Customer Loyalty Strategies for Restaurants

July 23, 2014 by

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Bringing new customers in is always top of mind for restaurant owners, however, building a loyal customer base can be more profitable and cheaper in the long run. There are many tools out there to help grow customer loyalty but, often times, being present and a familiar face can be the most effective. How great does it make you feel when you walk into a restaurant or bar where everyone knows you and your tastes?

There are many ways to ensure you’re making an impact on your customers, including becoming the face of the restaurant and taking action on customer feedback. Read more for tips on customer retention strategies >>

 

 

Reducing Costs for Your Restaurant

July 21, 2014 by

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The costs associated with running a restaurant can be exceedingly high – from labor to equipment maintenance and food waste. In order to be successful, it’s important to take a close look at your business and see where you can save money. Below are some tips to get you started!

Hire Smart
With labor costs accounting for the majority of expenses at restaurants, it’s important to hire wisely and retain top talent. It can be daunting, but there are a lot of free resources out there, such as Culintro, to help you. Once you have candidates to choose from, be sure to ask them questions geared toward your needs and consider creating scenarios they may find themselves in and see how they react. Interviewing is always tough and it’s not always a guarantee, but it’s important to do what you can to ensure you’ve covered everything before making a decision. Read more for tips on how to hire.

Inventory Management
After labor, food costs are typically the largest expense for restaurants, so having tight inventory-control policies is important. Track numbers of each item sold each day and you will have a good idea of which ingredients are used and how that should be reflected in your inventory. Have a bottle of wine that’s not selling? Stop purchasing it and keep only what you need in stock. Don’t spend money or waste space on items you don’t need.

Loss Prevention
Sometimes an employee accidentally ruins a large batch of food, or spoilage occurs due to a banquet cancellation or another expected demand that does not materialize. Sometimes employees have to “comp” many dishes in a given week because of a new cook learning the ropes. Take a look at where food is being wasted and determine how to prevent it. This may mean improving employee training, managing reservations and implementing a fee for last-minute group cancellations, and closely monitoring employee meals. If significant losses are being reported, this could represent theft and should be investigated.

Streamline Your Menu
Large menus with varying items mean more ingredients you have to purchase that can also go bad. Unless you have a high-volume restaurant with frequent turnover, keep it simple. A concise menu reduces distractions and indecision, allowing servers to provide better customer service.

Free Advertising
Not long ago, restaurant owners and managers had to rely on paid advertising to get the message out about their restaurants. With social media, advertising can be free! Choose a few key outlets and be sure to post regularly and include relevant content that pulls customers in. Read more for tips on using social media for your restaurant.

Invest in Technology
Look for new technology that’s geared toward helping businesses run more efficiently, cheaply, and from anywhere, such as mobile payment tools and cloud-based point-of-sale systems such as Breadcrumb. These tools can provide insights into your operations and give you information that you can leverage, helping you to determine what is and isn’t selling, which employees perform better than others, which days are slower than others, and more. Do your research and make the investment. It’s worth it!

Interested in learning more about Breadcrumb’s powerful point of sale solution? Sign up for a free demo now!

Breadcrumb Reviews: Butter Lane Cupcakes

July 17, 2014 by

Pam Nelson, Owner of Butter Lane Cupcakes, switched to Breadcrumb because she “needed something that was much less clunky and could give us the kind of transparency in all of our metrics and allowed me to be more connected to the business.”

Interested in learning more about Breadcrumb and how it can help your business? Sign up for a demo now!

Credit Card Processing Fees Demystified

July 17, 2014 by

Who gets the money you pay when a credit card transaction occurs? Understanding credit card processing fees can be confusing and overwhelming. Let’s make it easy!

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  • Visa & Mastercard–these fees are called assessments
  • The bank that issued the credit card being used (for example Chase or Citibank) these fees are called interchange
  • The credit card processor / merchant account provider–the processor mark up

Usually the merchant account provider will not explicitly tell you how much money is going to each party. It is important for you to know where your money is going and what parts are negotiable, since it will help you negotiate effectively.

Interchange

Set of fees, established by Visa & MasterCard, that is passed on to the banks that issue the credit cards to your customers.

Important facts about Interchange

  • Set by Visa/MasterCard and non-negotiable.
  • Composed of a flat rate for each transaction plus a percentage of the transaction amount example: $0.10/per transaction +1.75% of     transaction volume.
  • Interchange is the largest chunk of processing costs at an average of 1.77% (higher for ecommerce).
  • The pricing rules for Interchange are very complex. There is a 200+ page book published by Visa & MasterCard with all of the pricing   rules! For example:
    1. Each type of card (rewards, business, debit, etc) gets a different rate
    2. Many different types of businesses get special rates (gas stations, convenience stores, taxi cabs, movie theaters, etc)
    3. Different size businesses can get different rates (Companies like Wal-Mart get special rates because of their size)
    4. How the transaction is processed can determine the rate (if the card was swiped vs. keyed-in, or if it was charged via an online gateway)

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Important Facts about Assessments

  • A tiny portion of the cost—almost 20 times less than Interchange (Visa & Mastercard: 0.11%).
  • Mastercard has an additional assessment called Network and Brand Usage Fee (NABU) which is 0.0185% per transaction.
  • Visa has an additional assessment fee which is called Acquirer Processing Fee (APF) which is 0.0195% per transaction.
  • Set by Visa/MasterCard and non-negotiable.

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Important Facts about Processor Markup

  • It is based on a number of factors, including your business’ assessed risk, size, and negotiating power.
  • It is the only negotiable portion of your credit card processing fees.
  • Comprised of different fees depending on the processor:
    1. Base fees: Processors offer different types of pricing contracts, each with different rules for charging the merchant. These fees almost always involve a per-transaction & volume-based fee.
    2. AVS fee (address verification): Per-transaction fees charged for performing address-verification checks.
    3. Monthly fee / Statement fee: A flat monthly fee for maintaining the processing account.
    4. Cancellation Fees: You may be surprised to find a cancellation fee in your contract. Getting rid of this fee should not be a problem: most salespeople have the authority to waive it. Talk to the salesperson and make sure the fee is waived.
    5. And more… ?! Many processors try to sneak in extra fees (and give them creative & complex-sounding names). The above list are the only typical fees you should agree to in a processing contract.

Learn more about other tools Breadcrumb offers to help build and grow your business at Breadcrumb.com.

Breadcrumb Reviews: Lillie’s Q BBQ

July 17, 2014 by

Charlie McKenna, Chef and Owner of Lillie’s Q in Chicago talks about his experience with Breadcrumb and why it works for his restaurant: “It’s small, functional, the help is for free, it’s an iPad system, it’s easy to learn.”

Interested in learning more about Breadcrumb and how it can help your business? Sign up for a demo now!

Breadcrumb Reviews: Bow Truss Coffee Roasters

July 15, 2014 by

Talya Strader, Retail Director at Bow Truss Coffee Roasters in Chicago, reviews Breadcrumb and talks about her experience: “I love Breadcrumb because it’s super easy, it’s just user-friendly. I don’t even train my staff.”

Interested in learning more about Breadcrumb and how it can help your business? Sign up for a demo now!

Breadcrumb + Groupon Builds the Future with Habitat for Humanity

July 11, 2014 by

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Groupon had its start in the idea that people coming together can build something larger than individuals working alone, and that idea of group service is still at the heart of our culture as a company. Through our Employee Volunteer Program, Groupon employees have committed to volunteering 10,000 hours in 2014 through a variety of activities that will make our local communities better places to live, work and play.

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A few weeks ago, a team of Breadcrumb and Groupon employees from our Bay Area offices spent the day working at Habitat Terrace, a new development from Habitat for Humanity of Greater San Francisco that will provide affordable single-family homes for 28 families. Volunteers worked on installing insulation, soundproofing and drywall – we definitely got a little messy by the end of the day, but came away with a great sense of having contributed to something that will have a lasting impact for decades to come.

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We’re already planning our next Habitat work day, but if there’s another local cause in the Bay Area, Chicago or New York that you think we could help with, leave your suggestions in the comments! Interested in becoming a member of our fast-growing team? We’re hiring!

Breadcrumb Community Event in NYC

July 1, 2014 by

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Last week we hosted our first community event for our loyal New Yorkers at Biblio in Brooklyn, a great spot owned by Graham Finn who also happens to be a Breadcrumb customer – how convenient, we know! This was a great opportunity to meet some of you face-to-face and to get to know you and your business needs a little more.

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We had  the back patio to ourselves and joined by Breadcrumb founder, Seth Harris, and our Head of Customer Operations, Amadou Kone. The evening started off with drinks, appetizers and intros then launched into the story of how Breadcrumb was founded and a round of feedback from everyone on the product.

Each one of the attendees provided great feedback on their experience with Breadcrumb, concerns they’ve had, where they’d like to see Breadcrumb go and features that would help improve the operations of their business. Everything from ordering ahead, reservations, CRM capabilities and what our plans for EMV card technology was thrown out there and we left with some great ideas for the future.

All in all, this was a great event and incredibly valuable all around – we wouldn’t be where we’re at without all of you and we can’t wait to see what the future will bring!

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We’d also like to give a very special thanks to Graham and his staff for opening his doors and making this a fantastic evening.

Interested in attending a community event in your area? Sign up here! Learn more about Breadcrumb and stay up-to-date on the product by following us on Facebook and Twitter.

Tips to Turn Your Restaurant into a Tourist Destination

June 30, 2014 by

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Travelers spend more than $200 billion annually on food service in the United States, according to the U.S. Travel Association. What does that mean? The U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis, states that “‘food services and drinking places’ spend accelerated in the fourth quarter [of 2013], increasing 7.7 percent,” presenting an opportunity for you. Below are some tips to help you get started!

1. Build Your Social Media Presence. When tourists arrive at their destination, they often check in on Facebook to a location—and this is when ads for local attractions start. Busy holidays such as the Fourth of July are the perfect time to boost advertising and offer specials, turning this into a great tool for businesses. Twitter can also act as a channel to reach tourists. Do a little research and tweet using hashtags that tourists may follow or post to. For example, if you’re a restaurant in San Francisco, use #SF or #BayArea when tweeting a special promotion you may be running for visitors.

2. Connect with Concierges. These are the first people visitors speak to upon arrival and are generally the people they go to for restaurant and bar recommendations. Get to know the concierges in your area. Supply them with promotional cards offering guests a free dessert or a 20% discount.

3. Team Up with Local Businesses. Work with local businesses (e.g., hotels, shops, chambers of commerce) to cross-promote by sharing links on your websites, exchanging menus for brochures, offering hotel guests a discount at your restaurant, and more. For example, connect with a local bus tour group and offer a free drink to tourists who present their ticket stub or referral card.

4. Train Staff as Local “Tour Guides”. Training your staff to speak knowledgeably about your area can build your reputation as a place that’s not only welcoming to visitors but is a good resource as well. Take it a step further and encourage staff to become CTA certified.

5. Gather Feedback. Ask visitors verbally or via comment cards how they heard about you. This can help you direct your marketing decisions in the future.

Learn more about other tools we can offer to help build and grow your business at Breadcrumb.com.

Multi-Course Editing Now Available on 2.0

June 30, 2014 by

 


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