A Personalized Restaurant Experience

In the last few decades, a plethora of major industries has seen an influx of revenue. This can be credited to a handful of factors, such as the need to digitalize and the technological innovations that have rendered past methodologies obsolete.

The restaurant industry, like all the other industries, was also subject to this subtle phase shift. For the first time in American history, the restaurant industry was able to overtake several sectors in terms of revenue generated. A study dictated that the former clocked in at $55B, $3B more than what Americans spend on groceries.

Digital Revoution

Generally speaking, no one really saw this coming. Intuition and common sense dictated that the restaurant industry has peaked and won’t be overtaking any major industry shortly. However, by integrating digital models in their marketing, the unprecedented occurred.

Digital marketing and personalized is what makes the experience truly unique for an individual. To bank on this opportunity, it is speculated that some restaurants delegate up to 90% of their budget on digital marketing and similar agendas.

What do the numbers say?

As of yet, there is overwhelming support of the claim above. The current growth rate, just short of exponential, has resulted in a turnover for the industry. Mentioned below are the few statistical increments that have been recorded over a few years.

  • Due to targeted communication and feedback, revenue growth was measured at about 10% to 30%.
  • For 15% of the companies that can digitalize their brand successfully in the next five years, studies dictate that a revenue shift of $800B is possible.
  • By increasing customer retention rate, a testament to digital personalization, restaurants can increase their profit margin from anywhere from 20% to 90%.

None of this should be news to us. The target audiences in this day and age are the same individuals who have been subject to data and algorithms since day 1. No one truly distinguishes one place from another; the only factor that counts now is a personalized digital experience that can truly set everything apart.

A recent study by Accenture found that about 41% of people switch from one brand to another due to a general lack of trust and personalization. This led to a loss of about $756B. Put, the only way to not get left behind is to digitalize your product.

A Case Study

As mentioned above, no one predicted this route for the restaurant industry. In 2017, in an event referred to as the Retail apocalypse¸ 21 retail brands died out due to loss of business.

The culprit was targeted as a lack of digitalization by the brand. Recognizing this fault early on, there were a few businesses that integrated this strategy into their early module.

In the past five years, the brand mentioned above was able to increase its revenue by 20%. The only thing that they did was to digitalize and personalize the user experience. This increased conversion rate and built customer loyalty since their digital user interface were to keep track of and gave users incentive!

Another brand is also on the way to digitization. Though the idea can come off as ludicrous and might be paving the way for automation (as opposed to human labor), it’s still a step forward in the right direction. This brand will focus primarily on an AI-based bartender who will offer users personalized drinks; all operated from a smartphone.

Is this the only way forward?

Even though the mathematics corroborates the embedment of digitalization in successful business strategies, not all brands are eager to make this move just yet.

This is primarily cited to the fact that doing so requires a heavy investment which doesn’t necessarily guarantee a definite return. Things such as real-time data capture, data-drive operations, and unifications might sound good on paper but are quite hard and time-consuming to tackle if you want to stay operative during the procedure.

Likewise, the process also requires expanding into a new line of work. Generally speaking, restaurants need to outsource their digital marketing portfolio to third parties. Given the prevalence of digitalization, this makes the industry quite tricky to deal with. In most cases, it’s a hit or miss. And some people aren’t willing to take that risk just yet.


To accelerate the process, experts often debate on how the Customer Data Platform, often referred to as the CDP, can make the process as mentioned above easier and faster. The general gist that this offers owners is a complete customer profile that they can use to customize and personalize user content.

Using other digital software like restaurant management and reservation systems can also help restaurants push their business forward through digitalization.


6 Ways to Prepare Your Restaurant for the Holiday Seasons

Holiday season is the time when your restaurant can make the most profit as people are in the spirit of spend generously and enjoy their holidays to the fullest in order to make some remarkable memories. You might have wondered why some restaurants are more famous than the others during the holiday seasons? What they are doing to get people line up to dine at their restaurant?

People go out during holiday seasons to shop or to celebrate and most of the time they prefer to dine outside. It is important that restaurant owners create an ambience that suits different holidays to attract customers towards their restaurant.

Following are a few suggestions a restaurant can implement to attract customers in the holiday season and stand out among competitors.

Creating a festive environment!

Different religious and national holidays are spread out in a calendar. Each holiday is significant for either a majority of people or even a minority. If you want to make onlookers interested in your restaurant, you need to create an environment that catches their attention and makes it impossible for them to move on. Also consider using sound and music to set the mood.

For example, as it nears the end of the year, Christmas decorations are a given. But the key is to stay humble while decorating. If your restaurant’s decorations are too extravagant then it can deter potential customers if they don’t celebrate a particular holiday. It is important to remain subtle with your intentions.

Special Menu & Inventions

As a particular holiday or festival nears, dishes that are special for that holiday should be added in your restaurant’s menu. Customizing your menu based on an upcoming holiday is a common practice in restaurants and rightfully so.  For instance, during Ramadan, dates, fruits and sweets are necessary additions in your menu as it facilitates those who are fasting.

You can also experiment and invent new dishes and add them in your menu as your restaurant’s specialty. There are many restaurants famous for their special dishes that customers cannot eat at any other restaurants. The element of uniqueness can increase a restaurant’s esteem in more ways than you can imagine. So, what are you waiting for? Give your chefs this responsibility now and see what they can come up with.

Make sure that you communicate these special menus online to generate interest and get your customers to make online reservations.

Deals, Promotions and Offers

People are keen on spending money during holiday seasons but not so much so that they will pass on promotional offers and discount deals. You might have noticed that with each holiday comes an abundance of holiday deals. During Ramadan and Christmas, the act of spending generously and community goodwill is at its peak. To take part in these acts of kindness as well as to maintain good relationship with your customers, discount deals and meal offers are significantly important.

Though it must seem that by offering deals, a restaurant’s profit will go down considerably but it’s not true as each deal you put out will earn you a customer’s trust. For any restaurant to make profit, its relationship with its customers should be based on trust and respect.

Hire More Trained Staff

Holiday season brings in customers from your restaurant’s immediate vicinity as well as from wherever your marketing reaches. If all the above promotional offers and marketing that you have adopted work well for you, your restaurant might get an influx of new customers that you might not be used to. You need to be ready to deal with them as many restaurants struggle to deliver a good customer service when they are short on staff during these situations. All your marketing and preparations for the holiday season would be of no avail if your restaurant’s customer service is poor.

Delayed orders and a poor response time can keep your customers from visiting your place again because the one thing that customers hate more than anything else, is waiting for their food to be served when they are absolutely famished.

This is essential to keep in mind especially during Ramadan or Lent and other occasions when people are fasting. Those who are fasting should be served as fast as possible. You should also serve complimentary dates, fruits and drinks to customers to break their fast if you think you won’t be able to serve their orders on time.

Supply and Stock

One of the many things that can give your restaurant a bad reputation is when a dish on your menu is not available because you ran out of ingredients. This impacts your restaurant’s reputation drastically if the special items on your menu that you’ve been advertising in relation to a particular holiday are unavailable.

Not only do you fail to serve your customers, but you will also be pegged for false advertisement which will give your restaurant a bad rapport. It is important that you satisfy your customers by any means possible because their bad reviews can tarnish your restaurant’s name and decrease your revenue.

Avoid False Advertisement

Many restaurants advertise dishes and facilities that they cannot offer. They do this to present the flashiest deal during holiday season and attract as many customers as possible. But these offers are of no use if in the end you fail to deliver what you promised. Customer will be deceived by your advertisement only once and after that they will form an opinion about your restaurant based on their first experience.

Many times, customers will find a deal reasonable and affordable, but they will later find out about the hidden charges and conditions and will lose trust in that restaurant. So, be mindful of what you advertise during holiday seasons and make sure you don’t frustrate your customers with hidden charges and conditions.

Seasonality and Holidays

During holiday seasons, but also seasonality in general a restaurant’s revenue is affected. Studying KPIs will tell you how a particular season is related to the amount of customers dining at your restaurant. Most restaurants will succumb to seasonality but if you know how it can threaten your restaurant’s revenue then you can be prepared for its pitfalls beforehand through some of the above mentioned tips and methods.

How to Improve Restaurant Table Turnover Rate

Table turnover rate is an important factor when it comes to managing restaurants. Your profits are highly dependent on the number of customers you entertain on a particular day and eventually a month. It is one of those metrics which you can either leave uncontrolled or can control to make your profit game strong. When it comes to maintaining table turnover rate, then it is essential to make sure that your guests are not irked by the short span of time and thereby making your experience as the last experience at your restaurant. You have to keep a balance between the times to make sure that their dining experience is long enough to allow them to enjoy their meal to the fullest but it has to be short as well to accommodate other parties waiting for their turn as well.

The sweet spot is to manage the time such that new parties are given space in less possible time. As a restaurant owner, managing turnover rate can be instrumental for you and your new customers as it leads to accommodating new customers to their new places in short possible time. However, mismanagement in table turnover rate can lead to disaster as well because your customers in waiting won’t wait for long to be seated. However, there are certain techniques to manage turnover rate efficiently so as not to disrupt your customer service and to make experience a long lasting memory for your valued customers.

  1. Time constraint

As soon as the customers arrive at your restaurant, ask them about the time constraint while making sure that you don’t sound rude. Ask politely, and this opener will help you to understand how long the table turn time will be. If they are here to celebrate a special occasion, then you should be mindful of longer table turn time but if they are there just to munch on something before their movie starts, then table turn time will be shorter, and you need to manage your services accordingly. If the customer is flexible on time, then their order may be kept on a lower priority.

  1. Do not entertain incomplete parties

If you allow on-call reservations or pre-arrival bookings, then at your busiest shifts, don’t entertain incomplete parties. This will lead to longer table turnover rate, and thus its effect will prevail throughout the restaurant which will affect both the server and the manager. You can place a note on your website or the reception that “Incomplete parties won’t be entertained during busiest shifts.” However, if it is out of busiest times, then allow them as much time as they want because it won’t affect your services at all.

  1. Ask campers to leave

If there are people who are just there for gossiping, ask them politely to leave the place. Visit their table repeatedly to remove things, and they’ll get the hint. But make sure that you treat them politely.

Increasing table turnover times

  1. Place the bill

After ensuring that meal is complete, then drop the check at customer’s ability to give them a hint to vacate the table as soon as possible. Ensure politeness throughout your service because that’s what brings your customers to you again and again.

Restaurant Labor Cost Percentage Calculator

One of the many important costings and statistical figures in the domain of restaurant business and similar businesses is the costing of the labor and coming up with a percentage or numbers that how much that affects your revenue. This is one of the most important metrics to keep track of on a daily basis.

The reason is that labor is something that is related to an everyday time frame. This can be put second to renting. So, we will start by defining what the labor cost percentage is and then work our way to define how it can be calculated efficiently.

What labor cost is?

This is a term that describes the amount your restaurant is spending on labor, and it includes paycheck amounts as well as other figures such as taxes and employee benefits. This cost goes on to affect the prime cost of the restaurant and can, thus, affect your overall restaurant’s efficiency. According to Chron, the average figure for labor costs is 30-35% of the total revenue of food industry. Many professional restauranteurs know the methods to calculate this labor cost percentage and can provide examples that might be gibberish to the untrained eye. However, there is a method, and we can learn it.

Calculating Labor Cost Percentage

There are only a few steps and basic knowledge of what to include in “labor cost” of all the costings to make an efficient percentage calculation. Usually, the calculation of two different methods. One is labor as a percentage of sales and other is labor as a percentage of total operating costs.

Here is how the first one works

  • Determine your restaurant’s labor cost. Includes all the money that has to be paid to the employees.
  • Determine restaurant’s revenue. Revenue, in this case, is the bottom line. This can be found in the POS system dashboard; a system most modern restaurant has.
  • Divide labor cost by annual revenue. Let us say that the restaurant paid $300,000 a year to employees and managed to bring up $1000000. Divide, and you will get 0.3
  • Multiply by 100 to get the percentage figure as 30%

Here is how the second one works

  • Determine the annual labor cost
  • Determine the total operating costs
  • Divide the annual labor cost by the total operating costs
  • Multiply by 100 to get a percentage figure

It doesn’t seem so difficult now, does it? Only a few steps to consider and look at in a focused manner to get to a figure.

Lowering Labor Costs

This is something that varies from area to area. However, most common ways to reduce labor costs is to give bonuses and healthy and financially efficient benefits to employees. This can take the focus off of the employee wages and bring their focus on the benefits that the restaurant offers to them as an overall package.

Restaurant Website Management… A Complete Guide

Like all other industries, restaurant owners should be aware of the significance of marketing and promote using all possible promotional tools and marketing channels. It is of no doubt that these days social media presence of any small or large scale business is mandatory. You get many new customers through social and electronic media which may ultimately become repeat customers. However, it is not enough to promote your restaurant through social media pages only. Having a good website of your restaurant is a must also. That being said, developing a website is only one part. The second part is to manage and maintain it properly. Let’s explore why restaurant website management is vital.

Benefits of Restaurant Website:

  • Customer Attraction and Building Brand Awareness: The first and foremost benefit of having a restaurant website is getting customers through search engine traffic. You will be at a loss when a customer searches online “restaurants in London,” and your website does, not show up because you don’t have one. He would go to your competitor’s restaurant. Thus, it is important to have your website to build brand awareness among customers so that they can easily reach you out. They can also get all the information from your website they need instantly.
  • You can Beat Your Competition: Let’s assume your competitor is undergoing marketing strategies through social media accounts but does not possess a website? You can easily exploit this opportunity by making your own. It will surely help in growing your local as well as the general audience.

When Should You Manage Your Restaurant Website?

It is a very important decision whether to manage your website by yourself or via the third party. You should manage your restaurant website when you know,

  • Your budget is limited, and you cannot hire a digital marketing agency to manage the website. You have no choice other than to manage it on your own.
  • You are technically equipped to develop and design the website from scratch.
  • You have enough time to keep your website up-to-date through blogs, reviews, menu-updates, etc.
  • You can do “Search engine optimization” (SEO) to get your website on one of the top results via Google search. SEO is important to get more traffic to your restaurant website.

When Should You Hire a Third-Part For Your Restaurant Website Management?

You have to hire a third-party digital agency to manage your restaurant website when you cannot manage it by yourself due to the reasons mentioned above. But before hiring, do keep into consideration the following points:

  • Experience: You must go for a reputed company with sound experience. Do check out their portfolio of past work to know about their style and strategies.
  • What Services the Company Offer: You should opt out for a company which is offering additional services other than website management. For example, it would be a plus point if they do SEO for your website or they offer additional graphic designing services.
  • Company’s reviews: Take some time out and check company’s testimonials pages to check the reviews. Contact one of their clients to get information about their experience to work with the said company. This way, you can have a better idea whether to hire the agency or not.

Effective Restaurant Promotional Ideas for Beginners

Marketing and promotion play a vital role in increasing profitability of any restaurant. If you have recently opened your dream new restaurant, then you must go for some effective marketing ideas to make it grow in no time. In another case, if your already established restaurant has been facing a downfall, then also, you must think to redesign your marketing strategies.

This article will provide you all the up-to-date marketing tips and tricks to boost your restaurant sales. Let’s have a look below:

Creative Marketing

Effective, Easy and Useful Restaurant Marketing Strategies:

1: Make Use of “Google My Business Profile” Service:

When Google is giving you a complimentary service called “Google My Business Profile” then why not avail it as a primary marketing tool? It is an easy way to reach your target customers. By creating “Google My Business Profile,” you can mark your online presence as it shows your restaurant’s name, location, images, working hours, reviews, contact information as well as the ability to take bookings through online booking widgets.

2: Make Your Website:

In this time of global era, no business can flourish without a website. It is a must-to-do marketing strategy of your online existence. If you lack technical skills of making a website, then you must hire a website developer who can make an outstanding website for your restaurant.

3: Create Social Media Accounts:

No one can deny the power of social media these days. You must also make social media accounts for your restaurant on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as a quick marketing approach. You can make very good use of these accounts to keep your regular and potential customers updated about all the related information about your restaurant on a daily basis.

4: Post Menu on Social Media accounts to Attract Customers:

As a restaurant owner, it is a very good opportunity to post your menu online on social media pages to attract customers. The lip-smacking images of the tempting menu will urge customers to come to your restaurant.

5: Communicate with Customers on the Regular basis:

It is a new marketing strategy to interact with your customers online on a regular basis. You can have a “Question &Answer” session on Facebook or Twitter. You can also communicate with them to get their feedback and make your services better in the light of their suggestions.

6: Emailing New and Repeat Customers:

Sending emails about special offers and amazing discounts on the menu using software like MailChimp and Intercom to new and repeat customers will keep them interacted with your restaurant offerings directly.

7:  Use the Power of Bloggers:

Bloggers act as an excellent marketing source to promote your restaurant. You can invite famous bloggers to your restaurant and offer them free menu. They will post about your services and the positive word-of-mouth would reach to their thousands of followers in a fraction of the time.

8: Creating Own Blog:

Just by spending few hours a week, you can create your SEO optimized blog. You can write weekly about the interesting content to attract new and retain existing customers. You can also invite bloggers to write guest blogs.

9: Paid Advertisement:

Last but not the least; the paid advertisement is one hard and effective source of promoting your new restaurant. You can use paid advertising to exert a pull on new customers who do not know about your restaurant’s existence at all. You can also use location and time-based advertising to target potential customers within your area.