There’s no doubt that running a restaurant business is a venture that can bring great joy and a sense of achievement. As a restaurateur, you’ll have myriad opportunities to express your creativity, showcase your love for food, and share that love with your customers.
But being a restaurant owner is also tough. Restaurant owners in the Philippines know that it takes more than just good food to truly satisfy customers; factors like payment experiences, customer service, and a brand’s dedication to its values all matter as well.
Due to the competitive nature of the restaurant industry, staying ahead requires constant innovation and strategic thinking. In that respect, a restaurant business is no different from any other business and therefore needs the right business solutions to keep running.
To that end, here are five effective business solutions that your small- to medium-sized restaurant business can benefit from:
1) Streamline Your Business Operations with Innovative Technology
Customers’ needs and dining preferences have all evolved over the past couple of decades, and the restaurant industry needs to adapt accordingly. In today’s digital age, people are drawn to the latest technologies and their ability to make life more convenient.
Devices like smartphones and tablets have become an essential part of many people’s dining and takeout experiences in restaurants, especially when it comes to orders and payments. As a restaurateur, it’s on you to ensure that speed and convenience for your customers by investing in innovative restaurant tech.
There are a lot of technologies you can use to modernize and streamline your restaurant business. On the payments side, for example, the Maya business terminal is a viable investment that will enable your customers to complete cashless transactions. The Maya credit card terminal can accept all forms of digital payments, allowing you to accommodate patrons who’ll want to pay for their orders using their credit card or their digital wallet.
Equipped with technology that can integrate seamlessly with your existing POS, the Maya POS terminal is also a portable device that lets you do business anytime, anywhere. That means that you can take the device to your customer’s table when they’re ready to pay, eliminating the need for your servers to take their credit card to complete the payment and assuaging any customers’ fears about their cards being mishandled. Moreover, the Maya terminal price is quite affordable, making it a great investment for small and medium restaurant businesses.
Another restaurant-exclusive technology you can roll out for your business is a kitchen display system or KDS. This system replaces traditional paper tickets with digital displays, which allows both front-of-house and back-of-house staff members to communicate more easily in real time. It also removes the need for manual order transfers, thus reducing errors, expediting order preparation, and enhancing overall kitchen efficiency.
2) Embrace a Sustainability Plan for Your Restaurant
Incorporating more sustainable practices in your restaurant operations will not only shrink your business’s environmental footprint, but will also appeal to socially conscious customers. That’s why it’s in your best interest to draft a sustainability plan and to include it among the other business solutions you’ll use for your restaurant’s improvement.
Some examples of initiatives that you can include in your restaurant’s sustainability plan include the following:
- Sourcing local and organic ingredients
- Minimizing food waste through careful portioning and composting
- Using eco-friendly packaging materials
- Implementing a recycling program across your branches
In the long term, your sustainability efforts could translate into less wastage and better utilization of resources on the part of your business, which will improve your bottom line. And by demonstrating your commitment to sustainability, you’ll be able to attract customers whose values align with yours and therefore enhance your brand image.
3) Optimize Your Online Presence and Social Media Engagement
Having a strong online presence and being active on social media platforms is crucial in today’s age, and that applies to anyone who wants to make it big in the restaurant industry. Business solutions for enhancing your online presence, like a well-designed website and properly managed social media accounts, can help you create a stronger connection with your restaurant patrons and grow your existing customer base.
Online platforms will also give you a digital space to showcase your menu, provide essential restaurant information like your opening hours, and allow your customers to make reservations with ease. You can even create engaging content, like mouthwatering food photos and behind-the-scenes glimpses of your resto, that can appeal to your target audience and encourage them to visit your establishment.
4) Enhance Staff Training and Development
You’ll also want to invest continuously in staff training and development to improve your overall customer experience at your restaurant. A well-trained and knowledgeable staff are more likely to provide efficient service, successfully upsell menu items, and handle customer inquiries with confidence.
Consider enrolling your staff in regular training sessions on customer service, menu knowledge, and upholding hygiene standards. Though staff training may not necessarily be a new type of business solution, it will still prove effective at bolstering employee performance and contributing to a positive dining experience.
5) Implement a Loyalty Program
Another business solution you can look into for your restaurant business is a loyalty program. With a mechanism to reward your customers for their continued patronage, you’ll be able to foster a sense of appreciation in them and encourage them to choose your restaurant over competitors.
For example, you can offer exclusive discounts, freebies, or personalized offers to loyal customers who regularly dine or take out from your establishment. This will incentivize them to visit more frequently and refer others to your restaurant.
Takeaway: How to Keep Your Restaurant Relevant and Competitive in the Long Term
The restaurant industry in the Philippines is a highly competitive one, with new establishments and new food and beverage trends taking the market by storm almost every day. It can be quite the challenge for either newcomers or old players in the industry to stand out and to appeal to customers’ palates.
One part of the equation pertains to constantly improving and innovating the business’s systems, processes, and technologies. The other may lie in upholding a unique culinary identity that differentiates one establishment from the rest of the pack. In your restaurant’s context, this can involve specializing in a particular cuisine, incorporating uniquely local flavors or ingredients, or offering innovative menu items or dining experiences.
The right business solutions and a culinary vision that’s true to your roots should comprise your recipe for success. Make sure that these are front and center in your goal to improve your business.