• Follow Me. Like Me. Know Me.

    Social Media’s Impact on New Diner Acquisition

    Does social media have any impact on website traffic? Will social media bring more customers to your restaurant? I’m going to lay my cards on the table at the outset – Social Media has a valuable impact on your ability to get and retain customers. But, it’s not entirely quantifiable. Let’s take a look at how this works. First, we need to look at how people find you – a primer on marketing funnels – so we can see how social media ties in with the bigger picture of traditional marketing. The recommendations in this post are based on my own real-life experience of applying different techniques over many years…

  • Reserved
    Finances,  Analysis,  Marketing

    The Real Cost of Online Reservation Systems

    You are a restaurant and you want more customers. You want control over your booking system and a database of your customers. You want a simpler way for your customers to be able to book without needing to always have to speak to somebody, or for that same somebody to check emails constantly. And you want to be able to quickly and easily check the bookings you have. Enter the online reservation (or online booking) system. There are lots of companies that provide this system, including ResDiary, Open Table, Quandoo, Bookatable, Welcome Table, simpleERB, et al. Some offer fixed pricing, but the bigger players offer a per-cover model that is…

  • Finances

    Types of Restaurant Finance

    There is one key driver in the restaurant business – cash flow. If the cash is not flowing, the restaurant is not growing. And from time-to-time, you need an injection of money into the restaurant for anything from a refit, to expansion, restructuring or simply cash flow. Here is a list of the types of finance available to restaurants: Tax / VAT Funding Business Development Loans Cash-flow / Cash-release Facility Refurbishment Loans Asset Finance / Re-Finance (Leasing) Vehicle Funding Merchant Cash Advance Invoice Financing (Factoring) Personal Loans Secured Loans (2nd charge) Almost all lending is unsecured (ie not secured against property) but does require personal guarantees. I will cover these…

  • White and black motor scooter with top box

    Q&A Chewsday: Just Eat vs Bespoke Delivery Systems

    Chris Eke emailed me about my recent post regarding Just Eat: I just read your post on ‘How does Just Eat work for Restaurants?‘ and found it really interesting! I do have a few questions if you don’t mind, I understand you’re probably very busy, so no rush. From your experience, do JustEat provide their own drivers to most restaurants signed up to them? Or do many restaurants have their own delivery drivers still? Yes to both. You need to check availability in your area as Just Eat don’t operate a delivery fleet as widespread as Deliveroo or uberEATS (yet). Some restaurants prefer to use their own drivers as they…

  • Just Eat

    How does Just Eat work for Restaurants?

    In my last post, I talked about how the Deliveroo ordering process works from the point of view of a restaurant. In this post, I will walk through the newest entrant in the delivery space – Just Eat – and contrast how the process works. This is from the view of a restaurant outside of a busy urban area (like London), so your mileage will vary in more densely-populated areas. Just Eat Onboarding Just Eat take care of the whole process for you and send you what is basically a hefty piece of hardware about the size of a stack of dinner plates (or an EPOS system with cash drawer).…

  • Deliveroo Hero Shot

    How does Deliveroo work for Restaurants?

    Deliveroo is one of the market giants in the food delivery sector. The delivery market hasn’t changed massively over the last couple of years and has been more about consolidation with the ‘Big 3‘ taking the lead: Deliveroo, UberEATS and now Just Eat. Amazon Restaurants came and went (and then invested in Deliveroo in Series G). But I digress. Restaurant Set-Up When we first joined Deliveroo 5 years ago, there was no set-up fee and they sent you a printer and ordering tablet for you to receive orders. However, times have changed and Deliveroo wants a large wedge of your cash as a set-up fee to onboard you, input your…

  • Delivery Bicycle Rider

    Delivery Fail: The Problem with a Gig Economy

    What do you think a delivery company like Deliveroo, Just Eat or uberEATS should be good at? That’s right – delivery. In my personal experience (outside of London), this – sadly – does not hold true with high enough certainty. I can’t speak for UberEATS as I have no direct experience of their service outside of London, but both Delieroo and Just Eat suffer from the same issue – ‘not enough drivers’ to quote their system. Tip of the Iceberg The problem actually runs much deeper than simply one of having enough drivers; it’s about how those resources are deployed. In the early days, the fleet of riders were employees…

  • Merchant's Heart Mixers

    Merchant’s Heart Mixers

    One of the upsides of being a restaurateur is that suppliers are always plying you with free samples to try to get you to buy their products. Last week, a rep from Merchant’s Heart popped into Meejana Windsor and dropped off these little bottles so I thought I’d post my initial thoughts on the product. Yet another premium mixer (although Merchant’s Heart calls it a “spirit enhancer”), this time from Japan and made with Bikan Yuso. I thought this was an exotic ingredient until I checked their website where it actually means “A sense of beauty and playful imagination.” Sadly there were no supporting marketing materials left by the rep…

  • Guests

    Restaurant Reservations; Why Timing is Everything

    Have you ever been to the doctor or the dentist? You arrive a couple of minutes before your appointment only to be greeted with a smile and told that there has been a bit of a delay and you’ll need to wait for your appointment. Or you could come back another day. And you’re only the second booking. Well, the same is true in most restaurants. There is only a finite number of employees both on the floor attending to guests needs and in the kitchen to prepare the dishes. So, when a couple of tables turn up late or early, or a couple of guests monopolise the time of…

  • Career

    Runner, Server, Host. What’s the difference?

    There are thousands of books and blog posts written about being a waiter/waitress or server in a restaurant. These range from tips on how to do the job, to how to excel, to mistakes to avoid, to job descriptions, through to training resources of all different types. These are all good, but can often be dry and impartial. So I thought I would outline a more aspirational set of guidelines to help you achieve and deliver more to the guests you are looking after. Your employer will be happier, and you will be too. Even if it’s not your career or you may be doing it to get through college, the guest…