In the world of restaurants, there’s immense pressure to not just maintain business, but to grow it. There are over 1 million restaurants in the U.S. alone, and their projected sales in 2018 topped $825 billion. In a world that becomes a little more digital and connected each and every year, it’s important to stay ahead of the competition and stay in the foremind of your customers. Here are three ways to grow your restaurant business – in the modern world.
1. Use an Online Ordering Service
Nowadays, online ordering services are thriving. There are both local and nationwide services, and the industry is estimated to be worth nearly $19.5 billion and is expected to grow 5.9% annually through 2023. In other words, there’s never been a better time to jump into the online ordering game if you haven’t already.
Benefits of Online Ordering Services:
- New Business: Online ordering services are a great way to appeal to a new market and draw in new customers outside of your restaurant.
- Reduce Human Error: Another huge benefit of using an online ordering service is clearer communications. Online ordering services can eliminate the confusion that sometimes occurs when orders are placed over the phone. Simply put, online services increase order accuracy and make the process easier for both the customer and the employee.
- Transparent Cash Flow: Last but certainly not least, online ordering services give transparent cash flow information, making it easy to keep a close eye on your profits. Online services can make it possible to keep track of costs of preparing an order and compare it to the price you’re giving the customer.
Examples of Services:
Grubhub Inc. is a web commerce platform for ordering and delivering take-out food. Based in Chicago, as of Q1 2018 the company has 14.5 million active users and 80,000 associated restaurants across 1,700 cities in the United States.
Uber Eats is an American online food ordering and delivery platform launched by Uber in 2014 and based in San Francisco, California. Users can order food from participating restaurants on their website or with a smartphone/tablet application.
DoorDash Inc. is an on-demand food delivery service founded in 2013 by Stanford students Andy Fang, Stanley Tang, Tony Xu and Evan Moore. A Y Combinator-backed company, DoorDash is one of several technology companies that uses logistics services to offer food delivery from restaurants on-demand.
And many more!
2. Adopt a Loyalty Program and/or Branded App
Looking to establish your brand and gain more fans? Of course, you are! Did you know a loyalty program can help you do just that? And trust us, today’s consumers want the perks that loyalty programs can offer: 86% of shoppers say they’ve joined a loyalty program to collect points for rewards.
Tying into our first tip, select online ordering services also offer loyalty programs and branded apps to restaurants. Uber Eats offers Uber Rewards, which allows customers to accrue points for every dollar spent on Uber car rides and Uber Eats purchases. Users can also achieve different membership levels, unlocking things like priority pickups, complimentary upgrades, and more.
In a similar vein, ChowNow offers branded mobile apps to restaurants. The apps, available for both iOS and Android, not only allow customers to purchase food, but also allows restaurants to display logos, food photos, and more. And according to ChowNow, app-wielding restaurants see a 10% increase in order frequency per diner. Can’t beat that!
3. Integrate Star Micronics Restaurant Solutions
Whether it’s a fine dining restaurant or a fast-casual restaurant – or anything in between – Star has what it takes to optimize restaurants of all kinds. Here are two ways how:
- mC-Print3: Specially designed for restaurants, the 3-inch thermal mC-Print3 is not only splash-proof and insect-proof, but sleek, compact, and connected. Built for the modern world, the mC-Print3 offers Bluetooth, USB, Lightning, LAN and CloudPRNT connectivity, and is easy to integrate through common SDK. Click here to learn more about the mC-Print3.
- PromoPRNT: While digital is king these days, there’s one valuable marketing medium that isn’t going away anytime soon, and that provides an even more direct communication with the customer: a receipt! With Star’s PromoPRNT software (compatible with mC-Print3), you can create custom promotions from templates that are delivered directly into customers’ hands, boosting customer retention and engagement rates. Operate multiple locations? No problem – with PromoPRNT, you can manage promotions for multiple stores, all from one central location. Click here to learn more about PromoPRNT.
With just a little bit of effort and a few new tools (or maybe just your existing printer), you can take your restaurant to the next level. Click here to learn more about how Star can help take you there.