Things to Consider When Choosing a Delivery Partner

Customers are seeking convenience, which is the primary reason why food deliver companies have recently become quite popular, helping restaurants diversify business and increase revenue. If you see food delivery as good for business, you may have wondered how to get into it without being duped or losing money. You may also have wondered which food delivery company will fit into your values, business and brand.

The following are 5 of the top factors to consider before choosing a delivery partner;

  1. Do they Deliver an Experience that Matches your Brand?

You may not have direct interaction with the customer receiving the delivery, but you still want to leave them with an experience of satisfaction. For this reason, it is important to take the time to research the deliver companies you are considering. Establish customer satisfaction rates and determine if they made deliveries on time. Other aspects you should pay attention to include how they train their delivery staff and how they hand disputes when they arise.

  1. Determine if Delivering Meals Will Be Profitable or Not

It may seem obvious, but you should take the time to determine delivering meals to your customer will eat into your profits. To sufficiently make this determination, you will need to consider the commission percentage that the delivery companies you have charge. Keep in mind that the charges may vary depending on whether your restaurant is located in a densely or sparsely populated.

  1. Is Your Restaurant Ready to Handle Deliveries?

Most customers value speed of delivery over any other factor with many not willing to wait for more than 60 minutes. It is therefore a good idea to take the time to optimize your packaging and processes to ensure that you can meet this speed requirement. The biggest question to ask yourself is can food be ready to be collected by your delivery partners in a way that will not adversely affect your processes.

  1. Make Sure Data is Tracked Correctly

The delivery partner you choose will keep track of data in regards to how many times they deliver from your restaurant to customers. Ensuring that you choose a company that keeps accurate data of these deliveries is the only way you can determine of the delivery business has any return on investment. This data may even help you further enhance customer experiences.

  1. Don’t Commit Long-Term

A good idea would be to have contracts with many delivery partners. You would do this in order to spread the risk so that you are covered in case one fails to make the deliveries for any reason. You should also not be afraid to drop a delivery service when they fail to meet your expectations or those of your core customer base.

It is important to consider all these options to ensure that you are choosing the best to deliver your meals. Delivery may broaden your customer base and increase profits but only if it is done right.

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How to Work with Social Media Influencers on a Restaurant Launch

Social Media influencers can provide the perfect strategy to getting noticed. They are engaging marketers who have a commanding influence over their followers. This makes them one of the most ideal marketing avenues when launching a restaurant. But how do you use social media influencers to get your restaurant noticed in a competitive market? The following tips should help;

  1. Choose Authenticity

When choosing a social media influencer to help launch your restaurant, it is important to find influencers who are honest, real and above all passionate. Choose a person who is aware of what you represent and reflects your values. This will make it easier to work with the person. It is also important that the influencer you choose have genuine excitement about your brand and not just in it for the potential paycheck.

  1. Work with a Group of Influencers

There are different types of influencers. There are those who command a huge following and therefore charge higher prices and there are those who have smaller but engaged and dedicated communities. If your budget permits, you want to use both since the former will bring reach and awareness and the latter will bring passion. If your budget is big enough, consider a celebrity as part of your influencer group.

  1. Think Longer Term

Launches are often a short-term affair but for sustainability and to keep the conversation going you want to establish a long-term partnership with the influence you choose. It may even be a good idea to develop a program that will run for weeks or months after the launch. Influencers prefer these long-term associations since they are seen as more authentic for their personal brand. Knowing that, remember to go into a partnership with any influencer from a position of strength; they need you just as much as you need their bran.

  1. Don’t Try to Control Them

Understand that an Influence knows their audience better than you do. It is therefore important to trust them to now the kind of content to post and the frequency. While you should have a contract in place to ensure that you are on the same page when it comes to issues like event attendance, you don’t want to get in the way of what your Influencer does best. You chose them because they know what they are doing, letting them do it will be beneficial to both of you.

Above all you must remain true to your brand. Everything you choose for your new restaurant will have to fit into the theme that is your brand, even your influencer. Do not be tempted to choose an influencer simply because they have a huge following. Make sure that their message and content fits into your general brand and then check how many followers they have. Choosing large following over brand may lead to awareness, but the wrong people will be aware of your business which could be detrimental to your long-term credibility.

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The Action against Hunger Line Up is Complete

The Action against Hunger charity event will be held on Saturday 22 July at the Borough Market. This annual charity event in its sixth year is known for bringing together some of the biggest names in the UK restaurant and catering scene. This year, event goers can expect to be wowed by the presence and participation of Anna Hansen, Nieves Barragan Mohacho, James Lowe, Adam Handling and Chantelle Nicholson. Restaurants also expected to grace the event include The Begging Bowl, Breddos Tacos, SMOKESTALK, Luca and Hakkasan.

Tickets will cost $60 per person and will include seven dishes, five drinks and unlimited snacks. Longtime supporters of the event, Champagne Tattinger will host the Tattinger Time; a game where participants can win a glass or bottle of magnum. On top of that, guests will bid on the best food and drink experiences the country has to offer in a live auction hosted by Tom Best, Christie’s youngest auctioneer ever. The event has been a raging success over the years, raising millions of pounds for Action against Hunger.

Action against Hunger is a global charity organization that takes decisive action against hunger; its causes and effects. With more than 8000 staff members, the organization has served more than 14.7 million people in over 50 countries. Action against Hunger has been on existence for more than 40 years and in this time has developed a strategy to combat hunger and its effects through fundraising.

Funds raised from various sources around the world including Auction against Hunger are channeled towards the fight against hunger and malnutrition, providing the infrastructure needed for clean water, provide the necessary medical intervention to prevent killer infectious diseases that are often a consequence of hunger and starvation and most importantly to plan and implement programs that are designed to aid the communities the organization works with provide for themselves.

The result is communities that are stronger and better able to raise strong children These children don’t have to worry about starvation or access to clean water and are therefore are more likely to stay in school and have a better life. Action against Hunger will also share the knowledge they have gathered to ensure communities they come into contact with re left stronger an able to provide for their needs.

The organization relies completely on the generosity of well-wishers and events like Auction for Hunger. Attendees will not just get the chance to brush shoulders with some of the biggest names in the UK restaurant industry, but also give to a good cause; one that positively impacts the lives of so many.

You can find more information about Action against Hunger on the organization’s website. Tickets to the Auction against Hunger event can be purchased here until 19th June.

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How Restaurants Can Cultivate Loyalty in an Environment of Mass Competition

In a booming restaurant business, it can be difficult to remain relevant while maintaining your unique branding. In the past, restaurants could maintain a loyal clientele simply by remaining true to their menu, customs and brands. But it has recently become apparent to many restaurant owners that customers are less loyal than they used. While there are very many issues that affect customer loyalty and many of them may even be out of your control, there are certain steps you can take to ensure you remain competitive.

Are Customers Becoming Less Loyal?

If you are experiencing lower numbers of repeat customers for a while now, you may be thinking that general customer loyalty is on the decline. But while you’re thinking that your customers rarely come back, there are some restaurants that have seen an increase in customer loyalty. That’s because customer loyalty is affected by so many factors including the location of your business and some other factors like ratings and reviews.

How Social Media is Changing Loyalty

With more and more people choosing to use social media and online tools to book reservations, it becomes necessary to have a social media presence to ensure customer loyalty. Many restaurants have therefore developed social media marketing strategies that are aimed at attracting new customers and ensuring regulars remain loyal.

Again, most restaurant owners say that having a social media presence can have a great influence on the customers especially when they can engage with the chef. When customers can identify with the chef, they are able to identify with the brand and are therefore more likely to remain with the brand.

How to Deal With No-Shows

One of the main problems you will experience when you use social media and online tools to help with bookings and reservations is no-shows. This is a huge problem for many restaurants since it will often affect revenue and profits. It is important to note that no-shows can happen for reasons that are totally unrelated to your business. But when you begin to notice a significant increase in the number of no-shows, you may want to take measures handle this problem.

If you are using online tools for booking and reservations, begin by developing a very clear cancellation policy that outlines the terms for cancellation and the penalties a customer can incur when they choose to cancel a reservation. It is important to make sure that this policy is readily available to the customers and easy to understand.

You may also want to send a confirmation message to the customer immediately after they make the booking. Most online booking tools will do this automatically, sending out an email or SMS to confirm the booking. If you can, you may also take the time to call the customer to confirm the reservation.

There are some services that will also allow you to request a deposit when booking a reservation online the problem with this strategy is that it may reduce the number of conversions and ultimately reduce customer loyalty.

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How Reservation Tech Can Give you an Edge

Most of your customers want to book a restaurant online and 60% will make a reservation on a Smartphone app. With this in mind, it is no wonder that many restaurants have embrace reservation technology. It makes sense to make it easier for your customers to make a reservation with you. But as most restaurant owners will tell you online reservations can sometimes lead to an increase in no shows which is not good for business.

But as it is with every tech problem, this one has a solution. Restaurant owners can easily tokenize a credit or debit card during booking to significantly reduce the number of no shows or walk outs. But this is not the only way to go. As a restaurant owner, you can also choose to use an online booking service that will establish communication with the customer. These can send automated emails or SMS to remind the guest to confirm their booking with a press of a button or by clicking on a special link.

Use Online Reservation Services to Drive More Business

There are also some online reservation tools that can help you drive more business to your restaurant at quiet times. They do this by allowing restaurant owners to promote discounts in off-peak periods. But most restaurant owners are wary of these off-peak discounts since a discount on top of food prices, increasing staff costs may not be very good for business.

But there are certain online booking services that have taken this into account and have come up with a great solution. A good example is ResDiary Off-peak where you can set different prices at different times, going higher when its busy and offering a discount for quiet times. The company then promotes the discounted prices via email and social media.

Be Smartphone Smart

Because diners are looking for even easier ways to make restaurant booking, many prefer to make the booking on an app on their smartphone. In 2018, a rising trend has seen diners use Applemaps and Googlmaps to book restaurants directly. Knowing about and finding a way to get your restaurant listed on these apps is one way to ensure you remain ahead of the completion. One of those apps is Quandoo, an app that integrates maps its features, allowing customers to find restaurants easily.

These smartphone apps can also be crucial for to easing restaurant congestion. For example, DineTime Host is an app that will not only allow diners to book a restaurant on their smartphone but will also populate the restaurant waiting list and inform the guest of the estimated waiting time.

Allowing Customers to Pay for Meals Online

Restaurant booking technology has also evolved to allow diners to pay for their meals online. This solution is also designed to make the dining experience as convenient for the diners as possible and with over 67% of 16-20 years olds preferring to pay for their meals online, it is a route you may want to consider especially if you serve the younger generation.

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How to Use Online Tools to Control No-shows and Late Cancellations

No-shows and late cancellations can be a nightmare for restaurants especially since you know with advance warning the diners could have been replaced. This form of loss in revenue is one most restaurants will experience at some point in their lifetime. And in recent times online booking technology has been blamed for the large percentage of no-shows from online bookings.

But this same technology can also be utilized to prevent no-shows and cancellations. There are certain circumstances that are difficult to navigate and you may never be able to fill all tables every day. But the following measures can help you reduce the number of cancellations you experience;

  1. Make Your Cancellation Policy Very Clear

The first step is to have a very clear cancellation policy that can be displayed either on the restaurant’s website or on the webpage on the online booking service you use. Make sure that your customers and potential customers are aware of the cancellation window and penalties they may incur for late arrivals or late cancellations. It is also important to take every opportunity to ensure that your customers are familiar with your policy. For example, you may present them with the policy as soon as they make a reservation or every time you send them a reminder of their reservation.

  1. Send an Email Confirmation of the Booking

Ensure that your service sends an email to the customer confirming the booking. Some online booking tools will even send the customer an SMS to confirm the booking. Many will ensure the email or SMS is customized to your branding and colors. The main purpose of this confirmation is to eliminate booking mistakes regarding time and date that can also cause no-shows and cancellations.

  1. Call to Confirm the Booking

While it may not always be possible, it is important to take the time to follow up the reservation with a phone call. If you have too many customers, this may not be practical. But if you can, calling to confirm the reservation may go a long way in preventing a cancellation and the customer will appreciate it very much.

  1. Reserve the Right to Block Repeat Offenders

Even with all of these reminders, recognize that some people will fail to turn up. If the same customer is a no-show once or twice, you may put it down as unforeseen circumstances. But you want to be wary of repeat offenders; people who book reservations every other day and fail to show up. These people are causing you to lose revenue significantly. Fortunately, with online booking systems, there is something you can do. For example, ResDiary allows you to block these repeat offenders, ensuring they can never reserve your restaurant online.

With most people choosing to reserve restaurants online, there is increased risk or no-shows. But the same technology gives you adequate follow-up options to help reduce the risk and you begin by having a clear cancellation policy.

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Five Tips to Secure Investment for Your Restaurant

One of the most promising sources of funds when looking to expand your restaurant is private equity investment. Although investors can be hard to come by, they often have fewer requirements as compared to a bank. If you are looking to find an investor to expand your business, understand that these investors are often approached by thousands of other restaurant owners who like you have a business that they want to grow and need their money to do it.

So how do you stand out from the crowd and secure an investment? The following five tips should be a great place to start;

  1. Keep the Customer in Mind

Investors are attracted to a proposal that demonstrates long-term growth for the brand. To make them see that, your proposal should be something new that you want to add to your business. It can be a new delivery service, a new location or a new idea to improve in ambience. But whatever you choose, customer satisfaction should be the underlying goal. Being able to demonstrate the benefit the new addition will bring to your customers and how you’ll put them first can mean the difference between getting the funding or not.

  1. Present a Well-Developed Property and Location Strategy

You will have a better chance to get funding if you demonstrate a clear understanding of good site economics. If you plan to grow, you should have a clear understanding and be able to communicate clearly the expected return on investment for the new sites. You should also have a clear property and location strategy and you increase your chances for successful funding

  1. Determine the Barriers for Growth if Any

You must also determine the size that your business can scale to from the onset and be able to easily communicate this with potential investors. To do this, it is important to have a clear understanding of the market you operate in and if there is potential to roll out operation regionally. You must also be clear on the limitations of your offering are. The fewer the barriers, the more likely you are to secure funding.

  1. Demonstrate Firm Control

When you have total control of your operational and financial assets, potential investors are often more confident in your ability to run a successful business and will therefore be more inclined to fund you. You should be able to demonstrate good cash management as well as stability in debt or capital funding. Timely and accurate performance reporting will also add to your credibility.

  1. Invest in People

Many investors will back a business whose employees demonstrate a passion for its growth. That’s because a business that has invested in people is likely to provide valued service to its customers which is the cornerstone of any good business. This is more important in the hospitality business than any other sector since it is a people-based industry often with entrepreneurs who are passionate about their businesses and the service they provide.

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