Join us for Great Food, Vendors, and Fun
The weather is perfect and with so much to do here in Southwest Florida, now is the time to get out and enjoy the fun events around town. The ArtFest, Bike Night, Taste of the Cape, and Food Truck Wars started the season with breaking record crowds and revenues. This weekend the Edison Festival of Lights and the much-anticipated return of our Greek Festival will be the focus of fun and good food.
Is your Business Pivoting with Technology and Online Ordering?
Most businesses have pivoted to curbside or pickup services for their restaurants or retail establishments. If not, they are less likely to be found, limiting their exposure and greatly reducing sales. Consider beefing up your site, adding online ordering, or implementing a third-party app to facilitate delivery. Remember to make order in-store, pickup, or delivery easier for your business.
When are Delivery Apps Beneficial?
Third-party apps like Uber Eats and Door Dash have their place as they give your restaurant great exposure to first-time diners and support their delivery needs. Just make sure you control your online pickup orders, or they can take a big bite out of your profits. Also, take advantage of all the social platforms to market your events and link to your online ordering page. Use two buttons, one for online pickup and the other for the delivery app.
Digital Menus for Order Ahead
Our POS Software and POS Apps can create an easy-to-read menu with links for you to post everywhere. If you are not adopting this technology you are less likely to be found. These simple tools enable your customers to review your menu prior to ordering. This not only saves time, but also turns tables faster, and reduces your precious labor costs.
Boost your Restaurant Sales by Up-sell to Existing Customers
Your servers should be suggesting appetizers, desserts, and gift cards. Are they? A lot of servers simply ask ”Can I start you out with an appetizer?” This puts the server in a bad position if the customer says no as they can’t really ask again without running the risk of sounding pushy or becoming annoying. When it comes to suggestive selling you want to follow these 3 steps.
3 Simple Steps to Market your Appetizers
- Inform – Tell the customer that you have appetizers when handing out the menu by saying something like “Be sure to check out our appetizer section, they are amazing!”
- Testify – Before taking the order preferably before the customer makes up their mind, you want to testify by saying something like “you should try the Crab stuffed mushrooms with the lobster sauce they are my favorite!” Be descriptive when testifying but keep it short
- The Close – Now is the time to ask for the sale “so can I start you out with an appetizer?”
The idea here is to get the customer to think about the appetizer without forcing them to make a quick decision.
Now that you sold an appetizer to your table, it’s time to think about dessert. Before the meal is brought to the table you want to put the idea of dessert in their minds while they are still hungry. We are going to use the three steps again but with a little twist.
3 Simple Steps to Market your Desserts
- Inform – Go back to the table to let them know their food will be ready soon or to see how the Appetizer is say something like “I was in the kitchen and they just pulled the apple pie out of the oven it smells so good”
- Testify/Close – When you return to check the table say something like “we have some of the best pastry chefs here, our desserts are delicious. “Can I bring you a piece of pie?” Now if the customer says yes, great! If they say, no it’s ok, because we will take one last shot before they pay the bill.
- 2nd offer – When the customer asks for the check casually ask “So are you sure you don’t want that piece of that pie? I can put it in a small box so you can take it with you for later.”
Up-selling in a restaurant is like any other type of sales. If you train your servers properly to use suggestive selling they will market more appetizers, desserts, and gift cards. This leads to larger checks, higher tips for servers, and retention of those servers along with more revenue for your restaurant. You don’t have to follow this pitch word for word, make it your own and work it into the conversation naturally. Also, people are more inclined to buy from people they like so remind your servers to be polite, friendly, and smile, smile, smile!
Chef Adrianne Calvo’s Miami restaurant is thriving during a pandemic and she also opened a new restaurant last summer as well.
See her interview and tips for restaurants of all sizes.
When many restaurants were feeling the pain, and giving up, Adrianne Calvo of Chef Adrianne’s in Miami, morphed her business. “We were pivoting on a drop of a dime”. When only takeout was allowed, we only did take out; when seating was only allowed outside, we conformed. They did the best they could to serve their clients by following the guidelines. Given the restrictions in Dade county, a hot spot, they persevered. The key was following those guidelines, keeping their customers safe, and staying connected through social media.
Her advice is to “stick to it and remember why you opened your restaurant in the first place, it’s not easy and you must act fast”. They shifted their focus and indeed acted fast. As long as we persevere we will survive, people will always want to socialize and celebrate.
She created 200 new jobs and, in June, opened her new restaurant by defying the odds. She never thought she would open these restaurants as take-out establishments and now, she is more successful than ever.
What can you learn from Calvo?
- Stay positive and pivot your business
- Offer take-out, curbside, or create pre-prepared food for customers to cook at home
- Stay connected via social media and display your menu online
- Collect data to offer specials for anniversaries, birthdays, and holidays
- Make your establishment feel safe and clean
- Optimize your staff with an efficient POS System
Chef Adrianne reminds us that people will always want to “celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, milestones and just everyday living”. Let’s face it we are social creatures and we will get back to a new normal, whatever that is.
How will you as a restaurant owner pivot? Will you grow your business or change your business model? The choice is yours and we are here to help you grow as we navigate these times together, call us or email us.
Marketing Tips for 2020
Have you started a marketing plan for 2020 yet? Valentine’s Day is already upon us. Why not start with this simple blueprint for success every holiday and special occasion. Each year you will look polished by taking it to the next level. We can help you make all these ideas flow together with one easy-to-use system.
Decorate Your Website, Social Media Sites and Physical Location
Decorate your website, social media, or storefront to draw attention to your business during the holidays and special occasions. It doesn’t take much effort to add a banner, adjust your store window design, or incorporate festive packaging into your sales. Small acts of festivity will make your customers feel they are acting on a time-limited opportunity.
Create a Holiday-Focused Marketing Campaign
Using videos or holiday-themed campaigns can be extremely useful and should not be overlooked during the season. Thanks to modern technology, creating a short video or online poster can be done in no time.
Stock up on Gift Cards and Place Visual Everywhere
Gift card sales in the United States were approximately $160 billion in 2018, and sales continue to increase every year. It’s essential to stock up on gift cards and make them available at your customer’s reach.
Invest in a New Point of Sale System or update your old one
According to the National Retail Federation, Holiday sales during 2019 were expected to increase between 3.8% and 4.2% over 2018. Overall, holiday sales represent approximately 20% of annual sales per year, which means that if you don’t know what your percentages are, its time you invested in a POS System! A Point of Sale System not only tracks your sales, inventory, and employees but also gives you a complete ordering history to make future purchases faster and more intuitive.
Give a Holiday Gift with every order
A great way to inspire customer loyalty is to offer a gift with each purchase. This can be something as small as a coupon, information, product, or even a token of your company. The idea is to make your customers feel included in the celebration.
Offer a Sale
An easy and smart way to encourage company growth is through holiday sales. Days such as Cyber Monday are great opportunities for companies to increase profit through sales. All you need to do is plan what you will put on sale before the holiday is upon us and start doing some Digital Marketing or even some print mailers. Some companies also go the extra mile and offer presales to exclusive club members. Yet another perfect reason to use a POS System to capture valuable customer information. These kinds of loyalty perks inspire potential customers to invest in your company and keep customers coming back for more.
Remember we don’t plan, to fail we fail to plan!
Is Managing your POS System as Easy as Posting a Picture to Social Media? It Should be!
Imagine being able to upload an image of your daily specials or entrées as soon as they come out of your oven. Uploading an image to your menu is as simple as posting to your facebook page. Wow your customers and entice them into your restaurant or store today. The power of an image is incredible!
As a business owner or manager, can you edit and make modifications easily from wherever you are?
Envision being able to make real-time changes to your menu, manage your staff and keep an eye on your sales from anywhere in the world. Whether you are at home or on vacation the newer POS systems allow you to manage all of your operations in one place!
The newer POS systems are now state of the art, replacing the old legacy systems and improving your life as a restaurant or retail owner.
If your current POS system doesn’t have all these easy-to-use features, make the change and upgrade today!
Whether you are planning a new menu launch, in-store demo, on-site workshop, new wine list, sponsoring a community charitable event, or even a Grand Opening, we have some great ways (mostly free) to make sure your event is seen online.
Use your Point of Sale to collect valuable customer data
Make sure you are using your Point of Sale to its fullest abilities to help you collect customer data. Send out email or text alerts to your customer base with details of your special event or sales. Don’t have a Point of Sale system that will do this for you? Contact us.
Make a Facebook Event Page
Facebook has a great events tool which enables you to set up a page for your special event, and to keep an eye on who is attending. You can create the event page… add the date, time and details about the event, then invite people directly from your Facebook contacts. Even more fabulous is when someone clicks “attending,” it shows up on their News Feed so that their friends and followers also see YOUR event!
Advertise on Social Media
Let’s say you may do a little bit of print advertising, running an add on one of your social media platforms is a cost effective targeted way to spread the news about your small business event. Make sure you continually schedule those organic posts to promote this event. Keep tagging your relevant supports or partners in the comments sections to enlist their help in spreading the word too!
TIP OFF the PRESS
Remember your audience. Not everyone is on Facebook! You have to capture your remaining online audience, and the effective way to do that is to reach out to relevant writers and editors for local, trade and national publications. Need ideas? Contact us; we’ll guide you in the right direction. Every day, your local news is giving you ideas of what to do “this weekend,” explain the purpose of the event and outline the “hook,” for them – the reason they and their readers and viewers should be interested. Offer them a press pass and ask them to write about (or talk about) the event in advance online (in print, to their viewing public). If there is a standout publication or station you want to target, consider offering them an exclusive interview with perks!
Plan an EMAIL campaign
Engaging content is a must, as is a link back to your page on your website with full details. Make your email short, snappy and attention grabbing, preferably with an amazing graphic. Simple is better. Give those who can’t make it an option to stay in touch, like: “Can’t attend this event but want to keep an eye on our other activities?” Follow us on Facebook.
RUN a COMPETITION
Guarantee attraction by running a competition to attract interest. Post the competition on all of your online platforms. Make sure to include “winner must be present,” language. Need ideas? We can help you.
Ask for HELP
Enlist volunteers, local support, customers, ambassadors, family and friends. Invite them along to your business event, and ask them to help you to spread the word online too!
Have questions? Call us…we answer the phone!