Monday, September 26, 2016

Restaurants need great curb appeal

If the first rule of real estate is "location, location, location", then the second rule is that your property needs to have good curb appeal. The same holds true for restaurants. After all, curb appeal is a property's first impression. If your restaurant doesn't look attractive outside, no one will be interested in entering.

Signage should shout out your location so that you can be identified quickly when a person is driving down the street. If they can't find you easily, they may give up and go elsewhere. The design of the sign should reflect your theme or personality in every aspect: size, font, colors. Example: Western steakhouse with a Western style font in earthy colors on a wood-like background. 

Can passersby see into your restaurant? Think of the window as a framed picture. If you were going to take a photograph with the window as the framing element, then the objects in the picture need to be attractive, colorful, and add a sense of depth. Things such as drapery, lights, and plants can all add to the appeal. These are also important if you have a patio at the front of your restaurant.

There has always be an industry standard of seating guests at window tables first so people can see that you have customers! Regardless of an occupied table or not, the table and the interior need be attractive and clean. Be extra attentive of window or patio tables. Don't let dirty dishes remain or vacated tables go un-bussed. 

It's often said that patrons will judge a restaurant on the cleanliness of their bathrooms. The same can be said for the exterior of the restaurant. Even if you don't own the property, act as if you do. Remove trash all around your restaurant and in the parking lot, even if it's not from your restaurant or directly in front. Wipe down your windows and front door on a daily basis, if not more. 

Patrons want to feel safe when coming for dinner at night. If necessary, work with the property owner to ensure that there is an abundance of lighting surrounding your restaurant and in the parking lots. Mount security cameras and post signage that the property is being monitored by video surveillance. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Controlling server rotations make for happy servers

Managing staff can be one of the most difficult tasks a manager or owner has. There are so many different personality types, age differences, backgrounds, etc. All come into play with how we interact with each other. But one thing remains constant — happy workers not only make a happy workplace, but also leads to happy customers.

A large part of a server's earnings is their tips. Tips come from tables. Therefore, more tables will hopefully mean more tips. Better yet, tables with more covers. 

Managers might just be seating their restaurant, but servers are thinking about how many tables and covers are they getting because it could mean a good night or a bad night in tips.

That's where server rotation comes into play. 

With Rezku Prime you have the ability to pick between an auto rotation or a manual rotation style. You also have the ability to choose how the rotation will work. Some want servers to be assigned according to cover counts so that they all remain relatively equal in the number of customers they served. Others go by "next customer", a server is assigned to the next customer through the door, regardless of party size. 

With server rotation in manual mode, you can pre-assign servers to their sections, but not open a section until that server comes on duty. The same for when you release servers at the end of their shift — the system will stop assigning to those tables.

Rezku Prime has many features and this is just one. Our goal is to make front of house operations as efficient as possible. Contact us for a demo to see how you can get an advanced FOH system for an affordable price with no cover fees. 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Online menus help attract diners

When people are out and about, whether locally or out of town, and they become hungry, they reach for their phones. The convenience of smartphones and other mobile devices makes it easy for people to search for restaurants on a whim. Many people choose based on reviews, but just as many choose based on reading through posted online menus. After all, many people have a craving that they are looking to satisfy. They may be looking for a particular dish or cuisine. 

Why format is important

Many restaurants will take the easy way out and post a picture file (jpg, gif) or scan and post a pdf of the menu. This can be convenient if you are in the habit of posting a menu that changes daily. Unfortunately, that routine gets old quick and soon people are seeing a menu from last summer when it's now winter. 

Typing menu items onto a web page is more beneficial due to search engine optimization (SEO). The better your SEO, the higher up in search engine results your restaurant will appear. By typing in your menu items, they become searchable. Burgers, pasta, seafood, pizza will all be key search words that get picked up by Google, etc. 

Finally, the menu needs to be optimized for mobile devices so that they are easy to view. Not all programs or programmers code properly for this and so it is important that you preview your menus on a mobile device before go-live.

Sample menus

Menus change on a regular basis. It would be an inconvenience to have to constantly change it online. There's also the liability of having people hold you to the fire when they demand an item or price that they saw online for something that is no longer valid.

The best way to handle this is to put in the line: Sample menu only - subject to change without notice. This way you can change your menu on a scheduled basis, such as seasonally or monthly, without getting into run-ins with customers. 

In this information age, online menus are an important marketing tool. Don't ignore the opportunity of luring in customers with an easy-to-read, enticing menu. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Customize your daily message on your reservation widget

There are many reservation systems that allow your guests to make reservations via your website or your Facebook page. They get the job done. With Rezku Prime, restaurants have a lot more flexibility to customize their widgets.

Rezku Prime allows restaurants to add a Daily Message that will appear on the reservation widget depending on the day and mealtime. 

Some restaurants like to stick with standard messages for all days/times. 

"For reservations of 9 or more, please call our restaurant directly at ..." or 
"If you do not see your desired time, please feel free to call our host desk directly."

There are opportunities to be more specific. During lunch hours you could see something like, "Monday's lunch special is our Bourbon Pulled Pork with housemade potato chips for $5.99". You could also do, "It's Taco Tuesday! All tacos are $1.50 each from 5-9 p.m."

These Daily Messages come in handy when you have special holiday hours or something different to say about a particular day. 

Holiday example: "We will be taking reservations for Mother's Day by phone only. Please call us at () to check availability."

If you have something occurring that's different than the norm...

"Due to a special event, we will be closed for Friday dinner. We hope to see for dinner on another day." Or, "We are not offering online reservations for Graduation weekend. Please call us directly at () to make reservations." "We will be open for lunch service only on Christmas Eve, closing at 2 p.m. Enjoy the holidays!"

Restaurants benefit with better communication with guests and less questions later when they have the ability to customize their messages on their reservation widget. To learn more about Rezku Prime customization, c
ontact us at 844-697-3958.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Tech support shouldn't say, "We'll get back to you in 24 hours"

You are in the middle of a very busy Saturday night service with guests trying to get on the waiting list and every table seated. Then your FOH system has a technical issue and you freeze. The last thing you want to hear when you call tech support is a recording saying to leave a message and your call will be returned within 24 hours. You need help NOW!

Better yet, you don't want to be on the phone at all. It's poor customer service to be seen by guests to have a phone up to your ear while continuing to talk to them. Not only is it rude, but if they can tell it's tech support, they get frustrated as well knowing something is wrong and they might get lost in the shuffle.

The better way to go is via online chat. You can discreetly hold a conversation with tech support without the guest ever knowing. You can talk to the guest, take their name, even seat them, all while tech support is quietly waiting for you to return to continue your conversation.

Tech support should also be able to access your machine in order to diagnose and fix the issue. These days there are remote access services which allow the tech support adviser to access your machine and "drive" it. Tech support should be able to remotely watch you perform the actions and then show you steps to take as they fix the issue from hundreds of miles away. 

Rezku offers live customer service by chat or by phone when you need it. Our tech support is available from 7am to 10pm Pacific every day. 

Our customers love our service...

"Best of all, Rezku provides you with unparalleled customer service that is immediately reachable at any given moment of need." The Boundary House

"Everyone at Rezku that we encounter is ready willing and able to help us day and night. They want to help us make the system work best for us.  Customer service gets an A+!" Taste Restaurant

Contact us at 844-697-3958 to find out the best products and prices for your restaurant(s).

Presented by Guest Innovations. Be sure to check out our affordable hospitality products RezkuWaitkuSendkuRezkuPrime, and RezkuTablet.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Get to know your customers before they walk in the door

Imagine how a guest would feel when you say "Happy birthday!" directly to the birthday boy/girl. Or if you already know what dishes will be best to suggest for their allergy needs. Guests will be thrilled to be treated special with personalized service all because you gathered the information before they even walked through the door. 

It's easy to provide such information to your servers if you are able to collect the information beforehand. Things like allergies, seating preferences, what occasion they are celebrating. By arming your servers with the information, they are able to focus in on the needs of the guests in a way that makes them valued. 

This sort of attention is what entices a guest to return and become a regular diner at your establishment. When you treat them as part of your family you make them want to return again and again. 

Wouldn't it be nice if they indicate they want to be seated outside and your reservation system automatically assigned them a patio table?

Or how about automatically sending guests a flyer about your next event attached to their reservation email?

All of these things can be done via reservation widgets on your website or Facebook page.

While many other reservation companies do have the ability for guests to add a special request, none are as customizable and automated as those offered by Rezku Prime. With Rezku Prime you can be very specific about the information you collect. Then, if you have a chit printer, you can print out all the information for the server as the diner gets seated. 

AllergiesRezku Prime allows the restaurant to set out specific buttons for the diner to click such as "Nuts", "Dairy", etc. Or you can simply ask "Allergy?" and let the diner fill in a field.

Occasion: You can put out buttons for "Birthday" or "Anniversary", but with Prime you can actually ask "Whose?" or "What date?"

Seating: You can ask your diners whether they prefer indoor or outdoor or even be specific by rooms. If a diner clicks that button, the tables are all pre-assigned so that the system is smart enough to know to seat an outdoor request on the patio.

Upcoming events: With Rezku Prime you can create a document that can be attached to email confirmations. Imagine making a reservation for this weekend and you see that the restaurant is having a wine pairing dinner with a winery you are very interested in. By clicking the "Wine dinner" button you will automatically get the flyer with all the details of the event attached to your reservation confirmation for this weekend. 

Daily messages: Restaurants can even customize the messages that go out for every meal, every day. Monday's lunch message might say, "Monday lunch special: Tuna Melt with Fries and beverage for $6.99" while the dinner message says, "Margarita Mondays! All margaritas are $5 all night long!"

Rezku Prime is so customizable that our clients create new ways to ask or share information with their diners all through the widget. 

Contact us to learn more about Rezku Prime and all its features. 

Presented by Guest Innovations. Be sure to check out our affordable hospitality products: RezkuWaitkuSendkuRezkuPrime, and RezkuTablet.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Using Rezku smartphone app in tandem with Rezku Prime

Reach is always important and in this era of technology, accessibility via internet is essential. In terms of your restaurant, this means you want customers to be able to get information and make reservations for your restaurant via as many avenues as possible.

Restaurants should be active and have reservation access/widgets via their own website, their Facebook page, and smartphone app. Now Rezku offers all this with the addition of our smartphone app. 

The new Rezku app is a new restaurant search app that covers restaurants across the United States. It works based on your location, but you can also change locations to search in other cities. You can search by cuisine, such as Chinese or Southern. All restaurants are listed, but client restaurants rise to the top. 

Once you've selected a restaurant you can delve into the profile. Each profile has photos of food or the restaurant if they are available. The address, map, phone number are easy to find. Scroll down and you will find all the amenities such as cuisine, hours, parking information, etc. Finally, if they are a client restaurant, there is the ability to make reservations.

You can tell if a restaurant is currently open by the background picture on their listing. Looking above, Plan B is dark because it was closed at the time of this screen shot. But Fabian's was open. 

Another feature for client restaurants is the waitlist time. If a person is put on the waitlist with a quote of 20 minutes (as in the photos above), then the app shows a countdown clock for the customer's wait time. 

We already have future updates in mind to make the app more interactive and improve business even more. Stay tuned! 

Presented by Guest Innovations. Be sure to check out our affordable hospitality products RezkuWaitkuSendkuRezkuPrime, and RezkuTablet.