Restaurant businesses are considered difficult to thrive alone. As a restaurant business owner, you’d have to focus on several aspects of your business including branding and awareness, service delivery, customer communication and feedback management, and customer experience, among others.
Handling all these aspects of your business manually is surely tedious and cost-ineffective. But to automate the workflow and make things easier, you can rely on several tools and software out there.
Almost 80% of restaurants use several software and tools to make reservations online, order food, record inventory, and analyze their operations. So, there is a huge chance that your competitors are using tools to grow their businesses.
If you are a restaurant owner looking to increase your restaurant’s online presence, then use the essential tools listed below. Keep reading to learn about the 12 essential tools you need to grow your restaurant business in 2023.
Why do you need to incorporate technology into your restaurant business?
Technology is playing an increasingly important role in the restaurant industry. From online ordering and reservations to point-of-sale systems and kitchen management, there are various ways that restaurants can incorporate technology into their business.
While some restaurateurs are hesitant to embrace change, integrating technology into your restaurant can offer several comforts. It can help you improve efficiency, manage your inventory, and provide a better customer experience.
Investment in restaurant technology should not be underestimated, as customers regularly expect customer service to improve with time.
Incorporating technology into your business can help restaurant owners improve their bottom line, reach new customers, and stand out from the competition.
With so many good things, there’s no reason not to take advantage of the many tools and resources available to help you grow your business. Here are some main benefits of incorporating technology that suits the needs of your restaurant:
- Increase profits
- Cost savings
- Increased efficiency
- Better Customer Service
- More Efficient Business Operations
- Employee Satisfaction
- More Sustainability
12 Essential Tools to Grow Your Restaurant Business in 2023
As the restaurant industry continues to evolve, it’s more important than ever to have the right tools in place to grow your business. From online ordering and delivery platforms to customer loyalty programs, there are a variety of tools that can help you boost sales and drive growth.
Here are 12 essential tools that every business should have in place to ensure success in 2023.
1. Reliable communication system to connect with employees & clients
Communication barriers cost $37 billion in lost productivity per year. So, to avoid the risk of loss, you must encourage reliable communication habits.
By establishing a reliable connection, you can enhance team-building communication and eliminate poor communication habits. When there is solid communication between staff, they can create a better customer experience.
To build a productive team and an effective work culture, the restaurant manager must communicate effectively with his or her team every day.
A staff member from your restaurant must accept or reject a phone order from a client. Further, they should utilize reliable communication tools to connect with clients while delivering food.
Pizza restaurants, for instance, are very popular today. Owners should avoid using emails to communicate with their clients. Instead, you can choose a reliable phone system for the pizza restaurant business to not only connect with clients but also for internal communication among employees.
2. Restaurant customer relationship management (CRM) systems
A customer relationship management system is an engagement tool that helps you track customer data such as visit frequency, contact information, dietary preferences, reservation and order history, etc.
By leveraging this data, a CRM lets you develop guest profiles that inform your marketing and service efforts, allowing you to deliver more personal and satisfying guest experiences.
A CRM can help you manage your customer relationships and grow your business. CRMs connect all of the technology you use in the restaurant business into one centralized hub.
3. Payment processing tool
A report shows that 58% of people plan to stop using cash completely after the covid-19 outbreak.
Since people are not talking cash with them, they prefer to pay either through cards or online payment.
Further, if your restaurant business offers online ordering for delivery, you must enable a payment processor that takes online payments through the internet.
Use the card reader that allows you to accept the latest payment technologies like contactless cards, chips, magnetic stripes, and mobile payment such as Google Pay or Apple Pay. For better results, you must select the card reader that integrates with your POS System.
4. Responsive and user-friendly website
Though your restaurant is local, your storefront will no longer have to be the only face of your business. Your restaurant website can be your next forefront to greet your customers. A website is a great way to showcase your menu and attract new customers along with existing customers.
This report from VisualObjects shows that 76% of customers look for a company website prior to visiting its physical store.
And in the case of restaurants, customers visit your site to order food, find addresses, see the menu, discover upcoming events, and look after testimonials. So their first impression should be good.
Furthermore, the survey found that before dining in or ordering food from a restaurant, 77% of diners visit their website.
So, make your website professional, user-friendly, and functional. Moreover, people use their mobile devices to search for information, so it should be mobile-friendly.
To make your restaurant more professional and increase intimacy, upload pictures that reflect your restaurant space and the food items you offer.
5. Social Media Presence
Another essential tool to grow your restaurant business is a strong social media presence. This means having a website that is up-to-date and easy to use, as well as active social media accounts.
According to a report, 59% of the world’s population uses social media. That means more than half of your potential customers are on social media sites.
Social media is a very effective marketing tool that can help you reach a wider audience. Social media marketing for restaurants in 2023 can be as simple as sharing menu specials and reposting customer photos or as creative as running daily polls.
Moreover, it includes offering special promotions, announcing new dishes to your menu, doing giveaways, and creating exciting video content.
Further, you can use tools such as Hootsuite and Buffer to schedule posts on social media site. Don’t forget to include a call to action on your social profiles and posts.
Moreover, if you want to reach the target audience or attract new customers, you can collaborate with social media influencers.
6. Digital/online marketing
There seems to have been an explosion of business owners due to the word “digital” over the last decade. Almost every entrepreneur wants to be visible online and reach a wider audience. This could be due to the increasing use of the internet and smartphones.
So, besides owning social media platforms and a solid website profile, marketing your business online is vital. You must have solid online marketing strategies to increase sales in the restaurant.
The days of radio ads, newspaper advertisements, and templates for branding are over. You should market your restaurant business through digital advertising methods such as running a paid social media campaign, Google ads, SMS marketing, email marketing, and much more.
7. Order/delivery-tracking and Swift delivery system
If you wish to meet or exceed customer expectations, ensure your food delivery service runs smoothly. From your customer’s perspective, your ordering system, delivery timelines, and handoff of their food at the door should all feel seamless. A happy customer becomes a repeat customer, which continues to drive sales.
A delivery service can help you reach more customers and expand your market. To track your delivery, you can incorporate delivery tracking systems such as Grubhub and Tookan. It helps to manage payments, track the delivery on a digital platform, and build food orders.
Further due to busy orders throughout the day, restaurants staffs don’t get the time to see their delivery operation. But with a swift delivery system, it takes all the orders processed from the website or through POS and sends them to your delivery person/driver automatically. So, that you can focus on your work at the restaurant without worrying about delivery.
8. Restaurant inventory management system
It is known that the restaurant industry has tight profit margins. You can hit your target food cost goals by strategically managing your restaurant inventory.
A restaurant inventory management system tracks each and every ingredient that is purchased and used within your restaurant. It makes it easier for restaurants to simplify accounting, purchasing, and controlling their food budgets.
With this revolutionary tool, you can avoid under-ordering, over-ordering, and waste by keeping an eye on inventory. Mainly it is critical to help control food costs.
9. Table management system
A Table management System helps you to find the right table for every guest who makes a reservation in your restaurant or walks into it.
For special events such as Mother’s Day, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, or New Year, a table management system such as Mad Mobile and Eat app helps you rearrange your floor plan and add new dining spaces.
Depending on the occasion, you can combine or adjust the tables to maintain social distancing.
Your staff will always know who’s seated where, which tables are available, and which guests are paying and will soon be leaving because this tool gives them a complete view of the restaurant’s floor plan.
In the restaurant field, TMS can also be integrated with reservation, waitlist, POS, CRM, and marketing tools, utilizing all that data to streamline operations and maintain the restaurant’s smooth operation.
10. Queue management system
If there is a long queue, customers may become tired of waiting and choose another restaurant. Negative online reviews can result from these negative experiences. That’s why you must solve queue management issues by using a queue management system.
It’s the easiest way to reduce customer waiting time. Previously, business owners applied the token system to manage the queue. But now, QMS system such as WalkUp helps restaurants to notify clients of their turn to be served. In the meantime, customers can take up their time as much as they wish.
11. Clock-In and Clock-Out system
Every job that requires clocking into work comes with a risk to the employer in terms of the employee’s honesty. But with the fingerprint time clock, it will be impossible for employees to cheat or substitute a friend’s time clock with a fingerprint time clock.
You just swipe your finger and you get signed in to work. So, your worker: either waiter, chef, or bartender, using the Clock-In and Clock-out system gives them a digital signature of their attendance.
There is no question that the timesheet is accurate, which makes life easier for both employers and employees, especially when wages are based on hourly rates. It is even possible to integrate time clocks directly with payroll software, requiring a few adjustments.
12. Referral system
Restaurant referral systems are based on the quality of food and service they provide. Once your menu is comprised of the best ingredients prepared by an accomplished chef, and your wait staff is highly trained, you will have a restaurant that acts as its own marketing tool. Offer your patrons rewards for referrals to supplement these efforts.
According to a Consumer Trust study, 92% of consumers trust friends’ recommendations. So, restaurant referral programs are highly beneficial to increase sales of restaurants since they motivate loyal customers to refer their friends.
The referral marketing strategy produces customers with higher lifetime values, loyalty, and margins. Further, they help your business make more money and improve brand awareness. You can use referral programs like Referral Candy.
Additionally, it is important to have a robust loyalty program in place. This can help to encourage repeat business and build customer loyalty.
By investing in the tools listed above, your restaurant will be well-positioned for success in the coming year.
Business owners looking to grow their restaurants can use delivery and pickup services as effective marketing tools. In addition, having these restaurant marketing tools in your back pocket will help you grow your business quickly, and effectively.
How can I grow my restaurant business?
To grow your restaurant business, you must be innovative and should apply the best tricks. Following are the tactics that restaurant owners can use to increase profitability.
- Partner up with other restaurants
- Build out your local SEO strategy
- Launch multiple virtual brands to maximize reach
- Capture more orders with website integration
How can I make my restaurant successful?
Follow the given tips to make your restaurant successful:
- Hire great chefs and staff
- Keep Adequate Funds In Reserve
- Create a memorable logo
- Have a unique Menu card
- Design a dedicated website
- Promote your business on social media
- Partner with smarter people
- Use business tools
- Offer public WiFi
What are the most effective ways to increase sales in a restaurant?
The most effective methods to grow sales in a restaurant are:
- Organize theme event
- Take advantage of online reviews
- Offer signature package and complimentary items
- Secure Social media presence
- Optimize Menu
- Partner with famous delivery services
- Leverage loyalty program
- Try different marketing strategies
Offer discounts and rewards