The beginners guide to starting a restaurant

Almost everyone dreams of owning their own restaurant, bar or coffee shop at some stage. How difficult can it be to run? How difficult can it be to make money? The reality is that the restaurant business is one of the toughest. Starting a restaurant is an ambitious undertaking. Many restaurants fail within a few years because of poor planning and a lack of understanding. A restaurant is a business that needs to be run with precision to ensure that profit margins are in line.

GETTING THE CAPITAL

We don’t want to scare you, but lets be honest right from the start. You need cash money to get this business started. Whether you decide to buy a franchise, partnering or go solo opening up a restaurant means you need some serious cash.

So if you don’t have someone personally investing in your idea you can look into the following:

Working capital loans. A working capital loan is a loan that is taken to finance your everyday operations. These loans are not used to buy long-term assets or investments and are, instead, used to provide the working capital that covers short-term operational needs

Lines of credit. If you’re approved for a business line of credit, you’ll get a maximum credit amount but will only have to pay what you use. Like a credit card, the line of credit constantly revolves. As you pay your balance, you’ll have more credit to draw on for future expenses.

Equipment and technology loans.  Did you even know you can get loans on this? Equipment and technology are necessities in starting a restaurant in this day and age. Make sure you negotiate with your bank or service provider so you can obtain loans for kitchen equipment and restaurant technology. These costs alone are the most expensive in getting your business started. Many point of sale providers, offer 0% financing to offset the initial cost of the technology.

CREATING A BUSINESS PLAN

Having a thorough business plan is essential when reaching out to investors and applying for restaurant loans to start your restaurant. It will also help you develop your strategy and flesh out the feasibility of your restaurant’s details. Below are the main components of a restaurant business plan.

  • Executive Summary
  • Company Overview and Description
  • Market Analysis (target market, location analysis, competitive analysis)
  • Business Offerings
  • Management
  • Marketing and Public Relations Strategies
  • Financial Projection (investment plan, projected profit and loss statement, break-even analysis, expected cash flow)

FINDING THE RIGHT LOCATION IS KEY

When choosing a location for your new restaurant, the following features are among the most important:

  • Visibility and accessibility. Select a spot that can be seen by those driving or walking by. You should also look for an area that gets plenty of passersby on foot or in cars. In addition, consider if there is parking and ease of access by foot or car.
  • The demographics. Ensure the target market of your restaurant matches the demographics of the area.
  • Labor costs and minimum wage. It’s important to ensure that the labor costs of an area don’t cut into your profits. You will also want to have an idea of what employees might expect to make based on the location.
  • The competition of the area. Some nearby competition can help with marketing. But it’s wise to have enough of a distance that you can still guarantee a solid pool of customers who won’t be easily drawn to another similar place.

OBTAINING THE CORRECT RESTAURANT LICENSES AND PERMITS

To open a new restaurant, you’ll need to obtain several federal, state, and local permits and licenses. It can be worthwhile to have legal counsel when filing for restaurant permits and licenses to make sure you complete every necessary step.

Depending on your concept and the city or state where you open your restaurant, the necessary licenses and permits you’ll need — and the costs to acquire them — will be different. Some licenses are required for every restaurant (i.e. business licenses), while others depend on your restaurant concept (i.e. liquor licenses).

Here are some other licenses and permits you’ll most likely need:

  • Employee identification number
  • Certificate of occupancy
  • Sign permit
  • Food service license

COMING UP WITH YOUR UNIQUE CONCEPT

When starting a restaurant, it’s important to have a clear concept and brand. Your restaurant concept includes the service style of your restaurant, the food you serve, and the ambiance of your restaurant. This goes hand-in-hand with your brand, which forms your restaurant’s identity, personality, and mission. Your brand is the intangible force behind your restaurant concept, and your restaurant concept is kind of like your brand in action.

Think about what you want your establishment to be known for? Is it fresh local meat and produce or is it authentic Italian cuisine? Find your niche and own it.

INVESTING IN RESTAURANT TECHNOLOGY

The days of hand writing customer orders is old, inefficient and leaves lots of room for error.

Most restaurant guests are expecting technology when they come to your establishment. They want, quick , easy and painless service.

To be successful, you’ll need a modern and reliable POS system that can offer pay-at-the-table devices, online ordering, inventory management, guest feedback options, and much more. It will only help you run your business much more efficiently.

CREATING YOUR STELLAR MENU ITEMS

Before you open your restaurant, you’ll want to establish some basic food items that your menu will feature. Deciding what will be on your menu is important when figuring out the equipment you need, the staff you will hire, and the crowd you hope to draw.

Try testing your menu ideas and approach building your menu like an experiment. Consider having a dinner party featuring your proposed menu where you ask people for their honest feedback.

Then comes the not so exciting part, you’ll need to price your menu. This is where cost of goods sold, food cost, sales forecasting, inventory, profit margins, and other restaurant metrics come into play.

HIRING THE RIGHT STAFF

One major step of opening a restaurant is hiring staff to carry out the operation of your restaurant every day. Consider all roles that need to be filled at your particular restaurant before hiring staff. This may include human resources management and supervisors, food and beverage purchasing, receiving and storing products, food preparation, foodservice, food cleaning and dishwashing, marketing and sales, public relations, accounting and auditing, and bar services.

For both front- and back-of-house staff, look for candidates with prior experience and a supreme ability to multitask and to work quickly and efficiently. All employees should work well with others and be able to stay calm under pressure. Front-of-house staff in particular should exude exceptional social skills.

Though the list will vary based on the unique needs of your restaurant business, there are a few fundamental positions you will likely need to fill when opening your restaurant:

  • Executive chef
  • General manager
  • Sous chef
  • Prep cooks
  • Servers
  • Bartenders
  • Hosts
  • Food runners and bussers
  • Dishwasher

BUILDING A STRONG MARKETING PLAN

Starting a restaurant is serious business in the competitive market. You need a strong marketing plan to help you bring in and engage with your customers.  Everything from your opening day initiative to your weekly specials should be included. Don’t forget how important your restaurant’s digital presence is with a carefully designed website, and a social media and email marketing plan you will for sure catch the eye of future guests.

When writing out your marketing plan you should always remember it’s definitely not a one-size-fits-all when it comes to marketing your business. It should be personalized to your restaurant and your concept.

There’s nothing better than running a restaurant. You get to create an atmosphere and cuisine that people will love, but it comes with a lot of hard work. Start planning today with our helpful tips!

Like our stories or want to hear more? Drop us a line @ Blogpointos@gmail.com.

See you next week!

Your devoted hostess,

Brittany

7 restaurant metrics to measure the success of your business

Running a restaurant isn’t easy, and requires a lot of work starting in the kitchen, to the office, and out on the dining floor. However, it doesn’t end there. Math is a key element in the success of your business.

There are several restaurant metrics you need to measure to ensure your restaurant is running profitably. By calculating these metrics, you as a  restaurant owner can identify the performance of your restaurant and also determine the areas that require any improvements.

Success is created overnight. It requires thoughtful planning, hard work and execution. The below restaurant metrics will make your job easier and help you determine your areas of concern. In a nut shell all your costs combined effect the net profit of your business; you cannot expect to make one change and  see a significant difference.  This is why you need to look at your business as a whole and  keep a track of all the metrics to run a more profitable restaurant business.

1. COST OF GOODS SOLD (CoGS)

Cost of Goods Sold is the cost required to make each item on your restaurant’s menu. It also represents the total amount you need to spend on the inventory to acquire the raw material required for cooking over a period of time. It helps you determine if the menu items are priced correctly or if the food cost is high.

How to calculate the Cost of Goods Sold

For accurate COGs, calculate them on a weekly basis – same time, same day. Here are the numbers you need for COGs restaurant metrics:

Beginning Inventory: This is the value of inventory you have in your physical location on the designated day/time you do the COGs calculation.

Purchases: What you bought throughout the week from your distributor.

Ending Inventory: The total amount of inventory remaining at week’s end.

This formula will help you calculate the Cost of Goods Sold

CoGS = (Beginning inventory of F&B) + (Purchases) – (Ending inventory)

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Technology can streamline the time-consuming process of taking inventory. Make sure your restaurant is using a modern POS system to make your inventory tracking more accurate.

2. LABOR COST PERCENTAGE

The Labor Cost Percentage is the percentage of the revenue that pays for the restaurant labor. It is the second prime expense for a restaurant business after the food cost. In order to yield more profits, this labor cost percentage should be low.

How to calculate the Labor Cost Percentage

Calculate the labor cost percentage of your restaurant using this formula

Labor Cost Percentage = Labor / sales

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Use software that integrates with your digital POS to post staff schedules – as 1 in 3 restaurant and bar owners are doing today according to the National Restaurant Association. Labor softwares claim users spend 80% less time scheduling staff and see reduced labor costs of up to 3%.

3. PRIME COST %

The Prime Cost is the total sum of your labor costs and the cost of goods sold(CoGS), including the food and liquor cost. It represents the restaurant’s largest expenses, it affects your entire operations including how you price the menu, create your budget and set the goals for your restaurant.

Knowing – and then optimizing – your prime cost ensures your restaurant is a profitable enterprise. Prime cost is a percentage that shows how much of your total monthly sales are dedicated to covering variable expenses…and how much is left over for your gross profit.

How to calculate the Prime Cost Percentage

Use this formula to calculate the Prime Cost & Prime cost % of your restaurant

Step 1. Prime Cost = CoGS + Total labor cost

Step 2. Prime Cost /Total monthly sales= Prime cost %

Remember prime cost ignores your fixed costs (rent, utilities, and other restaurant metrics that don’t change much). Instead, prime cost focuses on the two biggest variables you can control to become more profitable: labor and COGs.

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Work backwards with your restaurant metrics- If you know the net income you want to achieve each month, and your fixed costs are set, you can work on lowering prime costs to increase gross profits – and meet your goal.

4. BREAK-EVEN POINT

The break-even point is one of the most essential restaurant metrics to calculate. It helps you determine how your sales should be performing to earn back what you have invested. You can use this number to forecast how long will it take for you to earn back what you have invested in your restaurant business. It is also a crucial number if you are looking for investors.

How to calculate the Break-even Point

Break-even analysis can be challenging for restaurants: You’re measuring today’s business performance with tools and information based on historical accounting data from the past.

Your break-even point helps you understand how many people — based on a determined average price point per guest — your restaurant needs to serve in order for the business to make money. To do this, it’s important to conduct accurate cost accounting; it’s also important for your point of sale (POS) sales reporting to deliver accurate data on guest averages.

Break-even analysis also focuses on making sense of your fixed and variable costs. Here’s a breakdown of the two.

Fixed costs: These fixed costs are bills that don’t fluctuate from month to month. Fixed costs are things like rent, utilities, and payroll.

Variable costs: These are things like food and drinks, cleaning supplies, labor, credit card processing fees. They are costs that can fluctuate from month to month

Break-even Point = Total fixed cost / (total sales– total variable costs)/total sales

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Be sure to revisit your break even point analysis frequently when you have real data to review.

5. FOOD COST PERCENTAGE

It is the difference between the cost of creating a specific item on the menu and the selling price of the food item. This restaurant metrics is important because you have to have an idea about how much you are selling a particular item for and if it is profitable for your restaurant business or not.

The food cost formula is one of the simplest restaurant metrics to run. That’s good news since it’s critical for determining profitability.

Basically, food cost percentage is the percentage of your total sales that are spent on the actual food or drinks. What’s left over is your gross profit. We’ll be referring to food cost in this section, but it works for beverages, too.

Again, the goal is to lower your food cost percentage so you have more profits. But what’s a good food cost percentage?

Ideal Food Cost Percentage: 25%-35%

How to calculate the Food Cost Percentage

Here’s the formula to calculate your Food Cost Percentage

Food Cost Percentage = Item Cost / Selling Price

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Don’t forget “extras” when calculating your COGs in these restaurant metrics. It could be the paper wrapping around a burger or garnish.

6. PROFIT MARGIN AND RATES

There are two major profit margins and rates to look at. These are gross profit and net income. Though the two are commonly mixed up, they are technically separate accounting concepts. Gross profit margin indicates the revenues you earn, net of cost of goods sold. This total equals the money that’s used to pay down operational and fixed expenses.

Gross profit does not account for wages, rent, heat, utilities, etc. Those expenses are instead accounted for as part of net income. The net income rate reflects the percentage of total revenue that is truly left over when all costs are accounted for.

How to calculate the Gross Profit Margin

Calculate your restaurant’s Gross Profit Margin using this formula

Gross Profit = (Total sales-COGS)

Gross Profit Rate = (total sales-COGS)/Total Revenue *100

Net Income = (Total sales-Total costs)

Net Income Rate =(total sales-Total Costs)/Total Revenue *100

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To improve your restaurant profit margin you need to either increase sales volume relative to your expenses or decrease expenses relative to your sales volume.

7. INVENTORY TURNOVER RATION (ITR)

The Inventory turnover ratio is an important restaurant metric that refers to the number of times your restaurant has sold out its total inventory during a period of time. This number prevents you from overstocking or under stocking your inventory and also keeps a tab on how often you use your entire inventory.

How to calculate ITR

This is how you can calculate your restaurant’s inventory turnover ratio

Inventory Turnover Ratio = [CoGS / (Beginning inventory + Ending inventory) / 2]

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You also want to avoid selling out of goods, as this might upset customers and cost you revenue. By studying your ITR, you can optimize your inventory to reach a happy medium.

By constantly monitoring your key performance metrics, you can adapt your strategy and operations quickly and effectively. Running a successful restaurant is hard work, and finance is just one small part of it.

Like our stories or want to hear more? Drop us a line @ Blogpointos@gmail.com.

See you next week!

Your devoted hostess,

Brittany

Point of sale and reservations integrations can streamline business in your restaurant

Integrating your POS system with a reservation app doesn’t just make sense, it makes you cents. An integrated restaurant reservation system allows you to keep on top of your bookings and waitlist, all from your POS terminal. There is no point taking all this information down in a reservations book where it is impossible to search, no sales are linked, and customer details are sketchy at best. Integrating your reservation system streamlines both your and your customers’ experience. Their booking is sent directly to your POS system, meaning neither of you are tied up on the phone.

Today’s reservation software can do a lot to help streamline the experience for your guests like the following:

24/7 access to making a reservation: Reservation websites allow customers to book a table whenever they get a craving, even when your restaurant is closed. So you won’t miss out on any bookings.

Changing of reservation details: Without having to phone your establishment a guest can cancel a reservation or change the time in just a few clicks.

Less time spent on the phone: Unless your restaurant calls to confirm reservations, there is no time wasted on phone calls back and forth with the guest. In fact, some software will send automated text messages to remind your guests about there bookings and ask if they want to cancel or keep it.

Less room for communication errors: As long as the guest provides the right information, there is less room for error and you’ll receive accurate information every time.

Did you know if can also help your team better serve your guests too? See three ways below:

1. Enhance Guest Experience

Some reservation apps are super basic, but others allow your staff to view guest names , dietary preferences, and reservation notes making an experience extra special.

2. Streamline services

Now that your guests have arrived an integration  allows for a streamlined process from the moment the party is seated to the second the bill is paid.  From seating to payment and everything between. With the linking to your POS everyone can track the dining experience so you know when the table will turn and be ready for its next paying customers.

With automatic updates sent between the POS, rather than the servers and hosts, staff will be able to focus on guests and cut down on confusing communication during a busy shift.

3. Be prepared

All staff members can access information that can help you better prepare for every shift with enhanced guest insights that are recorded right in your POS terminals. By checking in on the profiles of guests that have reservations at your restaurant, your team will be able to adjust inventory levels accordingly. You’ll be thankful for the extra bottles of champagne you have on hand when that 50th birthday brunch party shows up.

Integrating your POS system with your reservation system saves you time and money, and improves your customers’ experience.

Like our stories or want to hear more? Drop us a line @ Blogpointos@gmail.com.

See you next week!

Your devoted hostess,

Brittany

10 FAQ’s about restaurant point of sale systems

Point of sale systems (POS) have been streamlining  customer purchases since the 70’s.  With the advancements in digital technology the software’s multi-tasking abilities have continued increased.  The right POS will organize information, manages inventory, generate reports, record and analyze sales and transaction data, will merges with accounting software and integrate with third party providers for online ordering, delivery services etc.

We’ve put together 10 of the most frequently asked questions we get asked.

What is POS (Point of Sale)?

POS is short for  Point of Sale, which really is short for capturing data at the point of where a sale is made. The term came about as evolving computer hardware and software made it possible to capture the sale information at the time the sale was made.

Why should I use POS Software?

A POS system is software package that is frequently packaged with an accompanying compatible hardware package used to organize and operate your business. So with the high volume of cash and credit cards that pass through a restaurant each day make a POS system a necessity. Not only does a POS system track every penny of your sales, many POS programs also act as credit card processors. This makes swiping credit cards more secure for both the customer and the business. Overall the software links your customer service, inventory, accounting, payroll and other departments within one program, which helps centralize your business tasks. When you use a POS you are saving time and managing your business operations more efficiently.

Additionally It can also improve the customer experience with efficient sales programming, reduce waste with automated inventory reconciliation and expiration and ordering alerts, and prevent theft.

What is a locally-based POS system?

A locally-based point of sale (POS) solution means the POS system runs from a self-contained software program installed on one or more onsite POS terminals (PC’s). The POS application does not require an always on Internet connection but Internet access would be required for credit card processing.

Usually this requires an up front software purchases, and can be a bit more costly.

What is a cloud-based POS system?

Cloud-based POS systems process and store sales data online as opposed to locally on your computer or on-premise server. The frontend POS interface is made for use on internet-enabled devices including tablets, smartphones and touchscreen monitors, while the backend can be accessed through any web browser.

Cloud-based POS systems are sometimes referred to as POS applications (apps) instead of software, since they are often used on mobile devices.

Cloud POS is usually subscription based, don’t require long term contracts and you pay a per device fee. Overall it’s more flexible.

How is my POS system connected to my credit card processor?

Most restaurant POS (point of sale) systems utilize an Internet connection to transmit the credit card transaction data from your POS system to the credit card processor for authorization and settlement purposes. Your POS system connects directly to a credit card processor or could require a third party interface to process credit card transactions. An always on Internet connection is required for most POS systems.

Can I transfer my data on a current POS to a new POS software system?

If the current software can export customer and inventory details, it is possible to transfer the data into your new system, but each case would need to be evaluated individually.

Is it possible to operate the POS software from a home computer?

Yes, you don’t need to always purchase the devices you can easily upload the software onto your computer.

Can a point of sale system help me make more money?

When used right a point of sale can help you cut costs and increase profits. Here’s how:

1. Reduce costly manual errors and fraud
2. Identify top and bottom sellers
3. Track your gross profit
4. Faster checkout means shorter queues and more sales in less time

Is my business too small to warrant or benefit from a point of sale?

All businesses who sell a product or service can benefit from a point of sale as long as you find one that fits your needs and budget (if your point of sale costs you more than you earn, then it is obviously not a great idea.) For a small business being run by one person, it’s often even more important to save yourself time so you can focus on growth. There is a system to suit everyone.

Is it essential to have a point of sale system that can integrate with other systems?

Absolutely. Having an integrated system is a huge time-saver and will dramatically reduce the number of errors and potential for fraud.

Like our stories or want to hear more? Drop us a line @ Blogpointos@gmail.com.

See you next week!

Your devoted hostess,

Brittany

7 ways to bring tourists into your restaurant

Summer is in full swing, the weather is warm the kids are out of school and if your restaurant is located in a tourist destination you could be cashing in.

The U.S Travel Association tells us that travelers spend over $267.7 billion annually on eating out while traveling. Whether you are a fast-casual, specialty kiosk or fine dining establishment you can make more income when catering to tourists.

Below are 7 ways to get tourists in your doors.

1.GO LOCAL

Most tourists want to get the local experience when they go on vacation or travel. After all, tourists could have stayed home and eaten and done the same things for a lot lesser of a price. A good tourist does their research beforehand, and they want to see what type of reputation you have. If you serve the same burgers and fries that they could get down the street from their home it could turn them off. If you’re located in Italy, you serve Italian food, and most of your tourist population is from the U.S. it will give your restaurant a “local vibe” your customers are looking for. Your reputation locally and on the global level is crucial for the success of your restaurant.

2.GET ON THE LOCAL CONCIERGE LISTS

Hotel concierges give hotel guests recommendations on where to go. As a local restaurant, you should try and befriend local concierges so you are the favorite on their list. Go in introduce yourself to the concierge, and invite them to visit your restaurant. You can give the concierges something to hand out to the guest like discounts or a free side item. Then you can add up all of your referrals when customers bring in your offers, and reward the concierges for their referrals. A good concierge wants to have many offerings for a variety of guests’ different preferences so adding another option for them is a win-win.

3.GET ON THE TRAVEL SITES

Set up accounts on popular websites such as Google, TripAdvisor, Zagat, and Yelp. These sites are a great source of information for travelers.  Be sure that your website is optimized for mobile devices as tourists are more likely to be on mobile devices. It is also important to monitor and respond promptly to reviews as many travelers may have limited information about your restaurant available when deciding where to dine.

4.UP YOUR GAME ON CURB APPEAL

 A clean, well maintained storefront can really increase the number of drop-ins during high traffic times. Displaying menus and specials on your windows or a sandwich board can sway potential customers away from competitors and into your place by giving them confidence of what to expect in advance.

5.HIRE LOCAL STAFF

You want to have employees who know and are familiar with the local area. Tourists like to ask and get advice on special places to go. Most tourists know that the internet is not 100% accurate. What better way to get confirmation on different places then to talk to someone who has experienced it themselves. If you have employees that aren’t as familiar with the area, your restaurant doesn’t give the appeal of being local. Yes, you can go to a chain restaurant and speak to someone who lives in the area, but it’s better presentation if your one of a kind with knowledgeable employee.

6.GET FEEDBACK & REVIEWS
People want to eat at the best places when they travel. They don’t want to waste their time or money on something that failed to add to their overall travel experience. Did you know Google only shows restaurants with a 4+star rating for the search, best food + city? Whether they are local or not, you should constantly be asking your customers feedback. Your restaurant was not born perfect, and it never will be perfect. You should always be listening to your customers’ wants and needs so your restaurant is always performing at the top of its abilities.

4. DO IT DIFFERENTLY
Whether you’re the only restaurant in town that offers Korean and African fusion or your interior is out of a story book, it’s important that you set yourself apart from the competition. Tourists want to visit places that create memories, and something they can tell their friends about when they get home. Would you tell your friend that you ordered Papa Johns while you visited the beach? Or would you tell that you went to a restaurant that had unforgettable ocean views? Whatever you decide to make your restaurant different, make sure you promote it., and customers will do the same.

There isn’t one secret that will bring in all the tourists. The key is to play with what works for your restaurant. Be sure you get feedback from customers to find out what works. Remember to ask them where they heard about your restaurant so that you can begin to hone in on the right channels moving forward.

Like our stories or want to hear more? Drop us a line @ Blogpointos@gmail.com.

See you next week!

Your devoted hostess,

Brittany

How to optimize your facebook and instagram to attract more customers

You should know by now how important social media is for your business.  It used to be impolite to have your phone on the table at dinner, but if your customers haven’t taken photos, shared them & tagged you were they even there? Does your restaurant have any validity? Its proven that nearly 70% of millennials take photos or videos of there food/beverages before chowing. Now remember millennials make up over 50 mil in population and are spending nearly $3 trillion annually. So to not target them in your marketing strategy is plain stupid.

So whats “instagrammable” to them? From the moment they walk in your establishment every detail matters from interior design, to decor and food plates to beverage presentations everything needs to be “sharable”.

We’ve broken it down into five key elements to remember when optimizing your social media to generate more foot traffic as per the below:

1. Key info must be easy to fine

2. Select the right photos

3. Use brand and non-branded #hastags

4. Include customer reviews

KEY INFO MUST BE EASY TO FIND

First things first, you need to encourage the people who discover you on Facebook and Instagram to book online so you need to make it as easy as possible for them.

Think about what your customers need to know-your address, contact number, menu, price, website and hours of operation and add this to your about section on your facebook business page.

BE SELECTIVE WITH YOUR PHOTO CHOICES

One of the most effective ways to promote and market your restaurant on social media is by sharing lots of food photos. Let your food take centerstage! Regardless of the platform you’re using — Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Yelp, Google, whatever — be sure to develop a plan around regularly uploading high-quality, mouth-watering shots of your menu items.Visuals are everything, people look at images of food and either want to eat it, or never want to touch it. So your photography matters, make the right choices when shooting your images.

1.  Shoot in natural light

Lighting is the key to taking beautiful photos. Whenever possible, try to shoot photos for your social media channels in natural daylight rather than using artificial lighting.

2. Have fun with colors

Colours draw attention to the eye, they are pretty and when combined together make a huge impact on a picture’s look and feel.

3. Present your food pristinely & creatively

Make sure your food presentation is in order that dishes aren’t messy (unless that’s your restaurant’s thing) and that there are no spills or stains. This image is a representation of your establishment so make sure it looks the part.

4. Style the image with other elements

You can use almost anything as a prop. We suggest using cutlery, utensils, tablecloths, herbs, and spices, or the ingredients you used to prepare the dish.

5. Add a human touch

Something as small as including the human element to your photos will add the illusion of movement to an otherwise static shot.

6. Edit before publishing

Definitely edit your photos before publishing. You can move your photos into Adobe Lightroom, create your own unique image filter and apply it to all your photos.

USAGE OF BRANDED AND NON-BRANDED #HASHTAGS

Hashtags can be #confusing. When do you use them? #What’s #the #wrong #way #to #use #them? How can you generate a larger following by using a simple #poundsign? How will effectively using hashtags fill more seats in your restaurant?

There are over 200 million shared posts on facebook and there are 347 million posts on Instagram with the #food . A hashtag like #food is what is known as a non-branded hashtag since it is general and not specific to your business.

When you want to have a hashtag unique to your establishment this is called a  branded hashtag.  It will be used by your restaurant, or people dining at your restaurant. For example    It’s used specifically by your establishment, or by people in relation to your establishment. An example of this is #YourRestaurantName or even your restaurant slogan like McDonalds #imlovinit.

Remeber using your restaurant’s unique hashtag on every post – even in the caption box – is encouraged. Just ensure that it is indeed unique, and that it isn’t being used by a subsequent restaurant or company. You can check this by simply searching the hashtag before you start using it. Having a hashtag unique to your own business ensures your restaurant won’t be confused with another, and that social-savvy patrons can also add it to their pictures when they post about their dining experience.

Make sure to geotag

Geotags are information embedded in images that reveals where the photos were taken. You can turn off this functionality on your smart phone camera, but in this case, it pays to turn on this feature. This allows Instagram users searching in your area to find your restaurant. It also allows you to take advantage of user generated content (UGC) when they post photos of your restaurant.

FEATURE CUSTOMER REVIEWS

Here’s an easy one: repost your positive reviews! This will act as a testimonial to new customers, and reminds your existing following to stop by for their favorite dish. This is the most powerful way to turn your happy customers into brand ambassadors by sharing their reviews and experiences on social media. Not only do you get to publicly show appreciation for the people that matter most to your restaurant; you also create the kind of social proof essential to driving in new customers.

And there you have it: 4 tips for optimizing social media to get more customers to your restaurant. From your food photography to leveraging with hashtags, geotags, customer reviews, and user-generated content, you won’t miss a beat.

Like our stories or want to hear more? Drop us a line @ Blogpointos@gmail.com.

See you next week!

Your devoted hostess,

Brittany

How restaurant delivery service will increase revenue

Convenience is key for today’s consumers. As online food delivery and mobile ordering apps reshape consumer expectations for speed and convenience, operators have to keep pace with these demands or watch their sales drop.

The world we live in today is fast -paced and driven by technology.  Consumers want to be able to click a button, and satisfy their cravings with out having to leave home. Food delivery continues to be a popular meal solution for diners—but it’s moving beyond the days of just ordering a pizza. While restaurant sales are expected to grow at a 5.9% CAGR over the next five years, delivery and takeout will grow at a 21.7% CAGR.  The online orders’ share of restaurant sales will likely double over this time period, from 2.5% in 2017 to 4.9% in 2022.  So if you’re not capitalizing on the delivery trend, you could be missing out.

Here are three ways that offering delivery can increase your restaurant revenue.

1. Convenience is everything

Customers are able to order breakfast, lunch, dinner and everything in between with just a few clicks. Even though restaurant sales from foot traffic have plateaued, restaurant delivery sales continue to grow, increasing by 20% over the last five years according to industry research firm NPD group.

Consumers are seeking goods and services that are easily accessible. Even if you already offer delivery think about expanding delivery zones. For example, Domino’s now delivers to public spaces like parks and beaches, further capitalizing on the demand for convenient food delivery wherever customers are located.

2. Broaden your customer reach

The restaurant industry is a competitive market to get into.  When competing head to head with  a similar business, if their restaurant offers delivery they are already ahead as they are able to service more customers.

Millennials are at the top of the list when it comes to who uses restaurant delivery services the most. This generation is over 50 million strong with a spend of $3 trillion annually, so attracting them is worth it for your business.   Investing in delivery services could just be the trick you need to cash in on millennial spending.

3. Higher spend on online orders

Your restaurant should offer online ordering if your going to go ahead and offer delivery. No one wants to phone and sit on hold , plus your order can get messed up if heard in correctly. Offering online ordering just streamlines processes for your staff, and it’s easier to persuade customers to order more. Up selling and cross selling can be built into the platform, automatically making suggestions for food pairings, toppings, etc. In addition, with the ability to include attractive photos, descriptions and targeted promotions, the opportunities to entice customers to buy are endless. According to Nation’s Restaurant News, every order made through the mobile app is about $4 more compared to the orders made in a restaurant.

Remember this is all about convenience is everything for this market. People will happily pay a higher fee to have there food arrive quicker, and without having to leave where they are. As a restaurant owner, you want to make it as easy as possible for customers to order time and time again. Small businesses may need some help to get delivery services off the ground, but a software solution that seamlessly integrates with your point of sale system can make it easy. Stayed tuned to PointOS as they can be your solution provider for more  on launching delivery — and a new revenue stream.

Like our stories or want to hear more? Drop us a line @ Blogpointos@gmail.com.

See you next week!

Your devoted hostess,

Brittany

Getting ready for the 4th of July in your restaurant? Well check this out for some ideas

The 4th of a July is a national holiday and is the time to celebrate freedom & independence in the USA, also known as America’s Birthday.  The cool thing about freedom is it means that you can offer whatever you want to your customers to show your patriotism. Which mean it is another great opportunity for you to capitalize on additional income with the promotion of your restaurant.

Data shows that over 40million Americans will be out celebrating, so we’ve put together some of the coolest ideas to get foot traffic into your restaurant.

LOCATION IS EVERYTHING

1. Place a grill in front of your restaurant

If your restaurant is located in a busy street where will be holiday parade organized it would be stupid to not  set up a small mobile grill to attract the people passing by. Install your grill even a week before the celebration. You can set up it on restaurant parking or in front of your restaurant. Make sure that you are not breaking the law, so check with your local authorities if you need a license to operate in this manner.

2. Take advantage of your view

Does your restaurant have a patio where you can watch the fireworks? If so capitalize on your premium location by upping the ante on your celebration. Host a fun barbecue where all reservations are guaranteed a seat on the patio for the big show.

So remember to make sure you open your doors for great fun while capitalizing on extra profits with those 4th of July restaurant promotions ideas!

3. Get involved in the 4th of July parade

If your unable to host an event be sure to participate in some festivities by joining in on the local 4th of July parade. Even if your restaurant isn’t located near where it’s taking place you can set up a mobile food stall, or drinks cart. Just make sure you talk to your local Chamber of Commerce to find out more about logistics.

RESTAURANT & BAR  MENU SPECIALS

1. Beverages

Patriotic drinks are a must when it comes to 4th of July drink ideas. Jello shots are a must as they can easily take shapes of stars and come in the right colors of red white and blue. Not into gelatin? You can serve frozen drinks in color, or just serve them in red white or blue cups. 

1. Food

When it comes to food on the 4th don’t over think it. Simple is best, go for anything grilled from burgers and hot dogs, to chicken or pork. If it can be made on the grill chances are it will be a hit. Remember this is a family holiday so make sure you cater for the little ones.

DECORATE IN RED WHITE & BLUE

Catch the eyes of celebrators with Fourth of July décor outside your restaurant.  Set out pots of red flowers in blue pots, hang patriotic bunting, set out buckets of small flags, hang large flags.

HOST AN EVENT

People are looking for a good time to celebrate the birth of this great country and all it has to offer. Bring in live entertainment or have a food-eating contest. Feature one of your special items or America’s most popular apple pie and encourage the crowds to gather and cheer on their favorite contender.

FREE, FREE & FREE-DOM

When you give things for free, you will definitely draw in the crowds.  Special discounts will always be popular, but in addition to these you can offer free small flags to customers, or a box of sparklers with every take out or delivery order. A free entry cocktail or jello shot will also do- to those who are legal.

PROMOTE

Most importantly you need to make sure your restaurant is making it very clear that they will be open for Independence Day.  Be sure to promote it across all of your social media channels. Creating July 4th themed flyers is a fun way to get the word out. You can also use the restaurant reservation website to which your POS integrates with to promote Fourth of July themed specials. Don’t forget about newsletters, or even placing online ads. Be sure to include the specials you will be offering in your promotion.

Don’t forget to make sure to take lots of pictures to use in promoting real-time—people will tag themselves in your Facebook albums—and in promotions for next year’s event.

You get the idea. Let us know if you have any other ideas to throw in the mix.

Like our stories or want to hear more? Drop us a line @ Blogpointos@gmail.com.

See you next week!

Your devoted hostess,

Brittany

5 ways to incorporate the craft beer trend in your restaurant

Are you aware that beer is the most popular alcoholic beverage in the United States? With that many people drinking beer, it’s important for your restaurant to keep up with the latest industry trends.

Beer is the new wine, with more selections and breweries available then ever before beer has surpassed being just something to chug on game day. With the craft beer market on the rise the beer drinker is becoming more sophisticated and trendy so you better have your restaurant take advantage of this.

Below you will find the best ways to leverage this trend with your restaurant.

Carefully Select Your Beer List

The craft beer trend is overpopulated with too many options on the market today. A real beer enthusiast will appreciate an eatery with a smaller, more carefully selected beer menu. A collection of small-batch standards with a rotation of seasonal favorites will go a lot further to win over beer lovers than a list that’s overwhelmingly long.

Keep it Local

Local is everything right now, so why would it be any different for beer? Check your local market first, before partnering with distant breweries. Providing a selection of local brews will help to bring more customers interested in experiencing your town or city and whats on offer leaving a tasteful impact. With competition heating up in the craft beer market, breweries may be more than happy to secure an exclusive distribution channel at your eatery.

Mix it up with Seasonal Selections

Knowing what to carry during the seasonal months is key. We suggest you feature a handful of seasonal beers that you rotate throughout the year. For the cold winter nights choose dark beers or lagers and for those hot summer days think lighter straw gold colour beers with fruity flavors, like IPAs, or more Belgium/German wheat beers. There’s nothing better than a cold beer on a hot day!

Curate a Tasting Menu

With more and more flavors and varieties to choose from, sometimes it’s hard to try everything—unless you’re willing to suffer for it the next day. That’s the thinking behind beer flights, a sort of wine tasting for the beer-drinking crowd. Create a flight menu featuring a smaller pour of some of your most popular beers, and include a selection of appetizers to match each flavor profile. Some food experts have even suggested that beer makes a better pairing for cheese than wine, so a well-curated cheese plate might be a real winner here.

Keep up with the bestsellers

There’s one reliable way to keep tabs on your customers’ beer tastes- just track the data. With a modern POS System like PointOS, you can track beer sales over time to see which beers customers like best. Leverage these sales reports to see what is working and whats not. The customer says it all, so they don’t like it, move it off the shelf.

Like our stories or want to hear more? Drop us a line @ Blogpointos@gmail.com.

See you next week!

Your devoted hostess,

Brittany

Why your restaurant’s POS should integrate with labor scheduling tools

The point-of-sale system at your restaurant is the nucleus of your business. When POS systems first started they were solely used to take orders, and take payments, but today your POS can integrate with various apps, offering so much more that can enable your business to run smoother and more efficiently.

Integrating with a labor tools app on your POS allows you to communicate with your staff on scheduling the way they want to hear from you most, via their mobile phone.  It will help reduce a managers time creating, communicating and managing the work schedules of all employees. Thus creating more time for your manager to spend elsewhere in the business.

Today we look at the benefits of the integration with a labor tools app.

STREAMLINE STAFF COMMUNICATION WITH MOBILE

Easily enhance your employee communication with mobile messaging features. Managers can quickly approve shift swops and requests from anywhere and send out all-staff announcements via email, text, and push notification.

CREATE SCHEDULES FASTER ONLINE

Online work scheduling apps help you create work schedules quicker, and reduces scheduling errors all with the touch of a button right from your hand held device.

You can build custom shift templates and create schedules with one-click , publish, and then instantly send your employees. All staff requests and shift swops are available instantly.

CONTROL OVER STAFF SHIFTS AND LABOR COSTS

Thorough reporting will help owners and managers gage sales and labor budgets. When scheduling  staff you will receive overtime alerts if someone is projected to hit overtime and how much it’s going to cost you. You can use your POS sales and labor data to help accurately predict future schedules.

POS INTEGRATION

With real-time sales and labor data plotted directly into your schedules you can build schedules that are linked directly to your labor targets. Employees can also only clock in when they are scheduled to work reducing time clock theft.

So, in conclusion there is no more last-minute calls to the store and no more hard-to-manage spreadsheets. All your scheduling can be done quickly and effectively when integrating with a labor tool app.

Like our stories or want to hear more? Drop us a line @ Blogpointos@gmail.com.

See you next week!

Your devoted hostess,

Brittany