As a restaurant owner, the first place your working capital goes is to pay for food, employees and various daily expenses. But to grow your business, you need to invest in some tools to take your business to the next level. If you haven’t done so already, start by subscribing to Nation’s Restaurant News (NRN.com). Whether you own a restaurant, catering company or a business that carries food products, NRN covers all the latest industry news and trends. Sign up for one of their free enewsletters and get quick access to the latest information. Here are five more tools to check out:
1. Single Platform. Hungry consumers looking for somewhere new to eat usually start by doing a bit of research online. Trying to keep up on all the sites that list restaurants and provide menus can be a full-time job. Single Platform allows restaurateurs to post menu updates, special events, photos and more on hundreds of city guides, restaurant review sites, social media sites and webpages, all from one portal. Plus restaurateurs can access the portal from their mobile devices.
2. Boxwire. It’s better to find out what patrons think of your customer service before they blast their opinions on social media or review sites. Sign up with Boxwire and your customers can leave anonymous feedback or suggestions anytime, even while they are still eating. Let your employees know you welcome their suggestions, too. You’ll be able assess their job satisfaction and get suggestions on how to improve your workplace.
3. TripAdvisor for Business. TripAdvisor is the world’s largest travel website, and with over 60 million unique monthly visitors, it would benefit your restaurant to be on their hot list. TripAdvisor visitors want to find the local restaurant everyone is raving about. The Business part of the site can help you make the most of your listing and offers other marketing advice.
4. SmartReceipt. Instead of just handing out a receipt your customer will throw away the minute they leave your restaurant, you could be handing out a receipt with a marketing message. SmartReceipt software lets you add coupons, nutritional information, and make suggestions for other menu items. The tool can also help with coupon design, marketing campaigns and nutrition profiles. The software is downloadable online and there is no new hardware to purchase.
5. Bevintel. Bars and restaurants lose about $11 billion worth of alcohol every year due to employees giving away free drinks, overpouring or spilling liquor on the floor. Bevintel works with a business’s POS system and performs a bar audit to track pouring, spillage and theft. The program performs on-premise audits and then works with you to increase your profits.
Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at email@example.com, follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/Rieva and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.