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.

A Beginners Guide to Online Growth!

With the boom that is being experienced within the world of e-commerce, it is no wonder that more and more online businesses are popping up all over the place. This is a good thing that you should take advantage of and use to finally get you in a position that you are doing what you love and able to leave that job that ha a dead end. There is a lot that you need to make sure that you keep in mind before you even begin this journey for your business needs. Having this information beforehand will help to reduce the number of mistakes that you will make when you get ready to begin your online business. Let us take a look at a few of the things that you need to make sure that you keep in mind before you start this journey.

Market to the Right Demographics

There is something to be said about making sure that you are sending the right message to the right people. One example of this would be to make sure that if you are going for a crowd that is into surfing, then you do not want to target people that are into buying customized dog collars. The key to being popular is to make sure that your marketing is hitting the mark in the demographics you are aiming for. This can save you a lot of trial and error that many beginners will make when trying to get their business up and running. The next tip will be just as important as you will want to make sure that you look at the method of getting paid for your goods and services.

Setup a Payment Gateway to Accept Payment

Having a way to accept payments will be just as important as the business end of things. This is why you need to make sure that you set up a payment portal that is reliable, safe and easy. This is a step that many people will forget about as it will not be at the top of their thought process. Knowing how to find a good payment gateway and how to get it set up will be a very important process that you have to make sure that you keep in mind.

Accept Multiple Forms of Payment

There is no need to move forward if the payment side of your business is not in place. Even once you get the payment gateway established, you will need to make sure that you are accepting all forms of payment. Many businesses lose out on potential customers due to the fact that they limit the types of payment that they are able to accept. If you only accept cash, then that will reduce you from being able to be an online business. If you only accept Visa then you are not getting the customers that have other forms of credit cards that they use online.

Mobilize

Make sure that you are making yourself mobile ready to deal with all of the customers that will be doing business with you on a regular basis. More and more people are living online and as such, they want sites that are mobile friendly. Nothing is more frustrating than having a site that has not been optimized for mobile devices and as such will not display the correct way. This can hurt you in the fact that customers will not want to do business with you as well as it may affect the ability for you to accept payments.

Offer Feedback Options

A customer having the ability to leave feedback is one of the most important things that you can do in helping to build a customer base that will in the end trust you. Having the ability to accept this feedback as well as helping to listen to the feedback and take the advice that is being given to you via the customers. The feedback that they are able to provide to you will help you to better cater to their needs and allow you the chance to make things better for your business and thus allow you to improve on areas where you are a little weak.

Market the Business as Much as Possible

Marketing the business is as essential as the other parts of running the business. If you fail to market it correctly, then your efforts will not be as successful when trying to get new customers to come and check out your business. The ones that you do have will get bored as there will not be anything there to help and keep the customer engaged. If you are not sure what you need to do in the marketing of your business, then you can always hire a firm that will handle all of the details for you.

As you are able to see, there is a lot of running your own business and the more that you understand from the beginning, then the better results that you will have. Following these tips, will make sure that you have a business that will be profitable and will go a long way in helping to give you a sense of accomplishment.

Have Content/ Products that People want

There is no use in having products to sell if the people do not want to buy them. This will involve a lot of research to see what people are and are not into and what types of goods or services that they are seeking out. A little research, in the beginning, will lead to a lot better results for you down the road. Look closely at the things that are doing well and those that are not doing so good and shift your focus on these accordingly. Take ideas from established online stores like Oroton outlet to have a clear idea and implement them in your case. This will help to lead to you having a lot better results with getting products sold in a timely manner. After you have established the selection of products that you are going to sell, you will then want to make sure that you focus on the marketing of the products.

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!

 

Expert Marketing: How to Get Your Company to Stand out from Your Competition

Getting your business to stand out from your competitors is essential if you want to succeed in business. While you must have a quality product, great customer service and a reasonable price, that may not be enough to encourage people to visit your location. Here are some ideas on how to market your business so that you stand out from your competitors.

Create a Voice-and-mobile-friendly Website

While you probably already have a website, it is essential that it be voice friendly. Making your website voice-friendly allows the user to find your business using their home devices like Alexa, Google Home and Amazon Echo. Use phrases that are naturally spoken, make sure that you list your geographical area and use long-tail keywords. In order to make your website mobile friendly, you should make sure that your website can be viewed on any size device, pick a font that is at least 14 pixels and use high-quality images.

Be Active on Social Media

Being found on social media is essential to separating your business from that of your competitors. Know what social media platform your customers prefer and make yourself visible there. While you will want to post regularly, you will also want to make sure to interact with your target audience. Spending time showing that you care about their concerns and ideas is a great way to build customer trust. When others see customers bragging about your products and services online, then they will want to check your business out.

Build and Upkeep a Unique Building Design

When a customer arrives at your location, they should instantly get a great first impression before they ever walk in the door, get signage companies to put up a new sign that is clearly visible when customers are approaching your business from any direction. Keep the exterior of the business beautiful by painting and landscaping. Make sure that your customers have ample parking and can get in the front door easily. Ensure that the windows are clean and that the sidewalk is free of all trash.

Get Involved in the Community

It is essential that you are involved in your local community. You may want to team up with other business owners to sponsor an event. Join the local chamber or other business organizations. Regularly donate part of your proceeds to a worthy cause while making sure that your donation gets attention in the press. Offer to be a public speaker at events along with contacting local news organizations to offer to be their local expert on topics related to your business.

Using these ideas and your own ingenuity will help you stand out from your competitors. Keep your focus on doing the right things for your community and your business will succeed. You will need to make sure that they can find you when they look on the internet.

SmartPhone Evolution: Apps to Enhance Marketing Productivity

Marketing doesn’t always happen at your desktop. In fact, marketers are more mobile than ever before, and they need to stay productive while on the go.  Apps for superior marketing productivity can:

  • Make communicating simpler
  • Boost collaborative efforts.
  • Maximize your time.
  • Automate your workflow.

If you’re not taking advantage of apps that can help your marketing workflows, you may be wasting opportunities for growth.  Here are 6 mobile apps to enhance your marketing productivity.

1. Slack

Slack has become a marketer’s best friend in nearly every industry. Teamwork is at the bedrock of marketing, and this communication app makes teams far more efficient and productive.
slack

You can ping team members, check out archived chats, and make on-boarding of new team members or clients easy.

Other Slack features include . . .

  • Open communication channels for different projects and teams
  • You can go mobile, or use Slack on your desktop
  • Internal and external sharing, including files, docs, and other assets
  • A flexible browsing interface
  • Read-state synchronization

Slack also integrates easily with a number of software ecosystems, such as Google Drive, Zendesk, Dropbox, MailChimp, and major social media channels like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

2. Toggl

Marketers who freelance often need to have billable hours ready to go if a client asks. Toggl does just that, timing you how long it takes to complete a task, or a number of tasks of one client project.

toggl

Toggl is also great for timing how long it takes for you to do a certain task to help you tweak your workflow to become even more productive. You can even send detailed tracking reports from the app to clients.

Other Toggl productivity solutions are . . .

  • Charts for easy user digestion, also great for clients
  • Day-by-day productivity breakdown for tasks
  • User-friendly single click time tracking feature
  • Usable online and offline

The Toggl app is also geared for companies. Marketing managers can use the app data to tweak workflow for optimal productivity. This could have a big impact on marketing agency profits.

3. UberConference

The UberConference app simplifies conference calls by taking glitchy video software out of the boardroom. There is no pin or software to download with this productivity app, and you won’t need to decipher who is talking. UberConference shows you the profiles of all conference call members, and when they are speaking.
uber

A few features marketers can use include . . .

  • HD audio for clearer conference calls
  • Screen share option
  • Admin login with call controls
  • Social media integration
  • Document sharing
  • Compatible with Slack for chat messaging

This mobile marketing app also allows you to connect to conference calls while on the go. Whether you need to hash out client contracts, or connect with the team on an urgent issue, UberConference is a productivity powerhouse.

4. Noisli

Not all productivity apps are about production. The Noisli app doesn’t have scheduling features or note taking capabilities. However, this productivity app is all about heightening your focus to get in the zone. By providing background noise conducive to your workflow, you will simply get more done.

noisli

Marketers can find more focus using these Noisli features . . .

  • 16 different sounds (white noise, rain, wind, water, etc.)
  • Customizable by mixing sounds together
  • Adjustable volume for mixes
  • Built in timer and text editor
  • Colorful backgrounds for relaxation

“The service is mainly used as a concentration booster during work by coders, programmers, bloggers, writers, students, and translators,” Noisli founder, Stefano Merlo told CNET. “Noisli is also used by many teachers in the classroom as a base for creative writing classes or for exercises/games in elementary school.”

5. SocialPilot

This next productivity app is geared for social media marketers looking to automate their workflow. The SocialPilot app is a newer alternative to Hootsuite and Buffer with more advanced options for mobile marketers. It allows you to organize nearly every aspect of your social media scheduling.

socialpilot

Marketers can leverage SocialPilot for . . .

  • Full automation of scheduling social media posts.
  • Tracking all social accounts in the dashboard calendar.
  • Enhanced visibility via customized Facebook branding.
  • Bulk scheduling with a CSV or TXT file.
  • Team sharing with contributor and moderator settings.
  • Client management features for agencies.

This new productivity app for marketers can make social media management far more efficient. In fact, more than 75,000 agencies and marketing professionals trust SocialPilot to do just that.

6. Cloze

Have you ever wanted a personal assistant? Well, how about a virtual AI powered personal assistant you don’t need to pay? The Cloze app can make that happen. It is essentially a CRM that doesn’t require you to enter any data. The app automatically pulls your contact’s information, social media activity, and personal history, delivering one easily digestible place.

cloze

 The productivity wins for marketers include . . .

  • Compiles all your contacts in one place.
  • Updates contact information based on email signature changes.
  • Links scheduled items to the people mentioned.
  • Reminds you to reach out to people at appropriate times.
  • Organizes contacts by last touch point, location, initial meeting, etc.

“With the relaunch of Cloze, the app is moving away from being an email client of sorts, and instead is meant to function more as a tool that lets you track your contacts and your interactions in a variety of ways,” TechCrunch explained.

Ready to be the Most Productive Marketer on the Planet?

Well, maybe that is a bit of an overstatement. However, a more productive marketer is a more successful one, making you one of the savviest in your industry. From team collaboration to the soothing sounds of deep concentration, there is an app for that.

The right tools can make a big difference for any professional, and the Smartphone evolution has ushered in a variety of mobile apps that have made the mobile workforce fierce. What productivity apps are taking your marketing game to the next level?

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.