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Facebook has some incredible tools for local businesses, especially restaurants. Among one of our favorites is the Facebook Restaurant Menu feature. The social network now allows restaurants to display their menus via SinglePlatform or PDF download.

How to Add Facebook Restaurant Menu to Your Page

These are the steps to add your restaurant menu to your Facebook page if you don’t have SinglePlatform:

Step by step directions on adding a restaurant menu to Facebook

  1. Click About on the left side of your Page

How to add a menu to my business page on Facebook

2. Below More Info, click Add Menu

How to add a menu to your restaurant's Facebook page




3. Upload a photo or PDF file of your menu, or click Link to Website Menu to link to your website’s menu

Once your menu has finished uploading or you’ve added a link to your menu, click Confirm

Restaurants that currently work with SinglePlatform will have their menu automatically added to their restaurant’s Facebook page. This is a paid for service that can save you time if you constantly update your menu. If your menu does not change often, then you may not need to make an investment in that tool.

Facebook has some fantastic tools to help restaurant owners get more business. Some of these tools include:

In order to make sure that you get the maximum exposure for your restaurant’s Facebook page, it is very important that you post consistently and that you post engaging content. While this seems like quite a task, it can be made easy with a tool such as Socialdraft.

How Socialdraft Can Help Restaurants on Social Media

[fve]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4T4qyeEYcv8[/fve]

Social Media Scheduling:

With Socialdraft, you can schedule posts to your Facebook business page, your Twitter account, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn. It’s a time saver because you don’t have to log in daily to each social media site to publish.

On top of this, at some tiers, you can set up different people with permissions. So, for example; you can give access to your beverage manager so they can schedule posts about the drinks at the restaurant. Your chef can also be given access to post photos of the food…and you can make it so that their posts require approval before they go out – so you have the final say in everything.

Save Time With Recurring Posts:

Recurring posts are awesome. Say that you have a happy hour special that happens every Thursday. Instead of creating a new post for each Thursday, simply create one recurring post to happen over and over again.

Keep an Eye on Your Restaurant’s Online Reputation

Use reputation monitoring tools such as Google Alerts to keep an eye about everything that is being said about your business. Then, take action.

Address the negative, and then engage & share the positive. If you do all this and use a social media management tool like Socialdraft, you’ll be on your way to social media success. If you are ready to take us for a spin, sign up for our risk-free trial.

 

In the restaurant business, prompt, courteous service from the wait staff is crucial, but this alone won’t guarantee your restaurant’s success. When interacting with guests, managers, servers, and even cashiers should all be trained in the subtle art of upselling, or suggestive selling. Upselling involves the artful suggestion of more expensive but higher quality food and beverage items from the menu in order to increase sales, and the dollar amount of the guest check, which by the way adds to the seller’s tip, so it is a win win for everyone. Let’s discuss some strategy on how to increase restaurant sales.

How to Increase Restaurant Sales

For example — when a customer orders a martini, instead of immediately leaving the table to place the order, the server should suggest a top-shelf gin such as Beefeater. Of course, the optimal time for servers to upsell is when the customer asks for their opinion. In all other cases the server should limit their pitch to one and possibly two upsell suggestions. Subtlety is imperative with upselling because if the customer feels pressured, you risk losing that customer’s business altogether.

Suggestive selling requires knowledge of your menu

Know The Menu

By thoroughly knowing the menu, the wines, desserts, and top-shelf liquor used in cocktails, servers can make informed suggestions and customers will view upselling as quality service and not a sales pitch. By being well acquainted with menu items, dessert offerings, and wine and food pairings, servers can make specific suggestions. Instead of offering wine, the seller should offer a specific Chardonnay to go with fish, and not just offer dessert, but dark chocolate cheesecake for dessert.

Additionally, when customers make special requests, allow servers to make executive decisions at a customer’s table by informing servers in advance what accommodations they can make when a customer requests a special dish. For example, can a customer substitute a side dish normally served with another entree? Or if there are no vegan menu items, know ahead of time what kind of vegan dish the chef will prepare. In other words, severs should know what to suggest to customers making special requests without having to consult the kitchen.




Train Servers Often and Well

In-service training periods should be given on a regular basis so servers can become familiar with all menu items, their ingredients and appropriate wine and food pairings. But servers should also be well acquainted with top-shelf liquor brands and should know what dishes are not available at any given time. There’s a very fine line between offering helpful suggestions and badgering customers by putting pressure them to make additional purchases or buy more expensive items.

Know Your Customers

Each restaurant has different customers. If you don’t already have a customer persona, create one. You can create one from visual cues, or you can do a deep dive into Google analytics or even social media analytics to find out who actually comes in.  Train your team to ask certain questions that will allow them to better understand their customers’ personal preferences and then offer particular menu suggestions.

Make the Upsell Exciting

When upselling, customers will only be excited about their server’s suggestions if the servers are. To help your wait staff to become more convincing upsellers, set aside time during your daily meetings to set up mock scenarios. They may feel silly practicing their upselling techniques, but once they’re on the floor, this will make things flow significantly better.

You can also upsell before the customer ever gets to your restaurant. Think about it, all those social media posts can be used to showcase those upsell items making your server’s tasks even easier.

Implement useful technology tools

More and more bars and restaurants are now offering their guests technology tools to enhance their dining experience. For example, there are iPad menus with wine pairing apps featuring a virtual Sommelier who educates them tableside about its extensive wine list. You can also set up Facebook Wi-Fi to increase check-ins and fans to your page. Make use of these tools and you are sure to see your restaurant profits increase.

[fve]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4T4qyeEYcv8[/fve]

Listen to customer feedback

Typically customers will let their server know, even if subtly, how they are feeling throughout the dining experience. By asking basic questions, such as: “Do you know about our specials this evening?” or “Can I suggest a wonderful wine choice for your entrée?” will let the server know whether or not their guests are receptive to additional menu suggestions.

Go beyond getting feedback at the restaurant. Set up a reputation management dashboard (like Socialdraft) so you can always know when customers mention you on line. Then, look for patterns and take action as needed to correct the bad and amplify the good.

Take Your Time on Check Out

A mistake servers often make is that they close out the guest check way too early. Doing this hinders their ability to upsell and can put off some guests who see it as a sign that you want to turn a cover. Servers should never assume that their guests aren’t interested in dessert or another round of drinks until they have asked.

With these basic techniques, you can ensure that upselling provides your restaurant anith a additional revenue flow, without compromising the customer experience.

If you’re the owner of a small neighborhood bar or restaurant and eager to increase sales and foot traffic, you must begin to spin your web by making strategic contacts, and become directly involved with the community. Hosting a community or charity event is a good way to get started, or even sponsoring a local little league. And as another community gesture, you should buy from a local brewery or distillery, and local butcher or farmer’s market. An additional way to extend community exposure is to attend community and neighborhood festivals. A booth staffed by one or two people with a banner on the front of your booth and a sample from your bar or restaurant’s menu should give you enough exposure to entice neighbors to come to your bar or eatery. The idea is to gain exposure and positive community recognition so that more customers will be drawn to your bar or restaurant.

6 Ways To Transform Your Restaurant Into a Local Hotspot

Special Themed events will draw in more customers 1) Special Themed Events Besides community involvement, you can involve customers in various contests and drawings, or create a collection of themed evenings, like a karaoke night, ladies night, Super Bowl party, World Series get-together, costume party, two for one drinks night, or even a family night where kids eat for free. You could also host a wine tasting event and invite representatives of several vineyards to promote their wines. Celebrating birthdays is another great opportunity for a small bar or restaurant to make a lasting impression on customers. Offering a free dinner or dessert on a guest’s birthday will inspire customers to drink and dine at your restaurant or bar along with family and friends. Once you obtain email addresses to send a free dinner or dessert coupon, later you can also send other promotions or newsletters. Let the people be informed with your latest offers with a sidewalk sign 2) Sidewalk Signs Buzztime suggests sidewalk signs as an inexpensive way to increase foot traffic. Signs are portable so that if you encounter inclement weather, or want to move it to another location, a sign is easily transported. Signs can also be easily changed. You can change signs on an hourly, daily or weekly basis. You could highlight a daily special in the morning and advertise a happy hour special in the afternoon. In addition, distributing flyers in office buildings, construction sites and hotels and resorts can promote the bar’s specials. Servers knows your guests better than anyone else in your business 3) Personally Connect With Customers Make sure customers feel a personal connection with your bar or restaurant. Encourage your staff to warmly greet each customer, and to remember customer names, and drink orders. And acknowledge customers when they are leaving by thanking them and asking them to come back. I read an account about how servers at a steak house sent postcards to regular customers whom they had not seen in a while as a way to create a dedicated following. “No one knows your customers better than your waiters and bartenders, so initiate a bonus system to enlist their enthusiasm and help in keeping track of regulars and gleaning contact information from new customers. You can generate lots of business for the cost of postage and stationary or internet service.” Use social media platforms to inform customers of newest offers 4) Social Media Campaign is a Must You should integrate your website with Facebook, and set up a social media profile on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and others to inform patrons of upcoming specials and promotions. Drive traffic to your bar or restaurant with special offers, such as the first 50 people to like this page will receive 50% off an appetizer. As Jeff Darter, a journalist and freelance business writer, points out, when Einstein Bros. Bagel’s and Noah’s Bagels, both part of the Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Inc., began giving away a free bagel to all Facebook users who became fans of their pages, in just three days, the company had 15,000 new fans. Part of the promotion prompts new fans to send invitations to join to their network of friends, which gives the company a seemingly endless supply of new prospects. You or someone you assign should spend time every day updating your social media pages with specials and upcoming events. And when customers ask questions it’s important to respond to their questions and concerns daily. In order to increase your business you really have to reach out to followers by replying to positive comments — “like them on Facebook or “retweet” them on Twitter. Check out www.insidefacebook.com for specific tips, directions, and articles that describe how to effectively market your business on Facebook. Develop good working relationship with hotel and motel concierges 5) Court Hotels and Motels Another great suggestion by Jeff Darter is to court the concierges, desk clerks, and reservation staff of the nearby hotels, motels, and inns. “Invite them to dinner! Ply them with gift certificates, free desserts, and the queen’s treatment. Splurge on an afternoon reception for all the concierges in your area. Get to know them personally, and keep them informed of special events and menu features. Supply them with copies of your menu and business cards to have on hand for their guests.” Use your guest register to get information from your patrons 6) Prospect List Darter also comments that a restaurant’s prospect list is the guest register, and explains how grocery stores have learned that prospect lists and mailing lists are one of their most valuable marketing tools. “Whether you collect names, street addresses, and web addresses via a computerized reservation system; or on a comment card presented with the check; or in an old-fashioned but reliable guest book system, it’s a valuable start for numerous kinds of promotions. Certainly, weekly electronic mail to patrons highlighting specials and menu changes would generate business at the cost of nothing more than internet service.”

How to Manage & Grow Your Social Media Accounts

With this post, you should have a strong basis to build a sky hashtag strategy for your brand. If you couple this with a strong Instagram tool, you can really save time and see an ROI from your Instagram efforts.  Socialdraft is your all-in-one tool for Instagram management. Socialdraft allows you to:

  • Schedule posts to multiple Social media accounts
  • Have multiple people create and post content
  • Pull Reports
  • Engage
  • and much more

If you’re curious about how Socialdraft works, take us for a risk-free trial. Have questions?

Minimizing overhead costs is a crucial element in the survival and financial success of every business. This is particularly critical during the first few years, especially in the restaurant business where profit margins are razor thin. While high-end restaurants will have higher food cost percentages than casual or fast-food restaurants, in general, food cost — the percentage of total restaurant sales spent on food — should be no higher than around 30-35%.

The formula for controlling food costs consists of 6 major components — streamlining vendor purchases, ultra strict portion controls, astute food waste management, balancing menu items, real time food cost monitoring, and preventing employee theft.

Follow These 6 Easy Steps to Control Food Costs

1) Streamline vendor purchases

Only order what you need. By keeping your food inventory fastidiously up to date, you will know precisely what you need to order each month. But for items you use in large quantities, order in bulk. When possible buy food direct from the source to cut out the middle man.

2) Ultra strict portion controls

Training your kitchen staff to maintain strict portion controls is crucial in meeting food costs, and in providing a consistent dish for your patrons. All meat should be weighed, while other items can be dished out or stored in portion controlled containers.

3) Astute food waste management

To decrease waste from spoilage, meats and other foods with a limited shelf life should be ordered daily. Make a special effort to utilize all the ingredients you buy, and closely monitor the “use by” dates. Inferior cuts of meat should be used in stir-fry dishes and sauce and soup stocks. And special dishes should be created to accommodate all surplus items. Chris Chung, owner of AKA Bistro, is careful to train his employees on his rules about not wasting food. A factor that’s especially crucial for a restaurant that specializes in a high-cost—not to mention highly perishable—item like seafood. Chung makes a point to have his cooks understand the value of using every piece of a product and to be creative with the scraps.

4) Balance menu items

Balance expensive menu items with items that have stable prices by serving, for example, fresh lobster and beef, or steak and crab, with low cost items such as potatoes, less expensively priced chicken or pasta dishes. Ethan Stowell, who operates four successful restaurants in Seattle, advises chefs to be “more interactive with servers” and to tell them what menu items needs to be pushed. When food costs are running higher than he likes, or when business is dropped off, he tells his wait staff what low cost menu items to sell to customers. “If you have lower food cost items on your menu, you have to motivate your staff to sell those at certain times,” he explains.

5) Real time food cost monitoring

Make sure you track food costs on a daily basis to ensure that you’re truly reducing costs. By keeping a close eye on food costs, you’ll know if a supplier is overcharging you on monthly orders. Ethan Stowell and each of his kitchen leads know where they are each day. “I know exactly what my food costs are daily; I look every day,” he explains. “If I find out in the third week [of the month] that food costs are 5% too high, I can look and say we had a soft month, that’s the reason, or we’ve been selling too much of this or not enough of that. I look at what menu items are not selling. If you have a consistent idea of where you’re at, it gives you an idea of where to look.”

6) Prevent Employee Theft

Carefully monitor your food deliveries the moment they arrive to prevent pilfering. Require that all sales be entered in the cash register before any food is prepared to prevent duplicate, undocumented food orders. And as an incentive against stealing, consider offering a free meal to employees to prevent the theft of food.

Be consistent with menu pricing

Stowell maintains price caps at each of his restaurants. He explains, “My goal in Seattle is to keep prices as low as possible. I have rules with maximum prices at each restaurant so guests don’t feel uncomfortable going.” And he continues, “I don’t preach if you’re food cost is high, you’re not charging enough. I don’t believe in that. If your food cost is high and you say you’re not charging enough—that’s how restaurants get into trouble! By raising their prices when they can really make their food costs work for them, and make their menu function in a way that is good for the restaurant.”

Follow these 6 Easy Steps to Control Restaurant Food Costs and you’ll be on your way to profit in no time and sign up for Socialdraft to manage your restaurant’s social media pages.

We decided to follow the Grand Marnier USA account on Twitter after seeing a sponsored post in the feed.  A Twitter age verification popped up asking for Twitter age verification in order to follow the account.

Twitter Age Verification for Alcohol Brands

Age verification on Twitter not prompted on Alcohol groups

This is an interesting feature. As of April 2014, it seems to affect only wine and spirits brand accounts when they sponsor a post and they opt in for the feature. According to the Twitter blog, this seems voluntary.

The Twitter age verification request did not pop up when Bacardi was followed after a standard search.

In the future, Twitter age verification could affect distributors, importers, and perhaps even local businesses such as bars and restaurants. As of today, when we tested a sports bar and a few restaurants, this was not an issue.