How to Upgrade Your Restaurant’s Service for Modern Consumers

Today’s restaurant industry has become more competitive than ever, and it’s important to understand why. Technology continues to advance, and with that advancement comes consumers who are used to a certain level of convenience. If a restaurant doesn’t have the right level of service, they’ll typically take their business elsewhere. It is essential now more than ever to do the research into current market trends and make some investments to remain competitive. Here are just four major trends that you should be aware of and consider implementing into your own restaurant.

Specialty Menu Items

In today’s consumer market, it seems like you can find as many diets as there are dieters. While some of it comes from trends and fads, it’s also important to realize that people are becoming more and more aware of allergies and intolerances that they have to various ingredients. Whether it’s for health reasons, ethical reasons, or even just to copy their favorite celebrity, however, it’s important that you are aware of the rising need for flexible menus. The very least a restaurant of today should be able to do is inform customers of potential allergens in their menus. Providing carb estimates for those with diabetes can also show your customers that you are concerned for their health and wellbeing. Where possible, try to find ways to customize menu items to fit the dietary restrictions that may come your way. 

To-Go/ Delivery

Another major change in the modern habits of consumers is that everyone is becoming incredibly busier and less social. Because of this, more and more restaurants are offering take-out options or even delivery. While delivery isn’t possible for everyone, it will increase your patronage if you can offer to-go plates that your customers can use to take their meal home. You can make this easier on your staff by identifying entrees and sides that are quick and easy to assemble, then offering the option of take-home plates for those.

Dessert Displays

Food is a lot more enticing when you can see it, and having displays of some of your more decorative dishes can be a great way to draw in newcomers. Deserts, in particular, are a common favorite to display. To combine two solutions in one, try offering deserts as to-go items and place them on display in a three-door commercial display cooler or other display refrigerator. A customer’s eyes are often bigger than their stomach, or so the saying goes, so chances are they may decide to take a take-home desert with them on the way out if they can see it sitting there waiting for them.

Order-Through/ Pay-Through App Options

Mobile apps have changed so many industries. The restaurant industry is no different. Nowadays, you can order a drink or food from your favorite coffeehouse or restaurant and pay for it before you’ve even left the house. Offering this kind of service, plus a convenient pick-up option, can help draw in customers who are in a rush or want to avoid long waits. This also helps to prevent long lines that may turn away customers during rush times. If you feel like your orders could become backed-up this way, consider implementing a tracker on your app that tells them how long it’s estimated for their food to choose a pick-up time based upon how many people are ahead in a queue. This will also allow people to order their food long in advance, giving you plenty of time to prepare it and eliminating the chance of them waiting in a line.

Restaurant managers who want to increase their sales need to know how to take advantage of modern technology. As the market becomes more competitive and startup restaurants rise and fall, it’s important to stay on top of the best industry trends. Even if you don’t have a major budget for new services, take a look at what you do have and find ways to cater to the new convenience and customization needs of the modern consumer.

Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.

The Best Apps for Your Home Business

Running a home business can be fantastic. It’s a great way to do something for yourself and to follow your dreams. It’s an opportunity to work for yourself, without having to follow the rules or do as you are told. It also gives you the chance to earn money for yourself, without discrimination or glass ceilings. Home businesses are growing in popularity as more people are taking the risk and going it alone.

But, it’s not easy. When you run a business out of your house, you are likely to face many challenges and problems which you must overcome, facing head-on if you want to make your business a success.

Fortunately, in 2019 there are countless tools to help you. While you may not have the resources and finances that bigger businesses have, as they use business applications so often that they eventually need applications rationalization to help weed out legacy applications and reduce the costs. You will find that help is at hand. Small business loans and grants are often available. Digital marketing is an excellent tool when it comes to saving money while growing your business, and then there are apps. Nowadays most of us have countless apps on our phones. They help us with most elements of our life, as well as providing entertainment. So it should come as no surprise that there are also apps to help you run your business. Let’s take a look at some of the best.

Image Source – https://pixabay.com/photos/iphone-smartphone-apps-apple-inc-410311/

QuickBooks

If you are new to the business world, one of your primary challenges might be looking after your accounts. Many small business owners and sole traders find themselves in a panic as tax return season comes around as they have no idea how much money they have made, or what they can claim as a tax-deductible expense.

QuickBooks can be an extremely useful tool if you’ve got little experience in accounting. Even if you know what you are doing, using an app to manage your invoices and receipts can make your life a lot easier and save you a great deal of time. It could even save you money.

QuickBooks is one of many accounting apps on the market, but it’s often thought of as the easiest to use. You can use QuickBooks to keep records of your sales and expenses, track invoices, to pay your staff and to calculate your income. Other finance apps you may find useful include Wave, Gusto and Freshbooks.

Trello

Another big problem that home businesses face is productivity. When you are working at home, surrounded by distractions, it can be hard to organise and manage your time. Apps like Trello can be a massive help.

Use Trello to organise your days and manage your time. Create a Trello board for each project and add comments, pictures, attachments, to-do lists and deadlines to help yourself stay on track. If you often collaborate or have a team working with you, you can use Trello to assign tasks and get updates on progress. If you prefer to keep things simple, to-do list apps and even Google Calendars can be a big help.

Evernote

If you work from home, chances are you don’t always work from home. You might work at the library or in coffee shops. You might even try to get work done while you are sat in your car waiting for an appointment or meeting. This can be hard if all you have got in your phone.

Evernote can make things much easier. You’ll be able to work on your phone or tablet on the go, and anything that you do will be synced between your devices and your desktop back home. Evernote can give you a great way to maximise your time and get the most done, without worrying about losing work.

PayPal

As a small business, you might regularly work with other small companies and influencers. This often means that PayPal is the easiest, fastest and cheapest way to make and receive payments. Having the PayPal app on your phone means that you can send invoices, receive payments and transfer money on the go. It also allows you to look at your income and save receipts.

BoxMeUp

If your business is in sales, and you sell products out of your house, BoxMeUp can be a huge help. The app helps you to organise and track your packages. You can even use it to print labels and scan them into your phone to help with tracking and communicating with your customer.

Is Java Still Used For App Development?

Knowledge of Java is something all developers and programmers are expected to have. However, when it comes to the world of modern web applications, you will notice that there is a lot of negativity surrounding Java. Many people prefer other platforms – such as Python, Grails, Groovy, RoR, Narf, Wibble, and such like. This is a surprise to many, especially when you consider Java’s overall popularity. You would certainly expect a greater number of individuals to use Java for the development of web applications.

It is pivotal to begin by highlighting the fact that there are of course individuals who still use Java to develop their web applications. It has not become completely irrelevant. The users are there, but many people would agree that there are not as many as would be expected. Why is this so?

After doing excessive research, it becomes evident that the general feeling is that Java has lost its magic touch. Business owners and developers deem it to be too slow and absent of enough creativity. However, there are expert programmers who stand by Java completely, and say their experiences with other applications don’t compare. So, where do these divergent viewpoints come from? Can Java have really gone so rapidly downhill?

It all comes down to the size and complexity of the application in question. It would appear that a lot of individuals choose to develop their application on a different platform yet once, and if, it is no longer scalable they migrate to Java. Why is this so? Well, modern-day start-ups need to hit the market as soon as they can. This proves to be somewhat difficult with Java. This is especially the case when you consider the unproductive development process. Other frameworks allow you to see code changes instantly, whereas you have to deploy them with Java.

Thus, Java often proves to be too complex for start-up companies and those who merely want to develop a small and simplistic application. It provides more than what is required for these web applications. This is why many start out on Wibble, Groovy or something similar, and then move to Java afterwards.

However, this does not render Java unneeded from the offset. It also shows that its strengths lie within the development of much larger web applications. This is why developers tend to use Java when they are creating products for banks, insurance companies, and alike. The reliability of Java will always shine through and appeal to all audiences, yet the complexity can alienate some. Firms like IntelligIS can advise on the best sort of program to use for development if you’re unsure. They can even handle your project for you.

To conclude, there is no denying that Java is undoubtedly still used in modern web application development. However, you will find that it is used more frequently when it comes to the larger, scalable and the more complex end of the web application spectrum. When individuals merely require a small and simplistic app, they tend to use other platforms. Yet, this does not mean they won’t migrate to Java in the future. Once their application grows, Java will become more beneficial in relation to their needs.

How Can My Small Business Achieve a Significant Online Presence?

The internet has changed our lives dramatically over the last couple of decades. It has changed our behaviour as consumers (meaning that businesses have to keep up) and one way they can go about doing so is being visible online. One thing small businesses struggle with is competing with more established companies, as an entrepreneur you need to show people that you’re reliable and trustworthy- and that they will have a good experience shopping with you. One way you can go about this is by having a good online presence; when a customer types your business into a search engine, they need to be able to see that you’re very much present and that everything is being run correctly. Here’s how you can go about it.

Get Your Website Right

When you’re a small business without much money to start off with, it’s tempting to want to cut costs on things like web design and have a go yourself. But while you may be able to knock up something that looks ok, it’s always going to lack that professional edge. If you want to make a good impression on customers and clients, you absolutely need to invest in a decent website. It needs to look good, be properly laid out and free of clutter and spam. It should be fast to load and free of errors. A web designer will be able to create something custom to you, so do some research and look through a few designers portfolios. Your website represents your business online, something that looks tacky will do nothing but put people off- after all, if your website is poor its easy to assume that the rest of your business is run the same way. We’re all guilty of thinking this way, how many times have you clicked off a website because it looked a little DIY or it was slow to load? It’s not something that would make you want to part with your money.

Have an App Created

Lots of smaller businesses still aren’t reaping the benefits of what an app can do for their business, meaning rightnow you have the chance to get ahead. Research how much does it cost to make an app and work this into your budget, it’s an investment that could mean big returns for your business. An app makes you look smart and professional, and for now it puts you ahead of your competition.

Get Social

Social media is one of the biggest things to come out of the internet in recent years. It’s something that business owners have been able to take advantage of, as it allows you to get closer to your customers and to communicate with them in a more informal way. You can quickly answer queries and questions, you can share positive comments, reviews and customer photos of your business. You can share marketing materials to your followers including sales, deals and discounts and you can run giveaways and competitions (which will increase your following further). Having a good following and being responsive on social media is a great way to improve your online presence.

Ask Customers For Reviews

Reviews really can make or break your business. When you’re thinking of shopping with a new company but are a little unsure, what’s the first thing you do? Chances are it’s go online and check the reviews. If you were already on the fence, a few bad reviews are going to sway you and lead you to go and shop somewhere else. Great reviews on the other hand will give you confidence, if most others have had a good experience then it shows that you probably will too. As a business owner, you should be investing time into building up your reviews. Ensure you’re putting out a quality service every time, and if there are any problems they should be dealt with quickly and professionally. You need to come to some kind of agreement where your customer is left happy, this will prevent them from leaving you a bad review. You can’t provide any compensation for positive reviews, but you can politely ask and if people have had a good experience with you then chances are they’ll be happy to leave you one. As well as adding a review tab to your Facebook business page, ask people to review you on a third party site like Trustpilot. These reviews are well respected as you have to sign up and verify your identity to post and so you know that anything posted is truthful- not just a company writing their own positive reviews! Another way you can get impartial reviews is by working with bloggers, if you send them out a free product for example they will review it fairly- of course if your product and business is good then it will be a good review. Having lots of reviews online when customers search increases your online presence and can sway anyone who’s a little unsure into making an order.

 

 

 

Apps All Business Owners Should Consider Using

In this day and age everybody is using their phones or tablets to make their lives easier. Whether it’s sending a quick email on the way to work or simply keeping up with family members on Facebook, apps make it easier than ever to complete everyday tasks. The business world is actually greatly affected by apps these days too, and no matter what kind of industry you’re in, you can find the perfect app to help you run your business more smoothly. Take a look at these apps that all business owners should consider using and see if there’s any that could benefit your business!

Crowdfire

Anyone who is anyone is using social media as a way of promoting their business – and for good reason too. Social media can quickly and efficiently grow your business. The more followers and interaction that you gain from social media = better business. Crowdfire is an app that allows you to schedule posts to your social media accounts, saving you time and allowing you to get on with other tasks. The app can also help you grow your following too, so it’s definitely worth investing in the premium version of the app.

Greasebook

If you’re running a business that requires you to be in contact with drivers carrying highly sought after loads like gas and oil, it’s essential to be able to keep in contact with them at all times. Greasebook.com allows you to do exactly that, all while tracking tank levels and submitting gauge sheets. The perfect way of keeping in touch with your drivers and running your business as smoothly as possible.

Accompany

Accompany is an essential app for those that have to attend a plethora of business meetings. The app will send you a detailed email before your meetings entailing the subjects and other important information. The app works by using your microsoft and gmail accounts, as well as your social media accounts too so that it can pull up information about your contacts and prepare you for up and coming meetings.

Toggl

Ever find yourself losing track of time and spending too much time on one particular task? Hate keeping track of all of those timesheets and worrying about one becoming lost? Well, with Toggl you no longer have to worry about this! Track your time worked and also use it as a time management tool so that all tasks are completed!

Gusto

Finally, Gusto is a must-have app for any entrepreneur. Nobody likes bookkeeping and now you can access an app to help those boring and mind boggling financial tasks a breeze!

What apps can you use for your business? Are there any that you’d recommend for entrepreneurs looking to make their lives easier? Let us know below!

 

Does Your App Score Points with Consumers?

Assuming you have a mobile business app, would you rate it a success up to now?

Many small businesses thinking of going the app route for one reason or another end up not doing it. As a result, they can be missing out on opportunities to sell their brand.

If you’ve decided to move forward with a mobile app, where will you begin?

Making Sure You Get Good Reviews

Whether only starting out with an app or you’ve had one around for a while now, you want to make sure it gets good reviews.

With that in mind, know that there are companies out there whose sole job is to review business apps on a daily basis. As such, you’d want to get a good review, correct?

Whether getting a Bismanonline app review or from other companies, here’s why good ones are key:

  1. Brand notoriety – While you never want to stand out for the wrong reason, notoriety for the right ones is big. That said a strong mobile app game is important for your brands success. Having that recognition can not only help you keep business, but also land new customers.
  2. Customer experience – Good reviews help build a better customer experience. If a consumer has your app at or near the top of their phone, there’s a good chance you’re going to do regular business. Although many still shop online via desktop or laptop computers, more go the mobile route. As such, you want to make sure they have the best customer experience possible each time out.
  3. Socialize the process – With a mobile app, make sure your business is as social as can be. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and other such sites are important to promoting your brand. Your app can offer relevant industry content, coupons, and of course consumer feedback. With a solid social media game on your app, reviewers will be apt to give you the thumbs up.
  4. Staying ahead – Last, you want positive reviews to stay ahead of the competition. Remember, most competitors will always be looking for ways to upstage you. As a result, you can’t assume they are not investing much time and money into their apps. The chances are they have in fact been investing time and dollars towards their apps (see more below).

Did You Design the Best Possible App?

Whether you did your mobile app in-house or reached out for help, did you come up with a good one?

In the event you are not happy with the current app for your small business, don’t settle for mediocrity.

Take the time and money if necessary to do better. When you do, your mobile app should garner more interest from consumers.

Last, don’t be afraid to see what competitors have done with their apps.

Never copy them down to the last detail. That said don’t be afraid to look at their ideas and how you could put in place one or more in your own manner.

If your app is not scoring points with consumers, it is time to restart the game.

About the Author: Dave Thomas writes about business topics on the web.

 

 

Top Reasons People Hate Your App

It can sound a bit harsh to say someone hates your app, but if you’ve gotten to the point where you feel like it could be possible, it’s time to figure out why. When you have a business, and you create an app, your objective obviously isn’t to have people hate it.

Unfortunately, more often than not that can be the case. If you can identify what elements of your app design or functionality users don’t like, you may be able to fix it without a complete overhaul.

If you’re not sure where to start, the following are some of the top reasons users could be less-than-thrilled with your app in its current form.

Users Don’t Know When Something Is Happening

You’re using an app, you push something, and it seems like nothing happens. There’s no acknowledgment that you’ve taken action.

Is it working or not? It’s extremely frustrating but all-too-common.

When you create your app, you want your users to know that their action is recognized. For example, you can show an icon of movement or that the screen is being refreshed. You want to be able to create a sense of cause and effect for user actions.

Advertising Feels Intrusive

Nobody likes intrusive advertising in any media. We’re at a point in digital technology where people can largely avoid advertising altogether if they choose. So while you may need to drive revenue with in-app advertising, you need to be careful with it.

You don’t want to include super graphics-heavy advertising or video ads that are going to make someone’s phone seem like it’s going haywire every time they use your app.

You also don’t ever want to include any unresponsive advertising. It’s going to be highly frustrating, and even if your app itself is great, it’s probably not going to matter.

Constant Push Notifications

Push notifications can be an excellent marketing tool, but not when you’re bombarding users. If someone feels like their smartphone is buzzing every hour with your push notifications, they’re probably going to uninstall the app.

As with advertisements, you need to be smart, strategic and discerning with your push notifications, so they create value rather than turning off users.

Constantly Asking for Reviews

When someone downloads an app, they do so because they want it to bring value to their life. It’s not about your business getting feedback.

If you’re using every second a person spends in an app asking them to like or share it, they’re going to feel frustrated.

That’s just a big interruption and obstacle in the overall user experience. If someone is trying to complete a task in your app and they keep being stopped so it can ask for a review or a like, it’s a problem.

Of course, in-app feedback can be useful, but it can’t be overdone, or like advertising, it can’t feel intrusive to the user experience.

Finally, be on the conservative side when it comes to how many personal details you’re asking your users for. Yes, your app may ask for some, but it’s important that you do so for a purpose, and you disclose this to users with transparency. Otherwise, they’re going to feel like you’re trying to exploit them or take advantage.