4 Ways to Attract Millennials to Your Restaurant

We’ve been hearing that word lately – millennial. They are now the youngest of the workforce (feeling old yet?) as well as the largest generation – with 53,000,000 workers worldwide.

They also have the largest restaurant spending. They spend an average of 10.6% more than any other generation.

They are now the new primary target market.

What they bring about is a new culture in the workplace. Millennials are tech-savvy, more so than any generation before them.

This changes things for everyone – a shift in priorities and preferences along with a more adventurous spirit hits businesses, especially the food industry.

You know very well that keeping a customer is at least just as important to a business as pulling in new ones. Keeping these millennials is the new challenge for restaurants, and here are some tips that may help you do just that.

Add the option to customise and be creative

Millennials love having options. The more casual chains like Boost Juice and Domino’s Pizza reveals the importance and the impact of them feeling involved in the process of creation and customisation, even with food.

The sense of accomplishment a millennial gets from being able to produce a nicely customised meal that they can call their own (and enjoy eating, of course) helps create mental brand retention – they remember your restaurant because of the service they got.

Additionally, the millennials are always in pursuit of new adventures and experiences – including food. Regularly adding new menu items regularly would definitely entice your millennial customers to keep coming back, looking forward to what you have up your sleeve the next time they return.

Stay up to date, because they are

They’re techy. That matters, and you can use that to your advantage. As e-commerce are booming, people are now gravitating towards shopping from the comfort of their homes. To our point, research has revealed that 39% of millenials have, at least once, used technology to order food from restaurants.

That said, having this sort of technology would resonate more with them as it is part of their identity. Technomic, a consulting firm for the food industry in the US, said that food delivery would boom in the next decade, growing to as much as a $5 billion market in that span of time.

This new online platform has given them an unprecedented level of interconnectivity. Websites like Facebook, Google Reviews, and others make it easy for a millennial to learn about a restaurant from another’s experience. Embrace this, and use it to your advantage. Let your food and décor be Instagram-worthy, and your service deserving a 5* review.

Yes, they care about quality

Healthy eating has become a larger thing today, and these aware millennials will demand to know about what they are putting in their mouths. They want to know if their food came from a local farm which used only organic fertilizers. If your food is devoid of preservatives, artificial flavouring and GMO’s, that might be better for the more conservative ones, too.

Additionally, they have a bigger preference for food that comes from companies which are highly sustainable, with higher ethical standards. Cage-free chickens or grass-fed cows, for example are very welcome in their plates and their stomachs.

Give your menu a shakedown

We have talked about healthy eating above. The more health-conscious millennial generation prefer it if you give them options that adhere to these standards. They will be willing to ignore the higher price tag, and if they are satisfied, they’ll come back for sure.
No, you do not have to remove the less healthy items from your menu. Simply adding low-fat, low-carb, low-calorie options would definitely be beneficial to your business.

Here are a few examples of healthy dishes that you can add to your menu:

  • A vegan veggie burger or falafel wrap with the option to get gluten-free bread
  • A vegan cheese option which allows you to convert pizza and Mexican-style courses
  • A tofu or lentil vegetable stir fry, hot pot, casserole or curry, etc.
  • Raw vegan desserts and non-dairy based ice creams that are becoming more and more available

That said, it would be advisable to trim down your menu. Track the sales of every individual item, and remove those that aren’t selling well.

Also, try to keep the prices balanced – options between high-cost and low-cost dishes are always a good thing for a millennial who is craving for your food, but it’s still a few days to go before payday. Adjust your menu to meet food cost targets, and possibly, remove the ultra-high food cost items on slow months. This allows you to save more on your food stocks, too.

Make it enticing and rewarding to be a loyal customer

Some restaurants have started offering membership cards to their customers. These cards would gain points whenever the customer purchases food. It’s smart, doesn’t cost much, and it encourages your customers invite their friends.

A good example for this would be Starbucks. If you aren’t familiar with the craze that their planners get at the end of a year, you might be amazed when you see it.

Studies show that it is 6-7 times more expensive to get a new customer than to keep an old one. From another study on 2,000 businesses with loyalty programs, it was recorded that from 14,000,000 visits from 1,000,000 customers, only 20% of these customers visited at least 10 times. However, that 20% amounted to 80% of the total revenue, and 72% of the visits.

It is definitely worth it from both a cost-effective investment standpoint, and a revenue boost standpoint. Consider how you can apply this to your business if you haven’t yet!

Embrace the new millennial trend

The millennials are the present, and they account for as much as $2.45 BILLION in spending. Make your business future-proof by planning around this generation, because the next generations to come in the next few decades will be quite similar to the millennials.

Alsco provides free resources to help you achieve that. You can get 126 expert ideas for your restaurant to help you attract and keep millennials loyal to your business right here!

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3 Effortless Ideas for a 5-Star Restaurant Washroom

Front of restaurant.

One of the things people consider when they give an assessment of any particular establishment is the washroom.

For sure, you have labelled some places that you will never enter again because of the unkempt, smelly washrooms they have.

Yes, washrooms make up a big part of a person’s first impressions on your building… And this is even more so in restaurants.

Even if your dining area is sparkling clean but your washroom leaves a lot to be desired, that customer probably won’t be coming back. They might not be able to even eat the food they were in the middle of eating before having to go to the washroom.

It cannot be understated how restaurant washroom must be shiny clean and well-maintained at all times, or news will spread faster than a wildfire on social media, and you’ll have some bad rep on your brand. So to stop that, here are 3 ideas on how you can keep your washroom spotless.

You may want to consider providing paper towels

Most establishments use automatic hand dryers, some provide paper towels, and some provide both. The automatic hands-free hand dryer may be appealing, but it can be slow so some customers would prefer to use a paper towel instead.

This may be news to you, though. A research team recently discovered that there are 18 to 60 different bacterial colonies, not to mention fecal matter, are located on the surface under hand dryers (the part that catches water), in a study of 36 washrooms. Icky, right?

Paper towels, on the other hand, can dry hands and remove bacteria more effectively without any risk of airborne contamination. People can wipe their hands down, and all the bacteria and dirt go to the waste bin, where they belong.

If you want to provide paper towels instead of hand dryers, it’s also important to present them in a manner that can contribute to the clean atmosphere of the washroom. Look for well-designed and durable dispensers that can last for a long time.

Fresh & Clean’s hand care programs can be customised for your business’s specific needs. It’s a worthy investment, because Fresh & Clean would supply and refill your soaps, paper towels, and sanitisers!

Invest in new clog-reducing tech

People also have negative impressions on clogged toilets, and that eventually reduces the credibility of any food-related establishment.

Try to keep customers from spreading bad word about your restaurant’s washroom and your restaurant itself – simply by purchasing paper products that help reduce clogs.

Advanced biodegradable toilet paper, thanks to modern technology, now have the ability to eat away dirt inside pipes. It’s no rocket science, but the toilet paper releases dirt-cleaning enzymes that reproduce to multiply their cleaning effect. When they finish their job, they biodegrade and are flushed away without any residue or odour.

There are also paper towels that dissolve in water to effectively reduce clogging.

You can avoid expensive plumbing repairs and prevent your customers from being hassled by an out of order sign when they really have to use the toilet.

However, these cases still happen one way or another. Luckily for you, Fresh & Clean offers a managed washroom service that maintains every little detail in your washrooms. Running out of liquid soap? We got you. Overflowing sanitary bins? We have your back.

We can design a program that is tailored to your company’s specific needs.

Maintain a clean and reliable brand

If one part of your restaurant is dirty, it wouldn’t be hard to imagine that even the kitchen is also dirty. If they see a dirty washroom, they immediately lose trust in your brand, and that is a no-no. You do not want your restaurant’s reputation to be tarnished, do you?

We wouldn’t want that for you either, so here are some maintenance tips that you can use on your washrooms.

  1. Stick to a regular cleaning schedule – Ensure consistent cleanliness by having your employees follow a regular routine. Specify what tasks need to be done on a daily basis, such as wiping surfaces and mopping floors, and conducting checks at the end of every business day.
  2. Keep a record – log the time spent on important tasks like cleaning the toilets, the floor, etc. Let the employees sign off on the log when they finish their assigned tasks, including the time and date.
  3. Implement a training program – through training can be provided by your managers so that what is expected of everyone is clear to all employees. Focus on the best practices and the way to use the equipment properly, ensuring that no detail is missed.
  4. Restock cleaning supplies before running out – Fresh & Clean has you covered here because if you partner up with us, we’ll take care of your supplies regularly. Your washrooms will be fresh & clean every day. No pun intended

Cleanliness is next to godliness, so they say

We will keep beating on this because it is of utmost importance – a clean washroom is a must for any restaurant or establishment.

Keeping a high standard of cleanliness across your entire restaurant, and the epicentre of all the difficulty is the washroom. All the dirt, all the bacteria, all the icky stuff are there.

For a restaurant, it is a hassle to handle all of that, especially during the rush hours.

Worry not, however – The Fresh & Clean range of services ensures that your washrooms are clean, pleasant and safe places that provide peace of mind for you and your customers alike. It’s an awesome investment because we can take care of everything for you, including the nitty-gritties, leaving everything spick and span.

Call us up today and we’ll set up the perfect program for your restaurant – and give you a free month to start! Alternatively, you can click on the link below to learn more about Fresh & Clean’s services.

Photo courtesy of Pexels Images by Igor Starkov
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Restaurant Business Plan Ideas: Bonus Tips

Ten simple ideas for your Restaurant Business Plan

1. Daily reports

Tracking important information on a daily report helps you and your restaurant manager to operate each shift more efficiently. Reports make it easier for managers to manage labor costs and inventory while meeting the sales goal for the day.

A daily sales report, a menu item sales report, and an hourly staff labor report are the most important items that need to be tracked on a regular basis.

2. Know who your target audience is

A good restaurant business plan should make it very clear what type of target audience you want to attract. It hurts your business to attract lots of customers and then be unable to satisfy all of their needs.

Define who your restaurant’s target audience is by answering the following:

  • What are their consumer criteria (what do they want)?
  • What are their professions?
  • What are their (relevant cultural) interests?
  • What type of menu are you offering?
  • What is the atmosphere of your restaurant like?
  • Where is your restaurant located?
  • What is the price range of the items in your menu?

Make sure that your restaurant’s style, concept, location, and price range matches with that of your target customer as these are big factors in determining who comes through your door.

3. Keep your menu description short and simple

Food descriptions in your menu should be enticing enough to make a guest want to order it but it’s also important to keep it short and simple. No one wants to read an overly long menu item description.

4. Avoid price increases on your menu

Raising your prices should be your last resort. Keep your prices as consistent as possible – be aware of your competition and make sure you remain affordable. Customers notice when your prices have increased.

Think of other ways you can maintain your profit margins rather then increasing prices.

Work on your menu by reconstructing a dish using ingredients that are less expensive. Control portions, order wisely, manage your staff and vendors. All of these can contribute to your overheads so make sure everything is in balance and optimised.

5. Take your employee recognition program online

Did you know that you can improve your business’s reputation simply by sharing your employees’ achievements online? This doesn’t just encourage your staff to appreciate and inspire each other, it also amplifies engagement with your customers.

People spend a LOT of time on social media. You can reward your employees’ achievements with gift cards and encourage them to post about it on social media.

Engagements like these get employees excited about getting rewards and motivated to work harder.

6. Cross-train your staff in related job functions

Keep your restaurant business as versatile and adaptable as possible by teaching your staff how to perform multiple roles.

Your prep cook can be trained to saute or handle the grill. The busboys should also know how to run food to tables when the servers are busy. This way, your restaurant and your staff are able to adapt quickly and efficiently when things get unexpectedly busy.

7. Set aside strategic tables for single diners

Just because they’re alone doesn’t mean they’re not as important as a group of guests who will order more food. Single diners can be placed in small tables or at the bar if they’re okay with it.

Avoid placing them in large tables, near the bathroom, or facing a wall. Instead, have them seated near to windows or on those little private corners in your restaurant/cafe. Let them choose from the options available.

8. Create a customer database

Having a customer database helps you provide customers with personalised attention or special treatment every time they dine, increasing turnover and loyalty.

Know a guest by their first name, get them a spot they would like, and remember the usual meals they order and ask if they would like to have them again. When a customer sees that you know and remember them, they feel comfortable and ‘at home’ and will come back again and again for that personalised experience your restaurant offers them.

Make sure that all waiters are polite, efficient, and show how much they enjoy their work. Adding this kind of personalised attention into the mix will guarantee that customers will keep coming back.

You can even get your staff directly involved.

Contributed tip from Howard Tinker of restaurantprofits.com.au

9. Do regular furniture inspections

Maximise the life of your restaurant furniture and other fixtures. Constantly monitor for signs of wear and tear by doing regular inspections and repair before it gets expensive to fix.

Make sure all bolts and screws are secure and that chairs’ legs are still stable and sturdy. Check for dents, chips, and torn fabric. For minor scratches, you can touch up and smooth them over with paint or varnish.

10. Use the right cleaning solutions

Cleaning a commercial kitchen is a different proposition to cleaning a domestic kitchen. Hygiene standards you need to follow are far stricter so ensure you’re using quality cleaning solutions – chemicals that are specifically designed to keep your workplace sanitary.

Need help in keeping your workplace healthy and hygienicFresh & Clean has smart, hassle-free solutions tailored to your specific business needs. Get in touch with us today.

Want more ideas for your restaurant business plan?

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