Standing Out: Keeping People’s Attention in an Age of Distractions

David Melvin

First impressions are hard to break. In fact, most people only get seven seconds to make a good one. For businesses, visiting your website for the first time is critical in making a lasting impression about your product or service. If you somehow manage to hold a guest’s attention for more than seven seconds, the worry then is how to keep them engaged in your website when every 40 seconds, we are either distracted or lose focus about something we’re reading on a screen.

Developing an effective website layout for customers is critical for the user experience and can translate into leads, impressions and more visits to see your product. Below are some considerations when developing a new website for your restaurant:

1. Your Website Is Your Hub
To put it plainly, an all-inclusive website is one of the most important things to consider. These days, many third-party vendors gain new consumers, but at the expense of the business itself. Having a central place for your business to do everything for the consumers generates more loyalty to the brand, adds an element of organic growth when consumers like the products offered and can ultimately lead to an increase of loyal customers.

2. Tell A Story, AND Sell a Product
Too often, what doesn’t differentiate a company from its competitors is the way the information is presented. People like to be engaged with their senses, not always by their brains alone. By designing a sleek and aesthetically appealing website that paints a story, you can stand apart from your competition.

3. It’s all about the User
When potential customers visit a website for the first time, the content immediately presented to them can determine if they’ll stay or leave. Highlighting the most important aspects first goes a long way to make sure users are focused on what you want to offer to them, while not compromising on the visual brand connection. Making it as easy as possible to navigate for users is imperative.

4. Keep Up
Nothing stays the same. Having outdated content in your website can harm your reputation quickly when competitors are constantly updating their website with fresh content. Keeping a lookout for trends in your industry is critical if you want to be at the forefront of innovation.

Using some of these tips for your website might help you retain your customer’s attention and interest in your product or service.

You And Your Business Have 7 Seconds To Make A First Impression: Here’s How To Succeed. Forbes (2018).
4 Strategies for Overcoming Distractions. Harvard Business Review (2018).

Online Ordering: Common Pitfalls

David Melvin

With our culture becoming ever-increasingly digital, restaurants are facing a greater need to cater to their online ordering demands of their customers. However, the impulse to join multiple vendors that essentially produce the same outcome has its downside if restaurants aren’t careful.

1. Increased Charge Rates
Delivery services like Grubhub, UberEats, Postmates and DoorDash are all vying for customer attention, so it is quite natural that restaurants find it an easy way to reach their customers quickly through some or all of them. Often, multiple vendors will be used by single restaurants. However, the 20-30% charge per order cuts into the profits in a big way. For large corporate restaurants, this is probably not too much of a concern, but for smaller restaurants this could be a slow, yet devastating blow to their bottom line.

2. The Trickle-Down Effect of Delivery Fees
The 20-30% charge per order is one thing, but when you consider the additional delivery fee that delivery services charge to customers, the transaction becomes quite costly. A recent report showed that 83 percent of fast casual customers would pay as much as $5 in delivery fees. Restaurants often think they’re maximizing their profits by getting more customers through delivery services, but the majority of the food profit actually goes to the delivery service vendor and often turns out to be a losing proposition for the restaurant.

These types of misconceptions can often result in misplaced priorities. The bottom-line dictates priorities for restaurants, and the high demand from consumers suggests that using many delivery services will guarantee success. However, the fees charged by these vendors, coupled with a decrease of people using the services after more than a couple weeks, suggest that these aren’t as sure-fire ways to more profit as one would expect.

3. Explore Online Carry Out Options
Rather than rush into multiple delivery service offerings, restaurants need to look at ways to increase their bottom line, and not just increase the number of customers. Online Carry Out ordering is an excellent way to keep costs down, and at the same time encourage their customers to visit the restaurant.

Online Carry Out provides better customer engagement and the opportunity to upsell. When customers come into the restaurant, restaurant staff can provide more personable service, which can help them win better customer loyalty compared to the unknown interactions through a delivery driver.

Jared Shimoff, Do Restaurants Really Benefit from Online Ordering (2019).
Julie Littman, Majority of QSR, fast casual diners would pay up to $5 in delivery fees (Restaurant Dive, 2019).
Lauren Manning, 86 percent of delivery app users stop engaging within 2 weeks (Restaurant Dive, 2019).

To summarize, the difference between Online Carry Out and Online Delivery Service could save restaurants money and earn loyal customers in the long run.

Has your Google listing been hijacked?

Stefan Sanderson

It’s a more common problem than you might think. You start a business, you contract with a company to build your website. They build it, but later you decide you want to make changes to the website only to find out you can’t. So, you try to take your website back, after all, you bought it, right? They say no because they own the domain. So, you want to create a different website. The only problem is that all your current clients are going to your old website and worse yet, new potential clients do a google business listing search for you and find that google takes them to the old website as well. The one you don’t want anymore. This is called getting hijacked and it’s far too common in the business world. So, what do you do?

Here are a few tips on how to ensure your Google Listing represents accurate information.
1. Go to https://www.google.com/business. This is where you will set up your business profile. Login with your valid business email.
2. Then, you can search for your business, click on your business and need to authorize that you are the owner of your business and claim the listing.
3. Once you have claimed the listing, Google will send an email to the current listing owner (your marketing or web development company) to inform them that you have claimed the listing.
4. You will have to wait a few days for them to respond. If they don’t respond within 7-10 days, you can go back into the Google business listing page and continue with claiming the listing.
5. Google will then either call the business phone number or mail a card to your business address with a code that you will have to enter to verify that you are the actual owner of the business.
6. Once the process is complete, you should be able to go to your listing page and edit any information you want, like, website, phone number, business hours, etc.

It’s a lot less complicated than you might think and only takes less than a couple of weeks.

Why Restaurants should offer Rewards to attract more customers

Stefan Sanderson

Why Should Restaurants offer Rewards?

1. Promote Loyalty
The best restaurants know that having a successful business isn’t just about offering great food! It’s also about offering great service. One of the best ways you can show your customers that you care about them and appreciate their patronage is by offering Reward programs.

Research shows 74% of customers prefer restaurants that have Reward programs. Rewarding customers based on their purchases is a great way to promote loyalty and increase customer satisfaction.

2. YOU Are in control of YOUR Rewards
BistroUX can help you stay in control of your promotions and rewards. You choose the types of rewards and discounts you want to offer, we help you set it up.

3. Rewards introduce you to new customers
Customers always prefer restaurants or stores that offer a Reward program, it is a nice way to feel appreciated. When new customers come to know of your Reward program, they are more likely to come to your restaurant than others who don’t reward their customers in some way.

4. Boost YOUR Sales
Rewards give people an incentive to keep placing orders again and again. If they know that every purchase they make will keep adding points which will give them discounts later, they will keep placing repeat orders.

5. Users can check their balances online
With BistroUX, your customers can check their Reward Point balances online from their computer or smartphones, providing a better overall customer experience.

Why Bistro Rewards?
One of the best features of BistroUX Reward Program is that it extends to other restaurants as well in the BistroUX network. Customers can redeem their Rewards at any participating restaurant, which gives them the incentive to keep buying within the BistroUX network.

Why Restaurants should use Digital Coupons instead of Paper Ads

Stefan Sanderson

Let’s face it. It’s 2018 and everything is becoming more and more digital. Businesses everywhere are moving all their content from print to the online world. Print Ads require significant investment without knowing if they will work or not. Big chain restaurants can afford to spend thousands of dollars on print ads, but what about the smaller ones? When used properly, Digital Ads can generate revenue many times their cost which make them much more effective and affordable.

Instead of spending hundreds of dollars per month on print media, restaurants now have the ability to publish their offers or discounts on their website. This not only reduces cost, but is a better customer engagement tool as well, since consumers prefer online transactions on their mobile devices in today’s digital world.

Most people forget to cut coupons and take them when they go out to eat, they prefer digital coupons that can be used from their mobile phones when they are ordering online or at a restaurant. By offering digital coupons, you not only reduce cost, but also provide tools and features your customers are looking for.

At BistroUX, our primary goal is to help small to medium sized restaurants with a technology platform that rivals those used by big nationwide chains. We create modern and trendy websites with online transaction capabilities that include advanced digital ad/coupon management and a range of other features. The system is extremely easy to use and very inexpensive compared to print media.

Our strategy to bring big technology to small restaurants and make them competitive in this fast growing market creates a win-win solution for everybody. We can also take care of all your other digital needs like Social Media, Email Marketing and Pay-Per-Click campaigns through one of our Digital Marketing packages.

Why Restaurant owners should push for Gift Cards

Stefan Sanderson

Gift Card is one of the best ways to generate quick income for your business. When a customer purchases a Gift Card, you receive the money immediately, but your customer uses it over time. Here are a few ways Gift Cards can help you grow your business.

1. Gift Cards Promote Loyalty
Customers typically don’t spend the entire amount of a Gift Card all at once, they do it over a series of transactions over time. This is great for your business because it encourages repeat visits to your restaurant. Sometimes, they forget about the Card or wait months before they even use it. But, you have already collected the payment upfront, so it creates good cash flow for you. Coupled with BistroUX Rewards Program, Gift Cards offer attractive incentives for customers to keep coming back to your restaurant, which in turn promotes brand loyalty.

2. Gift Cards introduce you to new potential customers
When customers use Gift Cards, they usually bring along friends or family. This allows other people to be introduced to your restaurant and helps you get new customers over time.

3. Avoid Per Transaction Fees
Every time a customer uses a credit card, the merchant ends up paying a variety of transaction fees. From payment processing merchant fees and interchange fees to gateway fees and batch fees – the list goes on. A lot of these fees are so complex and hidden in your payment processing statements that most people don’t understand or take the time to review them carefully. BistroUX Gift Card program allows you to avoid all these fees for individual transactions. After the Gift Card is bought either through cash or credit card, there are no other per transaction fees when the card is swiped for loading or redemption.

4. Sell Them Anytime & Anywhere
BistroUX can help you sell Gift Cards online that allows customers to purchase them anytime and anywhere. We offer both plastic and digital cards that support the traditional and modern ways customers prefer to buy or redeem their Gift Cards.

Electronic Gift Card is the Future

Maxwell Miller

Technology is the most important asset to any industry, especially restaurants.

Whether orders come in via phone, tablet, laptop or social media, technology is everywhere. Printed Ads have given way to digital media. The traditional plastic gift card is also suffering from the same threat from its digital counterpart.

Why?

Cell Phones
You are more likely to leave your plastic gift card at home than your phone, right? Unless you have secured your plastic gift card in your wallet or purse, chances are, once you get to a restaurant, you will realize that you forgot the gift card at home. Electronic gift cards, available via mobile phone, eliminate that trip back home. Restaurants across the world are using technology to make things easier for the customer, and cell phones are one of the key ingredients of the digital transformation.

Plastic Cards are hard to keep track of.
For consumers who stuff their wallets or purses with AAA cards, IDs, insurance cards, rewards cards, etc,, the last thing they need is another gift card. Realistically, a gift card is a tiny piece of plastic that can often be forgotten or even lost among the clutter. Consumers absolutely love anything that can be done through their phones. So, they are more likely to buy electronic gift cards than plastic, for the simple reason that they don’t want to carry another plastic card.

The BistroUX Approach
At BistroUX, we offer both plastic as well as electronic gift cards. We give our clients the freedom to choose whichever type they are more comfortable with. With our advanced technology, consumers are able to order online as well as check their gift card balance and transaction history online.

We are really bringing BIG technology that only large nationwide chains can afford, to small and medium sized restaurants.

That is the BistroUX difference.

How BistroUX solves your Carry Out problem

Stefan Sanderson

Can you really risk losing customers? I just came across an article about an Uber Eats driver that continues to eat portions of their customers’ orders.  Not only that, but apparently the driver has a knack for running late, or not delivering at all after pickup. When Kelly Clay sought to resolve the issue with Uber and she received the following response, “We have checked the trip and it seemed that the delivery partner encountered problems on the way to deliver your order and was forced to cancel the order. While we are unable to compensate you for the inconvenience, we want to assure you that we take all feedback extremely seriously,” the representative said. “I know that this is not the best answer that you’re looking for but we’re still hoping that you’ll give Uber Eats another shot.” Something else that is concerning is a dedicated blog by Uber Driver called “I Use Uber To Get Free Food,” not to mention a man was just jailed in San Francisco for stealing 25K in food. Sure, there are good drivers out there, but the real question is can your business afford the risk of letting a non-employee pickup your food, not knowing when and where it will ultimately end up?  We, at BistroUX, are genuinely concerned about the safety and quality of delivery order food, so we have come up with a low-cost Carry Out solution that ensures food goes directly from the hands of your staff to the customer’s.

  1. Eliminate High Cost Deliveries

Why would you have delivery drivers driving for your brand who are not your employees and run the risk of damaging the reputation of your business with late deliveries, stolen food, or in some cases no food at all?  The cost of employing your own delivery service is quite expensive also. BistroUX solves this problem by allowing all orders through your website at only $0.50-$1.00 per Carry Out order regardless of order value. This is incredibly cheaper than competitors like Uber or Amazon who charge 15-30 percent per order. With BistroUX, you keep more money in your pocket.

  1. Increase YOUR Brand Awareness & Loyalty

One of the best features of BistroUX is that we help you promote your own Brand. Customers don’t have to use other websites or applications to purchase your food. Instead, the online ordering platform ties directly to your own website. Your customers are directly working with you, through your website!

  1. Ensure 100% Order Accuracy, free up your Phone

Your customers use your website to fully customize their Carry Out orders with 100 percent accuracy. No more questions or hassles on the phone trying to explain your Menu items and combinations. Customers can simply, and easily, select what they want and decide when they want it.  This allows your customers to place orders at their convenience and leisure and allows you to solely focus on giving 100% attention to your customers face-to-face, rather than being distracted by the phone.

References:
Clay, Kelly. (28, December 2017). “Uber Eats drivers might be stealing your food.” Mic. Retrieved from https://mic.com/articles/187104/uber-eats-drivers-might-be-stealing-your-food#.BsIUBIUzT

Martinez, Bernie-Ali. (11, September 2017). Driver jailed for stealing 25K UberPeople.net.  https://uberpeople.net/threads/i-use-uber-eats-to-get-free-food.183330/

No. More. Waiting.

Stefan Sanderson

Have you ever thought how frustrated your customers are when they have to wait for their Carry Out orders?  I’m sure you know why it happens. You just hit a lunch rush and the phone rings. You answer it and immediately put the customer on hold, so you can juggle other things. You finally answer the phone and your customer is slightly irritated about being put on hold.  They finally place their order, then show up at your restaurant to find it isn’t even ready yet. So, what do they do?  They wait. Arms crossed, looking at their phone, bored and irritated.  Surely, this isn’t your fault. You are just busy. Worse yet, there are many occasions where customers place their Carry Outs in store and wait even longer. That is just the restaurant way of doing things. Waiting. Like I said, nobody in particularly to blame. It is just a part of the everyday routine.

Have your ever thought how nice it would be to eliminate that wait? How happy your customers would be?  Wouldn’t that be priceless?

No more waiting!  No. More. Waiting.

Allow your customers to place Carry Out orders online through your website. They know you, so they come to your website. All you have to do is guide them properly to order online. Less hassle for them, less hassle for you.

Wouldn’t you order from a restaurant where you can place a quick online order through your phone? So would your customers.

It is not rocket science. A small gesture like this will show your customers how much you care about their wait. Offer online ordering and see the difference.

No. More. Waiting.

Why Consumers love Rewards Programs

Maxwell Miller

Rewards programs save customers money.

What’s the point?
The point is to save money through points, no pun intended. Reward Points, I mean. For most small restaurants, their loyal customers keep going back, but get nothing in return. Wouldn’t it be nice if the restaurants gave small offers or discounts that would entice customers, like you and me, to make repeat visits? We would at least feel appreciated if we got some benefit in return.

Research shows that 74% of Consumers prefer to go to stores or restaurants that offer some kind of Rewards Program.

Points.
Accumulating points for purchases over time is simply a great idea. Consumers frequently visit big nationwide chains like Subway, Speedway, Macy’s and other stores because they know that every dollar they spend will give them something back in return, however small it may be. A free coffee here, a free muffin there – savings that customers are looking for, all the time. Whether it’s a grocery store, a gas station or a restaurant, points save money. This is great for any business, especially at a local level.

Online.
Online rewards are becoming increasingly popular. Whether it’s a discount on the current order or money off of the next order, more and more retailers are offering online rewards because online processing is more efficient and less overhead, so businesses want to encourage their customers to shop their products online. Most large nationwide chain stores or restaurants currently have some form of online rewards program, but smaller ones don’t have the wherewithal to do so.

The BistroUX Difference
BistroUX brings large nationwide chain technology to small restaurants. Our goal is to make online programs available that, until now, could be afforded only by large powerhouses. By combining our Rewards and Gift Card Programs, even the smallest of restaurants can now reward their customers and afford powerful cutting-edge technology that only big corporations can support.