Monthly Archives July 2017

Train Your Restaurant Staff on Mobile Technology [Checklist]

Today, 4 in 5 restaurant operators agree that restaurant technology increases sales makes their restaurant more productive and gives their restaurant a competitive edge. The fastest way to make this happen in restaurants is by training and educating staff on emerging mobile apps. Nurturing and embedding technology is proven to drive sales. Our economy is experiencing a cultural shift to digital and mobile, so it’s important to share with your staff how your business is keeping up with the times. In this blog post, you’ll learn how training staff on apps and mobile technology can be put into action.

When is the right time to train your staff?
Immediately, upon arrival! Your new employees should undergo an all-inclusive new-hire training program. If you are an independent business owner, you might have read “training program” and thought “we’re too small for THAT”. On the contrary; any business needs that training in place if their long-term goal is to grow the business.

How do you keep your staff informed?
Most restaurants have their own communication flow. An industry leader, ZingTrain, keeps their staff informed by using various channels — a letter in their paycheck, check-ins from the manager, printed updates in a central and consistent spot, and monthly seminars. They recognize different learning styles and encourage other businesses to communicate in three ways:  reading it, hearing it, and testing out. Technology and our businesses change constantly. It’s crucial to put a system in place to spread the word about the latest company news.

Below you’ll find a training checklist you can use for your own restaurant or cafe. Fill it out with the right information pertaining to your business, and then use it when training new hires. We recommend that you actually teach each topic to staff members. A handout is simply not as effective, and will not serve your business as well.

CHECKLIST FOR STAFF TRAINING ON RESTAURANT TECHNOLOGY

  • Apps to Find our Restaurant: Google, Yelp, Facebook.
    • Staff should be invited to look up your restaurant so they learn more about your business, as well as understand how new customers find you.
  • Apps for Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
    • Good stats for your staff to know:
      • 49% of consumers learn about food and your restaurant through social networks. That means you can reach about half of the people on social media just by becoming active. If a customer wants to take a pic of your restaurant, or their meal, do NOT interrupt that. It’s money in your cash drawer!
      • 24% respond to conversations about food on social media. Engaging with your followers about your food photos helps build your brand and gain trust.
    • Staff should encourage customers to stay in touch through social media to receive specials and notifications about events.
  • Apps for Restaurant Reviews: Yelp, Zomato, Urbanspoon, OpenTable and TripAdvisor, Facebook.
    • Good stats for your staff to know:
      • For every 1/2 point rise on OpenTable, sales can rise by 5%.
      • A one-star increase in Yelp rating leads to a 5 – 9% increase in revenue.
    • Remind your staff that higher sales translate to higher tips. Monthly educational seminars focused on good service and terrific hospitality can drive positive reviews and improved volume. Role play is the single most effective shift for servers here at Cavalletta Solutions. For instance, certain members of the staff know the “script” and act it out in a table service setting.  We have found staff learned the language, the tone to use, and how best to invite a customer to spread the word on a review app. Training at one restaurant in Baltimore translated into a 2.2% growth in revenue year over year.
  • Apps for Discounts: Groupon, Yelp.
    • Inform your staff on how you feel about discounts, and teach them how to implement them (including register training). Here’s an example: “We are occasionally on Groupon. We will train you when we know we are running a special discount.”
    • Note: Discounts for restaurants need to be used sparingly. Record your results—too often an owner assumes a discount didn’t work. Record your data, look at the data, then reach an accurate conclusion.
  • Apps for Delivery: Uber Eats, Postmates, GrubHub, Eat24, EatStreet.
    • Train your staff on how each of these delivery systems work. More specifically, show them which machine is for which app, how they should enter information in the cash register, what happens when the driver arrives and who is allowed to turn off an app when the kitchen is in the weeds.
  • Apps for Payment:  Square, Paypal.
    • Teach your staff that you accept different methods for payments. If a phone call comes in asking about Square, they probably need to talk to a manager, as it may be related to catering or venue questions.
  • Apps for Loyalty: Five Stars, Flok, Stamp Me.
    • Loyalty is king, and your staff should be fully aware of this. Returning customers are crucial to your restaurant, so teach them how to bring up your loyalty program to customers. Loyalty is Cavalletta’s preferred method of gaining market share and is more effective than discounts.
  • Unique Branded App:
    • In today’s mobile-friendly climate, a branded app for your restaurant can encompass all of the above technologies. In other words, in-house apps link to and combine the features of many other apps. However, it can only be successful if your staff embraces it. If you decide to go for a fully-integrated app made specifically for your restaurant, or already have one, you need to train your staff on its features, functions, and benefits. Have them download the app on their own phone, and give them some time to interact with it themselves. By educating your staff on the app, they will be more engaged with the technology. Lack of training here will lead to a distrust, apathy and, ultimately, an app that fizzles away.

How can you keep your staff up-to-date on the ever-changing restaurant technology? With the above template, you can teach every staff member from the get go. Additionally, update them in daily lineups, monthly education seminars and through your communication flow – keep your staff updated on any new technology. With only a 5% growth projected in the restaurant industry for 2017, training your staff on technology can give you the advantage you need.

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How to Increase Mobile App Engagement With Push Notifications

The mobile industry is booming, and mobile apps are completely dominating this arena. Companies of all sizes are seeing the benefits of having a mobile app. According to recent data, nearly half of small businesses are expected to adopt a mobile app by 2017.

However, simply having an app is not enough to win over mobile users. Most people only use 6 to 10 apps each week. And when it comes to new downloads, only 3.3% of Android apps and 3.2% of iOS apps still had active users after 30 days.

So, how do you get people to download your app, and even more importantly, keep using it after initial installation? The ideal app is useful, engaging, even addictive, so that people see it as an indispensable part of their daily routine.

You should focus on these two metrics: mobile app engagement and mobile app retention. While both are subjective metrics, high engagement and retention make for a successful app. More specifically, engagement refers to how active users are on the app (e.g. how many user sessions per month). Retention, on the other hand, focuses on the percentage of app users who return to the app (e.g. how many users return within 3 months of the first session).

These two metrics combined determine an app’s “stickiness” – how engaged and loyal users are for a specific app. To make an app sticky, it needs to keep users engaged and ensure repeat usage. To do so requires development strategies that connect app functionality and experience with people’s intent and mobile behavior. Forbes states that “building and delivering great mobile experiences will be the beating heart of your customer engagement strategy for the next 10 years.”

Think of it this way, if version one of your mobile app was just a good looking exterior, the following versions will be an in depth system of engagement. The goal of your app is to help people take action in their immediate moments of need.

In those moments, consumers expect brands to address their needs with real-time relevance. According to Google, “micro-moments are the new battleground for brands”. They introduced the term micro-moments to discuss how we should reach customers on their phone and here are three essential strategies:

Increasing mobile app engagement begins with these micro-moments and, arguably, the most important one in this case is Be Useful. You need to be useful and meet users’ needs in critical moments. That means connecting people to what they’re looking for in real time and providing relevant information when they need it. As Google says, “With mobile we’re able to add a rich understanding of context to consumers’ underlying intent. That context provides critical insights into consumer behavior—and therefore powerful clues for how you can be most relevant and useful for people in their moments of need”.

But what happens if you are not useful? Without utility, consumers will not only move on, they actually might not ever come back. Only 9% of users will stay on a mobile site or app if it doesn’t satisfy their needs (for example, to find information or navigate quickly).

So if quality, timing and relevance of a company’s message are important, how does this translate to your app communication?

An effective strategy to be useful, as well as engaging, with your app is through push notifications:

  • Frequency: To send or not to send? The answer to this question lies in your understanding of the app audience and their expectations. A great way to find out more about your users is by implementing a “preference center” within your app, allowing users to select the subject matter they want to get push notifications about and when. You want users to be receptive to your message, therefore knowing your audience is key in leveraging push notifications to foster engagement.
  • Timing: Consider not only the frequency of your push notifications, but also the time of day. It is important to send out messages when your users are active and already on their phones. For example, lunch time and early evening are common times people are on their phones. Determine the ideal send times by using A/B testing. Once you have discovered when the most users are in front of your app, segment the audience based on their attributes to improve response rates. Brands using segmentation have response rates 4-7 times higher than those who do not.
  • Content: The smartphone is a personal marketing medium, and your app users are expecting tailored and important messages to come their way. Language that conveys urgency (i.e. time-sensitive deals) and relevancy (i.e. sending it to the relevant segment) will drive users back to your app. Push notifications have the potential of annoying recipients, so to counter this, your content needs to be honest, helpful, funny, memorable, clear, empathetic and trendy. As push notifications have design limitations and follow a standardized text format, your words need to motivate user action.
  • Deep Linking: Deep linking guides your audience to exactly where you want them to go within your app. It provides the user with a more seamless experience while reducing barriers to completing a desired action. For example, if you send a push notification about pre-sale tickets to a concert, you can deep-link to a purchase page in your app. The key here is to figure out the path you want your app users to take, and then help to send them in the right direction.

By identifying these ideal mobile moments to send messages to customers, your app will excel at Being Useful. By mastering the art of push notifications, your app will significantly increase mobile engagement no matter what type of app you have, or how you define engagement.

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