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  • Smartphones, personalization and the future of restaurants
    service was the norm at all kinds of retail establishments including restaurants This service was often provided by the store owner who knew you by name and all your preferences as well But that model doesn t scale particularly well and consumers showed over time they would sacrifice personalized service if it meant getting something cheaper better or more consistent For better or worse the pursuit of efficiency has greatly eroded the personal touch in many shopper and guest experiences Reverses trend The rise in popularity of smartphones has the potential to dramatically reverse that trend And not by sending consumers mobile coupons or having them like you on Facebook though both of those things may be good as well Rather it s by knowing more about each guest and importantly having access to that information at the right time Foursquare is the interesting technology to think about here not for what it is today but for where it might lead seven to 10 years from now Launched in 2009 Foursquare allows people using their smartphone to check in at a given location coffee shop restaurant etc through the press of a button Some people do it for user points and fun badges Food lovers can earn the Naan Sense badge for chowing down at multiple different Indian restaurants Pizzaiolo for sampling different slices the Baker s Dozen for checking into different bakeries and many other restaurant specific badges Others simply like letting their friends and followers know where they are Companies can also offer special discounts and promotions to those who check in Fairly simple but think about the bigger picture If companies manage to learn about and store information on this customer the simple act of checking in points to a future scenario where a guest shows up

    Original URL path: http://www.restaurantcentral.ca/Smartphonespersonalizationfutureofrestaurants.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Three ways to use the web to drive restaurant marketing ROI
    are well accustomed to dare I say broadcasting just through a different channel Connecting for free What makes this channel so valuable in turn can be seen as having little to do with being social at all Instead it s something far simpler the ability to connect with consumers for free think no CPM in addition to many other cost savings vs traditional channels Such free connections which by this definition include the oft neglected email list are best viewed as a strategic asset where you can look for ways to enhance overall marketing return on investment ROI by spending less It s a relatively easy idea to demonstrate by looking at larger brands like Starbucks which currently has a base of 32 million people having liked them on Facebook alone But even if your restaurant has a much smaller digital footprint here are a few ideas you can think about implementing to better capitalize on web enabled opportunities and make your traditional marketing that much better in the process Try out some riskier promotions online first It s hard to be innovative if you are deathly afraid to fail With margins so thin many restaurant marketers have little appetite to invest in high risk uncertain reward promotion ideas But the low cost of communicating online significantly reduces the risk in that equation If something fails you can typically walk away relatively unscathed If it succeeds you might have cheaply discovered a winner worthy of a more traditional read expensive advertising push Part of your online strategy should be viewing it as a place to simply try more things out building benchmarks along the way to take full advantage of the lower cost of failure Test ideas to save on research costs Online connections can sometimes allow you to bypass

    Original URL path: http://www.restaurantcentral.ca/driverestaurantmarketingROI.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Staying connected through text messaging
    that have a cell phone in hand From older children to teens to adults and seniors everyone is staying connected Gone are the days when a panic stricken face co related to a wallet gone missing now it s the disappearance of our ever depended upon cell phone iPhone Blackberry smart phone So if this is the preferred device let s put it to work for us Cell phone savvy If you ve been savvy enough to start collecting cell phone numbers text message campaigns are an inexpensive and instant way to send quick messages to your highly engaged customers assuming they have opted into your program I guess if this is something you haven t yet embarked on it s a great time to start collecting that information I have personally witnessed a database grow from zero to over 20 000 opted in subscribers in less than one year With that campaign it s costing less than six cents per text message to reach customers who YES want to hear from us Once a month we stay in touch with these valued customers Getting started is as simple as having your staff ask for participation Capturing the cell phone

    Original URL path: http://www.restaurantcentral.ca/Textmessagemarketing.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • How to achieve operations excellence for your restaurant or foodservice operation
    you do Tips from some of the best on food costs include You don t bank a percentage of sales you bank dollars You need to know the difference between appetizers and entrées steak and pasta and what they do to your guest counts and cost bars You can reduce food costs and waste by selling more of everything you make If you want to know what your guests don t like check your garbage Remember the seasons You can have a generous hand when you portion in season items but be careful who s handling out of season ones to keep your yields in line Control labour costs No cost is more sensitive to guest counts than labour Great operators have great labour costs because they serve more guests That said there are many things that make a labour cost model work well Who you hire and who you retain is the biggest labour concern of all People who have the hospitality gene make you money those who do not have it may be better off promoted to guest Tips from some of the best on great labour operations include When people are not working out send them on their way Clean the place out if you have to Engaged employees lead to happy guests increased sales and lower turnover Put your Aces in their Places You make most of your money when you are busy and that is when you need your best people on the floor behind the counter at the window and on the line Use smart scheduling to make sure you have the right people on when you need them and manage your labour hours by 15 minute increments Raise operating standards Operators who take care of their restaurants take care of their guests Operators who scrimp on maintenance and cleanliness eventually kill their guest counts They create a doom loop where eventually even inadequate operating standards become too expensive to maintain Tips from some of the best on how to lower operating costs include Keep the place in great shape Don t run to failure waiting for your equipment to break or your leaseholds and menus to start looking shabby before you invest Get your hours of operation right Serve your guests when they want to be served and close up shop when they don t Add a new channel of business to leverage your existing space Examples include take out drive through catering or even acting as a commissary for a satellite location Keep your finger on the pulse Two sayings in retail restaurants are great because they are true Retail is detail and the restaurant business is relentless repetition Great operators get a huge sense of satisfaction when they master their craft They truly enjoy doing the same thing over and over again and doing it very well Paying attention to the details matters Tips on keeping your finger on the pulse of the business include Relax when the restaurant is busy

    Original URL path: http://www.restaurantcentral.ca/operationsexcellence.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Preparing for Canada’s anti-spam law: what your restaurant needs to know
    from its counterpart in the US which applies only to email In comparison the scope of Canada s restrictions is far more broad As restaurants prepare for electronic message marketing it would be prudent to bear the following proposed regulations in mind The new opt in consent requirements for receiving electronic messages means that restaurants should get new consent from their existing customers and subscribers rather than relying on previous opt in consent Businesses will need either express or implied consent before sending any electronic message An unsubscribe function must be presented clearly and prominently and must not take more than two clicks to access The message must include the name of the sender or the name of the person on whose behalf it is sent The sender s address phone number and email address and website must be included in the message The message should contain a statement identifying the sender and any other names by which they carry on business If the above information cannot practically be included in the message itself an exception may be available whereby the information and the unsubscribe option can be provided in a clearly labeled one click link to a website which contains them The above information must also be included in any request for consent to send electronic messages which request must also contain the purpose of the message and a statement that the recipient may withdraw his her consent at any time It is also worth noting that the anti spam law includes anti spyware provisions where the express consent of users is required in connection with the installation of computer programs For the purposes of this legislation it does not matter whether the computer program to be installed is in fact spyware Any notice to be provided in this

    Original URL path: http://www.restaurantcentral.ca/Canadaantispamlaw.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Six steps to cashing in on QR codes and mobile apps at Canadian restaurants and foodservice operations
    but they do little more than inform customers Useful apps drive sales minimize costs and enhance the service experience Start by putting your menu on the phone so Angela can create her regular order which she shows you as a 2D barcode on her phone display This fantastic application made by MobilizeyourEnterprise com allows people to flash their phone in front of a scanner plugged into your POS or drive through Orders are instantly entered into your system without error leaving you all that time to up sell For QSRs who measure order fulfillment in half seconds and strive to eliminate visible drive through lines this technology is an outright service revolution No more yelling at a faceless speaker system over the noise of cars And Angela loves the fact that she can keep texting her friends while ordering because she avoids the inconvenience of having to talk to someone Spreading the word When Angela gets her wrap and juice you publish a loyalty QR code coupon on her receipt She is a captive audience while eating in the store and so she scans it with her phone That scan retires the unique QR code so it can t be used again and puts a point in her loyalty program Better than that the scan automatically tweets 402 of her followers They instantly receive an electronic QR code coupon of their own that when redeemed gives them each a free small french fry when they order a burger and drink Not only is Angela couponing her followers for you but her message also includes an invitation to join her for lunch with a map link to your location Three other classmates come over for lunch because they also share the same spare Cha ching Cha Ching Cha But wait maybe there is no cha ching In fact there is no sound of money exchanging hands at all That is because Angela and her three mobile peers all pay with their cell phone Near field communications NFC is a small chipset being embedded in mobile phones allowing commercial transactions to occur through the phone bill of the wireless carrier The phone is now a mobile wallet and credit card And if their phones don t have an embedded NFC chip they might pay with a great new app called Aislebuyer designed to allow for payment from phone to POS in real time Are you ready to have an extra 24 7 million free POS systems that you don t have to pay for Gaining ground Now you may be thinking not everyone has a smart phone The fact is that almost 80 per cent of Canadians have a mobile phone 24 7 million people according to the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association and they upgrade to a new smarter phone on average every 16 18 months If they don t have one today give it a year Are you ready to have an extra 24 7 million free POS systems that you

    Original URL path: http://www.restaurantcentral.ca/QRcodesmobileapps.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • The pros and cons of online discounting websites
    18 to 45 year old female demographic which make up close to 70 per cent of the customer base for the online coupon sites This is great for salons spas and restaurants that cater to this market There are however some negative aspects for restaurateurs which should be factored in when deciding to move forward with online coupon offerings Realize the dangers One danger of putting out high percentage discount coupons is that restaurateurs continually devalue their products hoping to instead make returns on different revenue streams or repeat business The problem with this mentality is that instead of building loyalty to an establishment it seems as if the only loyalty is to the website that provides the discount Meanwhile restaurants are paying 25 to 40 per cent back to the website that offers a deal that has already seen a 50 per cent price reduction not exactly a sustainable restaurant business plan Over the past three years the decline in the global economy has made sites like these extremely popular With increased costs in basic commodities and cost of living the average consumer s disposable income has decreased substantially we are at a point now that most people need to look for ways to cut corners in their spending At the same time the decline in the traffic through business doors has meant that restaurants are looking at any possible way to get seats filled So with the influx of coupon customers what is the next progression of the lifecycle Is this a trend that will be short lived with the eventual rebound of the economy or is the coupon around to stay While these sites may even the playing field for restaurants with new locations poor locations or locations with inferior products or services is it to the

    Original URL path: http://www.restaurantcentral.ca/Onlinediscountsites.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • It takes a combination of hand hygiene education and proper hand-washing techniques to reduce the risk of illness
    proper hand washing techniques to reduce the risk of illness Improper hand washing may actually increase risk If food handlers simply rinse their hands and shake off the water they may loosen micro organisms that come off more easily on food and food contact surfaces Gloves can reduce risk but food handlers may not wash their hands as often when wearing gloves thereby reducing any benefits Educating food handlers about how hands can contaminate food is the starting point to improved hand hygiene Many organizations have effectively demonstrated contamination from hands using lotion that is sensitive to ultra violet light One such program at the Washington State University called Germ City claims 12 to 28 per cent of adults have changed their behavior after learning how hands can contaminate your environment Training people how to properly wash their hands is essential This involves using soap and warm water washing for at least 20 seconds and drying hands with paper towel Remind your food handlers about proper hand washing techniques on a regular basis For training to be retained it needs to happen often throughout a food handler s career In addition the work environment must be conducive to hand hygiene with proper facilities that are easily accessible and fully stocked with hot and cold running water liquid soap single use towels and a waste paper can Management needs to communicate and demonstrate that food safety and hand hygiene is mission critical Automated hand wash stations to monitor frequency and duration of hand washing are available for foodservice Visit www meritech com for an example of stations that can monitor compliance with hand hygiene polices Barriers to Proper Hand Hygiene Proper Hand Hygiene Lack of facilities Teach proper techniques on an ongoing basis Lack of proper training techniques Use soap and

    Original URL path: http://www.restaurantcentral.ca/handhygiene.aspx (2016-02-14)
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