The present-day restaurant ecosystem is immensely diverse and audacious. According to the National Restaurant Association, the projected sales of the U.S. restaurant industry in 2019 was $863 billion dollars-which equates to 4 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product. Back in the 1970s, the projected sales were around $43 billion dollars.
David Henkes, a senior principal at the foodservice industry analyst firm Technomic, told Washington Post, “For a number of years, the rate of restaurant growth has exceeded population growth. Too many restaurants are chasing too few consumer dollars.” Amidst this changing ecosystem and competitive market, restaurants must keenly observe the market and consumer-centric trends like a hawk and ensure that they stay relevant by adopting the right strategy and technology.
One such strategy adopted by several restauranteurs all over the globe is the implementation of drive-thrus. The concept of the drive-thru was introduced back in 1948 by a 100-square foot burger shack called In-N-Out. Since then, drive-thrus have thrived in the restaurant ecosystem, helping the restaurants attract customers due to the added convenience quotient
However, setting up a drive-thru is not an easy task—it’s more than just having a window on one of the walls of your restaurant and taking orders from there. It’s like setting up a completely different business and will probably cost you almost half as much as your restaurant business. So why go through the trouble of setting up a drive-thru? Because it’s not just a revenue driver, it has a lot of marketing benefits as well.
Here are a few of the marketing benefits of a drive-thru:
- Use the real estate for advertising purposes. While customers are waiting in their cars, you have their attention. You can use the wait-time for advertising your brand and new product offerings to your customers using bright digital LED signage. Displaying delectable videos and images of high-margin food and beverage items can entice customers and drive sales. These signages can also be used to display promotional videos of your brand and other drive-thru-only offers.
- You can use drive-thrus to gather valuable customer data and insight to over personalized services to your customers, which will help you offer better customer experience and thereby brand loyalty among your customers. You can even use a third-party personalization platform to collect and analyze real-time and historical customer data to create personalized campaigns.Last year, McDonald’s Corporation acquired Dynamic Yield-an Artificial Intelligence-powered personalization platform for over $300 million. The fast-food giant will use provide an enhanced personalized customer experience with digital drive-thru menu displays to show food based on various parameters such as time of day, weather, current restaurant traffic, and trending menu items. “The decision technology can also instantly suggest and display additional items to a customer’s order based on their current selections,” the company claimed.
Using customer data such as phone numbers, vehicle information, and loyalty and membership accounts, restaurants can gauge different customer preferences. This insight can be used for mobile marketing and sending personalized newsletters about the various offers available, changes in the menu, upcoming events, and other restaurant-centric news.
- You can use various tech for restaurant drive-thru to streamline the operations, thereby freeing up your restaurant staff to engage with the customers, thus enhancing the customer experience quotient of your brand. Reinforcing your drive-thru operations with technology and state-of-the-art equipment can not only help offer a better drive-thru experience for your customers, but it can also boost brand your restaurant.
- Most customers waiting for their turn in a drive-thru use their smartphones to kill time. By offering these customers a small incentive such as a free beverage, you can get them to participate in a brief market research survey. The survey results can prove to be a treasure trove of valuable insight sourced directly from your key target crowd.
- Instagram is one of the most powerful marketing tools for restaurants. You can incentivize customers to post pictures on their Instagram handles using unique hashtags that promote your brand and tag your restaurant, while they document their drive-thru experience.
You can also use Snapchat’s Geofilter feature to create a customized Snapchat filter specific to your restaurant brand, maybe even incorporate your logo. This filter can then be used by Snapchat users in your restaurant or the drive-thru to add to their content, thereby enhancing the visibility of your brand.
Drive-thru Drives Your Brand
Setting up and running a streamlined drive-thru service is no walk in the park. It’s a massive investment and requires your blood, sweat, and tears to succeed in this game. However, with the right tools and strategy, drive-thrus can be a powerful branding platform for your restaurant. Don’t be afraid of investing in technology to streamline your drive-thru operations. The right tech tools can work wonders to enhance the drive-thru experience for your customers and thereby boost the brand value of your restaurant.
5 Interesting Facts about Running a Restaurant
The restaurant industry can seem like a bit of a mystery to those who do not run them. All the moving parts of the business can actually be rather fascinating the more you learn more about it! Are you interested in getting into the industry or even just curious about the ins and outs of a restaurant? Keep reading for some interesting details you might not normally consider affect food businesses!
The Technology Aspect is Actually Pretty Impressive
In today’s modern-day, technology is everywhere, and running a restaurant is no exception. Almost every aspect of your life is aided by technology, and restaurants can also utilize these tools to help to run a smooth and successful business. Without it, sales would not go as smoothly as they do today.
Think about the last time you went to a restaurant and the technology was down. It was hectic, right? You wouldn’t think of it usually, but easy tasks like payments, tracking inventory, and even managing employee schedules are all coordinated through technology. The best pos hardware systems can do all three so restaurants can provide an efficient, streamlined service.
Location is More Important Than You Would Think
It is always a bit annoying to find out that the one restaurant everyone is talking about is completely out of the way. For most restaurants, location is the determining factor for their success. It allows people to reach them conveniently, and if the restaurant is on a main road or busy area, people are more likely just to walk in to be served.
Concept Plays a Large Role in a Restaurant’s Success
Have you ever been to a restaurant that had no specific cuisine? How about a place where the ambiance was all over the place, making for a confusing atmosphere?
Concepts are essential in the success of running a restaurant. Without a cohesive idea for food, location, and overall offering of the business, it is highly likely that the restaurant will not succeed. If you think about it, the restaurants that become well-known are those with a precise concept-such as an Italian restaurant with its food names in Italian, good music, and a traditional Italian dining room that serves food family-style, for example. This is the type of concept that creates an experience that the customer is more likely to enjoy than one that does not focus on one aspect.
The Anticipation of a New Restaurant Is Key
If you are looking to begin in the restaurant business, marketing is vital to your business’ success. Before the doors open, you should be sure to get the word out about your business, especially to places that will promote it. Word-of-mouth marketing works great as well.
The first month is incredibly important to gauge the number of customers you will bring in, as well as identifying any issues that prevent running a smooth operation. Everyone wants to try a new restaurant, so spreading the news of your opening can help to bring in a steady customer base. Who knows, maybe your first customer will be a regular!
Family Can Make or Break Your Business
When it comes to opening a restaurant, it can be tempting to hire those closest to you instead of trying to outsource for employees. While this works in some cases, it is important to remember that your closest relations may not turn out to be your best workers.
Running a restaurant can be challenging to start with, and the last thing you want is for your business to be in peril due to straining relationships. Keep business where business belongs, and personal ties separate.
Of course, it is absolutely possible to work with your family, but tight boundaries should be drawn to ensure a lasting vitality for your business.
Remember to Stay Passionate!
The restaurant business is tough. There will be many highs and lows, and it is easy to get stuck in the mindset that things will not work out the way you envisioned them.
When times like this hit, remember why you started this business in the first place: your passion. Without that, it will be easy to decide to give up. If you have a solid reason and dream for your business and you work toward it every day, along with remembering these five steps, you are sure to find success in your future.
Where Is The Recycled Paper Market Headed In 2020?
The recycled paper market in India has been estimated to grow at a CAGR of the compound annual growth rate of 9.3% according to the market intelligence report by Beroe. As the demand for recycled paper increases, there are chances that the exports will increase. High margins are a driving point for Indian paper mills as these provide them with the opportunity to grow. The recycled paper market in India is fragmented as the mills are located in locations such as Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, and Madhya Pradesh. However, the constant increase in demand shows a bright future for the recycled paper market.
The market drivers are incomes, exports, China ban, and end-use industries. There is expected to be an increase in demand as the disposable income has increased and more people are earning. India exports to the US, Europe, Middle East, and Sri Lanka. As the demand from these regions increases then so will the number of exports of recycled paper. Beroe predicts that the demand will increase further. China has banned waste paper which means it is a big opportunity for India as it can increase the supply. End-use industries such as agriculture, e-commerce, electronics, and FMCG have a high demand for recycled paper.
When it comes to the cost drivers there are four main ones; utility cost, raw material cost, exchange rate, and demand and supply. Utility cost accounts for up to 6% of the production cost and it does impact the price. Paper mills in India use coal for generating electricity. South Africa and Indonesia export coal to India and these prices have increased in the past according to Beroe. The raw material cost is an important one because up to 70% of the production cost is waste paper. When the prices of the waste paper increase, so do the cost of the recycled kraft paper. Hence, any fluctuations in the imported price have an effect on the total price.
The exchange rate impacts the recycled paper market as a stronger dollar will cause the price to change domestically. As the recovered paper prices rates dropped so did the price of the recycled kraft paper. The demand and supply are factors that directly affect cost. When China introduced the waste paper ban then Indian exports increased as the demand increased. Another reason was the US and China trade war that caused an increase in demand for recycled paper. Since 2018 there has been a steady increase in demand for recycled kraft paper. Many countries in Africa, China, and the Middle East saw an increase in demand. These affect the cost of recycled paper.
India imports about 40% of the waste paper from the US, Saudi Arabia, the UK, and the UAE. The reason is the increase in domestic demand and the growth of the economy. According to Beroe, the prices of raw materials stabilized which lead to a stabilization in recycled paper. Earlier, one of the paper industry trends was the high cost of raw materials which led to high prices of recycled paper. In 2017, there was an increase of 3.6% in imports because of the hiked prices. Although the paper mills had low demands at the time, things fell back into place after the prices went back to normal. India’s kraft market share has improved now.
While this may seem like a positive outlook there are some challenges along the way. The plastic packaging market is growing at a faster rate than the recycled paper market. The paper industry is constantly changing and evolving. While the demand for graphic paper has slowed down, sustainable packaging and digitalization are providing more opportunities. Changing the way people shop has provided a boost for recycled kraft paper as people are more comfortable with the recycled paper used for packaging. This has increased the demand for recycled kraft paper even further as more and more industries are adopting this approach.
The paper industry outlook is positive globally and there are chances that innovation will further accelerate the growth of the recycled paper market. Technological processes can be used to improve the manufacturing processes and make them increasingly efficient compared to how things are done now on a global scale. For example, digital manufacturing processes can be put in place and this can positively impact the recycled paper industry in a big way. Another example is the use of mill automation that can lead to improvement. Moreover, responding to the changing demand in the market will help the recycled paper industry to grow faster and meet the increasing demand.
Clever Ways to Improve Your Employee Retention Rates
All businesses must strive hard to achieve a high employee retention rate. It will help the companies maintain the quality of their operation. If they have a higher retention rate, they can also reduce the amount of money they need to spend on hiring new employees. It can also boost the morale of their staff, which already fostered a positive working relationship with their colleagues.
Australian software developer Redii believes that companies acknowledging the excellent work of their employees have higher retention rates. Aside from constant praises for your staff, here are other ways to boost the retention rate of your company.
Establish the Right Working Culture
The first step to hiring employees who will stay in the company for a long time is to build a company with a welcoming environment. You can begin by assessing the vibe in your workplace. If you want to hire people who would contribute out-of-the-box ideas, your workplace culture needs to be casual and laid-back. You may also create a strict and traditional office setting if you want to hire people with systematic work ethics.
Carefully Select Your Potential People
When screening for candidates to welcome in your company, you need to look for signs that the jobseeker can stay in your company for a long time. If the candidate switches jobs regularly, there is a bigger chance to see that person leave your team after a while. But you should not judge the person based on his employment history alone. Assess his answers during the interview to gauge if he plans to grow with your company.
Provide Proper Training
To further encourage your team to take their jobs seriously, you must allocate some resources for their continuous learning. Enroll them in learning centers or e-learning websites to boost their knowledge about their jobs and learn the latest skills. It will give them more confidence when doing their tasks. Also, investing in their training will result in more productivity for the company in the long run.
Compensate Their Services Well
Employees will never think about leaving a company if they are happy with their payslips. If you want to retain your best talents, you need to pay them based on their contributions and loyalty to the company. As much as possible, you should offer a 10 to 20 percent salary increase every year so they will not consider leaving you when a new company offers higher compensation for your employees.
Must Read:Why B2B Digital Marketing is Important?
Provide Useful Benefits
Even if you have a startup business, you should still offer valuable benefits to your employees if you want to retain them for a long time. One of the essential benefits that your employees need is a comprehensive healthcare program. It will keep their minds off from worrying about what will happen to them whenever they get sick. You may also give them a flexible vacation package and other performance bonuses.
Offer Unique Perks
To entice them to stay in your company, you may include several extraordinary benefits that they can only get from you. Experts from Redii suggest that you implement a rewards program where they can receive different prizes like gift cards or the latest gadgets once they reach a specific milestone at work. You may also provide free meals or give them some movie passes as your way of recognizing their efforts for doing a good job.
Express Your Gratitude
Hearing praises for a job well done is enough to boost the spirits of your employees. So always make it a point to thank them for all their contributions to the company if they deserve it. Make some time to personally reach out to each member of the team and commend them for helping your business grow. By establishing an excellent professional relationship with your employees, you will get their full trust and encourage them to stay with the team for years to come.
Boosting your company’s retention rates is not complicated if you follow these tips. You should also learn how to listen to your employees to know what they need from your company. If you can give in to their demands once in a while, you can get an assurance that they will stay with you for a long time.
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