Monthly archives of “October 2016

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The true importance of true customer service

How many times have you heard that saying, “The customer is always right.” Or how about, service does more than just serve guests, it is the building blocks that keep customers coming back. This being said if you want more customers you better train your food service professionals and you better make sure that your managers stay focus on the quality of service being executed on a day to day basis.

The fear of giving subpar service should truly make you worry, it is a growing concern industrywide and the weakness of giving poor service can lead even the nations top brands into the ground. It has become vital to hold your managers accountable on focusing on service standards that will lead to better sales and customer retention.

Restaurants reporting high turnover rates typically are sadly the ones that give poor service. The reason for this is that staff members are typically not in the establishment long enough to create strong client relationships. On the contrary the top-performing brands are less likely to receive negative service scores on all social media platforms. There are fewer complaints pertaining service, food and/management.

Too many times as owners we will blame poor service on the market being over saturated with new restaurants, the lack of adequate service professionals or even the tremendous lack of customers on the recession. It is fact that the hospitality industry has been week for years since 2008 and even though the industry has generated positive sales through higher prices, traffic has declined. Customers demand only the highest level of service, rightfully so, the nations average check has climbed 13.5% in the past four years and guests not only demand but, deserve the best!

It is a key performance indicator that top-performing brands are more likely to have top online review scores. Top brands make service their top priority and consistently train both managers and hourly employees alike. Owners know that it is important not to turn over their managers and keep them happy, well trained and prioritize listening to them if and when something in the restaurant needs reevaluation. Remember your management is your defense line between you and customers, they are the people you should trust and invest in the most!

To the last point, as owners, you should always be looking into new service techniques, new programs to enhance your service professionals knowledge base and continuously look for the top notch hospital professionals in your area.

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How to Lower Restaurant Labor Cost

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For many of us as soon as the weather cools down and the seasons change, we unfortunately see a decrease in overall business.  The need lower restaurant labor costs begins and we constantly start looking at our clocks to see how much we are losing in labor.

Labor is a major area from which restaurants can bleed profitability. Why? When the clock goes tick, you owe! With food, if you buy too much, as long as it’s not wasted, spoiled or stolen, you can use that food tomorrow. But if you bring in too many people, bring them in too early or underschedule, you can’t tell those employees that the hours they just worked don’t count. This makes it vital to have controls in place to manage your labor costs.However, we have good news and you can be sure to rest easy knowing that there is a way to reduce the flood gate of hours going down the drain and we are going to share with you how to do so.

Follow these 3 tips to alleviate the fear of labor cost pains!

1. Schedule less. There’s a myth in the hospitality industry that by bringing in more staff, you will give your guests better service. The challenge with this is it’s actually the complete opposite. You want to give your guests a great dining experience, so you bring more servers in to be the most attentive and offer “wow” customer service. Or you bring in an additional cook for faster ticket times. But when you have too many people working and not enough work, they can tend to talk with each other and end up giving less-than-great customer service. I would argue that when you are staffed to a level where you think you could use one more person on the floor, your guests get the best experience you can deliver because your team doesn’t have extra time to get distracted by each other. They only have time to stay focused on the guest. The end result is happy customers, higher sales and lower labor costs.

2. Schedule based on a sales forecast. There is a way to know what the right number is without relying on your gut feeling. It’s extremely common for restaurants to schedule like they always do, even when their sales are lower than expected or when they are coming out of a busy season. This practice can rob you of your profits faster than anything else in your business. Changing this practice starts with making your best guess as to what you think your Monday-to-Sunday gross sales are going to be for the upcoming month by the 20th of the current month. This enables you to adjust your schedules to take care of the needs of your guests and your business without losing money.

3. Track labor on a daily basis. Yes, you should track your labor costs every day. You have the tools you need as long as you have a POS system. All you need to do is run a daily report in your POS system each day to see how much you’re paying your employees who worked that day, and divide that by that day’s gross sales to know what your labor cost is. Then as each day goes by, just add the labor costs together and the sales together and divide them, continuing to total and divide to get your running labor cost.

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Food Trend Predictions for 2017

If you are like us you have already begun the process of thinking about food items that will be on trend for next year. We never seem to know if consumers next year will be eating chocolate at breakfast, sardines with lunch and goat for dinner but, a new list of culinary trend predictions has surfaced that may truly shock you and your business partners.

It should be no surprise to read that consumers are obsessed with nutrition, sustainability and authentic of properly sourced foods. Consumers are seeking to rediscover traditional cooking methods, explore global cuisines and reevaluate restaurants and the prepackaged foods they eat.

To simply put it, you have to engage your guest with food and compile a list of trends that will identify with your consumer landscape. We had to look at the key driving elements that have changed consumer behaviors and develop a list of trends that hit the core elements of what make your guests want to come in and dine with you. Of course, we don’t expect you as owners to do all of the hard work, which is why we have identified a few of the top projecting trends for the 2017 year.

1- Dark chocolate at breakfast -  consumers love dark chocolate at breakfast because, it gets their metabolisms up and running for the day.

2- Black – yes, black – black tinted vegetables, blackened pizza, black rice, black beans and black colored cocktails. Consumers senses seem to be elevated when they are served the black  colored foods because, they have no idea what flavor to expect, it is exciting for them.

3- Soup- “souping” is the new juicing, it allows those who love the juicing experience to take it one step further and add new textures, tastes and nutrients to an already popular trend. Soups have a wonderful source fiber, antioxidants as well as other detoxifying ingredients guests love.

4-Local Heritage Re-Farmed – a trend that bring local farming and shopping to the next level. Brings local foods, ingredients, recipes and cooking styles all together to create a wonderful meal.

5- Mexican styled foods- consumers can’t get enough of Mexican style cuisine.

6- Heat- consumers have never enjoyed spicy foods more than today. To many of them it is more than just extreme heat, it actually adds to food, helps with their digestion and sometimes seems to be addicting.

We know that you may not be able to incorporate all of these finding into next years menu but, we hope that it helps give you a few ideas as to what may help you expand and attract new guests!

 

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To Uber Eats or not to Uber Eats.

Have you ever considered how to reach those individuals at home, who may not want to leave their homes, that do not have time to dine out or who are truly unable to leave home while taking care of their family? Well we may have discovered the answer for you, Uber Eats! With the service customers are able to order the food they want form you, the restaurant that they love and delivered to them at Uber speed.

Uber Eats allows user to use their app, now available on iOS and Android to order their desired food with a click of a button, seven days a week ( or whenever your normal hours of operation are). Over the past year Uber has been working tirelessly to bring the best food directly to customers, allowing them the opportunity to order as frequently as they want. The service has expanded their delivery distances to reach new customers and allows great food to be paired with excellent and reliable service which people have learned to know and expect from Uber.

Restaurants using the service have quickly come to see that customers love having the ability to place their food order on their phone and then follow along while your meal comes to you. The days of order soggy pizza are long gone, with Uber Eats consumers are able to eat the way they truly want with out leaving the comforts of their own home and are “eating out,” more than ever.

Because, there is no minimum to order through Uber Eats you are able to reach a consumer base that may be willing to purchase a $15 appetizer at home but, may feel judged if only ordering that in your establishment. This allows your customer to truly enjoy their meal, no matter what it is they order and be 100% satisfied knowing they were in control of the order and were not pressured into ordering an extra cocktail or appetizer.

We recommend trying the service, it never hurts to grow your bottom line and hosts the potential to grow your customer base. The service shows all the restaurants available in the area when customers order so you have the opportunity to earn business when clients may not have even of been thinking of you.

We hope you enjoy the service and find it useful!

 

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Spooky Halloween Cocktails

‘Tis the season to be spooky! With Halloween on the horizon, we want to whip up two cocktail recipes to add a little festive fear to your holiday hauntings.

As many restaurant owners decide to lean away from the typical spooky Halloween appetizers/ desserts, we thought it would be the perfect time to mix, explore and scare our guests with brilliant cocktails. So what type of mystical cocktails have we created a week before the gulls and goblins come out to play?

We like to focus on the fact that Halloween can be an exciting holiday for adults just as much as it can be for kids. You can still get dressed up, go out on the town, hop door to door, and run around with your friends late into the night regardless of whether you’re 12 or 21. But the odds are that a 21-year-old is probably not that interested in candy — they’re interested in bars. So to make sure your business is on the map for all the Halloween bar tours, here are a few eye-catching drinks you can use to catch some extra attention.

Satan’s Whiskers

 A great starter to get everyone in the holiday spirit, especially for all the customers showing up in little red horns, Satan’s Whiskers is a tasty, tangy, and sweet cocktail made with gin, two kinds of vermouth, orange juice, orange curacao, and orange bitters. Like a balanced breakfast, this drink is pretty heavy on the citrus. Unlike a balanced breakfast, the citrus tastes better with vermouths. Depending on what kind of vermouth you use, you could also get hints of caramel, herbs, and even tree bark to bring the whole drink alive in a comfortable tapestry of flavor with a little kick. It actually tastes the way a sunset looks.

Brain Hemorrhage 

It’s unclear whether this drink is named after its appearance or the prerequisite to wanting one, but the Brain Hemorrhage is hands-down the grossest drink on this list. Start it out with peach schnapps and float on some Bailey’s Irish cream. The Bailey’s will congeal fairly quickly, and it’s supposed to — that’s what gives this drink the bloodied, clumped appearance at the bottom of the glass. Top it off with a little bit of grenadine for just that extra touch of disgust and serve. A Brain Hemorrhage can be served as a shot or a martini, but it’s probably a better idea to give it as a shot just so a customer doesn’t have a chance to think about what they’re drinking. (They’ll probably need a few Whiskers and Bayous to want a Hemorrhage.) But in all seriousness, it’s a decent shot. – The verdict is still out on whether or not it tastes like brains.

 

Vampire’s Kiss

 

1.5 ounces vodka

1.2 ounce orange liqueur

1 teaspoon superfine sugar

.75 ounce freshly-squeeze lemon juice

Red gel frosting for garnish. Begin by rimming a martini glass with red gel frosting. Add two drips down the glass to mimic a vampire’s favorite beverage. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add the vodka, orange liqueur, sugar, and lemon juice. Shake vigorously and strain into the prepared martini glass.

All of these cocktails are sure to impress your guests and can served through the entire week leading up to Halloween. We recommend that you try the drinks, add your own personal touch on them and truly enjoy the season with everyone coming into your establishments.

Cheers!