These days it seems almost everything is online. From online shopping to food delivery, it is what the market is looking for!
But how do you know what app to use, what online store to setup, or what is the best option?
In this post we are going to focus on the food delivery market specifically in Atlanta Georgia.
Atlanta Georgia Food Delivery
Food delivery is a huge market of itself in Atlanta Georgia.
These days more and more people are making money by simply driving food to and from a location.
Why would people want to do this?
Typically it is for supplemental income. You can set your own schedule, choose your pickups, and manage your revenue!
For the restaurants though, it can be tricky knowing which services to pair with.
Top Apps & What To Look For
What are restaurants looking for then? Which delivery app is the “best” for them to use?
This entirely depends on the needs of the restaurant. There are several online ordering options that typically come with native POS systems mostly for takeout that are completely free. In addition, if they have their own delivery drivers then the restaurants might not have a need for a separate app.
Although, there is a slight problem with this logic.
By only working through your own market, you are lacking additional exposure that can come from using a third party app. Essentially, you are only serving your same customers over and over maintaining but limiting growth severely.
This is where third party apps shine.
They are able to exposure your restaurant to new users daily giving you opportunities for growth. Therefore, lets take a look at some of our favorite delivery apps.
The first third party app we are going to look at is called DoorDash.
A popular app in Georgia with many benefits to using it.
Besides the clean design, friendly support, and driver system, DoorDash seems to excel at one thing in particular.
That is marketing.
DoorDash is great at marketing not only its own app but the restaurants it serves as well. We have personally heard from tons of locations around Atlanta how many additional orders this app brings them day after day by simply turning it on.
Clearly, this is a huge pro, but there are cons to consider.
DoorDash does charge huge fees for its service. On average a restaurant will pay anywhere from 20% to 35% of the ticket total out to the app. These fees incur from the delivery fee, platform fee, service fee, and advertisement fees.
Now, there are more apps to use that we will look at!
The second app we recommend restaurants in Atlanta, Georgia look at is UberEats!
Most people have more than likely heard about this one.
UberEats does have different pros and cons than DoorDash from restaurant owners that have used both.
While DoorDash might bring more orders, there are problems with consistency, quality of food, and security of food. We will not get into details, but as you can imagine this does not fly with local owners.
UberEats on the other hand seems to be much more careful and delicate with customers food orders.
This ultimately results in better reviews, experience and returning customers.
The downside to UberEats is that they do not quite measure up to the marketing presence that the other company does limiting the exposure in Atlanta.
Similarly, the fees are about the same for both platforms making them equally expensive.
Lets look at a newer third option on the market.
The third option is actually limited to only local and independently owned restaurants.
This app is called AppyMeal and has several features we think you are going to love.
AppyMeal is a local startup to Atlanta, Georgia, and works directly with restaurants to get them setup and going on their marketplace for free.
Most importantly, their fees are as low as 2% for restaurants that sign up now. That is a huge difference in price from the other apps.
What are some other pros?
AppyMeal, like we said, only works with locals meaning that it consistently supports the local communities. Additionally, the local spots are not having to compete with franchises cluttering the app taking away precious orders and exposure.
What are the main cons?
They are new.
Obviously it will take time for AppyMeal to become a house hold name and therefore the app will not produce as many orders as the other popular apps above. With time, AppyMeal will start to build out its marketing and bring orders to local communities everywhere.
Food Delivery Atlanta Georgia
Thanks for reading this post on Atlanta Georgia food delivery apps. If you are a local restaurant, make sure to check out our app AppyMeal! We only support and work with local spots, so you will never have to compete with franchises or “who can advertise” the most on our app.
You can find us here on the IOS app store if you want to check it out!
Owning a restaurant is difficult, but even more difficult is giving the Atlanta Restaurants 5 Star experience to every single person that comes through the door. In this post we are going to talk about 5 things a restaurant can to do offer the 5 star experience and get higher review ratings, more exposure through Google ranking, and customers coming back for more.
Lets dive into it on this AppyMeal tips & tricks post for local restaurants.
Atlanta Restaurants 5 Star
The Atlanta area is constantly growing.
As more and more people continue to folk to this area for the big city feel in a southern way, restaurants will continue to open up to serve them.
Although with more people looking to spend money on a meal, there will no doubt be tougher competition that enters the space looking to take some of that revenue.
We’ve already seen chains from across the nation looking to expand into Atlanta and investors flooding the marketing looking for a way into the profits.
On top of all that, the delivery companies and online ordering companies are constantly advertising “Order from here. Order from there.” pushing the market.
So what can a restaurant do to stand out in this market? How can a local spot compete with the “big dawgs”?
Here are 5 tips on how you can not only compete, but get on top of the competition.
5 Tips for 5 Stars
Before we dive into all of the tips, here is a list of what we are going to cover in this post!
Our five tips for local restaurants are:
- Serve consistently good looking and tasty food
- Be very active online and in person
- Clean your restaurant, menus, and kitchen regularly
- Engage with the local community
- Make your staff feel appreciated
With the list there, lets dive into what each of these points mean and how we suggest implementing these things in a local restaurant.
Consistently Good Looking & Tasty Food
This is probably the easiest of the tips for restaurants to agree with.
It’s not that hard to realize that good food and presentation are two of the most important things of a customer’s experience. It goes beyond the simplistic nature of just good pretty food though.
There is something to be said about a restaurant that goes above and beyond on even simple dishes. Taking the time to not only make sure the food is fresh and hot, but aesthetically pleasing as well.
We do not want to spend too much time on this tip, since it should be fairly self explanatory.
Active Online & Off
Now most local spots should agree on being actively engaged with their customers in the restaurant.
Maybe the owner takes time to greet every guest, check on every table, or possibly even bring out the food to the tables. While this goes a long way in showing your customers appreciation and making them feel special, it is extremely important to do this online metaphorically as well.
For that reason, we recommend local spots to be actively engaged online in the forums, on their Facebook, on Instagram and even on Twitter. Customers love places that are constantly posting about upcoming features, events, and even simple holiday updates.
This makes customers and new guests feel that your location is alive, thriving and engaged with them. Do not overlook this!
Keep Things Clean
Who has been to a place that looks gross and dirty, but the food tastes great? I think we all have.
While the food might be enough to keep some of the locals and regulars around, it will no doubt deter people from trying or coming back a second time.
There are several things that have to be done in a restaurant to maintain a clean appearance.
- Hire a weekly cleaner to clean not only the tables and floors but the walls, hangings like paintings, lights, windows, doors, and of course the bathrooms
- Menus should be kept clean. The best way to do this is train the hostess to clean every menu the moment it is picked up from a table and returned
- The kitchen should be cleaned nightly, but at a minimum should be deep cleaned once a week. Yes this includes the floors, walls, around the grill, everything
This might sound time consuming, and tedious, but what it will actually does is cause your employees and the owners to respect their establishment more. In turn, you will respect your customers, work and food more resulting in positivity in the work place. Not to mention people will stay healthier, and come back to eat there!
Engage With Community
The fourth tip to getting a five star location is by being engaged with your local community.
Almost every city or county has food fairs, tasting events, or holiday events. This is the absolute perfect time to go out and show people you care. These events will do wonders for not only gaining exposure for your establishment, but showing people you are here to stay and participate with them.
Other great ways to get engaged are by hosting veterans nights, first responder nights, and teacher appreciation nights with discounts involved. Again, do not underestimate the power of community when it comes to locals and how they view your restaurant.
Finally, make sure to appreciate your staff.
There is a tradition in French restaurants and some bistros that the staff eats together before a dinner service.
While you do not need to feed every employee, taking care of them and making sure they have been fed is different. Employees that are cared for will in result care for you and your business more. Teaching people from the top down how to treat people, how to care, and how to serve others is the best way to train them.
Owners should be showing their employees how to treat their guests. By doing this you accomplish two main things.
- Employees will turn over less frequently resulting in better trained staff sticking around
- Word of mouth will flow to the community that you care not just about your business but about staff as well
Again, the power of community, word of mouth, and reputation is everything in a local business. It all starts inside the building.
Atlanta Restaurants 5 Star Experience
This concludes our post on the Atlanta Restaurant 5 star experience tips & tricks.
While most of these are basic in theory, they can be quite complicated and difficult to routinely pull off. Therefore, we suggest starting slow. Building the 5 star experience takes time, dedication and commitment not only from just the restaurant owner, but from the entire staff.
If you find you want to expand your online exposure to more clients in the Atlanta area, make sure to checkout our mobile ordering app – AppyMeal. We would love to help you service more of your local community.
If you are in business for yourself, then you probably already know how handy having local friends can be. Chances are you more than likely are using multiple handy people as solutions to your countless problems that show up in your business.
Other than those handy friends, you are going to need to get to know other business owners in your area. There are multiple reasons for this, and we are going to dive into those reasons in this post to help you see the value of making friends with the other businesses around you.
Make Friends With Other Business Owners
Owning a business is tough. You have so many things you are required to do like accounting, payroll, inventory, posting, research, creating ads, and legal just to name a few.
Most of those are the things that no one really sees, yet it still has to get done day after day. Although, meeting other business owners around your area and figuring out what solutions they use for these things could be extremely beneficial. You could even save a bunch of money if you simply got introduced to the right person to help you with one of those monthly necessities. Therefore, lets go over these four benefits of making friends with other business owners:
- Learn News Fast
- Build A Community
- Business Opportunities
- Learn The Tricks
Chances are the other business owners around you know something you don’t and you know something that they don’t! Therefore, lets dive into our first benefit of knowing the business owners around you – learning news fast.
Learn News Fast
As you build out your network, promote your business, and try to stay up to date, you might feel overwhelmed.
Although, it is extremely important to stay up to date of relevant news, changes in city policies, and upcoming events. For example, with the Covid crisis, there is constantly news coming out from the cities and counties about employee requirements, common laws, cleaning procedures, and things to avoid.
Certain people will get the news quicker than others based on who they know. This is a huge advantage for some businesses since you could be first in line for additional funding, opening back up, or simply protecting your employees and customers.
Another great example is for hearing about upcoming events and markets. In Gwinnett, there are annual events and markets that restaurants and businesses can sign up for to be apart of. Signing up early for these could mean sponsorship, having a well placed tent for better exposure, or simply getting to cater the event. Clearly, most local spots would love to be involved and informed about these things to gain additional exposure, but you need to hear about it first!
The best way to hear about all the news first is by getting to know the other local business owners, and slowly building a positive community!
Build A Community
One of the best things you can do to support your small business journey is to build a community around yourself.
In order to succeed in the small business world you will need a strong community to support not only your business but yourself as well. I have seen so many business owners find other business owners around town to hang out with, talk to, and lean on in difficult situations.
You never know what kind of challenges will arise when going through this life, but no one will know the challenges better than other business owners. Chances are they have experienced something that you are going through, and chances are they know solutions as well.
On top of the personal relationships, building a community will help your business in the long-term. Chances are those business owners you know best will help promote your brand and business through their conversations. they will recommend their customers to check you out, involve you in social posts, and promote your accomplishments and updates. Building a positive community will also rub off on your customers, and let people know you are more than just a money machine trying to be successful but investing in the community with your free time as well.
Potential Business Opportunities
As you meet other owners and develop relationships, you might find other business opportunities.
This usually happens a few years after knowing these owners, but it happens more than you think. Chances are the successful local owners are constantly looking for new opportunities themselves. These opportunities could involve expansion to new locations, partnerships to promote business further, or even in selling their current business to take on other endeavors.
If these people trust and respect your opinion or even your quality of work, chances are you will be included as a person they will reach out to. From my personal experience I have seen successful restaurant owners get all kinds of offers from local spots looking to bring them onboard, to investors looking to buy them out, to property managers begging them to come bring people to their locations with good food.
This is just the tip of the ice berg through. Once you show yourself to be useful and bring in a good customer base, the sky is the limit with the right connections.
The last benefit of meeting other business owners around your area is the chance for personal rates.
As you become a regular with these people, they can overtime be inclined to give you favorable service options. While you would never want to pull away from their income or success, it might be in your best interest to do a type of trade with them for services.
I have seen local restaurants give fencing businesses, electricians, breweries, and other businesses that work for them coupons to their restaurant to be used for dining instead of directly paying them. For instance, I know a restaurant that gave a fence company owner two thousand dollars in a gift card to their location instead of just paying them $800 for the service.
While this might seem like an obvious sweet deal, it creates a type of barter system for these local businesses and increases the level of respect and community. By doing favors for other businesses or giving them discounts, they are much more willing to not only use your own services, but to promote you to their customers and increase your exposure over time. Not to mention the clear benefit of just getting discounts on things you could end up paying thousands of dollars for if a business unfamiliar with you might charge you.
Know Your Business Neighbors
From this list, it is a clear win win to not only meet the other business owners around you, but to really start to invest in them as well. Building that strong community around your business is a win for not only yourself, but for your customers as well. Put yourself out there, make the introductions, and see how far those relationships might take you. It will probably be further than you expected.
These days speed and accessibility are everything.
If your restaurant is still only accepting to-go and delivery orders over the phone, then you might have a problem. In this new digital age that we are in, people want things to be simple, easy, and conflict free. The best way to achieve all of those is by implementing an online solution into your restaurant.
An online solution does not have to be hard to implement, expensive, or even that cumbersome. A good company will work with you to solve the problems your business has. You need a company that will cater to you, not the other way around. Therefore, lets go through some of the things to consider when searching for your online solution before we dive into companies to consider.
Finding An Online To-Go Solution
When searching for an online to-go solution, there are a few things that you need to consider. The first is undoubtedly – how much will it cost you?
Your first priority when looking at online solutions should be to figure out their fee structure and how much you will really be losing from your profits by using the service.
For example, some companies will charge you a flat rate between 15% to 30% per transaction to provide online and delivery services for your business. If you do the math, that means you are practically losing $150 to $300 for every $1,000 that app brings in for you in revenue. Take note, that is revenue and not profit.
If your restaurant has a profit margin of only 20% on average, then you could actually be losing money on some orders which is clearly not a good option.
Take care to really understand the fee structure of any to-go or delivery app before signing on. Chances are, they might not even be worth it once you do some simple math.
Keep Your Data
If you do decide to join onto a marketplace or sign on with a online provider, then you need to make sure to keep or at least have access to your data.
When I mention “data”, I am referring to the emails, phone numbers, and anything else that your clients enter to receive the service through the online solution. This data is extremely important to the continual growth of your restaurant, and you need to make sure you not only have access to it, but have a right to it.
There have been instances of restaurants being denied access to their own data because the online provider simply does not want to give it to them and the contract did not specify that they have a right to it. Therefore, read over the contracts closely and make sure you not only have access to the data, but a right to it.
Access And Transparency
Finally, you have to make sure the company you are working with is easily accessible and transparent.
When working with online solutions, there can commonly be bugs, payment issues, and even complete functionality failures. You need to make sure the company you are working with is extremely proactive in this case, and will work with you through the problems. If they are unavailable during peak business hours, you could potentially miss out on a ton of orders, or even worse not receive them through your end of the app, and get a bunch of unhappy customers looking for their food without your knowledge.
In addition, the company needs to be very open about their policies, fees, and requirements. If after you sign up, they are continually requesting new pieces of information, additional contracts signed, or charging hidden fees, then you need to remove them from your business.
There are a ton of ways these companies can scam you out of money, especially if they are handling the payments on their end for your restaurant. Make sure you keep a close eye on what they say they will do, and what actually happens over time. Protect your business at all costs.
Online Solution Vs Marketplace Vs Delivery Service
With those things to watch out for out of the way, lets take some time to discuss the differences in some of the solutions.
Specifically, I want to discuss:
- Online ordering solutions
- Marketplace solutions
- Delivery services
To kick off the comparisons, lets start with the best online solution right now that we have found.
Best Online Solution
An online solution should be just that – it should be a website that enables your customers to order food from you online or through an app.
That sound pretty simple right? Well, it can be quite complicated when you consider all of the different POS systems small businesses use, the payment processors that they implement, and all the menu customization people need at times.
The best company right now on the market for this solution that we have found is called ChowNow.
ChowNow is a great company that works directly with your to build out your own personal website and app just for your business. Best of all, they charge a very reasonable rate of around $150 per month for these extremely professional and functional tools. Regularly, paying a company to build you a website and app could cost thousands of dollars, but this company simply lets you pay a monthly rate to get it for fractions of the price.
Not to mention that are very accessible, and work closely with some of the largest food vendors on the market like US Foods. They are very knowledgeable in the food industry, and are probably your best bet for getting a professional solution at an affordable cost.
Best Delivery Solution
One thing that ChowNow does not directly do is delivery.
There are a lot of problems when you start to look at becoming a delivery company like insurance, drivers, and consistent volume of orders. It is extremely hard to run a delivery company, so most of the solutions for this will be by working with larger more established brands.
The one that most restaurants find the best success with is DoorDash. You not doubt have heard of them, and they are still the premier solution for the delivery market. Even better, they partner with other companies in order to provide them with delivery solutions. One in particular I can think of is the one I just mentioned, ChowNow.
Yep, even ChowNow utilizes them for a delivery solution. This is probably the most difficult thing to get in terms of solutions on the market place, and will clearly come at the highest cost for either yourself or your users.
Best Marketplace Solution
The last solution to consider is a marketplace.
The advantage that joining a marketplace has over the other two solutions is that it offers your restaurant exposure to new users that you would not normally have. In addition, the marketplace will offer the same online ordering solution through its platform. The only issue with that is – your customers will also be exposed to other restaurants around you.
In theory, you should benefit much more from joining a marketplace over time since more people will find your location and be inclined to try out your food!
The best marketplace we have found so far is the one we are building, Appymeal! The Appymeal marketplace is an incentivized marketplace only for local and independently owned restaurants! That means that users are incentivized to order from the app by a 5% discount, and franchises are not allowed on the app to reduce the competition bringing more exposure to your local business!
We have tried to build the marketplace to benefit the local businesses as much as possible. We know how difficult it is to get exposure on some of the other popular marketplace apps, so we wanted to fix that. In addition, Appymeal on average charges less than 10% per transaction which is way lower than the traditional 15%-30% other platforms charge. That is even including the discount that users receive for ordering from the Appymeal app.
Happier users, cheaper fees, and less competition sounds like a winner in our book for local restaurants everywhere.
We hope this post on online solutions for restaurants helps you on your journey to increase your revenue and exposure. Make sure to follow the tips we mentioned before signing on with any platform, and always make sure you are getting the best deal. Thanks for reading and if you’re ready to join the Appymeal marketplace to start getting found by more people in your area then sign up here!
You have come so far.
You have built the restaurant of your dreams by putting in plenty of sweat equity, some of your life savings, and probably all of your free time. Not to mention you are now busier than ever trying to run a business. It seems the job never ends, and there is always just one more thing to do.
It would be a shame if all of that hard work, patience, and funding were to go to waste. You better make sure it doesn’t. You better make sure you are taking advantage of every single opportunity to bring another new customer through that door in order to grow to the successful business you want to be.
There is one thing that you absolutely should have in order to get a ton of free exposure and make bringing in new business just a little bit easier on you.
Build A Website
You are going to want to build a stunning website for your local Atlanta restaurant.
A website is the key to gaining a massive amount of organic reach without having to do anything. Think about a website for your restaurant like you do your brick and mortar building.
How many people do you think drive by, see your restaurant, wonder about how the food is, and then come into try it? Well, if you answered every single one of your customers at one point, then you might be right assuming you have not done any other marketing or ad placements.
The same could be said for your website.
A website is an extension of your presence. It is your store’s brick and mortar location, just online. And being that we live in a digital age, more people are likely to find your business online, than are to drive by and notice you.
Therefore, I would say it is absolutely necessary for every local restaurant in Atlanta to have a website in order to maximize those chances of being found by new customers. Although, what platform should you use to build your website?
Best Website Platforms For Restaurants
A majority of restaurants around Atlanta will use a simple all-in-one web platform for their online needs.
The two most popular providers for this are Shopify and SquareSpace. Both of these platforms offer hosting tied into easily manageable back ends that will allow you to customize a website to your desired look. Both of these options additionally have very reasonable pricing structures, additional online check out capabilities, and a strong support team ready to assist if you have any questions or need help building your site.
Another great thing about using popular platforms like these, is there are a ton of online tutorials and YouTube videos that will teach you how to build stunning sites to represent your business in mere hours. In just one evening, with a cup of coffee or two, your business could have a professional looking website ready to bring new customers right through your door.
Although before you start building your website, you might want to think about what you want to have on there.
What Should You Have On Your Website
The most common things that you will need on your website for your business are the obvious things.
You are going to need ways for people to find and reach your business like:
- Address for ease of GPS or Google maps so people can find you
- Hours of operation so they know when you are open
- and an Email or phone number for call in to-go orders
In addition to the above necessities, you might want to also include:
- Your complete menu online
- Positive reviews from customers
- Photos of your food
- Possibly a backstory to your restaurant’s origin for those interested in learning more
Most of these things are very common to find on a restaurant’s website. Besides those basic items, there are a few extra things that you can put on your website to increase organic reach, ease of ordering, and possibly to make additional revenue.
Extra Things To Add On To A Website
The first thing you might want to consider adding onto your site is an area for online ordering.
This is all the rave with restaurants these days.
Everyone seems to want to be able to click on your website and easily place an order. Although, it really is great for the restaurant as well.
Because, if customers have easy access to placing orders through a simple app or website, then they are more likely to place an order out of impulse. Sometimes, people will avoid ordering out simply due to the human interaction or a bad experience they had over the phone. Not to mention, your severs and hosts now do not have to constantly answer the phone and risk confusing or putting an order into your POS incorrectly.
This entire process simplifies to-go orders, makes you look more professional, and could potentially bring in more business as people learn about your online ordering system.
Another great feature to add to your website would be a blog.
A website blog does a few things. First it allows people to find your website organically across the internet through your blog posts. Every post you write will rank for specific keywords, and ultimately bring people back to your website where they will hopefully place an order.
Other than that, posting blogs can do a great deal in increasing your domain authority. Your domain authority is highly dependent on average daily visitors, backlinks, and content. If your posts are engaging, get shared a lot, and provide useful information to other businesses or your customers, it really could make a huge difference in your website’s rankings.
This means when people search for “restaurants near by” in Google, you have a much higher chance of coming up first!
Store For Vendor Items
The last thing I would consider adding to your website is an online store.
This won’t be for everyone, but if you sell anything from your restaurant like tee-shirts, coffee, homemade goods, or any physical item then you can list it on your website.
customers then have a chance to purchase these items straight from your site. Even better, people who do not even dine at your business will have a chance to see what you are selling and potentially buy something. This is extremely useful for restaurants that sell things like funny shirts or some iconic symbol of their establishment.
This is definitely not for all local restaurants, but the option is there if you do find yourself in the retail business or trying to sell food in bulk.
Basic Website Tips For Atlanta Restaurants
Thanks for reading our blog post on basic website tips for Atlanta restaurants.
It is an extremely good idea to build a website for local restaurants in Atlanta. We hope this post gave you some useful tips and suggestions along the way. In addition, if you are looking for an online or app ordering solution for your business, then make sure to check out our local marketplace app for To-Go orders here!
Otherwise, best of luck building that amazing website for your business and make sure to check out our marketing tips to help it grow.
One of the hardest things for restaurants is surprisingly not trying getting customers in the door. It’s not getting fresh produce, it’s not securing loans, but it is something so simple it is often over looked. The hardest thing for restaurants to do is get good reliable kitchen staff.
I have seen it time and time again. Restaurants struggle with getting good cooks that can deal with the pressure, preform consistently, and not cause trouble in their outside lives that effect the business. The restaurant industry is plagued with amazing cooks, that sometimes might have some questionable habits.
Although, you have to find solutions for these problems because the show must go on.
Here are some of our general kitchen tips for Atlanta restaurants!
Kitchen Tips For Atlanta Restaurants
It truly is an art running a professional kitchen day after day.
From prepping the food, taking inventory, making sure cooks are on time, to managing the equipment, there is so much that goes on behind the scenes that people do not know about. This is pretty much the case for every restaurant. It is a real challenge.
Therefore, lets start our tips with kitchen staffing. Who do you need to hire, and how often do you need to be hiring new chefs for your back of house success?
Your kitchen is your foundation.
It is where the entire business starts. If the kitchen fails, then you can forget any other jobs in the front of the house. Your marketing is useless, your menu is meaningless, and you are stuck in a boat without a paddle. The kitchen is also referred to as the heart of the house for this reason.
Therefore, it is vitally important to the success of your business that you hire a kitchen manager.
The kitchen manager is in charge of everything in the back of the house, they make sure the work gets done, and keep things moving if there are hiccups. The kitchen manager at my old job really went above and beyond to take care of his staff, provide for their needs, and find solutions to the problems of life that came along. Truly, it is a gift to run a kitchen effectively and efficiently.
You need to find someone who can handle the heat, literally. There is a lot riding on the kitchen, and if it fails, you might as well keep your doors closed.
In addition to an outstanding kitchen manager, you need to constantly be interviewing new back of the house employees. Why might you ask?
Well, simply because this is the part of your business that will turn over the fastest. Really, we had so many cooks come and go it was like clock work. Not to mention a lot of them are prone to getting in trouble and having to be out of work for extended periods of time. Make sure you always have hands available in case this is a problem you experience as well.
In every kitchen, there needs to be a common understanding of what the highest priority ticket is. A trick I have seen many kitchens use is setting up multiple printers.
The kitchen printers are mainly used to get the orders after they are entered into the POS system by the waiters. Once they are entered, the printers will obviously print out the orders so the kitchen knows what they need to prepare.
A common problem for every restaurant is making sure that all of the food is out of the window at the same time. That means the entree is cooked and hot, the sides are prepped onto the plate, and of course the plate looks presentable.
If you are having trouble with this at your establishment, then it might be a good idea to set up multiple printers.
For the restaurant I worked at, we had three printers in the kitchen. One for the guy calling the shots to the main grill, another for the salad area and apps, and a third one by the guys that we called “blue plate”. The blue plate guys was responsible for quick fires and the sides for every plate. This guy had a lot going on at anytime.
It was chaos at times, but it worked. The kitchen team was very efficient, produced good food, got it out all on time, and kept it hot consistently.
A great thing to try and implement is certain rolls for everyone in the kitchen.
I have seen a lot of restaurants rotate people around night after night, and it gets a bit chaotic at times. More than that, chefs will mix up their jobs or forget to do little things since they are always being thrown around. It is best practice to keep certain back of the house members on certain stations.
For example, our blue plate guy was named Tony. Every night he was working in the back of the house, everyone knew who was responsible for side and quick fires – Tony. Tony was the guy, and after a couple of weeks in that position, he rocked it. Everyone could depend on Tony, and he hardly made mistakes.
Meanwhile, there were chefs constantly rotating on the main grill and salad prep. I can not tell you how many times “out first” salads were just forgotten, and steaks and burgers were the wrong temp. It is extremely frustrating for everyone involved.
Therefore, keep consistent jobs in the back of the house. This will help to eliminate stress, confusion and problems.
Who Calls The Shots
Another important thing is to keep a common person calling the shots.
At the window, there should only be one person communicating with the waiters and the chefs. That person should be the same individual plating the food, reviewing the ticket before it leaves the window, and ultimately calling the shots. We called this guy the “Expo”.
If you needed anything from the kitchen, you went through the Expo. This eliminated the kitchen from having 10 people yelling at them asking for items. Keeping order at the window enabled the cooks to properly do their job without being disturbed.
Get an Expo person. You should have one for your busiest nights for sure. They will keep your food looking good, and your back of the house in tact.
Prep Things Daily
My last tip for the back of the house is to prep things daily.
It might seem inefficient to prep things in small batches, but if you prep things daily you can do a few things:
- Eliminate wasting food
- Save money
- Preserve food quality
- Manage inventory better
- Make last minute changes
For the location I worked at in college, we had these nice ladies that would come in every morning around 5 am and prep the meals for the day. They would do everything for us and it made everything run much smoother in the kitchen throughout the day.
Not to mention, we had some of the best food in the area. Rarely did people complain about quality or what they paid for. We did it right, and our customers could tell because they came back time and time again. If you treat your customers right, serve them delicious food consistently, care for your back of the house by setting them up for success, then you will be a happy camper.
Thanks for reading our post on kitchen tips for Atlanta restaurants! I hope this post helps some of you maintain a healthy and reliable back of the house structure. Put in the work to care for your team, and they will ultimately preform better for you then you ever expected.
Atlanta has many great features. It has diversity, entertainment, a growing film industry, and way to much traffic.
That last part might not be enjoyable, but at least I know what to expect when I walk around Atlanta or even decided to pull my car out of the drive way – hours of traffic and someone occasionally telling me I am number one. That is so sweet.
While that is annoying, at least I know what to expect which gives me time to plan, and options.
Although something I do not always know what to expect is when dining at a new restaurant how their customer service is. I do however know how it will be at Atlanta restaurants that I have already visited. I take careful note of what locations treat their customers and employees well, and which ones do not.
More so, I take note of which local business owners will walk around and speak with guests and which will not.
These are those small details that truly separate the thriving businesses from the average ones.
Atlanta Customer Experience
Those details could all be summed up by the Atlanta customer experience.
How do you treat customers when they enter your establishment? Do you greet them with a smile and quickly take care of them, or are they left unattended to wonder around confused.
Do you take the time to get to know their names and greet them by such? Or do you just want their money and business?
These are some of the important questions you need to be asking yourself as an owner, because trust me it matters. People take mental notes of this and will accordingly assign the experience they had at your restaurant with a subconscious rating.
Give them a positive and memorable experience, and chances are they will subconsciously compare dining at your establishment with happiness and a good time. Which is a great combination to incentivize them to come back time and time again.
Here are 5 customer experience tools and tips you can use to improve your restaurant and make it stand out above the rest.
This might seem like an obvious thing to consider, but so many restaurants overlook this simple detail.
Plating your food in a pleasing or unique way will actually make a difference for your businesses exposure and customer experience. Think about it with me. We live in the virtual and digital age, a new millennium. When people go out to eat and they order something amazing, they want it to look amazing right?
Not only that, but they will more than likely want to whip out their phone, take a photo of your food, and share it to thousands of people if it looks good. This clearly seems like a no brainer after you think about that – free adverting.
Plating your food in pleasing and unique ways could actually be the best advertising for your business you ever do. Honestly, try it.
Take a few days with your chefs, go over all of your menu items, and find the most unique and stylish ways you can plate those dishes. Look things up online, use Instagram food pics, use whatever you need to in order to come up with some amazing displays for your food. Then comes the hard part – execute those new plating styles.
Make sure every plate that leaves your window looks amazing. I mean photo worthy. Under no circumstances should you sacrifice the appearance of your food. Trust me, people will wait if it is worth it.
Another common thing that restaurants lack is the ability to make reservations.
It seems almost out of style these days for a lot of places, but this is truly a wonderful experience if done right.
I have been places where they will not even take reservations, you wait an addition 30 minutes after you call ahead, and you are hungry and unhappy by that points. On the other hand, I have been to local restaurants that not only offer reservations, but provide your table with waters, and a starter like fresh bread the second you sit down. It is already there waiting for you.
The difference is absolutely huge. Although, If you really are so busy that you have to make people wait, then you need to offer a texting solution.
No one wants to walk around with a big bulky beeper that is going to vibrate and flash like a bomb suddenly after holding it for 30 minutes. Really, find a simple and easy texting solution where people can simply put in their phone number, walk around and enjoy their night, and be notified through a simple text that their table is ready!
The other businesses around you will also thank you when your waiting customers walk into their stores patiently waiting on their table to be open.
Another technological advancement is the ease of online ordering through an app or website.
If you have ever gone onto a clean and well working app to order your dinner for pick up or delivery, you know the satisfaction of doing so. It is like having your own personal servant on your phone give you exactly what you want at the click of a few buttons. Without human interaction or miscommunication, it simplifies the entire process.
Not to mention, that people working in restaurants absolutely hate picking up the phone. You have to struggle to understand the person half the time, if you miss something you have to ask again politely, and generally people are not very nice on the phone when taking their order.
They expect you just to immediately understand what they want. And lord forbid if you get something wrong because they were not clear or forgot something. It truly is a mess to deal with, and more often than not something goes wrong.
I suggest finding a cheap solution to offer online ordering or app ordering. Our Appymeal app works pretty well we like to think, and there are no start up costs! You might want to give it a try!
Owner And Manager Interaction
This is a tip that every restaurant should know already and follow – customer interaction.
A good rule of thumb for owner and manager interaction with the guests is probably once per hour. That means, every hour the manager or owner should be walking around the dining room floor greeting and saying hi to guests.
It is not just good manners, it really shows you care about every single person supporting your business. Trust me, if you do this consistently, people will not only start to notice, they will go out of their way to continually support not only your business, but you as well!
If you show people you care, give them the respect they deserve for supporting your business, and do it consistently, your business will thrive like never before.
This also does not have to be forced or a task to check off a list. It is not that hard to take a quick break from working or being in the kitchen, walk out, grab a drink, say hey to some parents, kids, grandmas, grandpas, and refresh yourself with smiling faces. Yes, sometimes you will get the occasional complainer, but that just give your the opportunity to fix the problem before it really becomes a problem.
Otherwise, that person could not get taken care of. Then they might go home and post negative things about your business online and potentially cost you new customers. So, being proactive is always the better solution.
Have you every sat down at a place to eat, and immediately got the feeling that things were not clean?
It actually makes you not even want to eat. It makes you want to get up and just leave.
Make sure you clean your restaurant at a minimum once per week. That means tables, seats, walls, ceiling fans, counter tops, floors, bathrooms, host stands, pictures, and any areas that are at least visible need to appear clean and upkept.
Now, some people might not mind your establishment being slightly dirty, but what does that really do to them? That person will already be associating your business with a dirty, uncomfortable place to be. If they do that then what are the chances that they feel inclined to return or ever bring someone else there to eat? Pretty low in my opinion.
Therefore, you want to always keep your business clean and comfortable.
Atlanta Restaurant Tips
Thanks for reading our 5 Tips To Improve Atlanta Customer Experience! We hope these tips help you take your business to the next level where it deserves to be. Never let someone come dine at your business and have a bad experience. Show you care, and people will support you and make you a huge success.
If you need anymore tips on how to grow your Atlanta restaurant, then make sure to check out our online marketing tips post!
Finding a job can be challenging. Sometimes we have to do what it takes to get by and work where we can. Throughout my college days, I wanted to make a little bit of cash to fund my hobbies, pay for dates, and help pay for tuition. Therefore, I made the decision to become a waiter at a local stake house!
Although trust me, being a waiter is one of the most rewarding jobs you can have. At least, that’s what I would tell someone that asks if they should be a waiter for a bit.
Being A Waiter In Atlanta
Typically, this job is for younger people working their way through college, or people just looking to make a little extra side cash. Although, being a waiter full time is quite challenging to make a decent living off of. I mean you are potentially setting yourself up to make $0 a working night if the restaurant is slow or you just get unlucky. Not very likely, but I still don’t like those odds.
Therefore, you need to have a good plan for how you are going to make money as a waiter. You need to have a system in place to deal with certain types of customers, and to make sure always get a decent tip. If you can master some of these skills, keep a smile on your face, and remember the correct order, I am fairly sure you will make plenty of money working in a restaurant.
Here are my 5 tips for waiters in Atlanta to survive the difficult and unpredictable restaurant industry.
Ask About Their Visit
This is one of the absolute first things you should do when you greet a table.
It is very simple, but it can tell you a lot about how this table is going to go and what to expect. Typically, I would walk up to a table and say something along the lines of,
“Hi welcome to the Grill, my name is Zach and I will be taking care of you guys. Have y’all dined with us before?”
After that, I would usually say something like this on a Tuesday:
“Any special occasions for dining with us tonight or just celebrating Tuesday?”
They would usually say something like no or something witty which gives me some good information to go off of. You see, I am a witty fellow, and if I am not careful I can quickly turn off a table or make them feel uncomfortable. Throwing out something silly or funny right off the back will usually let me know one of two things:
First, either this table is up for a good time and likes jokes, or second clearly they do not and are just here to eat. Both are fine, but clearly the more you can communicate and interact the a table, the better experience they will hopefully have. The idea is to get people to open up and feel like they are at home!
In addition, if they are there for a special occasion, then you are now aware and can try to get them something for free like a dessert! That was our policy at least.
Suggest A Personal Favorite
The next thing you need to do is – get a feel for what they want to eat, and suggest a personal favorite.
As a waiter representing your restaurant it is completely your job to not only let people know about the menu, but to make personal recommendations about the best menu items. More often than not, the people you are taking care of have only tried a limited number of items on the menu. You on the other hand should be a near expert from eating at the restaurant after most of your shifts like I did.
Your customers really have no chance of knowing the best menu items, but you do. I would almost always chat with my customers about what they are feeling like tonight, suggest a few things they might not have considered, and then cater to what they want but customizing some items. I can not tell you how many times I have just changed around someones order because they just didn’t really know what they wanted.
Now, this can also be a double edge sword, so be careful suggesting certain menu items that might have extremely strong tastes or high prices. I do not think I ever mentioned our most expensive items on the menu to customers. Mainly because the most expensive items were not the best! Ironically, the best things on our menu were usually average priced, and people looked over them.
In addition to suggesting a delicious meal, you build trust with the customer. From doing so, that person will probably tip you better, and be more open to chatting with you next time they come in!
Say Thank You Not You’re Sorry – Use Your Manger
Whew, this is a rough one. If you work in a restaurant then you know that people get angry about the silliest things.
I was fortunate enough to work at a higher end restaurant, but even there I got cussed out a time or two. Not a lot, but I can distinctively remember a customer cussing me out because he didn’t like his salad. He’s honestly lucky no one did anything to it after we brought him three new ones.
Although, there are methods to prevent people from getting angry. One of those is taught pretty often these days, and it is to say “Thank you for your patience” instead of saying “Oh, I am so sorry.”
This might sound silly, but what it does psychologically is amazing. When you thank someone and act genuine about it, even when they are being rude, it almost resets their mind in a way. It makes them think, differently in terms of being praised and how they should be acting.
Although, when you say, “Oh, I am so sorry” it is an enabling phrase. What this does to someone is mentally lets them know, they are in the right, and they are allowed to act intolerably.
Don’t Always Upsell
Like mentioned above, you do not always want to sell the most expensive items.
Most of the time if you try to do this, the customer will immediately ignore you and you lose trust with them. Remember, this is a human being you are dealing with, and you have a very limited amount of time with that person. In that time you need to establish trust, well being, and purpose. You must give them honest suggestions for their benefit, not for a higher tip.
Likewise, you need to establish a sense of well being for the person. You do this by being genuine and asking things like how their meal came out, if there is anything you could do for them, how their day has been. Things that just confer a sense of interest in their well being will also help.
The last point is to establish a purpose for the visit. It is very easy to just get caught up and waste a lot of time at a table. While this is great, you actually do not want a table lingering around for too long. Also keep the meal on track with what comes next, and make the meal move of a journey for them just to relax on.
Sometimes if a table had been hanging out too long, I would just drop off the receipt and say something simple like, “No rush, I just want this here for y’all when you are ready. If you need anything else, I would be happy to help you!”
Simple and concise is best to keep the meal moving forward.
Create Regulars – Remember Names
The last tip I would give is to get to know your customers.
This may take a while especially if you are working at a new location or just getting hired. Although, I would start from the very get go of making a point to learn some of your customer’s names. I would say around 20% – 30% of the guests I had at my restaurant became regulars over time that I would see at least every other week.
That is actually a pretty common thing, and if you pay attention you will start to see trends of when certain people come in. It was always fascinating to me, but it allowed me to meet and get to know some pretty incredible people. Funny enough, I got to know one of the richest people in Georgia, I got to know the guy that help contracted a lot of the development for the airport, and I got to meet a famous celebrity that would come in often with her grandma.
You truly do not know who you will get to meet, but out of all of those people – they were not my favorite. My two favorite couples that I got to know were elder couples. One gentleman would sit and drink a full pot of coffee and tell me about his days at West Point.
The other gentleman of the other couple would tell me amazing stories of his life and joke casually with me. I can honestly say, it was a pleasure to get to know my regulars and become a small part of their lives.
I suggest doing this. It will make your job so much more rewarding and give you people to not only serve food for, but to care for.
Tips For Waiters in Atlanta
These are my tips for Atlanta waiters. They might be obvious to some, but to other they may seem unthinkable. Take the time to develop your people skills, develop your understanding of psychology and interaction, and build your network while you’re at it.
Working at a restaurants is a gift that I learned to appreciate looking back on. You might just do the same one day.
If you know anything about marketing, then you know that each new customer you bring to your business is worth something.
For instance, for car dealerships each customer could be worth thousands of dollars and end up becoming a repeat customer for life. Therefore, you could argue that marketing for a car dealership could be quite pricey to bring in even a single new customer.
What about for a gym around the corner from your home? You could say that a customer for a gym would bring in recurring revenue for years to come potentially. Therefore, their customers are worth a lot too and to bring someone new into the door would be worth quite a bit.
Those examples are pretty obvious, but what about something a little more interesting. What about the lifetime benefits of a new customer for a restaurant?
New Customer For Restaurants
This really is something you need to consider if you own a restaurant in Atlanta. If you are trying to compete against the franchises, delivery services, and constant rising prices then you need to know the value of a new customer for your business.
What is the real benefit for your restaurant for bringing in one new customer? Well, lets break that down shall we.
If you bring in one new customer comes into your restaurant and you treat them will, they like the food, and they come back, then there could be quite the long-term benefit.
Lets estimate that a recurring customer may come to your restaurant on average once a month. How does that sound? We want to be conservative on estimates as always.
That might not sound like a lot, but if you make between $15 to $20 in profit every single time they enter your establishment with their family or friends, then you are getting around $180 to $240 a year from that person. Not to mention they will probably keep coming back on average for 2 to 4 years. That in total amounts to around $360 to $960 over the 2 to 4 year period.
That means a new regular customer for your business is worth on average about $650!
Those are just averages though, in reality you could have a customer that comes every other week for the next 10 years if you continually treat them right. That is a ton of profit from a single person and the people they bring with them. Specifically, they bring in friends to eat there, family members, and slowly increase your exposure and profits overtime.
When you break it down, the lifetime benefits of even one new customer for a restaurant is quite impactful.
Value Every Customer
This should help to paint the picture that every single customer is important.
Although, what then should you be paying for marketing in order to get that one new regular customer in the door? Clearly that is the goal right?
You want to use targeted marketing, exposure, word of mouth, to-go platforms, and ads to bring new people to try your restaurant!
For starters, a lot of that is free.
For instance, you can gain a massive amount of exposure from simply becoming active on social media platforms.
Additionally, You can get found organically on Google searches from building a proper website with strong SEO.
You could also join a To-Go Market Place and get a bunch of free exposure right now! Platforms like ours, Appymeal, targets locals in your area bringing those new faces right to your door!
In addition, you can get new people to try your spot by offering discounts or specials throughout the week during those slow hours.
There is a lot you can do, but what if you want to pay to play? What if you want to spend a little bit of money to increase your chances of getting that new person in the door?
Here is what I suggest.
Pay to Play
Before you do anything, you need to research.
For a local restaurant in Atlanta you need to find top keywords, search terms, and social platforms to target.
You can find some top keywords for your general area by using a free tool like Ubersuggest. With this tool, you can find out how much businesses pay on average to rank with Google ads for specific keywords. Take for instance, “Restaurants in Atlanta”
As we can see from the tool, the cost per click, as in the amount you’ll pay for ads before someone clicks on your ad is around $1.75.
Now that is not the cost per conversion. That is only the cost for someone to, on average, click on your ad and be taken to your landing website page or to-go order page. Still, that is a good start right? New customers need to find you, before they can even go to your restaurant and we already know the value of even one new regular customer.
If that doesn’t make you intrigued, the next option could be to pay influences and bloggers in your area to post about you.
The easiest way to find bloggers in your area is by searching, “Food Blogs Atlanta” or something similar. Click on a few that come up, and shoot them an email!
Likewise, all social platforms have readily usable search features for your to find “food influencers” near you. Give them an add and shoot them a direct message. You can even offer them a few meal if they come by!
It will at least get them in the door to start the conversation.
Long story short, pick how you want to pay to play. There are many options, choose the one you think will have the best impact on your business.
While you are pushing to bring more and more people in the door, remember that there is something called – the law of diminishing returns.
That basically means, there is such a thing as too much marketing. You need to use these tools to get in front of people, so that they can find you. But you do not need to be aimlessly throwing money at every possible marketing solution.
Get strategic with your marketing. Target new customers that might have not had the chance to dine at your restaurant yet, or people that might have landed on your website, but not put in an order.
The idea is to bring in new customers consistently over time while maintaining your already healthy level of regulars.
At the end of the day, your best resource for bringing in new customers is through the people that already love and dine at your establishment monthly.
Those are the people you need to actively be conversing with, pleasing, and encouraging to come back time after time. More often than not, those are the people who will naturally help grow your business by word of mouth, bringing in friends, and suggesting you to people looking for a good place to try.