8 Things Your Customers Hate About Your Bar and How to Fix Them

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Have you ever noticed that you can have two conceptually similar bars in one street, almost next to each other, but one bar is full while the other one is empty?

They are almost the same, but there is something that drives customers into one bar and renders the other one completely uninteresting to them. How and why does that happen?

There can be many reasons for that, but if you ask regular bar patrons about what they would like to change about their favourite bar, you will get similar answers and a lot of them will have to do with your washroom hygiene.

Here are 8 things bar patrons hate about your bar and how to change them.

1. Sticky Bars and Tables

Keeping up your hygienic standards on a busy Saturday night is very difficult and challenging. If you are lucky, your bar is swarming with people. When that happens, drinks get spilled, a lot of stuff ends up on the floor and it dries off just enough to become sticky. That is a nightmare, but it happens from time to time.

There is not much that you can do to clean up the mess on the bar floor when your night is at its peak. However, you can hire more people to wipe the tables and quickly clean up any mess that happens. They don’t have to be hired for everyday. They can be only weekend, part-time employees. In that way, you will prevent the sticky counters, tables and bars.

2. Uncomfortable Bar Stools

Of course, we all know how the bar stool looks like. It is a tall stool with a little seat that you have to balance on. Moreover, there is usually not enough room to leave your purse, a bag or necessities. You can leave them on the bar itself, but they will be on the bartender’s way and you will have no place for your drink.

You can do two things to iron out this issue. First of all, don’t buy stools that you haven’t tried yourself. Sit on them for a while and see if they are really comfortable. The ones with a little backrest usually provide a better support than those that don’t have it.

As for the bags and purses, there are little hooks that you can buy and install below your bar which can be excellent addition to hang stuff that gets in your way.

3. The State of Your Washroom

Again, it is next to impossible to keep up the impeccable state of your washrooms when you have a ton of people in your bar. However, there is a big difference between a temporarily not-so-perfect bathroom stall and the obvious buildup of dirt in your bar washrooms. Expecting from your staff to replace professional sanitary services is not realistic.

You need professionals. Washroom services that you get from Alsco can also include deep cleaning of your toilets, as well as the intensive biological treatments. If these hygiene services are performed often enough, it will be so much easier to keep the hygienic levels to the maximum in the meanwhile.

4. Not Enough Soap and Towels

The consumables are spent fast on a busy Saturday night. Some of it is even wasted, but that is to be expected. There is nothing more annoying for a bar patron than when they use the bar toilet and they don’t have what it takes to wash and dry the hands.

If this happens regularly, then it means that you should consider replenish your consumables more often or even install more soap dispensers and paper towel dispensers. If its is necessary, make sure that at least one of the persons responsible for the washroom hygiene is present at the peak nights to replenish these consumables.

5. Low Quality Drinks

It is a real art to find that sweet spot between serving drinks that are good quality, but not overpriced. However, if you start serving low quality drinks in hope to attract more customers and cut your costs, you may want to rethink that strategy. It will probably attract people who are interested in cheap drinks only and that can easily backfire.

This problem is easily solved by talking to the experienced bartenders and taking their advice. If you have a good and certified bartender, they already know all the secrets to the trade. Moreover, they usually know who are good and honest suppliers that you can contact.

6. Low Quality Service

It is not necessary to have a certified bartender, but it most certainly helps. People hate being served by impatient, rude or condescending staff. Yes, things in a bar can get a bit too much and the patience of your staff can be tested from time to time, but that should not influence their professionality.

This also a solvable problem. You should provide your staff with proper training about all the possible scenarios in your bar and how to deal in such situations. However, you also need to pay your staff adequately for the job they perform, to keep them motivated to overcome the challenges.

7. Unannounced Events

If you plan on organising bar trivia night, karaoke, or even a live music night, make sure you announce it far and wide. These events are great for bar promotion, but they have to be announced. The first reason is that a lot of interested people will be there, but even more importantly, people who don’t want to be there will avoid it.

Imagine wanting to dance the night away with your friends celebrating only to find out that it is a poetry slam night and there is no music whatsoever.

8. No Feminine Hygiene Bins

Feminine hygiene is challenging in public bathrooms. Therefore, it can be very annoying if the bar washroom doesn’t provide an easy way for tampon disposal. If you want to avoid clogged toilets and pipes, give your female visitors a discreet and effective feminine hygiene disposal units.

All those possible issues with your washroom can be overwhelming. It may sound like a lot of work and like big investments. But, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Alsco Australia can offer deep cleaning, hand washing and drying systems, washroom sanitizers and even feminine hygiene bins. You don’t have to make capital investments. All you need to do rent all these items from Alsco and stop worrying about them. We will install them and stock them up for you.
Moreover, included in your monthly fee is also regular restocking of your consumables. Contact Alsco today and see what we can do for you. Together we will make your bar a cleaner and nicer place.

Three Ways a Managed Laundry Service Can Save Your Business Time

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Every business has challenges to meet every day – sometimes, running your own café or restaurant could feel like it takes every minute of the day! If you’re that busy, then managing your own textiles, from purchase, to quality control, to laundering and ironing, is just one more time consuming operation.

Much of the time, it can seem like something that is a small part of the time that you allocate to your business.  But when you add it up, it can be hours and hours – and that’s hours and hours that isn’t adding any value to your business, and is taking you and your team away from your customers.

That’s why reaching out to a trusted laundry service provider makes perfect sense – through the scale they can deliver, you will get the best of both worlds.  High quality, crisp linen, managed by their expert team, and delivered to you when you need it. 

So we’re agreed – the right managed linen service partner can be a powerful tool for you to manage and grow your business.  What are three of the benefits?

Why Hire a Laundry Service?

Ease

The first benefit is the ease, and the peace of mind. By having a partner that you hand this time consuming task off to, you can rest assured that you will get what you need, without needing to do it yourself. 

The right managed laundry service will mean that your staff won’t need to feel overwhelmed by extra work and tasks to just get the basics looking right in your business. Taking away the workload of washing, cleaning, ironing and presenting means that they can do the things you really hired them to do – serve your customers.

For instance, if you have a restaurant and are trying to do it all yourself, then you’ll have to have your own staff wasting their valuable time and effort in the whole linen process. Adding this kind of pressure to their roles, when they’re already working hard, can push them past the point they can stay. 

With a managed service, again, there’s that peace of mind. Your staff just send off what needs to be laundered and returned, and receive regular replacement high quality ready to use linen. Your restaurant, then, is always ready for your next customer.

Time Saving

The saying goes, “time is money”. That’s very true -and it’s true for you, and your staff, just as much as for anyone else. You will have your operation to run, and the team you have working for and with you will have critical tasks that they need to complete to help your business do what it needs to do, for your customers. 

One of the things that can be a time hog in businesses is managing textiles. It is a utility, something that has to get done, but is often bolted on right at the end of everything else someone has to do. But the working day has a finite amount of time – and your people can only fill 100% of anything! That means, even if it is just 5% of their day that they spend on back office operations that don’t add value, that is 5% of their day that they’re not doing what you really want them to do.

That is why selecting a laundry service, you’re gaining time back in your business. Your team ends up with that bit more time and energy to focus on the much more important tasks that you need them to focus on.   

Responsible Economies of Scale

As with any process in your business, the cost is greater than just the time spent in the completion of the task. If you’re handling this yourself, then the cost is financial as well – you need to take into account all of the chemicals, machines, and the energy and water bills, that you need to pay for. All of this can be expensive for a single business to manage.  

In addition, we are now in an era of environmentally conscious business, and that will only grow with time. That can be a real challenge to manage as a business owner – especially when you have to consider the safe management and disposal of chemicals, and your energy footprint as a business.

As with any outsourced service, the economies of scale that your managed textile and laundry partner can gain in purchasing of equipment, chemicals, and utilities, means that they can manage your whole linen process for you, at a lower cost than you could manage. And, additionally, you can still help to reduce the impact on the environment by making sure your laundry service provider incorporates environmental impact management into their operations.

Choosing Your Partner

So, the benefits for finding the right partner for your laundry services are there for all to see. What are some of the considerations, then, in finding the right partner for you?

1 – reliability.  As with all your partners, you want to find a managed laundry service partner that you can trust.  They are taking on part of your business operations, so you need to know that they will be there, when you need them, with what you need.

2 – not just the cheapest!  In the same way as with every purchase, don’t be purely motivated by finding the cheapest price you can!  Your business relies on this service; and if you go with the cheapest option, there’s a reasonable chance you will get what you pay for.

3 – scale.  One consideration is to look for a partner who has been there, and done it, before, for thousands of customers. Larger providers will typically have better back up processes – which means you won’t have a single point of failure when it comes to this critical element of your business.

As every business grows, more and more work will need to be outsourced to help you keep your day-to-day activities in control. And when it comes to whether or not a laundry service would be of much use, it is pretty obvious that the advantages easily outweigh the disadvantages.

Incorporating a laundry service into your business operations will help smoothen your workflow, make it easy for your employees to focus on their other tasks, reduce your carbon footprint, and save you a lot of time and money.

Alsco offers steam laundry services to small and large businesses all over Australia. And if you need fresh, clean, and quality linens, we also offer a comprehensive range of linen for rent to suit your needs. Call us today!

10 Tips to Make Your Restaurant a Powerful Customer Magnet

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Can you think back to the time when you were first dreaming up the idea of your restaurant business? Your own restaurant, regularly jam-packed with people and ever bursting with activity.

Yet very soon you realised that sustainable success is far from being easy to achieve.

In today’s economy, you want your business to thrive. You must make sure your restaurant is insanely attractive to people! Maybe your own entrepreneurial aspirations will not make you push the envelope. But your competition will. After all, you’re all scrambling for the same thing – customers.

Once they’ve set their foot in your restaurant for the first time, it’s time to start making a good first impression. New customers are good to win. But winning repeat customers is what’s going to make your restaurant flourish. They can exercise great influence as online ambassadors for your establishment. They’re worth their weight in gold.

Excellent food and perfect restaurant hygiene are the prerequisites for a prosperous restaurant business. Yet, unparalleled customer service is what will distinguish you from your competitors.

Want to turn your restaurant into a powerful customer magnet? We’ve got some expert advice from experienced restaurateurs and restaurant marketing experts that can help! Adopt some of these ideas and turn your age-old restaurant dream a reality.

1. Figure Out What Your Customers Want

Start by sorting out the underlying reasons why your customers keep returning to you. Business owners cannot make heads or tails of it because emotions are hard to understand. The majority of emotions that urge your customers to make their buying decisions work on a subconscious level.

Uncovering the hidden logic behind how your customers emotionally connect to your brand will bring you success. Because once you learn it, you can tap into these emotions and cater to your customers’ needs.

“Companies in financial services, retail, health care, and technology are now using a detailed understanding of emotional connection to attract and retain the most valuable customers. The most sophisticated firms are making emotional connection part of a broad strategy that involves every function in the value chain, from product development and marketing to sales and service.” – the Harvard Business Review

2. Provide Quick Restaurant Service

Slow service is the ultimate turn-off for your restaurant customers. If your restaurant is on the slow side, your customer base will reduce very quickly. Whereas, a quick service is what’s definitely going to earn your restaurant some bonus points.

“Improving operational efficiency in every part of your business. You cannot be price competitive and profitable without developing world-class operational efficiency… even in a small business.” – Donald Cooper

3. Get Past the Stigma of Solo Dining

Nobody likes a restaurant where they get weird looks if they enter the place on their own. So, make sure to treat your solo diners with care and make them feel welcome. This will entice them to make a return visit.

4. Provide a Great Wi-fi Connection

In the technologically driven world of today wi-fi becomes a must in restaurants. Your guests are not likely to abstain from using their gadgets while having a meal.

Having a strong wi-fi signal is going to help work-related communication for locals. But it will also assist your foreign visitors in getting around the city. It’s a convenient way for them to check maps and other info online.

5. Incentivize Your Customers to Return

Cultivating consistency in your kitchen lays the groundwork for your customer retention. Yet, offering freebie incentives will get your customers to commit to a long-term relationship with your restaurant . The Restaurant Times touts making small gestures like this is will make it happen.

  • Tempting your customers to return by giving out cash vouchers which can be redeemed during later visits.
  • Giving out free starters for second-time visitors.

6. Keep Track of Your Business Score

Get a regular peek at TripAdvisor and TheFork websites. Here you’ll get invaluable insight into both positive and negative customers’ feedback.

Your business score on these sites can be a great eye-opener. Here you can get info on what your customers really think about your place. And whether it’s a good value for money or they’ve got a feeling of being ripped off.

A reality check like this will help you determine if your prices match the quality of your offering.

7. Can They Get Some Satisfaction?

Conducting a satisfaction survey will help you spot your restaurant’s weaknesses. Navigating a business with an emphasis on continuous improvement is what’s going to keep it running.

Grading their dining experience will help you pinpoint any shortcomings and then smooth out the rough edges.

Make your surveys short and send them as part of your monthly email campaigns.

8. Collect Customer Feedback in a Leisurely Chat

How do you gain the most detailed insight into your customers’ satisfaction? In direct conversation. So, elicit some feedback in a friendly chat.

This will bring you a twofold advantage. You’ll gain your customers’ respect for being appreciative of their feelings and you’ll learn exactly where to improve.

Next, encourage them to leave an online review. Regular tracking of your online ratings will help you to improve drive footfall and turn newcomers into regulars.

9. Develop a Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Build the kind of business that you love

Eric Cacciatore of Restaurant Unstoppable advises restaurateurs to come up with a unique selling proposition. A USP is a unique individual quality that sets you apart from other businesses in your niche.

When determining your USP, think about who your target audience is, what appeals to your ideal customer and how will the customer be perceived by society when they align themselves with your restaurant’s brand?

A USP will help you build interest and curiosity, help you attract and retain customers and reduce client churn. It’s a way to make a name for yourself, based on relatable values that will get people connected to your brand.

10. Stand out to Attract Customers

You want to become a powerful customer magnet. But first you need to become visible in a competitive market. Having something unique to offer will do the trick. So, think about:

  • Providing the best possible service
  • Offering added value
  • Specialising in regional or exotic cuisine
  • Or picking an exciting theme for your restaurant

A great tip from Murray Wright is to spice things up with a signature item. It can be a unique dish, beverage, décor, service approach, uniforms or all these together.

Be famous for one thing that gets people so excited that they talk about it to their friends and recommend you, or if they see it being served in the restaurant they want to order it.

Be Dedicated to Your Customer Retention Goal

Attracting new customers and enticing them to return to your restaurant is no easy feat. It takes sweat, determination and hard work but the payoff is worth every effort.

Keep finding new strategies for improving your restaurant and you’ll keep your business in the black. Check out our 126 Expert Ideas For Your Restaurant Business Plan list post to really kick it up a notch.

To allow you to be a truly customer-centric business, consider outsourcing some services. Otherwise, they’ll drive you away from your top priority tasks. Partner up with Alsco, we can conveniently take care of much of your operational difficulties.

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Restaurant Linen
Crisp clean and beautiful napkins and tablecloths. Find the perfect style for you.
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Chef Uniforms
Effective and comfortable pants with elastic waist fit anybody. Combine with chef jackets.
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Tea Towels
Highly absorbent, perfectly cleaned, bacteria-free tea towels, essential to any respectable café.
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Need a laundry service? Restaurant linen and uniform rental? A comprehensive solution for your washroom? We’ve got it all! And we also boast more than 50 years of experience in providing commercial services to Australian businesses.

So contact us today!


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