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  • Tips and trends to incorporate barbecue into your menu
    breakfast pizza Even breakfast potatoes can go from ho hum to mmm mmm with a quick visit to the grill Grilling salts Classic salt and pepper may be the most popular choice for the grill but it s easy to shake things up by adding ingredients like smoked spices citrus peel and even bacon to bring big texture and unique craveable flavour to your grilled creations Or try adding spicy peppers for heat coarse sugar or dried fruit for a sweeter taste profile or even coffee or tea Making your own customized grilling salt and pepper blends can be a quick and easy way to add that je ne sais quoi to your signature grilled recipes Source Inspired by the Club House La Grille Flavour Forecast 2015 Grilling Edition www FlavourForecast com For more grilling recipe ideas visit www ClubHouseforChefs ca Stay on top of the trend with the right equipment Southern style barbecue is one North America s most defining cuisines Recreating and honouring this classic style of cooking is not difficult but the right equipment makes all the difference When selecting your barbecue equipment look for these key features Whole log smokers Anyone looking to produce authentic smoked goods from a commercial smoker needs to be burning whole logs of real wood If space is limited a small scale electric smoker that burns real wood chips for smoke flavour and aroma makes a great substitute High quality construction Stainless steel is a popular choice in commercial kitchens and for good reason If you want your smokers and barbecue pits to last for decades be sure to choose those built with high end stainless steel Made with Canadians in mind As you would do with any major equipment purchase make sure the equipment you re after meets or exceeds

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/Tipsandtrendstoincorporatebarbecue.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Choosing the right technology for your loyalty on-the-go program
    the reward for giving companies access to their personal information This is especially true among younger consumers the Millennial generation which grew up with the Internet and is typically in constant contact with peers on social media Millennials are dual citizens of the digital and physical worlds and they aren t shy about interacting with companies as long as they receive something of value in return It s also important to note that loyalty programs that use WiFi or Bluetooth based proximity marketing platforms technology that detects mobile devices in range of an antenna and broadcasts opt in offers are not a threat to consumer privacy They collect phone signature data solely in a machine to machine transaction Unlike apps identifiable consumer information like phone numbers contacts etc is not collected and since WiFi and Bluetooth are mature technologies that come pre loaded on virtually all smartphones consumers tend to trust them Apps vs proximity marketing Some restaurants invest in developing consumer apps to manage their loyalty programs but there are serious drawbacks to this strategy While it s true that consumers spend a great deal of time using apps on their mobile devices they generally use just a few favourites such as Facebook and Twitter while ignoring the rest When a restaurant builds a loyalty program around an app it s also asking a lot of its customers not only do they need to download the app they need to devote precious storage space to it There must be a strong incentive for users to surrender their credit card and personal information to the App Store and the work doesn t stop once users are on board The financial and technical overhead required to keep an app current and relevant and not deleted must be factored in Remember it takes only seconds to delete an app that is no longer appealing Proximity marketing by contrast effectively taps customers on the shoulder to let them know about the loyalty program instead of requiring them to jump through hoops to access a valuable offer An IBM study showed that 54 per cent of consumers will join a loyalty program if it offers something they want and a proximity marketing strategy is perfectly positioned to present that offer since it reaches customers at the point of sale The data factor With a proximity marketing strategy Bluetooth and mobile WiFi protect consumer privacy by not collecting personally identifying data At the same time they do receive valuable real time data that is similar to the information generated by cookie tracking on an e commerce site A proximity solution can analyze data on consumer responses to offers time spent in the restaurant receptiveness to various messages and much more All of this information can help restaurants optimize their marketing strategy in real time The value of proximity marketing and loyalty program data can be extended by combining it with consumer polling and point of sale data integration Restaurants can use this information to engage

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/loyaltyonthego.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Study ranks most trusted online review sites
    and lists the sites with the highest trust levels Most trusted sites TripAdvisor Zagat OpenTable Edmunds com Yelp The study found that one in four people believe the information available on ratings sites is unfair And while the older highly visited sites were generally perceived as more trustworthy more than a third of visitors were still cautious of information on these sites Many people we surveyed expressed concern over reviews on customer ratings sites being biased or even fake said David Ensing vice president of Voice of the Customer Integration for Maritz Research Many site visitors tend to believe that ratings sites select which reviews are posted that employees post fake positive reviews for the companies they work for and that raters only share their positive or negative experiences instead of sharing a balanced opinion For those who felt ratings sites were generally fair many reported they still have to separate trustworthy reviews from non trustworthy ones based on their own intuition Specific survey respondents noted that they Can usually tell when a review is fake if it is overly positive Try to determine if the review is legit or if the writer is out for revenge Read between the lines to see what the reviewer is really saying and discount reviews that feel unfair Try to read a range of reviews If there are not enough reviews they don t take it seriously Our research indicates that there may be a credibility crisis on the horizon for online review sites said Ensing If the lack of confidence in customer reviews continues these sites could become obsolete To address trust issues companies and ratings sites should consider more secure and credible ways to provide customers with reviews that have been verified and aren t skewed For more information about the

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/mosttrustedonlinereviewsites.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Social media: what’s it worth for restaurants?
    articles about the business uses of social media came across my virtual desk in the past few weeks and here they be The first Choosing the best social media is a primer on the pros and cons of the top seven social media platforms and their relevance for small businesses If you re not already conversant in the language of Twitter Facebook Pinterest Foursquare YouTube LinkedIn and Google give this one a read The second The value of social media customers goes beyond the basics and quantifies what different social media engagements are worth for restaurants in actual dollar terms I consider this one a must read for any restaurateur struggling with how to prioritize social media invesments in both dollar terms and time commitments Yelp Foursquare Facebook Twitter and Instagram are the five platforms reviewed with some surprising results Note The valuation methodology is a bit opaque but I m guessing that it was valuation of the social media company divided by total number of users Regardless of the calculation used it would have been consistently applied across all platforms so the relative value is still meaningful For restaurants Yelp leads the way A positive review is worth 9 13 and each user is valued at 21 21 Foursquare comes in a a distant second Each check in generates 0 40 so it takes 25 check ins to equal one Yelp review but each user is more valuable worth 40 00 because the format encourages multiple uses where a regular customer may only post one Yelp review As the largest social network Facebook users are the most connected and the most valuable at 118 34 each That value doesn t necessarily translate to higher sales for restaurateurs though frequent posting and limited audiences make each post worth 2 4

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/Socialmediarestaurants.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Making the case for family engagement in restaurants
    there are solid tactics operators can own to increase their family business According to the NPD study Parties with Kids Motivating More Visits 2014 84 per cent of parents state they are more likely to visit a restaurant if it s kid friendly One main area that restaurants can focus on in order to be more family friendly is entertainment Entertainment is anything that occupies a child s attention while dining such as activity sheets colouring a play area or television The restaurant s environment should also be appealing for children by featuring colourful bright and clean spaces that are casual enough in nature to allow for free interaction between kids Service is another key influencer that can increase family visitation Service can be the standout difference between you and your competition states McDonald s former VP of Marketing and notorious advertising guru Roy Bergold Staff who are welcoming towards families and provide quick and attentive service demonstrate that you value their business Simple tactics such as kneeling down to the child s eye level or engaging the child in small talk can really help build a relationship and loyalty with your restaurant While some of these kid friendly deeds may seem like no brainers the combination of activities executed as operational standards can drive guest counts with this valuable customer set Diving further into the specifics of a kids program it s important for restaurants to recognize children s entertainment preferences and how they vary by age Kidzsmart s 2014 Kids and Family Discover Survey shows Younger children seek activity books and colouring while older children want digital engagement Children under the age of five prefer activity sheets with crayons for colouring and toys to play with Older children seek out digital offerings such as apps which can enhance

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/familyengagementinrestaurants.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Seven technological trends for restaurants in 2014
    directly to the kitchen To enhance the experience consumers can play games select virtual table clothes or even access a live stream of what is happening in the kitchen on their tabletop screen The possibilities are endless 2 Self service ordering kiosks For quick service facilities expect to see more self service ordering kiosks appearing everywhere These kiosks offer a more efficient quicker and cheaper way for customers to order their food This is especially handy in a food court setting where a consumer may want to order several different items from different vendors Instead of lining up at three different vendors he she can place one single order via a touch screen kiosk make one payment and then pick up the complete order at the pick up counter These kiosks also offer greater accuracy as customers can review their order before confirming 3 High tech payment options The biggest tech change we will see this year will be in payment options ranging from wireless Bluetooth that allows restaurants to accept payment wirelessly directly from a customer s smartphone to facial recognition technology Both Apple and Paypal now offer apps that allow customers to pay for things by simply tapping their phones to a POS terminal or even opt for a hands free payment option whereby the customer only needs to give a verbal authorization of payment before leaving the restaurant In Europe a new POS system simply scans a customer s face to make the payment 4 Virtual tours With the imminent release of the Google Glass consumers will soon be able to take a virtual tour of the inside of your restaurant and ambience as well as see virtual representations of the food and drink that you offer to decide whether or not to visit your business 5

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/technologicaltrendsforrestaurantsin2014.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • How to choose an approach to healthy eating that suits your restaurant’s overall brand strengths
    to join any trend adding healthy options should only be done if it s a fit with brand image and core strengths not merely tacked on as a me too effort Healthy dishes must resonate with why customers choose your restaurant in the first place While 28 per cent of restaurant visitors want to see more healthy options on menus only 10 per cent of those customers choose their particular restaurant because of healthy options Healthy minded customers choose their restaurant first because of brand loyalty cravings for specific menu items and food quality and variety Therefore operators need not drastically change how they attract customers to their brand restaurants can continue to drive customers with their core strengths and satisfy with healthy options that are in line with those strengths When deciding if healthy dishes are a fit for your brand consider that healthy means different things to different people Varying approaches to healthy fare have an impact on ingredient selection ingredient pairings and portion size and can still leave room for a full course meal Healthy can mean Low calorie low fat or low sugar Free from sodium preservatives artificial sweeteners or genetically modified ingredients Whole and un processed including whole grains higher quality meats and fresh produce Superfoods and functional nutrition i e high anti oxidant or anti inflammatory properties Indulgent foods in smaller portions or paired with a lighter side dish Seafood vegetarian dishes and meat substitutes Dairy free and gluten free There is evidence that Canadian restaurant customers are taking action on their intentions to eat healthier The NPD Group CREST tracking shows several trends in consumer restaurant behaviour that are associated with healthy eating namely increased consumption of Salads hot vegetable side dishes and smoothies Seafood and Asian entrées and appetizers Egg white breakfast

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/healthyeatingrestaurantbrand.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Restaurant branding communications: Two ways to stay relevant while connecting with customers
    back of the restaurant that they can hand pick for their salads though a niche market is appearing for just that Nor do most people have a 100 mile boundary in mind BrandSpark s Annual Canadian Shopper s Study revealed that for most consumers anything grown within provincial boundaries counts as local This means many restaurants have the necessary credentials to consider getting in the game without compromising operations and margins The next step is understanding why people seek out local and which of these motivators is most relevant to your brand One reason people give for seeking out local food options is to help out the environment As in most categories environmentalism only goes so far in terms of broad market appeal with our studies indicating it is a top driver for about 10 per cent of Canadians Far more important is that local is associated with fresher higher quality food Fresh food options are increasingly important to consumers and perceived food quality is always an important decision driver in the restaurant industry Fresh also pairs well with healthy particularly when produce is involved So for brands looking to communicate any element of fresh healthy and or high quality food somewhere with their advertising there is likely an opportunity to leverage local to amplify the message The number one reason people seek out local food options supporting the local economy is perhaps the most interesting Many people have written about how tougher economic times have led consumers to change behaviours another mega trend in the market The natural often necessary reaction of many restaurants is compete more on price which can have a negative impact on the brand Local on the other hand offers a way to also connect with customers at an emotional level in regards to economic concerns So whether you re a high end restaurant trying to further elevate the perceptions of your food or a QSR with a core customer base that s been particularly hard hit by the recession local messaging just might work for you Look for ways your brand can embrace the trend in a unique way of course Distinctly relevant advertising Let s say you are a restaurant brand that hadn t previously considered a local angle but had determined there is an opportunity for you to differentiate around it You task your creative agency with creating a new campaign that strategically integrates some local messaging They come back to you with two options Consumer tests indicate the first option is totally distinct from what they are used to seeing from brands in the category including yours and the second is seen by most as extremely similar Which one should you choose The best answer is you should send them back to find some middle ground Over many years of advertising testing BrandSpark has found that while it is important for your creative to stand out to some degree very high distinctiveness scores are actually negatively correlated with purchase intent In

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