Every business decision a restaurant makes is crucial and involves careful consideration. In the end it all boils down to where to invest the money — how much does it cost and are you seeing a return on the investment.
In our post, "Top 10 questions to ask when choosing a FOH/reservation system", we listed questions that need to be considered for making the investment in a tech solution for your front-of-house. Let's first tackle the questions that need to be considered about your restaurant brand and in a future post we'll tackle the questions that have to do with the vendor(s).
Every restaurant has to look within first:
- Are you already a busy restaurant?
- Do you have a lot of regulars or repeat guests?
- How many first timers or non-local visitors do you get?
- Do you have a famous chef or owner?
- Are you part of a recognizable and/or popular brand?
- Have you earned a lot of recognition or been showcased by the media? (awards, stars, magazines, TV networks/shows)
When you look at these questions as a whole, they all refer to: what is the reach of your restaurant brand?
Restaurants develop their brand and their customer base at different paces. Some have the benefit of pre-opening buzz, an already established brand, or a well known chef/owner. Other restaurants are completely new and have to build their brand and customer base from scratch.
The right FOH solution will fit your brand and your budget. It will help you to engage your customers and provide them with the best service. Better yet is finding an affordable solution that handles all your FOH needs while saving you money to re-invest in developing your brand and loyal guests in other areas as well.
In this internet age advertising is not so much about TV and radio as it is about social media and print. In "Promoting your restaurant brand through social media" we discussed the value of engaging more in social media and in our sister Sendku blog "Maximizing Restaurant Email Campaigns" we talked about the benefits of emailing to encourage customers to return again. Both of these areas are important to boosting your brand.
If your FOH solution works together with social media and electronic communication, then it's a win/win all around. Can the FOH interact with your social media accounts? Can it email more than just reservation confirmations? Can it tie into your email service when you want to send out a newsletter or coupons?
When a restaurant has the benefit of good customer flow and head counts, then the focus shifts from capturing new customers to engaging customers to return again and again.