthy ingredients or implementing technology in your restaurant, the bottom line is all about giving consumers what they want. While the growth of the restaurant industry in the past decade may have been unanticipated, it has shaped the way we dine out. Now, it is easier to order in or go out for a meal. 

Instant Grievance Redressal: Ways to convert that bad feedback into a good one!

In the fast-paced restaurant world, there are times when you receive bad feedback or just an average one. Of course, you can reflect upon them and never repeat the same mistakes next time. But, do your customers have the patience for the next time when they have a hundred more options?

Did you know that 54% of customers share bad experiences with more than five people, while only 33% share good customer experiences, according to Zendesk.

What if we tell you that you can instantly gratify your customers while they are still at your restaurant and have them leave at a happy note? With feedback apps that notify the top management or the owner while the diners are still at your restaurant, you can take action instantly and save yourself from bad word of mouth later on social media or otherwise.

 

It’s the perfect marketing opportunity to engage with your customers and convert them into long-term ones, and you can do that in the most heartfelt ways so that your diners are all praise for you and nothing else! 

A free beer works like a charm

A Beer is the perfect solution to any problem, and if it’s free, nothing like it. 

You can send a free beer at your customer’s table with a personalised note which goes something like-

“We heard you didn’t like your cocktail, so here’s a beer on the house because everyone deserves their favourite drink on a Friday!”

Customers are always on the lookout for discounts

The only two things that a person loves to hear at a restaurant- 

  1. More Food 
  2. That’s on a discount

It bothers a customer when he has to pay the full amount despite not liking the experience. Psychologically, he is relieved when he is offered a discount, and you can neutralise his not-so-good experience.

You can either offer them a discount on the entire bill, say 20% off, or not charge them for a particular dish they didn’t like. 

 A mechanism to keep them coming back: Loyalty Program

Give them a reason to visit you again by offering them your loyalty program that gives them a series of discounts on a trail of visits or on the amount spent. 

Despite having an average experience, they will definitely think about you the next time they want to dine out and on a positive note, too.

A manager’s visit to the customer’s table

When the manager himself inquires about the problem, the customers feel that their preferences are important and the restaurant is willing to work on it. 

In the process, you can build a relationship with the customer, have an engaging conversation, be witty, and make him a loyal customer.

He is going home with some good memories now, instead of a bad experience.

 

Giving out discounts on every bad or average feedback could mean losses but remember-

  • You don’t have to follow this with every customer:

Filter out the important ones- like the high spenders and set the tone accordingly.

  • Bad reviews are being converted into marketing opportunities:

You are saving potential customers who might not have come to your restaurant looking at a bad social media review or word of mouth.

With this you are going to win some hearts this season, so wear your happy socks and slide on to those 5 stars in no time. 

See you at the top of the charts!

Why Your Loyalty Program is Not Creating Loyal Customers?

As consumers, haven’t we all gone crazy over black Friday sales and discount coupons on our favorite brands? That’s exactly what your customers are seeking when they visit your restaurant for their favorite food! Hit their right spot, and they become loyal to your brand forever. And choosing the right loyalty program is your way to go!

In 2016, the restaurant market was worth more than 3.09 lakh crores, and the food-service industry is expected to grow to a whopping 5 lakh crores in 2021, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 10%.

In a booming market, losing customers is a cold pie nobody wants to eat. Given that, retaining customers can  actually boost profits by 25%, which makes it doubly crucial to retain existing customers. This is where the loyalty programs sweep in.

Steps to create an engaging loyalty program:

Loyalty programs have proved to be a good way to make customers visit your restaurant over and over again. They have to appeal to the customers on a personal level.
The tech-savvy generation might not be quite thrilled with the coupon loyalty programs as much. So how does one build an upgraded loyalty program that appeals to the customers and drives sales?
As per the statistics of Aron Allen and Associates, coffee giant Starbuck’s ‘My Starbucks Rewards Loyalty Program’ was launched in 2010. It later added a digital component and went on to garner $1.2 billion in customer funds as of the first quarter of 2016. In 2017 the second quarter rewards accounted for 36 % of US Starbucks sales.

Identify the Right Program

Loyalty programs impact profits and need to be structured in a way that suits your business model. Be it visit based, spend based, or a combination of the two.

The QSR Magazine reports say that Panera introduced a tech-driven ‘integrated guest experience’ at an outlay of $42 million in 2012. The tech boosted sales, reduced the food receiving time to less than five 5 minutes from 6-9 minutes, and saved 1 – 4 minutes per order.

Make the Best Use of Data

There is nothing like the effective use of customer data to make a good loyalty program work great for your business.
Guest and Reserve apps, available in the market, enable you to deep-dive into the customers’ past visits and orders, their preferences in terms of dish preparation, seating arrangements, and so on.
You can also tag your customers in your system so that the arrival of a priority customer does not catch you on the wrong foot. Customers who visit your restaurant also receive promotional offers and feedback communications.
These apps have the analytics feature to generate insights on average waiting time, optimal table layouts, and more to help your brand get a competitive edge.

As per the statistics provided by the National Restaurant Association, tech is the rage for millennials with 32% factoring it in their choice of QSRs and 28% factoring in for their choice of full-service restaurants.

Keep It Easy with Feedback Apps

Feedback Apps cut out paper hassles and let you focus on the feedback that is valuable for your business. With these apps, you can get better insights on customer preferences. A bad experience can easily be neutralized on the spot with a great feedback app.
A contemporary, seamless feedback app integrated with your loyalty program will be simple, highly customizable, and give you insights on customer behavior for smarter marketing. Further, it will enable you to enhance the customer experience in different ways to win positive online and social media reviews.

36% of diners factor in information from review sites like Trip Advisor and Yelp, while 34% use social media information in their decisions.

Keep Your Staff in the loop

Well executed loyalty programs have one thing in common – a well-informed staff. Even if your loyalty program uses all the bells and whistles that go with the app, you just cannot afford to miss out on the human element.

So, before you roll out your loyalty program, take your staff into confidence, and seek their inputs. Your staff may be able to give you amazing insights into various aspects of customer behavior, preferences, etc., and their suggestions might prove to be extremely valuable for the success of your loyalty program.

Reward Programs are profitable for every business

Reward programs offered by restaurants drive traffic, track customer spending habits, help delight existing customers, and convert them to long-term customers. Be it a massive multi-outlet business or a small stand-alone one, every restaurant should offer a loyalty program to accelerate their business through repeat customers.

A well-planned loyalty program will let your customers relax, knowing that they’ll always earn more rewards – without taking a hit to their wallet. And for you, you can rest assured that your existing customers will be your everlasting ones.

 

restaurant reservation management

5 Reasons Why Your Restaurant Needs InResto!

In the F&B industry, outstanding service is sublime, but it is exceptional efficiency at the end of the day that paves the way for success. Enter inResto, a unique restaurant management software that makes use of technology to create end-to-end solutions for restaurateurs. It is the only open platform that successfully connects with various services across the food-tech ecosystem thereby providing holistic solutions for guest management goals of restaurants. With the advent of new restaurants opening every other day, and the competition among restaurants becoming more cutthroat than ever, inResto gives your restaurant that extra edge. Here’s why every restaurant needs to be well versed with this restaurant technology management system.

1. Because you’d rather have your customers make lines inside the bar than outside the restaurant door

inResto helps your host or hostess manage all your reservations from one simple interface. Whether the reservation comes in from your website, Facebook, from reservation platforms like Dineout, or even over the phone, they are all funnelled into inResto Reserve, where diners can be assigned tables or put on the waiting list, all from the app. This, in turn, dramatically reduces unorganized waiting lines, dissatisfied customers, and unaccounted leads.

2. Because feedback that counts needs a more dependable channel than arbitrary sheets of paper

Every critique, every word of appreciation and every opinion of your customer goes a long way to eventually fostering a fulfilling relationship with them. Often, the entire customer data is recorded using pen and paper, which usually gets lost. The feedback system via inResto on the other hand, is progressive, intelligent and intuitive. For instance, if the diner rates an aspect of their experience 3 stars or lower, it immediately shows more questions to get more details. Not only does this greatly enhance your diner’s experience, but also is a great tool to assess the performance of your servers and the departments of your restaurant.

3. Because your table inventory needs to be reinvented

inResto brings you data driven analytics that not only configures your floor and section layouts but also monitors real-time status of tables. This helps you in planning the seating to accommodate more customers, reduces the tables’ turnaround time and maximizes your seating inventory. Thus, at the end of the day you are able to utilize and manage your tables to their optimal capacity; efficiently and effectively seating more customers, thereby increasing revenues.

4. Because we strive to maximise your gains

We believe that the strongest customer experiences come from the simplest of steps. All the data collected from various platforms comes together at the inResto Dashboard that makes use of various tools and features which aids in generating more profits. The campaign management tool is one such offering that not only engages but also re-engages and retargets your customers. This makes your overall restaurant management an economically more efficient venture as re-engaging a customer for a transaction costs three times lesser than acquiring new customers.

5. Because we understand that businesses run on relationships

There is power in the concept of personalization and inResto recognises that. It provides to you an insight-based loyalty programme that helps you identify your loyal customers and rewards them for keeping them engaged with your restaurant. It also employs strong customer communication through emails and SMSes that help keep your patrons in the loop. Here, you can easily set up a customizable programme where diners can get a free beer, desserts, points for their visits or expenditure, and much more.

Summing up, consider the following scenario – delectable cuisine, ambience that provides a sense of exclusivity and services, simply on point. The customers are in love with everything you provide yet may hesitate in coming to you again.

inResto figures out the whys and the whats so that you can concentrate on providing your clientele with the experience of a lifetime, and have them coming back for more.

marketing ideas for restaurants - food festivals

Here’s How Food Festivals Play An Essential Role in Marketing For Restaurants

Keeping up with the latest trends is essential for any restaurant to thrive in a market that breeds cutthroat competition with innovative restaurants that are cropping up by the minute. One of the greatest trends that have taken the country by storm are food festivals, and it’s a crucial move for marketing for restaurants. So, if you’ve been wondering if this would be a good move or not, read on.

Exposure

First and foremost, it’s essential to put your name out there. At these events, the publicity and press releases will do that for you. You can bank on them to publicise your restaurant the way you like it and you’ll also get to reach their target audience through vigorous social media campaigns both by the organisers and sponsors, as well as the visitors of the festival. In the meantime, you can concentrate on making your stall irresistible.

Reaching A Diverse Audience

Food festivals get a lot of footfalls, so you can expect to reach a wide audience. It’s also a great place to tap into new clientele and make an impression to increase loyalists. If your booth is eye-catching, service is prompt and dishes offered are exemplary, you’re definitely going to make some new foodie fans!

Learning From Competition

As the quote goes “Know thy self, know your enemies. A thousand battles, a thousand victories”. You’ve got to know and learn from your competitors. Everybody puts their best step forward at these festivals and you can really take notes from established restaurants’ tactical moves. Get an insight on their strategies and see where they’re lacking to avoid those mistakes.

Testing New Menus

A food festival is like a massive testing ground where you get to reach foodies with different tastes, so it’s obviously a great place to get opinions. This move would be great for old restaurants trying to get their mojo back and new restaurants trying to make their mark.

One-On-One Interaction With Customers

It’s important to interact with your customers to understand their expectations apart from just their likes and dislikes. Also, a personal connect is vital to build a relation with diners and make them well acquainted with your brand and it’s USP’s. Lastly, we all know nothing works better than marketing via word of mouth.

Highlighting Your Dormant USP

When we talk of bars or breweries, one cannot think beyond their cocktails and fresh beer, right? But what if your pub’s got some kickass burgers that nobody talks of? Food festivals would be the perfect place to let people know about your usually overlooked strengths.

If you’ve been to popular food festivals like The Grub Fest or Palate Fest, you already know all the benefits we’re talking about. Nevertheless, next time there’s a big food fest in town, capitalize on it and we promise you’ll notice an upswing in your clientele.

Here are 10 food festivals across India you should partake in:

  1. The Grub Fest
  2. The Palate Fest
  3. National Street Food Festival
  4. Steppin Out Food Fest
  5. Great Indian Food Festival
  6. Asian Hawkers Market
  7. Sula Fest
  8. Bangalore Food Fest
  9. The Gourmet High Street
  10. Bandra Wine Fest

Have you participated in food fests? Planning to? Put your thoughts in the comments.