Practical Pointers to Help
to Help Your Café & Restaurant Business Drive Trade
The Aussie restaurant industry enjoyed a strong 2016; the market rose by 4.4 per cent. Whether or not 2016 was a good year for you, reflection, planning and goal setting for the coming year is always a good thing. A new year, a new you! The restaurant world is changing and here are some handy tips to help grow your biz in 2017.
Don’t forget about the thing that matters most. A friendly smile, a killer product and competitive prices are your bread and butter. Nail the basics and you’ll always be on the front foot. Test yourself and eat at one of your competitors to see how you measure up.
Two sittings are now common practice in many restaurants. Say goodbye to the 730pm time slot, guests are now accustomed to select dining times. To get more people through the door and boost profit, consider offering double sittings, it’s now commonly accepted.
Most people dine between Thursday and Sunday, so it’s important that your restaurant doesn’t bleed money during off-peak periods. Offering discounts on slower nights is an easy way to entice people through your doors (think a free bottle of wine). Consider developing a dynamic pricing structure, one that’s unique and going to bring the masses.
Many restaurants are now imposing stricter booking policies to try and address the issue of no-shows:4 percent of bookings end in a no show. Venues are now taking credit card details at the time of booking – and it’s working. Look at implementing a guarantees system like Dimmi Payments that requires credit card details to secure reservations. You don’t even need to charge anything, it’s just a deterrent.
To increase exposure and put more bums on seats consider connecting your restaurant with broader booking networks such as Dimmi, Qantas, TripAdvisor & GoodFood. You can generate bookings directly from them, filling tables that would otherwise be empty.
Mobile is continuing to be the preferred platform when it comes to deciding where to eat. 65 per cent of online bookings are made from a mobile device and we’re booking on-the-go more than ever before, with 34 percent of bookings now made within 24 hours of dining. This means leaving your online diary open to capture last minute bookers.
Guest recognition and tailored service are key to delivering a memorable dining experience. Think about integrating POS systems with your reservation system to store customer information and grow your database. Greeting customers by name and knowing their regular order can take your service to new heights. The integration between Dimmi and ResDiary allows you to create tailored customer profiles, and drawing on booking details and LinkedIn accounts can help to create a solid picture of your customer base. Know your guests better than anyone and turn a one-time diner into a repeat customer.
The MEIKO range of commercial dishwashers have a number of advanced features that help to ultimately cut costs to you labour, electricity and water. It pays to review your current setup and really see how efficient and energy conscious your commercial dishwashers are.
Undercounter Commercial Dishwashers
The MEIKO undercounter range of glasswashers use significantly less water than older styles. When your dishwasher uses less water, you also save energy and chemicals. Over the lifetime of the dishwasher, the features below tend to not only pay for themselves but also provide you with a superior machine in the process.
Perfect for restaurants, bars and nightclubs
- Fully insulated chamber and doors
- Active filtering of the wash tank
- Machine switches to eco mode if not in use
- Equipped with aqua stop leakage detection
- Stainless steel chemical pipes within the machine
- Machine drains before it rinses
Perfect for cafes, bistros and bars.
- Less noise and heat into the area, no risk of burns, energy savings
- Constant filtering of the wash water in each cycle meas less rejects and less water changes
- Savings up to 15% of energy when not in use
- Protects the machine and the work area if a leakage should occur
- More reliable and less chance of chemical leaks
- All the fresh hot water stays in the tank and none of it goes to drain
China, glass, and metal absorb more heat during the dishwashing process – so, they will dry faster. Insulated ware, plastics, and melamine do not absorb as much heat and will take longer to dry. You should consider this when laying out the dishwashing area, and you may have to incorporate drying racks or a dishwasher with a blower dryer accessory. If you have a lot of kitchen utensils, mixing bowls, or hotel pans, a dedicated pot washer is also worth considering. Even for a smaller operation, these may be practical, as single-rack models are available. For a larger facility, a dedicated pot washer or glasswasher, in addition to a rack conveyor general-purpose dishwasher, may be ideal.
If you would like to speak with a MEIKO consultant, please call 1300 562 500 or speak directly to the Manager in your state.
This article first appeared in Foodservice magazine in March 2017. The author is Stevan Premutico who is the founder and CEO of Dimmi, Australian’s online restaurant reservations company.