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The Right Ways to Motivate Staff in the Restaurant Industry

When I read articles like the one quoted from below, I usually think that the person writing them has never actually done the job they are giving advice on.

I could be wrong, of course, but this just doesn’t seem to me to be real world experience talking here. And reading the bio of the writer- it mentions he sells POS systems and doesn’t run a restaurant so I may be right.

I’ve written before about what I think are the keys to providing a well motivated staff but I’ll cover them here again as a refresher:

  • provide real, adequate and thorough training
  • set clear expectations and apply them consistently
  • treat employees as professional and in a business-like fashion- don’t
Keep reading
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Restaurant Marketing: A Rifle, NOT A Shotgun

The problem with marketing that is easy is that it usually is not very effective. It’s easy to sign up for a monthly ad in the local coupon mailer- but how many of those come back and of the ones that do how many turn into regular customers?

It’s easy to sign up for Groupon- but how well did that work out for you? Probably not well.

It is harder to create a marketing plan that acknowledges exactly who your best customers are likely to be and the best way to reach them with the best offer. But that is how you are going to get your best return on investment and make a significant dent in your growth … Keep reading

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Proof Groupon-style Deals Stole $115M from Restaurants in 2011

Don’t do it. That’s all I have to say. And now the numbers bear it out- daily deal sites including the biggie- Groupon- are not helping people build great relationships with repeat customers- they are killing small businesses.

Not every time but it isn’t worth the risk because the odds are against you.

You are better off creating your own special coupons and doing your own marketing to actually build a loyal customer base and create new business. Here are some better restaurant marketing suggestions that will serve your business much better over the long haul than anything a daily deal site is going to bring you.

Visits to independent restaurants were down by 4% in 2011, but Groupon-like deals … Keep reading

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Is It Smart to Withhold Menu Prices to Increase Profits?

Here is a case where if you think through why you are doing something you will also likely come to the right conclusion about whether or not it is a good idea.

In the article below the discussion revolves around Cheesecake Factory charging someone $11 for a drink when the bill came but not disclosing what the drink was going to cost in the menu or at the time of the order.

The discussion is about whether it is legal but I think the more important consideration is whether it is a good idea at all. You can often find loopholes to get around the legal part, but the more important aspect in my mind is whether this is something … Keep reading

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5 Restaurant Social Media Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

This seems like common sense but then as the old saying (approximately) goes, common sense isn’t nearly as common as the name would imply.

I think the problem is social media is way too easy to use and there is no visible cost to doing it so people don’t think it through like they would other marketing.

For example, no restaurant owner would pay to run an advertisement in the newspaper or on the radio that made a dumb joke, insulted customers, discussed religious views or took a political position. But doing it on Facebook or Twitter is so fast, easy and free that the normal thinking that goes into marketing doesn’t seem to apply.

Ah, but that’s where you … Keep reading

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Maximizing Restaurant Profitability by Understanding Food Cost

The cost of food in your restaurant is very likely to be your single biggest expense. It therefore stands to reason that you need to keep a close eye on it if you expect to manage the number and maintain a consistently profitable operation.

We provide restaurant business plan software that will help you calculate it correctly and add it in to your overall restaurant financial package.

For a better general understanding of what it is and why it matters (and a shocking number of current restaurant owners DON’T seem to know or appreciate this) and how you can make tracking it an integral part of your restaurant business, check out the following article.

It was written by a company … Keep reading

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SMS (Text Message) Restaurant Marketing Tips and Tricks

In the old days, about five years ago, restaurant marketing was hard enough. You still had to do all the old things, but you also had to market online and also deal with the fact that people were starting to post reviews online as well, and not all of them were good.

Oh for the old days when things were simple!

Now, you have all that, plus you need a mobile version of your website and you need to have a twitter account, a facebook page, join foursquare, get some videos on youtube, podcast something, monitor a million review sites, get to the top of Google places, check out some new thing called pinterest and still drop in on the … Keep reading

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How to Turn a Charity Donation into $500k/Year in Restaurant Sales

This is an awesome story about how some creative thinking, a small investment and a desire to make things happen rather than sit back and wait for them is creating a huge windfall of success.

I have no doubt opportunities like this exist all over the place if you look for them and are ready to take action. There surely is someone who is going to do it. Will it be you and if not, why not?

It’s true. I’m not making it up.

Just last week I turned 2 meetings into $500,000 additional revenue for our restaurant (over a six month period) with a total investment of around $6000 and some time.

Let me rewind a little to give Keep reading

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Don’t Let Your Restaurant Become the Kodak Camera of Your Area

The great advantage you have is you are doing a restaurant business plan now is that you don’t have a huge legacy operation to try and shift in a new direction. You can see what restaurant trends are happening, what is working and what isn’t and adjust accordingly while everything is still on paper instead of built and hugely more expensive to shift.

If you are already down the path, then hopefully you find yourself in a situation that has adapted to the new reality of doing business. While on the one hand things don’t change that much, on the other hand they do and you need to make sure you are in the fork of the river that is … Keep reading

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10 Must-Do Items to Explode Your Online Restaurant Marketing

Awesome article to start the new year on online marketing for your restaurant. If you are doing even half of these I’d be amazed and I’m afraid most people are only doing one or two of them and probably not as well as they should be.

If you need help with any of these items- contact us. We can help or recommend someone who can in most cases.

If you are still working on your restaurant business plan than by all means copy this page and make it part of your marketing plan by just inserting your name into each list item. Well, not quite, but almost.

These tips are serious gold for a restaurant owner or aspiring restaurant … Keep reading

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