Are you a skeptic when it comes to YELP? As owners of restaurants, we are. This topic is visceral, real, and even unpleasant. I’m actually conflicted: as a restaurant person, I too can get annoyed by YELP. As a customer, let me admit my truth, I find the app useful at times (more on this below!). We’ve all be burned by customers spouting off what they think. Our response at that moment is to say, “they have no idea what was really going on!” But we all know a response must be formed. I recently had a conversation with a YELP team member, and I’ll share what I learned because it’s useful to the community of owners. I’ll dig into the pros and cons, and then concluded with my takeaway.
Branding for restaurant is, fundamentally, the five senses. I was asked to teach a small class of grad students who are trying to develop their soon-to-be businesses. The professor needed tangible examples of how to build a brand. She asked me to show them how restaurants, and the five senses fit together to form a brand. Fitting those senses together can be incredibly effective, since restaurants have a look and a feel. The interior creates that, and marketing reflects that. What does your guests smell, see, taste, hear and touch when they come into your restaurant. It may seem strange to defer to the five senses to understand what your place is to your guests, but if you take the time to make sure the senses match what you intended your restaurant to be, you will be pleased with the results. When you take an active approach of each sense, you discover that this will help guide your decisions.
Today’s blog is focused on the quality of your food and the product you serve in your restaurant. The best tool to manage change in your restaurant is The Six Pillars of Success. I've discovered that taking a little time to study each pillar helps owners focus. Hopefully it is helpful to you. It'll stop your from getting overwhelmed. With reflection comes improvement. It works for the team and guests. The Six Pillars, briefly, are strategy, financial stability, operations, product, distribution, and customer experience. This blogpost is centered on product.
Technology can support a restaurant, bar or cafe. Find the systems that work well for your three most important technology centers: POS, an accounting system, BOH restaurant management software.
This month I've found myself thinking, "the procedures in the restaurant arn't current!" Restaurants, cafes and breweries are ever changing, and hopefully ever growing. Adding technology is part of those changes. Technology and computerized systems reflect what staff and management need. If a technological solution and system is working, then every day feels less chaotic. More like a train moving down the track. Ultimately if your not making money in your restaurant, chances are there is little to no structure. You're reading this thinking, "Oh, yah, we need to improve!" Here are some solid computerized systems your business needs to stay current.
ACTIVE SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE IS KEY
When you've been in business a while you get those pangs, "I should be posting once a day", "I should know what to say and what to hashtag". Panicking never helps. Deciding a strategy does help. Simply put, you can write down the answers to WHO WHAT WHERE WHEN AND WHY, and you'll be able to decide how to spread it out on a calendar. Here goes, answer these questions for your business.
Marisa Dobson is guest blogger for this month's post on PR. She is the founder & principal of Scintillate, a publicity and marketing consultancy that specializes in food & lifestyle clients. For over ten years, she's worked with professional creatives to turn their passions into passion projects. Visit www.marisadobson.com or follow her on Instagram: @marisa_dobson.
When it comes to restaurant culture, owners, guests and staff want to know, "what's the secret ingredient" in Mama's cooking; or in ramen. Restaurant owners ask specifically for the secret ingredient in the CULTURE of a place”. This is the question I posed of Erin Moran. She is Chief Culture Officer at Union Square Hospitality Group--Danny Meyers' company. We had a short interview on company culture. Here are the nuggets from our conversation.
Communication and the Ideal Millennial Workplace: By the year 2020 millennials will make up 40% of the overall workforce, so it’s wildly important to the future success of your business that you understand how to go about attracting and retaining members of this oft-written of and just as frequently misunderstood demographic. The overriding key to any healthy work environment is good communication, but that can be a broad directive to follow. Here are some factors to consider when envisioning the ideal workplace for today’s entry level employees...
Cashflow, for restaurants in the winter.
Millennials make up the largest segment of today’s labor force, with even higher representation in the food and beverage service industry, which means it’s becoming increasingly important to have a good idea of who we are and what we expect and desire in a workplace. By now I’m sure you’ve grown used to the tired portrayals of a generation entirely composed of lazy, entitled snowflakes, the reality is (would you believe it?) a bit more nuanced than that. Let’s pull apart some common myths and see what the data really has to say about the most written about and puzzled over generation to date.
Understanding and keeping up with your businesses health is, frankly, necessary to your success. It's important to know how various benchmarks for your specific restaurant, cafe or brewery. Prime costs benchmark is 60%. Now, you might be reading this and saying, "Now, remind me, what is prime cost again?" That's why I am writing this blogpost. Here are the four things you need to know, to get out of financial panic, and into financial calm and success.
8 Ideas for you to refresh what stories you are telling. Put those stories in your restaurants' newsletter.
A regular newsletter is your best, most direct contact with your guest in between their visits. A newsletter has one main purpose: now regulars and new guests can keep in touch with your restaurant. That newsletter needs to be written with intention. You are proactively inviting guests to visit.
But what do you tell them? You need to tell them your stories. It takes effort to maintain your monthly newsletter, but your efforts will pay off.
It can all be daunting.
So here's help. I’ve collected some of the formulas you can use to create the type of news your potential and returning customers will want to read. Use them exactly or tweak them to fit your unique restaurant.