Ways to Use a Digital Menu and Increase Your Restaurant’s Sales

Ways to Use a Digital Menu and Increase Your Restaurant’s Sales

These are some turbulent and dreadful times as the novel coronavirus is wreaking havoc on the global economy. Online orders have seen a steep spike in recent days as people are quarantined and forbidden from leaving their houses. In a war against the virus, normal lifestyle rules seem to be obsolete. Pandemic or not, people need to eat in order to survive and for the restaurant owner, this is the beacon of hope. To step up, adapt, and meet the challenges of changing times head-on is the only option for restaurants.

With people leveraging the use of online channels, restaurateurs have a viable option to increase food sales with the digital menu during the Covid19 pandemic. 

To gain traction in terms of food sales during Covid19, the restaurant industry needs to revamp the digital menu and employ the following tips to garner more sale:

1. Make a Clean & Brief Menu Design

To increase food sales with the digital menu during Covid19, you need to ensure that you are putting high-margin and best-selling items first. Generally, people prefer to go forward with items they have already tried or ones that sell the most. Hence, keeping it crisp and concise is the best approach for your digital menu.

2. Highlight a Special Item with Photos

Your digital menu must include a special item with a photo that looks appetizing, encouraging guests to try it. Your visuals may include aesthetically pleasing to capture the attention of your audience. Get creative with your photos, videos, GIFS, etc. to guide the customer’s decision-making.

3. Do Personalized Menus

Even though there is a pandemic going on, forcing people to stay in their homes, some of your diners may still need to follow a strict diet regimen. Designing and providing personalized menus will allow you to form new loyal diners during this time of difficulty. For instance, veg menus, vegan menus, and menus to support healthy food eating habits are bound to be a huge hit for your restaurant. 

4. Do a Cost Analysis

A cost analysis is necessary in order to devise a new business strategy that enables you to provide better service to your diners, at lower costs, while maintaining profits or minimizing the impact on the same. The cost analysis will enable you to better focus your resources on gaining more sales through your digital menu.

5. Ensure Category-wise Selection

Different times of day calls for different meals. Jamming every item in a single category is a perfect recipe for disaster. A proper category section such as breakfast, lunch, evening snack, and dinner menu will help streamline the process and enhance your customer’s experience.

6. Make Seasonal and Occasion-specific Menus

People are influenced by occasions and seasons. The seasonal and occasion-specific menus will attract new customers and help you to stay relevant. Further, conjuring a limited-edition menu by utilizing seasonal materials and occasion/festival themes will surely lead to a surge in targeted sales.   Many diners are still celebrating festivals like Ramzan and special days like Mother’s Day from the safety of their homes. Hop onto this bandwagon and curate special menus for special days with limited deliveries. 

The world has changed dramatically in recent months and yet, your restaurant has the potential to attract customers and fulfil their needs in these stressful times. By employing these tips, you can increase food sales with the digital menu during the Covid19 pandemic.

Dineout’s Instagram Live with Rachel Goenka: Ensuring Customer Delight Post COVID-19 Lockdown

Dineout’s Instagram Live with Rachel Goenka: Ensuring Customer Delight Post the Lockdown

As the world reels from the coronavirus pandemic, restaurants are among one of the most affected industries, considering the need for social distancing and scarcity of resources. Sahil Jain, Cofounder of Dineout recently conducted an informative session with Rachel Goenka, Founder and CEO, The Chocolate Spoon Company. During this session, she talked about the current plight of restaurants, various business strategies, and the prospects owing to COVID-19. Here are the highlights of the conversation.

1. Prioritize Safety Above All

Brand loyalty and trust, post lockdown, will come from showcasing better service quality and brand value. People will slowly feel more comfortable about stepping out post lockdown, if restaurants assure them of all the steps taken to ensure diners’ safety and hygiene within the restaurant. Communicate the importance of proper sanitation and hygiene, routine temperature checks, and sanitisers made available for customers as well as staff. 

Further, higher dependency on technology for communication, menu management, and posting awareness-centric content on social media platforms to educate diners’ on safety can prove to be a great method to restore the lost trust and retain brand loyalty. 

Focus on Survival

Restaurants will run on a 50% capacity, while waiting for government directives. Self-policing by restaurants while waiting for direction from the government needs to become more stringent for the sake of both, employees as well as customers. New industry entrants must stay strong, as the market is sure to bounce back. Cut costs wherever possible, and shift from high-end imported ingredients (unavailable) to local materials.

Going local and curating menus out of locally available ingredients and items make sales more profitable and enables better safety measures. The future foregrounds practices such as cloud-kitchens, home delivery, and takeaways. Further, prioritising microwave-safe packaging due to higher safety (cold items sanitized from outside, hot items can be put in the microwave directly) can be one of the best practices to adopt as it can instil better trust from diners in restaurants.  

Introduce Seamless Technology

Technology has proved beneficial for many industries worldwide. There are various touchpoints in a restaurant business where technology can work along with the staff and create a tectonic shift. Diner sentiments across social media platforms points at pre-order and table reservation being crucial. They no longer want to touch foreign objects and are willing to opt for digital menu as well as digital payment methods. DineIn by Dineout, will let diners place orders directly from their phones using a QR code.. Similarly, digital payments like DOPay will remove the need for diners to exchange physical currency. Table management will be crucial to maintain physical distancing. Dineout’s Reserve will simplify and automate this process with least human intervention. For such solutions and more, click here

Redesign your Menu and Offerings

Provision of special menu options to your target audience, based on customer feedback will ensure better walk-ins post lockdown. For instance, the Chocolate Spoon Company had created a special Parsi menu during the Parsi New Year at Nariman Point, which was a raging success.

Such novelty and inventive attitudes of restaurant chains will always attract customers. For instance, Rachel’s brand created an innovative menu based on gravy chocolate to entice audiences that were looking for chic cake options.

Additionally, introduction of cost-effective recipes that use minimal inventory to make delightful products to retain customer’s curiosity can aid in minimization of expenditure. This also creates more space to experiment and launch seasonal menus. Re-engineering the menu to provide more comfort food (made from available raw materials) can aid in better sales, especially for fine dine restaurants. With supply chains disrupted, there is a dearth for imported goods. In addition, customers are also opting for easy-to-prepare options such as burgers instead of heavy meals.

Adopt Changes to Retain Customer-base

Diners must trust and connect with your brand if you wish to retain their loyalty. Their feedback and your responses are integral to such retention and ensuring restaurant sales.

Further, dining out in local restaurants will be a priority, from a diner’s perspective, post COVID-19 lockdown. Customizing your restaurant in accordance with your brand will ensure brand loyalty. 

Aside from this, employees must be empowered and trusted by managers and owners. Restaurant staff should be able to take daily managerial decisions without prior approvals. Creating consumer/employee awareness can also facilitate retention of brand value in these market conditions. Such awareness can be created through different marketing strategies such as informative videos on cooking and packaging processes, videos conveying hygiene measures taken by restaurants, efforts of delivery executives to ensure uncontaminated food delivery (by proper hand sanitization, double bagging each food order, etc.).

A brand must utilize its diner-base for survival as a whole business family. As Rachel assertively mentions, ‘If you have that brand equity and a loyal customer-base, make the most of it right now!’

Guidelines for Resuming Restaurant Operations in a Post COVID World

Guidelines for Resuming Restaurant Operations in a Post COVID World

An Introduction to Contactless Dining

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How are Loyalty Programs and Campaigns driving Sales for Restaurants

Technology is making our lives simpler and more convenient in every way. Businesses across sectors, whether online or brick & mortar, are increasingly turning to digital technology to become more efficient. The Restaurant industry is no different. 

Among various technology solutions available, personalised loyalty programs and targeted marketing campaigns are the most effective tools to gather a huge paying customer base, which is also loyal to your brand.

According to a study on the ‘Global Food and Beverage Market’ by Cushman and Wakefield, the Asia Pacific region is the fastest-growing when it comes to spending on dining out. The average annual growth rate is estimated at 7.5% during the period 2017-27.

How is technology helping you to keep your customers hooked?

Your restaurant has great food, and your diners love you, but what can you do to build a special relationship with your diners? Make your diners feel special on their every visit, and every time they want to dine out, they will think of you. Loyalty programs can help you do that effortlessly.

You need to understand your customers’ patterns and shower them with offers. And, this does not mean that running offers will lead you to losses. On the contrary, it is the perfect strategy to gain profits.

There are customers who visit your restaurant at least two times a week. Some visit less often, but whenever they do, they like to spend a hefty amount. There are also customers who have a favorite from the menu and order it on their every visit. 

With Loyalty programs, you can recognise such customer behaviour, categorize them into segments, and create programs tailored to their preferences. 

There is nothing like a good loyalty program that can keep the diners hooked to your restaurant.

There is more you can do with it-

  • Provides you a choice between point-based and instant discount based programs. Restaurants have total control over the entire process, including the rewards to be given.
  • Creates a reward program on billing value and frequency of visits.
  • Enables effective and hassle-free customer interactions.

According to the Restaurant Success Report of 2019, 64% of guests look for loyalty programs while dining out. Among them, 50% of customers say that loyalty programs – and the rewards they offer – are important factors in picking the restaurant they choose to visit.

 

Spread the Word and Reach Out to your Customers

You have created the most effective loyalty programs for your customer base, but how will your customers know that amazing offers are awaiting them at your restaurant?

Of course, you can hand them gift cards when they visit you, but you can reach a larger audience by making use of technology.

Campaigns‘ is a tool that enables you to periodically reach out to your target customers. Messages and Emails that contain offers and experiences tailored to their individual preferences create compelling reasons for them to come back – effectively driving up the frequency of customer visits to the restaurant.

People often reach out to their phones whenever they have to choose a place of dining. Their smartphone becomes their best friend. When you send them personalised campaigns that contain offers, discounts, and experiences that your restaurant will provide them, your restaurant gets noticed, and there is a more likely chance that they visit you.

There is more to it-

  • Imports customer data to set-up personalised campaigns. 
  • Automates the process of targeting the customer base through text messages and emails. 
  • Performs exhaustive analytics to assess campaign performance and suggest course corrections as and when required. 

About 50% of the recipients find automated email services helpful, as per the Restaurant Success Report of 2019. The importance of this tool cannot be overstated, as it can significantly increase a restaurant’s acquisition and retention rates. 

Loyalty programs and marketing campaigns have proved to be a powerful tool in retaining a loyal customer base. Adopt these technology solutions in your restaurant and see for yourself. There will be a lot of familiar and happy faces you are going to see often! 

How to win your customers’ hearts this Valentines Day

Did you know restaurants rank Valentine’s Day as the second busiest day of the year? 

According to the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association, consumers spend about $13.19 billion on Valentine’s Day, enough to afford all the travel plans every person made after watching ‘Yeh Jawani hai Deewani’.

A restaurant is a place where love stories begin and moments of love brew. The place where he first proposed, their first date after their wedding, her first blind date, or be it funny date arranged by parents, a restaurant always plays an essential part in creating beautiful love memories. It is a part of every proposal story they will tell their friends.

Everyone knows one cannot choose their family, but they can choose their partner. As much as love can make you go WTF, there’s no denying we’d all be a little less rich without love in life!

Here’s how you can make their merry moments merrier:

1. Valentine’s day demands ‘The Food of Love.’ 

 

There is nothing like too much red on Valentine’s day, so spice up your food menu with Red velvet pastries, heart-shaped cookies, and cute love themed cupcakes.

Create unique combos and Platters, like a beer combo with some chicken finger food, a bottle of champagne with a bouquet of flowers, and heart-shaped chocolates.

Let’s give the couples more time engaging in intimate moments and less time picking various items from the menu.

Your diners must be aware beforehand that a Valentine’s Day special food menu awaits them so that they can pick the right venue for the day. So spread the word by sending them an email and SMS campaigns.

2. Run Hatke Offers

  • Send personalised cards at your diners’ tables, which might go something like, “You both look adorable together! Have a nice evening.” The card or a scroll(if you want to do it the cupid’s way) can be designed in love-themed templates like this cupid one or even the classic heart-shaped ones.

  • Collaborate with a photographer and capture their special moments, which they can cherish for life. You must post these pictures on your social channels and get all the people talking about your restaurant. 

Along with that, the efforts put in the decor, the food, and the setting must be captured and put across the web- on dineout stories and Instagram stories so that new customers searching for a restaurant on the web so that new customers can also get aware of the ongoing events at your restaurant.

You can create the most desirable romantic date fantasies for people watching your restaurant’s stories and pictures on the web. 

Send personalised messages to your customers so that they remember you while deciding a place for their special evening. Here’s how

3. Organize fun activities

 

  • Collaborate with a band or an artist for live music to set the mood at your restaurant. Music can make or break the mood. Romantic music such that your diners are drooling in love, and there is euphoria! 

Artists like Prateek Kuhad, Hari & Sukhmani, and bands like Agni are just some of the top picks when it comes to setting a romantic mood with some music.

  • Salsa night: There is no bond like the one you make with a partner on the dance floor. You can call professional salsa dancers and get all the people grooving on the dance floor. Singles also get a chance to mingle with new people and dance their hearts out!

4. Plan a Singles’ day out

 

If you thought just calling out couples on Valentine’s day is a hit plan for your restaurant, you are wrong! Shout out to all the singles out there and organize a party.

  • The golden rule of the party: Couple entries strictly not allowed!
  • Decorate your restaurants with funny quotes or memes for single people. When love life’s DOA, memes are your best friends.
  • Let the ‘We hate couples’ club and ‘I can’t ever get out of the friend zone’ be your guest for the day. 
  • Organize a comedy stand up or screen shows like ‘Haq Se Single’ by Zakir khan at your restaurant to hype the mood.

With social media, SMS, and email campaigns, you can create a very quirky campaign with memes and quotes that will catch your target audience’s eye. 

5. Dress code Party

  • There can be a simple dress code party planned where you invite your diners, saying they must wear red and black.
  • Or you can add a funky touch and make it interesting by asking your diners to come dress as a famous couple. It can be a classic Raj & Simran couple, Anjali and Rahul from Kuch Kuch Hota hai, or the very sensual Ram Leela.
  • A vampire couple or greek mythology inspired couple, basically tell them to be as weird and quirky as they can. And you can reward the best dressed with a free meal! 

 

It’s always exciting for couples to play dress up, and you can add spice to their lives with different themes like this. Make it engaging for them by making them act like the couple they have come dressed as or make them dance on Bollywood songs, and they will remember you as their best host! 

So get started on those Valentine’s day preps, and select ideas that you think will be a hit for your restaurant. Aren’t you already excited for D day?

You can get creative and wild with your ideas and put up a great show, but it is not good enough unless your customers know about it. Running Campaigns is, therefore, your key to create a buzz amongst your audience and make your show a hit! 

Let us help you do that. You can get in touch – Contact us: http://inresto.com/contact.html

The Restaurant Affair- Hyderabad Chapter

Introduction

The Restaurant Affair is an interactive summit that talks about the business of tomorrow. It is a unique offline forum to educate, engage, and promote the adoption of technology within the F&B industry. Whether it’s a small restaurant chain or an established eatery, every restaurant is upping its game to strive in the competition, and ‘The Restaurant Affair’ helps every restaurateur to achieve that and network with fellow folks of the industry.

 

The Hyderabad Chapter was held at Novotel HICC on 21st January. Food industry experts and leaders shared their radical views on the ongoing technology trends that are helping the industry boom and making it more than merely about food and cooking.

 

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Ankit Mehrotra, CEO & Co-founder, Dineout said, 

“The restaurant industry is very fragmented and largely unorganized, for which the adoption of technology is a necessity in this digital era. With ‘The Restaurant Affair,’ we want to change the way restaurants function in India and help showcase the technological prowess of our products. We’re loving the response and the increasing participation of restaurants who believe in our mission and stand together with us.” 

Panel Discussion

The panel was graced by Hyderabad’s restaurant industry stalwarts- Chef Chalapati Rao- Simply South, Mr. Manish Dayya- Novotel HICC, Mr. Prosenjit Roy Choudhury- Absolute barbecues, Mr. Viren Shah- CreamStone ice creams.

Our Co-founder Ankit Mehrotra, led the panel discussion and asked the esteemed panelists intriguing questions. The discussion was mind-boggling and educated our audience on how they can manage a restaurant successfully. Experience teaches you more than any book written ever, and hence we tried to gather all the Gyan that our panelists had to offer, who have been in this game for quite some time now. 

Dineout’s Journey

Mr. Vivek Kapoor, our Cofounder, took the audience through an inspiring journey. From being just a discovery and reservations platform to being a restaurant enabler, how dineout has come a long way. 

He took us through the Dineout product suite, which helps empower restaurants & enable growth.

Game Changer 2020

Our Co-founder, Vijayan Parthasarathy, took the stage to shed light on the technology solution that is the game-changer for the restaurant industry in 2020 – Valetresolves all the parking woes at your restaurant!  

Technology Workshops

There was a guided tour of various technology solutions for our audience. The live demos helped restaurateurs understand how they can streamline and manage their restaurant’s operations effortlessly. They had the first-hand experience with 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

 

Casual conversations brewed new connections & we bonded over food & wine.

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. The next destination of our tour is Kolkata, and we can’t wait to meet the chefs & restaurateurs of the city, which is every foodie’s must-visit destination.

 

You sure don’t want to miss out on opportunities to network with restaurant peers, sneak peeks at the latest industry technology, and lots of time- and money-saving tips for your restaurant. See you in your city!

 

The Restaurant Chronicles | GIRF 2020 is live | Kitchens that Fly High and more

How Cloud kitchens are leveraging technology to increase profits and delight customers?

For the past few years, the restaurant industry has been quite experimental in terms of technology and has witnessed favorable growth. New technological innovations are sliding every day and creating a buzz in the market. 

 

Technology is the backbone for restaurants that accept incoming orders only through online ordering systems. Commonly known as cloud kitchens, they have a base kitchen that delivers food to the customers with no dine-in facility. At any given point, a cloud kitchen uses at least 5 to 6 varied tech products, including Point of sale systems (POS), CRM, Loyalty, Campaigns, and more. All technology platforms give out data but are not interlinked. Managing a variety of technology solutions individually can be a little challenging.

 

Cloud kitchens operate for the benefit of the customers who just love App-based and easy ordering. They are discovered online through various mediums like Facebook, Web discovery, delivery aggregators, and more. With orders pouring in from multiple online platforms (Thanks to digital being so successful), it becomes virtually impossible to keep up. It requires more labour, more work hours, and eventually results in increased cost and overworked employees.

 

Now let’s understand a restaurant’s plight – A customer orders regularly; however, the restaurant has no history of billing, order channel, dining pattern, order preferences, etc. because somewhere the system falls short. It is difficult for the restaurant management to track all of the above manually. Restaurants, especially cloud kitchens, require integrated software that can streamline all the operations for them. 

 

Let’s paint a beautiful picture where all orders land directly into your POS dashboard, you can assign a delivery executive from the POS itself. Turning off all aggregator portals happens with a click without accessing each platform. Further to this, let’s erase the manual & tedious task of house operations, i.e., raw material requirement assessment, routing orders to suppliers, distribution of semi-prepared dishes from central kitchen to outlets, and more. Now let’s bring this picture to life because, with inresto POS, all of the above is possible.

Instead of dealing with multiple software vendors, cloud kitchens can use integrated software like the one inresto has, with all the restaurant management solutions at one place. This allows kitchens to focus on their core business without worrying about a stack of technological solutions. 

 

All frontend and backend operations such as managing online orders from different aggregators- (Zomato, Swiggy, & more); enabling menu changes, customised pricing, assigning delivery executives, raw material requirement inventory management, data analysis, and more can be controlled from a single dashboard. 

 

Statistics tell us that Inventory management is one of the biggest challenges that our Cloud kitchen partners have faced in the past. Space being a limitation, cloud kitchens can only store two to three days of stock, which makes it imperative to have optimum inventory to avoid negative impact amongst customers and wastage. With inresto’s SCM and POS integration, past sales can be analysed for trend recognition, which further enables our cloud kitchen partners to make stock and item exchange effortless.

 

Since the Amazon for Business integration into our SCM module, we have curated a marketplace with items listed at the best possible price. This enables our partner cloud kitchens and restaurants to access quality and affordable raw materials. More perks being- timely deliveries and the option to convert payments into EMIs.

 

Everything is jargon unless backed by data – Our cloud kitchen partner, and fitness-focused cloud kitchen chain has witnessed a 9% reduction in cost and over 120-man hour decrease. Another leading cloud kitchen in India started by using our Tech at one of their outlets now seamlessly bringing that number to 50+

 

Over 70% of the restaurants are turning to technology. Make your switch today!

 

Ways You can Control Noise in Your Restaurant

Most of us have, at some point in our lives, had an unpleasant dine-out experience, just because the restaurant in question was unpleasantly noisy. Statistically, ‘excessive noise levels’ is among the top three most common customer complaints that most of the restaurants face. 

Whether it’s the annoying hum and whirr of kitchen machinery, the clanking of cutlery, loud co-diners, or a particularly whiny kid, or even unpleasantly loud music, these noises can get on your customers’ nerve, disrupt important conversations, kill magical moments of intimacy, and effectively destroy what your diners anticipated to be a pleasant evening out. 

It can lead to customers walking out, never coming back, criticizing your restaurant on public fora, and spreading bad word of mouth, tangibly hurting your business. 

Here are a few steps that you, as a restaurant manager/owner, can adopt to address the issue, effectively: 

1. Interior Design Solutions

  • Keep noisy kitchen machinery and frequently used equipment – blenders, grinders, ice machines, and such far from the dining area. 
  • Use cork-lined sound-proof kitchen doors to prevent the kitchen noises like the clanging of pots & pans and conversations of the chefs from going out in the dining area. 
  • Add carpets, drapes and curtains, cushions and upholstery and other sound-absorbent soft furnishings all over the restaurant, to muffle and minimize discordant outside noises. 
  • Use rubber caps at the bottom of the chairs, table, and sofa legs, to eliminate the sound of furniture scraping against the floor. 
  • Incorporate separate booths and cubicles for couples and groups who are seeking to enjoy a romantic or intimate meal. 
  • Indoor plants like Ferns, Peace Lilies, and Baby’s Tears are good natural sound absorbents that can not only reduce noise by 6-15 decibels but also add to the aesthetics of your restaurant and improve indoor air quality. A healthy environment always feels pleasant.

2. Psychological Solutions 

 

  • An intimate setting with dim lighting and soft music are the most preferred choices for date nights and intimate gatherings. When the vibe is pleasant, the diners go with the flow and it is less likely that they deviate from it. Also, Reservation apps make it easier for you to give every diner their preferred table or section at the restaurant.
  • A Formally dressed staff that engages with the customers politely, subtly encourages the diners to hold pleasant conversations amongst themselves as well.

3. Infrastructural and Human Resource Solutions

  • Train hostesses and ushers to seat customers accompanied by kids at a designated area within the restaurant – ideally one that is subtly isolated from the rest of the crowd.
  • Some child-friendly eateries have designated kids’ zones with toys, games and trained waiters to keep the little ones occupied & fed while they play. In this way, the parents and other diners can also enjoy their dine out moments without any disturbances. 
  • If your restaurant serves alcoholic beverages, you can train your waiting staff to take subtle measures to turn down repeat orders and firmly discourage or refuse repeat orders to tipsy customers, to prevent them from turning raucous and unruly.

 

Make Every Customer your Restaurant’s Brand Ambassador

It is always larger than life experience for the customers when you grant them good experiences other than just good food. Hence it is necessary to ensure that every customer has, not just a pleasant but delightful dine-out experience, every time they visit you. You can monitor where your restaurant stands in terms of diner experience through feedback apps.

This keeps your restaurant in the limelight despite the increasingly competitive environment. Your first-time customers would be repeat customers, which will eventually become your regular patrons, and then the active brand advocates who spontaneously recommend your restaurant to every next person they meet.