If you’re running a restaurant business, you know that your number one priority is attracting and keeping your customers’ attention. The quality of the food is a very close second. The trends and expectations of customers are ever-changing, but it’s the responsibility of any savvy business owner to be able to keep up with them. As such, it can pay to keep ahead of the curve and to look at how you can modernize the experience in your eatery, regardless of whether you’re running a fast-food stop, a cozy cafe, or a premium restaurant.
Is it time for a decor change?
It might not be the most revolutionary idea out there, but in time, your establishment’s look is going to become dated. You want people to feel welcome and happy to be there and this can clash with a sense of being in a space that hasn’t been keeping up with the times. You could work with a fit-out team that specializes in the dining industry to help you refresh your look, all the way from the branding on your menus and displays to the choices of furniture, fixtures, and lighting. If you’re really renovating and changing the look, then you might want to tie it into a relaunch to really capitalize on the change.
Think about the Instagram experience
This is something that you might think counts within your decor change but there are a few areas in particular where not only should you think about how good your restaurant looks but should also consider how well it photographs. Instagram culture has seen a lot more people snapping pics of their plates than ever before and putting some extra focus on creating a really photogenic dining space, with great lighting and details to frame those photos can give your restaurant a little viral reach. Some restaurants will even have specific areas that are designed to be captured well in photos so that their eaters can pose by them for a few snaps. Don’t underestimate the power of marketing through Instagram and social media by way of your own customers.
Get smart with your displays
Many eateries go with the traditional menu, hand-delivered to the customers when they sit at the table. However, for some eateries, such as cafes and fast-food places, the menu board over the counter has always been a classic, allowing multiple people to peruse and choose what they want to eat while in line. Nowadays, with the potential for menus to change, especially with seasonal specials, you can make yours a lot more convenient by opting for a digital display. The digital menu boards price point has been dropping as the technology becomes less expensive and more widely adopted, so even smaller eateries can typically afford them without much hassle. They do a lot for making your menu pop out and allow you to customize your display to enhance your branding.
Ordering through the Cloud
Does your business do pick-ups or deliveries? Nowadays, the fact that there are food businesses that don’t take orders online and only rely on phones is something worthy of shock. There are plenty of ways to get your business to take orders online. You don’t even have to establish your own website or app. However, creating your own branded and curated experience where you don’t have to share space with other eateries does make it more likely that you’re going to be able to keep more of the orders that come your way. In a post-pandemic world, people are a lot more likely to feel safe when they’re able to digitally order their food from a distance.
Manage your inventory better
Of course, not all of the improvements that modernization can bring to your restaurant are supposed to be just for the benefit of the customer, either. They can help you manage it more effectively, as well. If you keep track of food and beverage stocks routinely, then you can make it a lot easier with the help of automated inventory management software, especially one that’s designed specifically for restaurants to use. You can reduce your waste and make sure that you’re able to order ingredients in time by being able to check at a glance how much you have of everything. You do need to train your staff to update the inventory every time they take something out, but that can quickly become routine.
Offer customer service online
Restaurants aren’t just a business dedicated to serving up food. They’re about providing a service, and your ability to do that will reflect how customers feel about the restaurant as a whole. Even great food can’t save a customer’s night from being ruined by some awful interactions with your team. Of course, it’s not always the team’s fault. You can create the environment and conditions for smoother, speedier customer service in a variety of ways. One such way is to offer customer service online, be it through your site with an on-site chat widget that your staff can respond through, or through social media. You can nip some potential issues in the bud before the customer even visits the restaurant.
Make payment easier
Just as you can smooth the customer experience before they arrive at the restaurant, you can do the same on the way out. While you shouldn’t get rid of the cash register just yet, it is important to recognize that most customers are paying via card nowadays and, what’s more, most of those cards have some contactless options, too. Allowing customers to tap their card on a virtual point of sale can allow them to pay for their meal much more quickly, which adds an extra level of convenience to the trip to your restaurant since they don’t have to stand around quite as long.
With the tips above, you can make sure that your eatery keeps its place on the cutting edge. Of course, this has to be complimented by good ambiance, food, and service, but together, you will have a winning package with these tips.