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.

STOP the Wait!

Stefan Sanderson

Making money and adding value to your customers is what restaurant owners and managers work so hard for, every single day.  Yet, most restaurants fail to fully optimize their profits and retain their customers. A recent survey of 9,000 people revealed that 60 percent put reputation for quality and high customer service standards as the two biggest factors for choosing a restaurant.  In an additional survey of 4,000 dinners, 74 percent said that customer service was the most important factor.  Worse yet, 90 percent of participants in a study conducted by the US Chamber of Commerce said they left a company for a competitor following a bad customer service experience.

Let’s face it! In today’s competitive restaurant industry, quality customer service may be what makes or breaks your business.  Restaurants cannot afford to compromise on service quality if they want to keep profits high and retain a satisfied customer base, while at the same time acquire new customers.

Ed Lawrence writes that one of the main reasons people leave companies is a long wait to have their issues addressed.  “Any time you wait a really, really long time it’s a bad sign. It usually means the company is very busy or understaffed. Whether you are standing in line or waiting on hold, odds are that at best they will apologize for keeping you waiting, then tell you they can’t help you. Naturally, when most of us endure a long wait, we grow impatient. We don’t want to hear excuses. We want satisfaction and we want it now. And when we want something now and don’t get it, once again we’re going to have a bad experience.”

Do you know of any customer who wants to wait 30-45 minutes for their food to be prepared? I don’t!

Customers want their Food Fast and Done Right!!
Wouldn’t it be nice if they could order online on their phone and just pick it up?

BistroUX offers just that! The convenience of online Carry Out ordering – quick and easy, without breaking your bank.

Increases Speed and Quality of Customer Service
No more holding up your phone lines or your staff for taking Carry Out orders during busy breakfast, lunch and dinner rush times. Your staff is busy trying to seat guests, serve them and cash them out. Why would you want them on the phone taking Carry Out orders, something that can be offered online?

Reduces your Staff Overhead
Why waste your staff’s time answering phone calls? Companies in all industries are becoming more automated in their customer service by reducing number of incoming phone calls through more online services, shouldn’t you too?

BistroUX eliminates the need for:

  • Answering phones by your staff
  • Explaining your menu to customers
  • Putting customers on hold
  • Clarifying orders
  • Asking managers questions about orders

etc. etc.

BistroUX enables online ordering from any mobile phone or computer, all for easy transaction fees of $0.50-$0.99 per order, no matter the order size. It offers a convenient and smooth transaction experience, both for you and your customers.

At the end of the day, BistroUX really saves your business both time and money, in addition to providing awesome service to your customers.  That too, by using cool technology that your customers would absolutely love!

References:
Druce, Chris.  “Good customer service more important than price in restaurants.” The Caterer.  Retrieved from https://www.thecaterer.com/articles/326463/good-customer-service-more-important-than-price-in-restaurants.

Lawrence, Ed.  “5 warning signs you’re about tot receive bad customer service. Elliot. Retrieved from http://www.elliott.org/blog/5-warning-signs-youre-about-to-receive-bad-customer-service/

Melodie, Michel.  “Customer service voted most important factor for choosing a restaurant.  BigHospitality. Retrieved from https://www.bighospitality.co.uk/Article/2014/08/07/Customer-service-voted-most-important-factor-for-choosing-a-restaurant

How companies are missing out by not having Rewards Programs

Maxwell Miller

Rewards programs can be the untapped success factor for restaurants.
74% of U.S. consumers choose a store based on a strong loyalty program (iri.com), making a rewards program a very important asset to the restaurant owner. Customers like to be rewarded, in some shape or form. If they are loyal to a restaurant or store and keep going back, they also expect to be rewarded through offers, discounts or service that shows how special they are.

Rewards programs will bring new customers. That has been statistically proven. When people get free meals or desserts, they spread the word. From a restaurant’s perspective, that is much better than spending money on expensive marketing campaigns.

The advantages of a Rewards Program are 2-fold: i) shows customer appreciation and ii) serves as a powerful marketing tool. The best marketing channel is through existing customers. If they are happy, they will spread the word to friends and family. Nothing can be more rewarding than that, no pun intended.

Rewards programs need not just be free item giveaways. Based on the number of points earned, they could also be discounts on the next order, offers for certain order values (like $5 Off order of $25 or more), or any other incentive that would be enticing to customers. What makes them attractive is that the business gets to choose what program they want to offer to their patrons. They dictate what it should be and it is their way of engaging with their most loyal guests.

BistroUX
BistroUX brings the most advanced restaurant technology to restaurants. Our Program rewards customers of not just individual restaurants but our entire BistroUX community. Customers accumulate reward points for individual restaurants as well as BistroPoints that may be used in participating restaurants in our network.

3 Reasons Why Restaurants Should Go ALL-IN for Online Carry Out

Stefan Sanderson

Let’s face it. With each passing day, the world around us becomes more and more digitized as businesses move their business online and CEOs rake in the profits. While I’m not exactly promising to make you the next Mark Zuckerberg or Jeff Bezos, who by the way is worth 124.3 $Billion dollars as I write this article, I do believe there are very profitable reasons to vamp up your online efforts in order to expand your business and cash in on the digital age. Here are 3 reasons why restaurant owners should go ALL-IN for Carry Out orders.

  1. Carry Out Business is BOOMING

Last year, Carry Outs outperformed dine-in sales. Yes, that’s right. Carry Outs accounted for a whopping $311 Billion in business (Gotcha beat Jeff Bezos).  The time to cash in is NOW, while the industry is exploding. Are you surprised to know that BistroUX charges only 50 cents per order, no matter the size of your Carry Out?  Yes, that is correct.  Only 50 cents!  Delivery services like UberEats and Amazon charge up to 30% per order. BistroUX puts more cash back into your wallet, while providing the service your customers would come back to you again and again for.

  1. Carry Out is Cheaper for your Restaurant

Carry Outs costs less to process, which means more profits for you. It reduces phone calls, does not tie up your staff on the phone, eliminates order errors, less cleaning, less staff to manage – the list goes on. I am sure your customers enjoy coming to your restaurant to dine-in, but the more Carry Out orders you have, the more profitable you’ll be.

  1. It’s All About the User Experience

These days, it’s all about the user experience. The quality of customer experience is what will make your customers keep coming back to you. If you can serve your customers quickly with the awesome food that you prepare, at the same time make it smooth and seamless, that is all they want. Whether you are serving millennials or older customers, everybody loves technology. If your customers see you using technology to make things easier, better and less painful for them, they are not going to go anywhere else.

Why Online Carry Out instead of Delivery?

Stefan Sanderson

The restaurant Carry Out business is bigger and better than it ever was.  Last year, 39 percent of all restaurant transactions were Carry Out.  Delivery made up just 3 percent, 21 percent were categorized as drive-thru, while 37 percent of revenue was generated from dine in guests.  With $799 Billion in sales last year, Carry Out made up $311 billion dollars of business in the restaurant industry.

Business truly is booming and with so much money pouring out of consumers’ pockets into the registers of restaurant owners, it’s not a surprise we have seen a rise in innovation from the likes of UberEats, GrubHub, and Doordash, all trying to grab a slice of the pie while its hot.  While these companies have been successful, the question I keep hearing is “Is this sustainable?”

Continue reading “Why Online Carry Out instead of Delivery?”

Why restaurants should offer gift cards and merchandise online

Admin

Restaurants are known as places to go eat, but until now, the impact technology can have on a dining experience hadn’t been realized. Technology in the restaurant industry is not only impacting how customers choose where they eat, but also what to eat and how to order it.

Mobile payments
Smartphone adoption among consumers isn’t quite ubiquitous yet, but a growing majority of everyday customers now use portable devices every day. The restaurant industry is in a new situation. It is now important for restaurants to offer more flexibility in online ordering so consumers can order their food.

Quicker and easier ordering
Until the advent of the smartphone, consumers would have to call businesses and order takeout or delivery items. Consumers can now use mobile devices to search, call or place an order, all in one sitting. Companies like ours partner with local restaurants and offer an order service for them. Restaurant delivery is definitely going mobile thanks to digital technology.

E-commerce for your restaurant
Inside your restaurant, you sell dishes and drinks for people to enjoy at their table. Online, you can sell goods and services for people to enjoy even if they can’t make it in to your restaurant. In recent years, it’s become easier and more affordable for any business to take credit card payments online securely which makes e-commerce a valuable feature for your restaurant website.

Your site should be designed in a way that makes it easy for both customers and search engines to understand. BistroUX specializes in this, and we can cross-promote your e-commerce on all of your marketing outlets:

  • Email lists
  • Social media
  • Physical collateral, such as postcards
  • In a lightbox on your homepage

Effective Gift Card Marketing Strategies

Admin

If your restaurant doesn’t already have gift cards in its arsenal, it’s time to get on that. Once you have your gift cards, you need to go full throttle on marketing them. Here are some effective ways to promote your gift cards this season:

Put them everywhere.
We mean everywhere – the register, hostess stands and any window displays. You could even include a callout to your gift cards on your receipts.

Leverage them for brand awareness.
Take advantage of your local community events by offering up your gift cards as a raffle prize. This helps raise awareness for your business – and also makes the winners new customers.

Make them eye-catching.
Custom gift cards with clever copy are a way more fun and memorable gift than something generic.

Leverage social media.
Posts about your gift cards should be all over your social media channels.

People are hungry for gift cards – so all you need to do is market them. Get started with the BistroUX Gift Card Page and services!