Sunday, December 18, 2016

SEO - POS - RMS Restaurant Management Systems - Learn SEO for your Restaurant

SEO is how businesses create online awareness of their website and tell the world about the services and products they provide. There are certain rules to follow when starting your SEO campaign.

First thing to understand is search engines make the rules. Get acquainted with the rules of SEO. Companies like Google, Bing, Yahoo, and many others provide a searchable database of the web. Google is king in this area. Get to the top in Google and the other engines will follow. They do this by constantly exploring the web 24 hours a day. Programs called "Bots" browse the web and eventually find every page on the internet. Picture little spiders crawling all over the digital footprints people create on the world wide web. They record the data on each page and index it into categories. For instance if you create a website for your "shoe store" the bots see that your content relates to shoes, stores your URL, and when someone searches for shoe stores, your store will be a part of the results that are shown in the search engine. This is very effective in bringing people to your website.

A couple things to keep in mind: at the top of every search engine you will see paid ads. These companies are paying top dollar to be seen first. However, these paid ads are not as effective as an organic search that posted your page on top because it had the most relevance and great online reputation. People tend to skip the ads altogether and strictly trust the organic results. There are many companies that offer SEO services, but it is fairly simple when you get the hang of it. You don't need to have a technology degree to do it. Search engines recognize great content. So you need to create a web page that is easy to access and has great content. Ease of access includes doing a bit of “keyword" research. Keyword research is a function most search engines include. It allows you to see how many times a particular phrase is searched for on a monthly basis.

Post any press to all social media. Let as many people see it as possible; it will also create back-links to your site which will help with your SEO (discussed in another article). Show off your goods. Share photos and videos of your service and quality, and be mindful of the backdrops and photo/video quality. Write an awesome professional profile. Tell your story, share your journey. Everyone has dreamed of owning their own business or running their own restaurant. Share how you did it. It will increase brand loyalty and add to your viewers online. It may even land you some consulting opportunities.

Going back to our shoe store scenario, if you find that shoe stores are searched for 100,000 times in a month you know you have some competition and you will need to bring your A game to the SEO of your website. If the keyword shows low volume search, your competition isn't as difficult. Choosing keywords are the first step in creating an SEO strategy. Studies show that being in the top 3 spots of Google will bring you a 30% increase in business. That's a staggering number compared to other forms of marketing. Once you've chosen the keywords you're going to build upon, it's time to create content using these words.

Sometimes less is more; avoid being over wordy online, people are attracted to fun, interesting images and content. This is an important part because it is the foundation of your SEO campaign. Once you've got a great looking site that will interest those that visit, it's time to link to as many other sites as possible.

Be wary of companies that contact you and offer to post your link for a fee or some type of promotional reason. Not all of these services are credible. Instead, start a blog that relates to your industry. In the blog you will link certain words and phrases back to your site. This will create back-links and search engines will now have more reason to trust you and put you ahead of the competition. This will take some time, but the longer your site is up the more Google will trust it as long as there are no "red-flags" which means you’re trying to cheat the system. To write a 2 - 3 paragraph article once a day doesn't take much. You can do it in roughly an hour once you get the hang of it. Post these daily and it will increase your web presence a ton.
Next in this step is creating landing pages. Landing pages are pages that have similar information as your home page but are created to bring attention by geographic location. You should have a landing page for every city you intend to operate in. These pages are connected to cities through meta data. For instance, "" will tell Google you operate in Long Beach and will bring you up closer to the top in that specific area. Landing pages are a great way to move up in the engines.

Lastly, use social media presence. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more have already established trust and content with the search engines so it's important to create profiles on them and update them regularly. Link back to your site as often as possible, and keep your online image going. Do not let it stagnate. Oftentimes businesses will hire people specifically for this, as it is a full time gig when done properly. Using videos and photos with metadata attached all go into optimizing for search engines.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Rezku Learning Center, POS Systems

Find a POS System that works for you

How to Keep Your Great Staff

     Communicating with your staff members shouldn't be that difficult these days. With all the social media and instant messaging services, keeping in contact can be a breeze. Here are some great ways to communicate with and keep your great staff members.

     Create a Team Culture - Every successful team has a culture. This is usually set by the leader. Notice I didn't say manager. You need a leader to set the tone. Managers don't always possess this ability, although are extremely effective when they do. Leaders are informed about their teammates and know what motivates them. A good leader will take the time to get to know their staff members, to help better lead and guide them. Make no mistake, your staff members look up to you, if they don't, they won't stay very long. So have good culture, set a welcoming atmosphere at team meetings. Encourage more experienced staff to help newer members get involved. The more they "DO" the less they "over think". So keep things going, no idle staff members. 

     Use Technology - Use social media and business apps that facilitate team communication. This will bring validity to your team. Perception is reality; it must seem as though someone is steering the ship. Provide direction and take a personal interest in the growth of your teammates. You can set up a weekly employee newsletter keeping all your staff members up to date on current events. Have a cloud based operations manual. This will act like an online encyclopedia for managers and employees to reference and update as you see fit. There are tons of apps out there that provide this type of service, so do your research and pick a good one.

     Meet with Employees Individually - If you never talk to someone, you'll never understand their point of view. Check in with staff members once a month or so to keep communication open. Employees love it when bosses take the time to listen to anything they would like to discuss. This will also provide important insight into day to day operations. Set up a meeting schedule for all employees.

     Anonymous Feedback - Create a way for employees to share thoughts and concerns without being identified. You will be surprised what people will say and bring up when they don't feel the scrutiny or judgement of co-workers. Toyota has a philosophy, "lead from the front". Toyota was facing a huge crisis when the CEO called for weekly meetings with ALL front-line employees. His plan was to hear from the source what they thought the problems were. At first they were hesitant to share their true thoughts. Mr. Toyoda assured them that whatever was said in these meetings would not be held against them. After a short time they opened up and began to share what they knew. Within months the major issues were fixed and company morale was at an all time high. Managing from the top down will get you nowhere. You must begin at the source.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Teach your restaurant staff to sell, POS Systems near

POS Systems make selling easier

Teaching your restaurant staff to sell

Restaurant sales are not like normal sales. In a restaurant your customers have already decided to eat and spend their money with you. So how does an owner/operator teach the staff to sell inside a restaurant, encouraging guests to "double down" and enjoy their night out. 

This is where the art of suggestive selling comes into play. Subtlety in suggestive selling is key. "Can I get you all something to drink?" versus "Can I start you off with a cocktail?" will plant images and thoughts that will shift the customer’s decision making. The word “drink" implies lots of different types of beverages. Whereas "cocktail" definitely refers to alcohol. Now, be sure not to suggest any specific alcoholic beverage until your customer tells you which type of alcoholic beverage they would like. 

The reason for this is if when you said cocktail your guest thought of a cold Long Island Iced Tea but you suggested a top shelf margarita. Well that's the opposite of what they were thinking and now you are just another walking ad trying to sell something the customer doesn’t want. 

A great restaurateur/server can suggest and lead their guests to items and orders they didn't even know they wanted, thus increasing each ticket a small amount, pushing towards the overall goal of up-selling. Using words like awesome or incredible doesn't do the job. You need to be more specific for today's highly skeptical consumer. Tender, sweet, and juicy are words that provoke a sensory reaction. Your guests will make more decisions based on impulse, thus taking price out of the equation. It's important to have a staff that understands this and teaching it to them will produce more sales on any given shift. Involve a professional if you can. 

Often, top sales people will consult for businesses in this way. They bring a keen insight that will motivate staff members to become and want more. This will be worth the investment when your staff is properly trained and equipped. Hiring the right employees is important to begin with and we will discuss this subject in more detail in other articles. We at Guest Innovations are supremely thankful to serve such an amazing industry. If you found this helpful, feel free to share this on your websites and social media.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Restaurant Management, Tips on writing a menu, POS Systems, restaurant POS

      A well written and visually appealing menu will drive business and increase sales. Following are some tips to creating your ultimate restaurant menu. Decide how much you should write. Does your restaurant need just one page or does it require multiple pages? Would you rather see one column or two? Either will create a clean look to build upon. Put daily specials on a separate menu, making it economical and simple to change. Keep it short, write descriptions that will appeal to the senses of your guests. Use words like savory, tangy, bursting with flavor, any word that describes your dish and ignites the senses. Your guests first eat with their eyes, so make it fun and descriptive with great photos to capture the best experience possible, again keeping it short and to the point. Most guests are not going to be excited about reading your novel on cooking. That's why they go to your restaurant, so you cook for them. 

     Design is important. Your menu should have a flow and be able to be read by everyone. Be careful of using overly fancy fonts and extreme designs. You want to make it easy to read. Understand who your customers are. What would they like to see on the menu? Are they mostly college students, professionals, or families? Knowing the demographics of your location will help provide guidance in writing your menu. Quick note, men and women tend to order along gender-based lines. For example, men tend to order hardy and filling meals whereas women tend to lean towards the lighter side. Make your menu appealing to both sides. 
     Pricing your items is a decision in itself. As for adding prices to the menu, you want customers to choose based off palate preference and dish description. Putting a price after the description will build impulse and make the price seem well worth it, or maybe not even important at that point. That's where you want to be. Meeting the need and appetite will keep them coming back. Also, drop the dollar sign, dollar signs push customers to choose cheaper choices. You do not want this to be the focus. 

     Remember that your menu is an extension of your brand. Make it pop! Spelling and grammar are important; make sure to have several eyes look it over before sending to print. Lastly, your restaurant is good at something specific, maybe it's a themed restaurant or a small breakfast cafe. Play to your strengths and highlight what people love about your restaurant. Listen to your customers and write down your ideas somewhere. Your menu will most likely evolve and change over time so make sure it's only getting better!! As always, we hope you found this helpful. For more great tips and services check out our blog or social media

Restaurant Startup, POS Systems, Restaurant point of sale

A Point of Sale System for your Restaurant

Start-up You Say?

     Starting a restaurant can be extremely rewarding and fulfilling. However, where do you start? There's a lot a restaurant owner needs to know and be aware of. We will highlight 3 best practices for start-up restaurants. 

     1. Good start-up decisions. Starting your restaurant on good terms will have a cataclysmic effect on the restaurant's success. Make sure you maintain low start-up costs. The pressure that comes from financial strain can bankrupt any seasoned operator. There  simply isn't enough traction in your business to warrant high costs yet. Allow your restaurant to make a name for itself. Create loyal customers that are sold on the food and service. Favorable lease terms are critical as well. Consider starting with a food cart or truck. These have a relatively low cost and risk as you can move your restaurant to find the best locations to serve. Have a leasing agent or attorney look over your lease to make sure you're getting the best value; this can save you lots of time and effort. Have a distinctive concept. Play to your strengths, decide what you will specialize in and be the best at it. There are so many choices in today's food industry. Give your customers a reason to pick you! 

     2. Smart operating decisions. Lots of restaurant and business owners are described as intense and extremely attentive to detail. From service, to food prep and cleanliness they are known for cracking the whip. An almost obsessive compulsion goes into the creating of systems and processes that ensure a successful and uninhibited experience for your guests. Create a consistent high quality guest experience. Initiating and setting up cleaning regimens, ordering schedules, and quality control will give your start-up a fighting chance at success. Staffing your restaurant is key. Finding and attracting the right talent for your restaurant can prove difficult. We suggest reading up on the hiring process and becoming skilled at recognizing great potential. Great restaurant employees are not found but built mostly. Let's face it, most restaurant employees are younger and not as experienced. This means that you need to set the standard and lead from the front. Teach and tailor your message and vision to your trainees. Setting up simple but effective processes will help with this too. Build capable and loyal staff. 

     3. Sound business decisions. Financial systems must be put in place in order to reduce the risk of loss, theft, and overall inexperience in this area of business. Cost controls need to be implemented, portion control, and so on. This all is a part of the end goal to maximize profitability and ROI. We hope this was helpful. If you know someone starting or wanting to start a restaurant, share this with them and sign up for our weekly newsletters!!