Branding & the Upside of Bad Customer Reviews

Branding & the Upside of Bad Customer Reviews

Your brand is the most valuable asset in your company. Greater than your inventory, buildings, and even employees.

Your brand is your REPUTATION.

A poor reputation will bring about a slow but sure death (no matter what improvements you make to try to rescue it).

A good reputation will bring loyalty and growth. A good and strong brand will be able to withstand shortcomings and mistakes, which are sometimes unavoidable.

If your brand is really THAT important, then being able to track progress in building your brand is vital. If you are going to grow and improve, you need to know:

  • Where you are
  • Where you want to go
  • The path in between

Your Actions + Customer Response = Your Brand

Your brand is the culmination of what you do and how your customers respond. So in evaluating your brand, you have those two areas to look at.

A recent post (4 Areas In Your Restaurant Marketing To Evaluate For Brand Consistency), goes into detail on "Your Actions."

So in this post, let’s look at the other side of the equation— how customers respond.

Read More

Tracking your Customer and Power of Restaurant Apps

It’s almost impossible to avoid technology in your restaurant these days, but why would you want to? On this episode of On Foodable Weekly, we get to talk to some brands who are taking advantage of the latest in tech to improve customer experience, while also ramping up their customer loyalty.

Nicole Abraham of Luna Grill and Frank Klein of Asian Box both present some of interesting steps they’ve taken and introduce us to some of the cool technologies that they have used to grow your business.

First up? Apps.

Now a days, any restaurant can have an app. There are so many businesses that can help you make it successful too. But what does an app really add to your restaurant? For one, as Abraham says, apps are a great platform for online ordering. Online ordering is a massive trend right now and is not going away anytime soon. It's an incredible way to increase sales and it's important that restaurants are providing this option for their guests. A restaurant app can also house your rewards program making life easier for not only your customers, but also your staff. But proper use of an app is important too.

Asian Box, another California brand,  also has a restaurant app. But theirs is more focused on online ordering and less on loyalty rewards. Klein shared some impressive insights into Asian Box’s customer loyalty, touting “50% of our customers eat [with us] 4-5 times per month.” When asked how they could encourage such a level of customer loyalty, he explains that though they are a big proponent of technology use in their restaurants, they put more weight in the employee empowerment programs they have in place. These programs allow employees to recognize repeat customers and reward them with freebies and discounts.

Where Asian Box puts tech first though, is tracking customers to get a clear picture of who is coming back to their restaurants. It can be difficult to track customers when you provide in store purchasing, online purchasing, and a variety of third-party ordering systems like UberEATS or DoorDash. With a company called Olo, Asian Box is working to integrate all those points of sale into a single system.

Watch the full episode for even more insights into the powers of technology and where we can expect to see it growing in the next few years!

Innovations from NRA Show 2016

At the NRA Show, the industry's biggest and most dynamic trade show and event, it is an endless sea of exhibitions, educational sessions, products, and new ideas across the 2.6-million-square-foot-space of Chicago's McCormick Place convention center. Needless to say, while every inch is filled with discoveries, it can get a little overwhelming.

In this episode of "Rock My Restaurant," show hosts William Bender and Eric Norman do the leg work for you. After walking the floor, they sit down and product review some of the best innovations they spotted at NRA Show 2016. Trying to figure out the latest software and technology to take your restaurant to the next level? Check out these finds and get ready to rock your restaurant.

Screen Shot 2016-07-05 at 3.56.22 PM.png
Screen Shot 2016-07-05 at 5.06.12 PM.png
Screen Shot 2016-07-05 at 5.10.04 PM.png

The Lineup

Noodoe: Noodoe could potentially be the next breakthrough in efficiency and speed of service. This device consists of a wristband, which servers wear, and a cube with different icons symbolizing different needs, such as a check or beverage refill, that the table of guests hold onto. These pieces of tech connect wirelessly to the cloud and effortlessly speeds up waiter-to-diner communications, and in the future, could lead to better communications to the back of house.

"I thought that [Noodoe] was pretty cool because it's fully customizable, too, so the owner or operator can put anything they want on there. So, depending on what side the little unit is sitting on, that's what translates to your wristband," Eric said.

Zenreach: Email capture and marketing is one of the most challenging aspects when it comes to improving your restaurant's client base. Through Zenreach, brands can build a database through their Wi-Fi. When guests log in by submitting their email addresses, Zenreach collects this information and brands can use these lists to drive sales in marketing, whether through sent reminders, customer loyalty programs, or other incentives.

HotSchedules: HotSchedules it a revolutionary, restaurant management platform. From talent recruiting, to a continuous training e-learning program, to flexible staff scheduling, to instant message communications, this software does a lot of hard work to make processes a lot easier. Not to mention other features such as inventory and asset management — what can't you accomplish with HotSchedules?

STUBBORN Soda: STUBBORN soda is a paragon of what craft beverage should be all about. Through its natural ingredients and unique flavors (Orange Hibiscus, Lemon Berry Açaí, or Pineapple Cream Soda, anyone?), guests will be thirsty for more.

"What this does is really allow an operator to be better, special, or different," Bill said. "They also have a wonderful dispenser for fast casual restaurants called a pumper."

TradingTable: Whether you are an operator, distributor, or supplier, it doesn't matter what side of the table you sit on — this digital, paperless ordering platform connects each party involved in the transaction. It is a seamless solution and is a total automation of a purchasing agent's duties. The system has algorithms set to help operators find the best prices for products, which they can then order through the platform.

Ovention: Ovention may look like a typical conveyor oven, but this high-capacity, high-speed oven has two shuttles, allowing chefs to cook different food items with similar cooking temperatures. Chicken strips cooking on one side (through closed cooking, which means no need for exhausts or hoods) can then switch over to cookies on the other. This maximizes versatility and speed.

Riage X3: Two words: massage chair. 

"You were able to fit that into your schedule?" Bill asked.

"Ahh, 20 minutes of pure heaven, man. I could hardly get out of the chair" Eric said.

Watch the full episode now!