All posts in restaurants

How to Raise Your Check Average Using Menu Psychology

Feb16

The mind is a complicated thing. The way people think and take in the world around them has an impact on all areas of life, including the average meal check at your restaurant. If you feel that your checks should or could be higher, the problem may be not in your food or service, but rather with the psychological effect of your menu design.

The design and strategy of your menu creates a strong psychological pull for your diners, drawing them to certain items and steering them away from others. If you understand menu psychology and implement it with your own menu, your average check will start to increase even without any actual changes to the menu choices.

 

Eliminate Dollar Signs

When people see a dollar sign, they almost instinctively hold their wallets a little tighter. Dollar signs remind the diner that they are about to spend money, and this can make people spend less. The brain automatically associates a dollar sign with cost, not gain, and your diners will spend less when they see the symbol. When presented with a menu without dollar signs, however, diners will spend more.

Read more

Restaurant Marketing Trends + Tips [Roundup]

Mar11

3-Alton-Brown-altonbrown

 

10 Chef Blogs You Really Should be Reading (Slideshow)

To be a great chef, your mind needs to be slightly more attuned to the world around you than everyone else’s. For that reason, the skills that make someone a great chef – powers of observation, inquisitiveness, an eye for beauty – are also part of the skill set that can make someone a lively and engaging writer. You might be surprised by how many great chefs and food personalities have blogs that you should be reading.

10 Chef Blogs You Really Should be Reading (Slideshow)To be a great chef, your mind needs to be slightly more attuned to the world around you than everyone else’s. For that reason, the skills that make someone a great chef – powers of observation, inquisitiveness, an eye for beauty – are also part of the skill set that can make someone a lively and engaging writer. You might be surprised by how many great chefs and food personalities have blogs that you should be reading.

Read More…


Read more

3 reasons why a tablet ordering system will ruin your restaurant

Nov17

Introducing a tablet ordering system in a restaurant may seem like a perfect option – it could eliminate communication errors between the guest and the kitchen, reduce time to pay at the end of meals, and give guests the opportunity to learn more about the food and history of the establishment. But nothing is ever as perfect as it seems. Below we have outlined 3 reasons why a tablet ordering system will ruin your restaurant.

1. Cost. There are 3 major costs associated with tablet ordering systems. First, the cost of labor will increase because server tips will decrease. Restaurant operators are responsible for paying employees minimum wage if they are not making the required amount through tips. Second, the initial cost of the tablet computers – training, insurance, and the devices themselves. Third, there must be a reserve of cash for lost, stolen or damaged property. Most restaurants are a haphazard environment, with plates getting dropped, glasses being broken, and salt shakers mysteriously disappearing. Tablets will break, get stolen, or be otherwise damaged and it is important to prepare in advance.

Read more

8 Trending topics for Restaurants in November

Nov14

5 things restaurants need to do now to prepare for the holidays: http://www.businessinsider.com/five-things-you-need-to-do-right-now-to-capture-holiday-sales-2011-10

5 things restaurants need to consider before rebranding http://smartblogs.com/restaurants/2011/08/31/5-things-restaurants-should-consider-before-rebranding/

Yelp’s Star System Serves Up a Tasty Dish: http://dailycrowdsource.com/2011/10/23/community/yelps-star-system-serves-up-a-tasty-dish/

The importance of smart phones in bar/restaurant social media efforts: http://www.thebarblogger.com/the-importance-of-smart-phones-to-your-social-media-efforts/

3 food truck marketing gimmicks that actually work: http://blog.swipelyworks.com/food-truck-marketing/3-food-truck-marketing-gimmicks-that-actually-worked#more-1397

Read more

Getting a bigger slice of the feedback pie [INFOGRAPHIC]

Oct25

If you’ve been in the restaurant industry for an extended period of time, you’ve likely heard of the “secret” or “mystery” shopper. The shopper or shoppers come in and grade a restaurant on everything – from the host’s friendliness, to whether a manager stops by the table, to whether the server is knowledgeable and tells them their name. After their dining experience, the shoppers turn in a form relaying their experiences to the hiring company. The company then processes the information, and sends it to the restaurant, which in turn  reviews the form (which itself can be a long process  down the chain of command from corporate to district managers, to store managers to shift managers) and then contacts the staff member that served the shoppers. This process is drawn out to unnecessary lengths.

A few questions to ponder: Is this timeline acceptable? Is a secret shopper program even worth it, when the majority of experienced servers can pick out a secret shopper within the first 5 minutes of interaction? By the time the feedback returns, does the employee in question even work at the restaurant anymore?

Secret-Shopper-Infographic.jpg

Enter in 4G mobile phone networks, high speed internet, and social media, and the timeline for customer feedback is much shorter. A guest can write a review from the table on Yelp from their phone, or they can be tweeting or updating their Facebook status about everything that is happening. The best part  is that  restaurant managers and staff have an opportunity to correct a potential problem as it occurs, and establish a personal relationship with guests by monitoring these forms of media.

Read more

19 Takeaways from "Brand your business like your favorite restaurant"

Oct21

This past Wednesday, we partnered with the Arizona Technology Council to present a panel of branding experts to discuss building a brand experience like your favorite restaurant. Our panelists included Kate Unger, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Kahala, a franchising company (owners of Cold Stone Creamery and Blimpie brands, along with 12 others); Deborah Topcik, Director of Marketing for Z’Tejas, Inc. which owns and operates 11 restaurants in six markets; and John Banquil, Regional Manager for Ling and Louie’s Asian Bar and Grill. Below, we have have posted 19 takeaways to recap the event.

Cold Stone Creamery is launching with International Delight – ice cream flavored coffee creamer sounds amazing!

Take advantage of product placement opportunities like Cold Stone Creamery did with Ryan Seacrest. Ryan sent out this tweet: On the way to @kimkardashian’s wedding…traffic so bad on the 101 I had to stop at cold stone creamery…coffee lovers in my belly…I will quick change in the car…I always keep a suit in trunk!

“We’re comfortable with our food – we want to make sure our staff is doing the right thing for our brand every time” – John Banquil, Ling and Louie’s Asian Bar and Grill

On social media…

  • “Make it so people can see behind the curtain, give them sneak peeks to upcoming menu items.” – Deborah Topcik, Z’Tejas Southwestern Grill
  • “Social media doesn’t replace people. If a manager sees someone in 4 times in 2 weeks, do something for them! Don’t just rely on check-ins.” – John Banquil, Ling and Louie’s
  • “Someone sits at the bar tweeting, we can respond right away and make them laugh – that’s a personal experience.” – John Banquil, Ling and Louie’s
  • Talking to your staff about promoting via social media is a fine line – you never know what they’re going to say.

Read more

19 Takeaways from "Brand your business like your favorite restaurant"

Oct21

This past Wednesday, we partnered with the Arizona Technology Council to present a panel of branding experts to discuss building a brand experience like your favorite restaurant. Our panelists included Kate Unger, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Kahala, a franchising company (owners of Cold Stone Creamery and Blimpie brands, along with 12 others); Deborah Topcik, Director of Marketing for Z’Tejas, Inc. which owns and operates 11 restaurants in six markets; and John Banquil, Regional Manager for Ling and Louie’s Asian Bar and Grill. Below, we have have posted 19 takeaways to recap the event.

Cold Stone Creamery is launching with International Delight – ice cream flavored coffee creamer sounds amazing!

Take advantage of product placement opportunities like Cold Stone Creamery did with Ryan Seacrest. Ryan sent out this tweet: On the way to @kimkardashian’s wedding…traffic so bad on the 101 I had to stop at cold stone creamery…coffee lovers in my belly…I will quick change in the car…I always keep a suit in trunk!

“We’re comfortable with our food – we want to make sure our staff is doing the right thing for our brand every time” – John Banquil, Ling and Louie’s Asian Bar and Grill

On social media…

  • “Make it so people can see behind the curtain, give them sneak peeks to upcoming menu items.” – Deborah Topcik, Z’Tejas Southwestern Grill
  • “Social media doesn’t replace people. If a manager sees someone in 4 times in 2 weeks, do something for them! Don’t just rely on check-ins.” – John Banquil, Ling and Louie’s
  • “Someone sits at the bar tweeting, we can respond right away and make them laugh – that’s a personal experience.” – John Banquil, Ling and Louie’s
  • Talking to your staff about promoting via social media is a fine line – you never know what they’re going to say.

Read more

5 social media guidelines for Restaurants

Oct19

1. Be polite. No one wants to be the owner/manager/employee who lashes out at an unhappy guest. There are countless examples of letting anger take hold, but the results are always the same: it’s embarrassing, gets bad PR, and can ruin your brand image. The best thing to do when someone has a complaint, but has already left the restaurant, is to take the conversation offline, and privately message them and resolve the situation out of the public eye. If someone is still at the restaurant, approach the guest and see what can be done to rectify the situation.

    2. Respond. It’s very easy to set up a social media account, use it for a while, and then ignore it for long periods of time. The problem with ignoring social media platforms is that guests can still be interacting with an establishment, and feeling like they’re being ignored. This result is the opposite of what social media should be! Try to always respond to check-ins and comments, even if it’s just a quick “thank you!” It’s a small step to lasting relationships with guests.

      Read more

      7 Trending topics for Restaurants in October

      Oct18

      What should your restaurant be blogging about? Here are 6 options: http://blog.swipelyworks.com/restaurant-marketing-ideas/6-things-your-restaurant-should-be-blogging-about

      Having trouble with Twitter etiquette? 5 tips to help you decide what’s right and what’s wrong: http://blog.swipelyworks.com/restaurant-marketing-ideas/5-quick-tips-restaurant-twitter-netiquette

      iPads for ordering becoming more popular at restaurants: http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/food/story/2011-09-20/ipad-restaurant-menu-ordering/50482900/1

      Brand extensions from TV chefs – watches, jewelry lines, cooking supplies, restaurants and more! http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/kitchen-royalty-134887

      Resurrection of classic flavors – Brooklyn Gin from pre-prohibition is back:  http://uncrate.com/stuff/brooklyn-gin/

      Read more

      The Holy Trinity of Restaurant Social Media… and Yelp

      Oct17

      Social media is essential in promoting businesses and engaging with customers and guests. At first glance, social media may seem like a waste of time. Below we’ve outlined the 3 most popular sites for restaurant goers –  Twitter, Facebook, and Foursquare. We’ve also included Yelp, because we’ve noticed that the site is a growing concern for owners and managers of restaurants. Restaurants-and-social-media2

      Twitter:

      What it’s used for: interaction and conversation, real-time taste of consumer attitude, promotion

      Overview: Twitter is a great resource for real-time interaction. Correctly monitoring Twitter results in a better understanding of the marketplace. Twitter allows users to search for topics and see what trending topics are in a specific area. It is a great place to interact with guests and join conversations that relate to the type of food or drinks served. For example, a sushi restaurant might search for #sushi, and find someone that is craving sushi in the area. They can then invite them in, establishing a connection with the guest. Restaurants can also use Twitter to announce and promote specials.

      Foursquare:

      What it’s used for: relationship building, loyalty rewards

      Overview: Guests can use Foursquare to check-in to businesses. Businesses take advantage of this by setting up specials, like free chips and salsa for every check-in or a free drink for the mayor. Restaurants can take advantage of Foursquare by monitoring check-ins and welcoming guests that have checked-in. Making a guest feel welcome and special increases the likelihood of them coming back again and again.

      Facebook:

      What it’s used for: promotion; conversation, photos, events

      Overview: Facebook for business is helpful in promoting specials, posting images, and conversing with guests. One major benefit of Facebook is that restaurants can post things that people can look back on for months, like photos and comments. Facebook also allows users to create events and invite guests who “like” the page.

      Read more

      Sidebar