Is Managing Your Images on your POS this Easy?

Is Managing Your Images on your POS this Easy?

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!

Promote Your Business Event

Promote Your Business Event

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!

Powerful Marketing Ideas For Your Restaurant

Powerful Marketing Ideas For Your Restaurant

Powerful Marketing Ideas For Your Restaurant

This is going to be an eye opener and the “secret sauce,” to give you guidance in the right direction to include: SEO, The importance of your website, how to improve guest counts in your restaurant and more importantly, building your brand.

Take these relevant ideas and the sky’s the limit for your success.

WEBSITE DESIGN – Simple is better

The website is the primary communication for the customer who doesn’t know the first thing about you.

It is very important to give them a virtual tour before they come in.

Getting a professional photo shoot done is absolutely the most important thing you can do for your website. Especially in the restaurant business.

People have this mindset that they have to make this work of art website; that has to be perfect. That has to be so visually stunning it will just blow people away when they find it.

So their downfall is that they don’t put any money into Search Engine Optimization. So people will never ever find this awesome work of art website that they have done. We’ll get into that in a minute.

When it comes to your restaurant website (web presence) your marketing dollar for this shouldn’t cost more than fifteen hundred dollars. That is the going rate. Preferably WordPress (as your platform) because it is a powerful tool with many marketing plug-ins.

If your designer is trying to talk you into a five thousand dollar platform, run! You do not need it. Your marketing dollars need to go into SEO. If you are spending more than the recommended fifteen hundred dollars you are doing it all wrong. It doesn’t need to be all things to all people. It is not necessary. You are making your website into being found.

Statistics show that by 2020 websites will be irrelevant. Because Google is providing so much information without even getting to the website.

When you type in a restaurant there is a knowledge panel. Which is the map, pictures and hours to the right? That piece is getting more and more robust. Most people are going in to get your contact information, or your hours, or a couple of photos or your YELP reviews.

The website is becoming less and less important. But by all means, have a website. The point here is, it doesn’t need to be that “work of art,” people have been misled to believe.

CONTENT

When you have professional photographs that make up the majority of your content, that does tell a story. That gives them the virtual tour of what the place is going to look like. What the vibe is about. What the food is about. You obviously get a great food photo shoot and put all the stuff together. So they are not guessing. By the time they walk in the door, they have a great idea of what the place is. You are able to show it off. The great thing is not that many restaurants are utilizing high-resolution professional photos. So you will automatically look better than your competition.

SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO)

You need to put in 90% of your budget into being found. So your SEO is absolutely crucial.

SEO is very complicated, to most people, it is such Voodoo they don’t even understand it, and we don’t blame them.

The main approach you need to take with your SEO expert is this.

You have to find a keyword that has a lot of monthly clicks. A lot of traffic, yet not a lot of competition. That’s the sweet spot.

Find a very good blend of the two

For example: Type in: “Restaurants near me.” Gets 11 million searches a month. That’s the most competitive key word out there. So if you are just going for that word, you are going to be up against every single other restaurant out there. Of course, it has to do with if your GPS is on in your phone. Then it is going to pick up the closest ones to you. Then you could get lucky.

Another example: “Restaurants in Cape Coral, FL,” where we are. Then you are up against some even more serious competition.

Try: “Cape Coral, FL patio restaurant.” We found that the word was getting 6K searches per month and there was no competition. So optimize with your expert for organic wording like that. So there’s a hint that may allow you to get to the top on Google in 30-60 days (which is tough). Usually, SEO is a very long-term approach.

Allocate a monthly budget. It is a monthly maintenance. It is not something you do once and forget about it. It goes on and on forever.

The organic search results are called organic for a reason. They are always changing. They are always evolving. You could be number one day, and number ten the next day It is really all over the board. It’s the SEO expert that puts the most attention and constantly working SEO that excels.

BACKLINKS (listing syncs)

Find an expert who offers listing syncs. Backlinks, it is the number of other websites and directories and other platforms (have a link) that point towards you. If you have a link on your Facebook page, Instagram, Trip Advisor, Open Table, and Yelp. List yourself with at least 50 directories at least, and lock into it. Because Google is watching. If you aren’t on top of it then Google thinks: “Well okay, if nobody else cares about this website, why should we.”

Once you have 50 different directories pointing to your website, all of a sudden Google’s algorithm sees it as: “Ohhh this is a very important site, people care about this. We are going to put it at the top of the search results.

One of the things that Google and Facebook have both opened themselves up to lately is users generated content or what they call: “SUGGESTED EDITS.” It is a very terrible idea, but it is what it is. Stay informed!

Have you ever been somewhere (the restaurant’s in particular) and gotten a notification from either of these two? We have and used it. It pops up and asks you: “Hey are you at ABC Restaurant?” If you hit “YES,” it will ask you: “Are these hours correct?” As a customer, you can change the hours of a restaurant you are sitting in. It is completely insane. Then it will ask: “Is this the address?” Honest consumers will hopefully give true information. Because most would think it would go into a pending mode for 90 days and they are going to aggregate it with a bunch of information and make a decision. We got a notification from Google within 45 minutes on one of our client restaurants. It says: “Your changes have been applied.” We looked on Google and sure enough, our changes were applied. Get someone who knows what they are doing to lock consumers from doing this to you.

ONLINE REVIEWS

Statistically, 85% believe online reviews as much as a recommendation from a friend or family member. Online reviews (next to word of mouth) are the most important thing for driving new traffic.

Word of mouth brings new faces to your restaurant. Word of mouth is king. It is 2/3rds of new people walking through your doors. The second one at 22% is online reviews and the third is Google.

Almost all restaurants approached don’t have a pulse on their online reviews or they don’t optimize them and they don’t work them to their advantage.

These reviews are so easy to respond to and to actually have a presence on there. But what we found is very few restaurants do this. It is so important, yet so missed. It truly blew our minds here to discover these online reviews were being neglected.

The reason you should respond to ALL online reviews or hire someone, or delegate someone in your restaurant. No excuses. Recommendation: respond publicly to all reviews, good and bad. Think about it this way, if you are just responding to negative reviews you send a message to the positive: “You are not important enough to get a response unless you are pissed off.”

You want to thank your fans and invite them back in. Put your contact information on every single response to include: Name, email address, and cell number, every single response. You may think your phone will blow up or that your phones going to ring nonstop, thinking you will just get bugged by everyone. It will not. Every single response.

Your contact information is out there. You will probably get one phone call a month. Or better yet, when your establishment isn’t reachable you will find people calling asking to book a table and you get them in touch with the right person in your restaurant. You will be amazed it fields that review from the individual who was just about to give a one-star review because maybe they had a terrible experience you were unaware of.

Devote time to monitor and respond to every review because it is critical. You have the big four review platforms. Google, Facebook, Yelp and Trip Advisor it is time-consuming. There are systems out there (platforms) that will aggregate everything into one platform. Use the tools available, systems that are all in one, coming in a big feed through a dashboard. Worth every penny. You must respond within 72 hours to be effective.

INTERNAL MARKETING

We want to show you how to shift the mindset or paradigm of the average restaurant owner/ operator. You are spending very little money at all if any money at all on things that have the greatest impact on customer traffic and building your brand and using your staff to become brand ambassadors for your business. If you show your customers a good time, you can be sure they will be telling their friends and family: “You have to go to that place.” “The service was amazing.” “The food was amazing.”

But so many people that are in the restaurant business continue to spend tens of thousands of dollars on the traditional radio, print, tv and direct mail stuff. Stop it, you need to remember this is 2018 and work on your internal marketing. Start working on your restaurant’s online reviews, it is free marketing. All it takes is the time and the creativity and putting your best spin forward to give your customers an idea of what’s great about your restaurant. And responding to any negative reviews too.

INFLUENCE STAR FACTORS WITH INTEGRITY (More 5 Stars) Yelp has really strict terms and conditions when it comes to soliciting reviews. You are not allowed to solicit reviews. But you are allowed to ask for a review and not reward someone. You are not allowed to manipulate good or bad.

Here is a big secret we will share with you. ZenReach.com it is a wireless router that goes into the restaurant. Any customer that hooks up to your guest Wi-Fi, it will capture their Facebook or email address for use of your wi-fi. One step for them, easy. It captures that real-time information for you and creates a database of all the emails. These are the most highly valued (customers that have been in your door).

What it does that is awesome it sends smart emails out automatically on certain schedules. So the first time customer after they leave within three hours. (Note: It will say whatever you want it to say). The default sends a generic you will want to change: “Hey thanks for coming into XXX, hope you had a good time.” Terrible message. You can use their reputation management and put: “Thanks for visiting, how did we do, 1 to 5 Star rating. Rate your experience.”

When they choose that 1 to 5-star rating

If it is a 1 to 3-star rating it will email you and pull that email in internally. This gives you time to respond to that customer and make it right before it winds up on Yelp. It is amazingly effective. If they give you a 4 or 5-star rating it will say: “Thank you, please share your message.” Then redirects them to Google, Trip Advisor, Yelp or Trip Advisor.

But it gets better, these smart emails give you the First Time Customer, the Regular Customer (we recommend five),then the Loyal Customer (been more than 10), then a Lost Customer (that’s been there 2 times in the last 30 days, but not again), then it has Birthdays. You can tailor different offers to these people based on their visit frequency.

This is a legitimate way to manipulate those numbers, you are welcome!

3 Holiday Gift Card Recipes for Success!

3 Holiday Gift Card Recipes for Success!

With the holiday season right around the corner, gift cards are one of the most requested items.   Here are a few tips to sell and benefits you will gain with a simple gift card program.

TIPS:

  • Impulse Buyers – Stock up and make sure you have them within eye-sight at your register. Your impulse buyer is sure to purchase for a family member, colleague, teacher or friend.
  • Up-selling – Educate yourself and your staff. Consumers like to be enticed. Offer them the pleasure and advantage.  If you are not up-selling your customers, you are missing out on a LOT of revenue.  It works, just ask: “I am so happy you and yours enjoyed yourselves this evening.  Why not add a gift card for a loved one?  Sounds great, right!”  As you and your staff master this amazing tool, you can move onto cross-selling.  Just by suggesting other relevant options to your customer like: “Did you know the $25.00 gift cards are on special this week, buy three get the fourth for half price?”  Or, “Don’t forget to pick up a few of these cards for your family and friends; they are handy to have for last minute needs.  Want me to add another card to your order?”
  • Lifesaver (Be the “Go to Merchant”) – As consumers, we have all done it. It’s down to the last minute and we need a gift.  If a customer comes in for gift cards and you don’t have them, you lost a sale.  The mere act of displaying gift cards lets your customers know they can rely on you in a pinch.  Be the Hero and “Go To”. Try it!

BENEFITS:

  • Increased Sales – The primary benefit is your sales numbers will boom! You will generate revenue in advance of sales, and studies show customers spend more than the amount on the card.
  • Marketing – Get the word out about your establishment.  Gift cards are like mini billboards.  Your branding speaks volumes.
  • Breakage – refers to the amount left on a gift card that is never redeemed. A person with a $100 gift card may purchase $97 and inadvertently toss the card in a drawer, or throw it away. This helps your margins.
  • Repeat Business – If someone has never heard about your business, but receive a $20 gift card for their birthday, Christmas or even a holiday party, they will find you and maybe become a customer for life!
  • Advertising – Your gift cards encourage customers to join loyalty programs as well and you will now have the data you need, providing you are using a POS system, to capture that data.  Now you can send specials or “ping” them when they drive by your business.

CardSystems Merchant Services

Gift Cards Are the Perfect Gift

Gift Cards Are the Perfect Gift

Regardless of what the reason or for any season; gift cards are the perfect gift.

On the off chance that your business doesn’t offer gift cards, it might be the ideal opportunity for you to think about it.  Retail and restaurants alike benefit immensely.

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, what better way to show your appreciation than with a gift card?

Have you ever at any point received a gift that just didn’t fit?  So what do you do with it?  Do you set it aside someplace where it will never be used again?  Do you re-gift?  We have all been there.  Be a trendsetter.

Gift cards are also the perfect marketing tool to get people into your business. Get creative, if someone spends $25.00 in your establishment give them a $5 gift card to come back and shop. If you’re a restaurant, consider discounting a $50 gift card to $45 that really makes the purchaser feel as if though they are getting more bang for their buck.

As a business owner another thing to consider is what is known as breakage. Breakage is when the business sells a gift card that doesn’t get redeemed Talk about, “FREE MONEY”!  This happens more than you think.

Gift cards are no longer just your standard plastic cards. Of course that is one way to sell them, but now businesses can take advantage of technology and sell them on their website, Facebook and even via text.

Even more reasons to offer gift cards:

  • Customers shopping with gift cards are less price–sensitive and often pay full price
  • Compete with national brands
  • Create new business and increase sales today
  • Reward your current customer with a gift card. Visible gift cards can increase sales by 35%-50%

In addition to Mother’s Day coming up, you’ve got Graduations, weddings, baby showers and birthdays, etc. Consider offering gift cards in your business.

No matter who your target market is from Baby Boomers, Gen X or Millenials gift cards are the most sought after gift.

With that in mind, give us a call and we can help with a simple, economical solution for your business to carry gift cards or even a loyalty program……Look for yourself.

Is your Company’s E-Commerce Evolving?

Is your Company’s E-Commerce Evolving?

E-commerce sales comprised 9.1% of all U. S. retail sales in the third quarter of 2017, according to the Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce. Up from 8.2% in the same quarter of 2016. In the next three years e-commerce sales are expected to total $708 billion, according to Javelin Strategy & Research.

The big box retailers are consolidating and closing their brick and mortar stores in record numbers. They are putting their resources into their e-commerce sites to try and capture a market dominated by Amazon and primarily directed by Google. Will you follow their lead?

What can you do today to enhance your e-commerce site?

6 simple steps to boost and optimize your e-commerce site:

  1. Create a Mobile Friendly website.  First and foremost even if you are not selling your products or services online, you need to be found online today and in a mobile friendly way. 77% of American’s have a smart phone and are looking for your product or service right now. Is your site mobile friendly?  If not, stop everything you are doing and call someone who can help you create a mobile friendly e-commerce site today.
  2. Collect Customer Data.  Make sure you collect as much data as you can through your Point of Sale (POS) or on your site. It’s never been easier to collect your customer’s email or phone number at the POS. There are so many systems to choose from today that do this with ease at the cashier or checkout level. With more and more people using smart phones and going green, you can email receipts, notify of upcoming sales, and simply market your service to them with this collected information.
  3. Use a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) program to collect the basic data of your clients and prospects (company name, contact, address, email and phone number). It’s time to drill down to interests, birthdays, colleagues, spouses, children, education, how and why the customer started the business or anything you can discuss. In fact, every time you talk with your customer, note their file. People love to be remembered and this is your powerful insight into your customers needs and wants. Listening to these needs not only builds a strong loyal relationship, it saves everyone time and money by not discussing or pushing out topics that have little or no interest to them or their business.
  4. Develop a strategy to engage your customers.  How do you get your message out to your valued customers.  Email, blog post, mail, phone or social media? Quite frankly, you should use all of these to connect and on a regular basis. Use the same information on all platforms as it is unlikely your client will visit all.  If they do, great because it takes 5-7 touches before you sell an item. Just begin with one and take baby steps. Remember…”A good plan … now is better than a perfect plan … next week” – General George C. Patton.
  5. Reward your Customers.  Do you have a rewards program? If not start one today.  If you have one in store, great.  If it isn’t online then talk to someone who specializes in gift cards and rewards programs that will work with your e-commerce site. It doesn’t matter what type of business you own, there is something you can do to reward your clients. Even if it is just a cup of coffee, a $5 gift certificate or maybe a discount on a future purchase.  Birthdays, Christmas, Hanukkah, are all great, but what about something more original like an anniversary with you or just to thank them for their business? Think out of the box and send an e-certificate. If they don’t use it, it’s no loss to you.
  6. Optimize your payment process. Accept Apple Pay and the many new digital wallets to speed up the check out process. Shopping abandonment is a constant battle for e-commerce clients. Make it easy and fast for your clients to buy. Check into the many credit card software systems that not only reach out to clients to pay, for example, Electronic Bill Presentment and Payments (EBPP) but give your customers the ability to finance their purchases.

All in all, e-commerce has evolved and will continue to do so in the coming years. Take advantage of the many tools available to grow your business.

What are you waiting for? Like Nike says Just do it” and do it today!