Delivery and Vegan Food are the fastest growing restaurant trends
According to Grubhub and Yelp vegan and vegetarian options are trending like never before. The fastest growing item overall was cauliflower crust pizza. According to the “Year in Food” report cauliflower popularity grew by 650%. After several years of growth in meat alternatives can this really be called trendy any longer? I would suggest this is far from a trend. Americans are looking for comfort food without the animal protein.
Dine in, Delivery or in home Meal replacement that is the question
Whether you are catering to the meat alternative crowd or still serving meat and potatoes how and where are the next frontier. Diners are voting with their wallets and they are choosing in home meal replacement and delivery. Several restaurant publications have recently featured restaurants that have closed their dining rooms to expand delivery and take out ops. What this tells me is people want fresh not frozen and quality made meals. If it were just wanting to eat at home we would just nuke a frozen dinner right? Well, that ain’t happening.
Do you have to respond to trends in order to make it today?
Well that answer to that is above my pay grade. I do think if you are just starting in business and catering to younger diners you probably do. There is still room for the classic steak house and hopefully there always will be but the young guest are growing up in an alternative protein reality. The next generation will have never lived in a world where fast food did not offer a plant based alternative. At what point is it no longer an alternative? These same consumers will also grow up with every restaurant having online ordering and delivery options. So regardless of the concept you operate it may be time to dip your toe into the technology pool and see what happens. No need to do a cannon ball into the deep end, start slow with an iPad POS system and go with the flow. Let your guest tell you how they want to order and respond! While we can’t help you with plant based alternatives we can assist with the modern technology for your restaurant. Call us at 800-863-2274 or online at Restaurant POS including online ordering.
Promote your gift cards
Americans go to present is the gift card. Start stocking up now before it’s too late. Don’t rely on only hard plastic gift cards, get geared up with e-gift cards also known as a virtual gift card. Industry experts agree that e-gift cards are the next big thing for POS and gift giving. You should be ordering your gift card stock before Thanksgiving in order to be prepared.
Start working your email list
Around daylight savings or sooner you should be sending out holiday themed emails. It’s about this time of year businesses start planning their holiday parties. Send your customer list updates on catering and private dining options. Many businesses cater events in the office, however in this strong economy parties have made strong come back. While your emailing about holiday parties don’t forget to mention gift cards especially if you offer a virtual gift card that can be ordered from you website.
Make sure your equipment and technology is ready for the rush
Whether you have a point of sale system like Digital Dining, Dinerware or a cloud based tablet system ensure you are compliant with payment requirements. Double check your other mission critical equipment as well. If something has a nagging issue get it repaired or you are just inviting trouble. Find out if your POS provider offers surge licensing in case you need to stand up an extra POS terminal for a few days during the rush.
Take care of staffing issues now
Head off staffing issues by thinking ahead. Get your vacancies filled now. After filling in your roster hire some seasonal help as well. Don’t forget to get floaters lined up in case a regular or seasonal hire call in sick or get stuck in bad weather. Don’t leave anything to chance because we all know what Murphy says “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong”. If POS is one of those items you need to address call us at 800-863-2274 or on the web at Restaurant POS.
E-Gift Cards are replacing the traditional plastic cards quickly
Have you ever lost a valuable gift card? Have you ever wanted to buy a last minute gift and deliver it in a matter of seconds? E-Gift Cards also known as virtual gift cards are quickly becoming best practice for businesses all over the world. As the cultural shift to electronic payments continues gift cards are following the trend. The advantages of selling and using e-gift cards are numerous. Its difficult to believe there are still merchants using hand written gift certificates but they exist.
The plugged in customers today are expecting you to offer virtual offerings too
Today’s customers are using technology like never before. This is nothing new about generations becoming more tech savvy then those ahead of them. However today’s tech is light years ahead of what we have seen before. If your business is not up to speed you risk being left out. Offering e-gift cards is one way to keep you in the loop. In this case if offers you a lot of other benefits and a business owner too. First thing to consider is selling e-gift cards on your online ordering site. If you are selling hard printed cards online you have orders fulfilled which can be costly and takes time. A virtual gift card takes no time from your staff to fill the order. It is in the recipients hands in just seconds from the purchase.
Virtual gift cards expands your businesses reach
Just imagine that now Grandma in New York can simply go to her grandson’s favorite Seattle restaurant’s website and buy an e-gift card. Think about the fact your website is open and available twenty-four hours a day for last minute shoppers! There are far more reasons to start offering an e-gift system. In the Seattle Tacoma area reach out to your Heartland Dealer National Business Systems, Inc. at 800-863-2274 or online at Heartland Restaurant POS System.
Make payments easier for a better guest experience
Part four of our series on attracting and keeping Millennial Customers focus on payments made easy. Restaurants always strive to achieve that perfect guest experience. The one they will tell their friends and family about. It really does not matter if you are a five star table service establishment or carry out burger stand. How fast guest can pay and leave is part of the overall experience. Technology can improve this part of dining out that often diminishes the entire outing if handled poorly.
Servers are busy and your guest know that.
How often have you been our for dinner and wait to get your guest check and credit card back. Much of this can be accounted for via training however servers have a lot on their plate (pun intended). One of the break through technologies allow guest to use their own phone to pay a guest check off including a tip. Yes, you heard that correctly. You don’t need to put an ugly tablet on every table to make it easier for guest to pay. Use the Heartland Guest Application that allows your guest to use their own mobile device to simply scan to pay. Your POS will be configured to print a QR code on each guest check. You guest simply opens the app, scans the code and pays with a credit card they have already associated with their account.
A guest Application improves the experience for the guest and staff too
Technology like a guest app empowered with payments also lessens the load on servers too. Guest paying their own guest check off is one less thing for your servers to do. Another side effect is you could get an extra table turn in for the night too. If you think the technology demands of the millennials is demanding, your haven’t seen anything yet. The next generation Gen Z thinks their tech savvy parents don’t know anything about tech and social media and their right! Learn more about the Heartland Guest Application here.