Posist Restaurant Management Software is a Best Cloud Based Point of Sales System in India Designed for Restaurant Business.
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Dharmender Singh has strong roots in the hospitality sector. His talent and passion for F&B helped him get selected as a management trainee at Carlson Group of Hotels, and since then he never looked back. After his two year share at Clarks Group where he was responsible for all aspects of Kitchen management including monitoring food production and aesthetic presentation of food and beverages. He took the enterprising plunge with his restaurants named The Ancient Barbeque and Smoked Biryani House, and finally, he introduced Biryani Art.
The combination of his passion for cooking and never-ending learning guided him towards this industry. Biryani Art is a culinary adventure that allows discovering a variety of North Indian & Hyderabadi Cuisines. Taking a leaf from the Indian culture he aims to create a culinary experience that is as enthralling as the history of different regions.
In Conversation With Dharmender Singh Of Biryani Art
Biryani Art serves some of the favorite and most authentic dishes from both North Indian and Hyderabadi regions. Both these regions in India have unique and exclusive dishes to offer. What makes them distinct from others is that they use local spices and ingredients to curate the dishes. In an exclusive conversation with The Restaurant Times, Singh talks of the challenges he faced, the importance of location, dealing with competitions and a lot more.
“The mission at Biryani Art is not only to serve great tasting food but to provide adequate and courteous service because customer satisfaction is critical. We want to be the restaurant preference for people from all walks of life.”
Choosing The Right Location
Choosing a location is a critically important decision as it can very much turn a stable, well-establishment business into a failed restaurant if not appropriately managed.
According to Singh, the most important thing while deciding the location is understanding the market and knowing the taste palette of the people in that market. Aside from having outlets located in strategic locations in India, Biryani Art has started operations in Malaysia as well.
‘When we talk about setting a restaurant brand internationally, there are specific parameters that need to be analyzed. Government authorities play a significant role. One has to choose a partner and private limited firm to begin the brand, says Singh.
‘Malaysia is one of the most prominent tourist destinations. Aside from that, there is the fact that Malaysians sample a lot of tasty cuisines, so there is a definite guarantee of tapping into the local market. In most other places, restaurants are tricky business investments because you have to import most of the funds, including skilled and professional labour. In Malaysia however, everything, including labour is both comfortable and inexpensive which is a great combination for success’, says Singh.
“The fundamental difference between marketing in India and in Malaysia is that here in India, a website presence, social media presence, third-party integration is required to create a buzz in the market. But in Malaysia all of this is not required, food and market are all that one requires.”
Staff Hiring Process
According to Singh, customer service proves to be one of the most important factors for the success of the food industry. A lack of customer service makes the customer feel disjointed and separated from the restaurant. There is a common saying in the restaurant industry that people will come for the food, but will come back again for the service.
‘The process of hiring is of utmost importance for our brand. We have a training institute in Hyderabad, and all the staff is hired one month before joining so that they are trained in the institute. These days the retention of staff is quite low, so if we want ten chefs, we make sure to hire at least 15 so that if the retention process doesn’t work out, we still have permanent well-trained employees at our outlets’, says Singh.
“At Biryani Art we prefer referral hiring the most. We have a very well planned referral program that allows the staff to maintain a positive and healthy competition. For the kitchen job we mostly conduct a telephonic interview, and for others, there are trial based rounds.”
Menu Engineering and Food Presentation
According to Singh, the simple objective of menu engineering is to increase profit as per the guest at a restaurant. This is achieved through a careful analysis of the profitability of individual menu items, followed by the placement of things on the menu to encourage guests to choose particular dishes.
At Biryani Art, the primary focus while designing a menu was making sure all items are movable. The menu should be straightforward and without any intricacies. It should be very basic very general so that the market easily understands it, says Singh.
Unlike certain art forms, cooking is entirely comprehensive. Food should always have a story to tell that showcases the personality, background, and culture of its creator. According to Singh, though taste plays a pivotal role here, so does actualization. As a chef and a restaurant owner, food presentation is of utmost importance. We use different kinds of flavours to beautify the biryani, and colours mixed with the aroma make them irresistible.
“Authentic Hyderabadi cuisine is our USP. As far as the market section is concerned, we are aiming to capture the masses considering the popularity of Biryanis among all age group.”
According to Singh, the advent of the Point Of Sale software has been revolutionizing for the restaurant space. Using a POS system in a restaurant can save time for attendants, cooks, and bartenders. For example, when an order is placed for drinks, the food POS segregates them to categorize the work and makes it easier. The inventory management feature allows keeping track of every ingredient. This ensures profitability and long-term success.
Singh concludes by saying that he is planning to expand the business and is coming up with more outlets in Nasik and Bangalore in India. He is also taking the brand to the international level by opening the first Biryani Art in Bali soon under the umbrella of V.D Hospitality Services.
India over a period has witnessed an impressive growth of the concept of virtual or cloud kitchens. Since the competition in this domain is on the rise, it is imperative for cloud kitchen operators to ensure that their operations are completely optimized for peak efficiency so as to deliver better service to the customers.
Since a cloud kitchen business model does not have a dine-in facility, the primary operations are –
Sourcing the raw materials
Accepting online orders
Preparation of food
Automating and streamlining these operations will help you boost your cloud kitchen business like never before.
How To Streamline The Operations Of Your Cloud Kitchen Business
While one may think that running a cloud kitchen is much simpler than running a full-fledged restaurant, it takes a lot of effort to make a cloud kitchen successful. Since the initial investment of starting a cloud kitchen is minimal if compared to a restaurant, competition in this domain is exceptionally high.
To counter this massive growth, you need to make your cloud kitchen the best in the market and be on top of your customers’ favourite list, that will increase your cloud kitchen’s sales exponentially.
The steps that you can take that will optimize your cloud kitchen operations are –
1. Source The Right Ingredients
The first step of delivery the best food is having the best quality of raw materials. Since your food is your only selling point, you need to ensure that you source only the highest quality of ingredients from the vendors. Choosing the right vendor and managing the supply of raw materials become critical in this case.
Proper vendor management becomes even more imperative if you have multiple outlets and are sourcing ingredients from multiple vendors.
2. Automate The Cooking Process
Maintaining consistency in the quality, and quantity of food is something that all customers ordering from a cloud kitchen expects. Your head chef might not be present on a particular day to monitor the dishes prepared; this does not necessarily mean that your cloud kitchen can compromise the food delivered to your customers, right? To avoid any such situations, it is highly recommended that you automate your cooking process.
Get a stellar POS on board, that comes with a recipe management feature. Here you can update all the recipes in details. All the ingredients that go into preparing and presenting the dishes along with their quantities are stated, along with the process of cooking, and the approximate time required to prepare a dish. Once all these are clearly mentioned, you can be sure that all your chefs will be able to prepare the dishes while maintaining consistency and quality.
Apart from this, you should have a Kitchen Display System in your cloud kitchen that would notify the kitchen staff that an order has been received so that they start preparing the order immediately. Once the order is prepared, the kitchen staff can update the KDS that notifies the Delivery Executive that order is ready to be delivered.
3. Accept Online Orders Centrally
Once you have sourced the right ingredients and have set up the food preparation process, the next step is to streamline your order taking process. Most cloud kitchens depend on the online food aggregators for receiving orders, which is, of course, the right way to go. However, receiving orders from multiple online ordering sites such as Swiggy, Zomato, Foodpanda etc can be difficult.
To streamline this process, you should get a cloud-based POS on board that would allow you to accept all orders centrally. This would help you keep a track of all orders, manage your inventory well, and also eliminate the need for updating online orders into the POS.
If you are running multiple cloud kitchen outlets, then maintaining consistency becomes all the more difficult and important. One of the easiest ways to do so is by creating a base kitchen. All the raw materials will be delivered by the vendors to the base kitchen, where the raw materials will be semi-processed and then will be distributed to the cloud kitchen outlets depending on the requirement indents raised by them.
A restaurant management software that comes with a base kitchen management feature will help you manage your base kitchen like a cakewalk. Usually, cloud kitchens function on the Hub and Spokes model that has a central base kitchen, and multiple outlets. Having a central kitchen where the food prepared and then sending it out to the outlets help you in mass production, standardization and a proper supply of food across outlets.
Packaging is one of the most critical aspects of running a cloud kitchen business which takes a lot of time as well money to be done the right way. Unless the food is packaged properly, there are high chances of the food getting spoiled through leakage, or the food becoming cold and making it unsuitable for consumption. Thus, it is important to have proper packaging that prevents food tampering and protects the food from air-inflow and leakages.
6. Optimize The Delivery Services
Since a cloud kitchen is heavily dependent on delivery services, it is recommended that these setups integrate themselves with the online delivery platforms. While traditionally, restaurants used to have in-house delivery boys who managed delivery orders, with the passage of time, this was considered time and energy consuming.
Having in-house delivery boys increases your task since you will have to hire them and spend a considerable amount of time and resources to train and retain them. Considering the emergence of multiple online delivery platforms, the delivery boys are far more interested in associating themselves with these platforms instead of being restaurant employees.
Considering the surge in online orders, it is advisable to link your cloud kitchen with the online delivery platforms and not relying on in-house delivery boys entirely.
However, if you want to have a team of in-house delivery boys, it is recommended that you take refuge in a restaurant management system that comes with a delivery app. This app will help you manage all your delivery boys from one central place, receive real-time reports about their availability and hence assign them delivery orders accordingly. Such an app will help you streamline the management of in-house delivery staff like never before.
Keep the points mentioned above in mind; this will help you optimize your cloud kitchen operations immensely. Preparing food, packaging, and delivery are the three major areas of concern for a cloud kitchen, hence go that extra mile to optimize these areas. Implement the tips mentioned above and see how it helps you to streamline your cloud kitchen operations.
It is that time of the year again when you make certain New Year resolutions. Although resolutions are bound to make a positive change in your restaurant business, eighty per cent of resolutions fail by February! However, if you plan right from the start, and execute your resolves efficiently, you can certainly expect a positive impact on your restaurant business.
With this in mind, we have boiled down a few New Year’s resolutions you should be making for the coming year to run a profitable restaurant business.
New Year Resolutions That You Should Be Making For Your Restaurant Business In 2019
You’ve probably started making New Year’s resolutions for yourself but what about your restaurant business? Here are some actionable resolutions you can follow in 2019 to run your restaurant business more profitably.
Resolution #1: Increase And Improve Your Online Presence
You might have a Facebook and Instagram account, but the real question here is how often do you update it?
The phrase “content is the king” rightly stands for marketing any restaurant business. Having an online presence isn’t just about creating accounts on Facebook, Google Ads, etc. but instead how often you upload your content.
Make sure you keep posting periodically on online channels to increase your brand’s presence. Post quality content and always upload high-quality pictures. You can hire a food photographer or click pictures yourself.
Start the year off by putting your food first, and giving your customers a delightful sight of your food.
Also, if your restaurant is not listed on a leading food delivery app, it’s about time you make this happen! They are supportive from a growth perspective for the brick-and-mortar restaurants.
Apart from this, having a functional and updated restaurant website is also a critical aspect of your online presence. Not only would it help you increase your visibility online, but also help you get more orders as well if you have online ordering enabled.
Resolution #2: Increase Your Restaurant Sales
Increasing restaurant sales is everything a restaurant owner works towards. You come up with new techniques to increase sales, but how long do you abide by them? Whatever strategy you use, it will take time to show returns.
Here are some strategies that can help increase sales while driving up guest satisfaction:
Train your team to upsell: Empower your servers to upsell most profitable items. Give them proper training and teach them the art of upselling without overdoing it. Instruct servers to vividly describe a dish to increase its sales.
Give your team a helping hand: With this, we do not mean you start helping the chef in the kitchen. Instead, provide your chefs with the latest equipment that would help fasten up the cooking process. Also, give your servers a tablet to take orders and directly send them to the kitchen. This will cut down the extra effort of running back and forth and let you serve more people.
Run smart Marketing Campaigns: As the world is increasingly progressing towards data and technology, it is time that you leveraged for your marketing campaigns as well. Instead of sending bulk SMS and emails to your entire database, create custom campaigns based on the ordering history and behaviour of your customers. Personalised campaigns have a better ROI and would surely help you increase the sales of your restaurant business in 2019.
Get personal with your guests, ask them about their dining experience and make them feel important. If you have a few regulars, greet them with their name. Run loyalty programs for your customers to give them an incentive for coming back each time. People love earning and redeeming points for their loyalty.
Resolution #4: Stalk Yourself- Quite literally!
One of your New Year resolutions should be stalking yourself on the internet. You might be doing good but that one nasty review on Zomato isn’t going anywhere!
Focus your 2019 goals towards restaurant’s reputation management. Keep looking through your reviews as people these days decide where to dine after reading through the restaurant’s reviews.
Keep tab of what people have to say about you on the internet. This will enable you to address customer complaints.
Activate “push notifications” to alert you when someone leaves a Facebook review or comment.
Monitor your Zomato page regularly.
Once you know about negative reviews or comments, you can take action on them and improve your restaurant business’s reputation in 2019.
Resolution #5: Keep In Mind Your Customers’ Resolutions
Living a healthy lifestyle is the most common New Year’s resolution followed by dieting. Resolutions like these are good for healthy living but can hamper your restaurant’s sales.
Get the attention of health freaks by whipping up some new, healthy menu offerings. Highlight them and start advertising them. Build your restaurant’s marketing campaign around promoting a healthy lifestyle and eating fresh.
You can also take this idea a step ahead and partner with a local gym and ask them to promote your restaurant.
Resolution #6: Focus On Cutting Back Your Costs
With the rising food and labour costs and stiff competition, surviving in the business can be extremely challenging. While you’re doing all that you can to increase your sales, you need to focus on keeping your costs in check, which could otherwise bleed your restaurant dry. Monitoring your stock and inventory and ensuring minimal wastage helps in keeping your food costs under control. Try reducing your labour turnover and train your staff regularly to keep your labour costs in check.
There are several other things that you should keep in mind to control your restaurant food costs, which we have discussed in detail here.
Resolution #7: Expand Your Business!
Expanding your restaurant business could be one of the most exciting as well daunting one of your resolutions. But before you take a step towards fulfilling your resolution, take a step back and evaluate your current business model. Is your current business model sustainable enough to be replicated? You also need to do proper market research and financial planning to scale your restaurant business.
One of the best ways of scaling your business is through Franchising as it would help you expand in a short period of time. Here are the ten definitive steps to franchising your business.
The New Year is a great time to let go of the old and to begin something new. Are there any resolutions that you are making for your restaurant business for 2019? Let us know in the comments below!
Designing the restaurant menu is one of the fun parts of opening your restaurant. Whenever we talk of starting a restaurant, the menu, be it a digital menu or a traditional one is the first thing that comes to mind, and every restaurant owner has at least once given wings to the latent designer in them while finalizing the restaurant menu design. That being said, a key point of confusion while designing the menu is choosing the length.
The ideal length of the restaurant menu is a highly debated topic. Some experts say that simpler, smaller and shorter menus take the win, but at the same time, some benchmark restaurants like SilverBeach Cafe in Mumbai or The Cheesecake Factory boast of rather unconventionally long menus.
To make the decision easier for you, we have compiled a list of pros and cons of having a long and a short menu.
Big Restaurant Menu Or Small Restaurant Menu: Which Is Better For Your Business?
Pick any menu design guide, and the first thing that you will read is that your restaurant menu must be short and concise. At the same time, take a practical look through menus of giants like Domino’s, Pizza Hut, and Mc Donald’s or benchmark restaurants like Cafe Delhi Heights or Big Chill, and the first thing that you will see are varieties of dishes on a seemingly never-ending menu.
It is this dichotomy which often confuses new restaurant owners. You must have asked yourself more than once, “What is better?” While we can not answer the question for you, we have compared some advantages and disadvantages of both the formats to make your decision-making process easier.
Pros Of A Big Restaurant Menu
Let’s begin with large restaurant menus. Here are the top advantages of having a long restaurant menu –
1. Have A Bit For Every Taste
A direct perk of having a large menu is that you can accommodate more variety of dishes. This will enable you to serve various taste buds within your target audience and even aim for a broader audience. By going for a longer menu, you will have the freedom and flexibility to keep a little bit of everything and create dishes for every mood. For example, you can have sandwiches, burgers, and pizzas at one end and tacos at the other. At the same time, you can also serve comfort foods like hot chocolate and beverages like Mojito or Cosmopolitan at your restaurant.
Hence, your target audience base will increase, and your customers will have a wider variety to choose from, which will also give you a competitive edge.
2. Experiment Safely
When you have a large menu and vast menu offerings, you can experiment with your dishes and flavours without worrying too much regarding the restaurant profitability. You can have a separate column by the name of ‘Chef’s Specials’ or ‘House Specials’ for your custom creations. Because your other menu items will be selected to earn profits, you can have an extra column to sell what you want to sell. The best part, with a longer menu you do not have to worry regarding the acceptability of these dishes since you can earn a profit through your other menu items.
3. Leave Them Hanging For More
If your food is great, one of the biggest perks of having a long menu is that it will act as a tool for customer retention. Your customers will love to come back for more, especially if they know that there are other delicious menu items which you serve. This curiosity will keep them hooked to your restaurant all because you serve a variety of dishes which they would love to try.
Cons Of A Long Restaurant Menu
Nothing in the world exists with just a positive side. The main disadvantages of having a long restaurant menu are:-
1. Not Customer-Friendly
A fun fact regarding menus, customers spend an average of 109 seconds looking at the menu before deciding what to eat. This is the window you have to sell your most profitable dish to your customers. Doing so is very hard when there are too many options. The basic psychological result is that the customers automatically default to the safest option.
The problem is that the safest options are the most basic things on a menu which mostly taste well in any establishment. Two things happen because of this:-
You may not earn a reasonable profit from the customer
The customer categorizes you as any restaurant without a unique identity; thus you fail to create a recall value. Without a recall value, customer retention becomes a more difficult process.
Serving a large variety of dishes that are prepared fresh can be extremely cumbersome, especially if the footfall at your restaurant isn’t too high. Your customers may be sceptical of eating if you have dozens of items in your menu thinking them to be stale.
2. Menu Optimization Becomes A Tiresome Process
Optimizing the menu is an essential restaurant operation. It includes studying which dishes work well, which do not, which need to be used for marketing, and which to scrape off. When you have a long menu, with a variety of dishes, studying every dish becomes a tiresome and time taking process. At the same time, studying patterns and selecting dishes to optimize your marketing strategies also get complicated because there are too many menu items to consider and too many factors revolving each item to consider.
Thus, optimizing the menu becomes a complicated process, and the restaurant operation in itself becomes less efficient and more susceptible to loopholes and errors. Under extreme circumstances, this may result in loss of customers and huge losses for the restaurant.
3. More Offerings Means More Inventory Load
When you have a large number of dishes on the menu, it also means that you have a huge stock of inventory in your storage facility. This makes the already time taking process of inventory management even more taxing, thus increasing your staff requirement. At the same time, with the variety and quantity of stock, it becomes easier for your staff to steal from you, hence increasing your costs and losses. Moreover, some dishes always run the risk of not being ordered enough.
In a longer menu, this risk increases but you must still stock yourself with a sufficient amount of raw materials for these dishes. In case a dish performs badly, the inventory will not move. Given the fact that inventory here is food which is perishable or prone to spoilage and damage, it increases your risk and cost.
4. Big Menus Impact The Table Turnover
If you have a large restaurant menu with a lot of items, your customers would take a longer time to go through all the items to decide what to order.
Also, it would take more time to prepare the order in the kitchen as well. More menu items mean that your kitchen staff would be preparing different items when they could be preparing the same item that could be served to the guests. Not only does this hampers the customer experience, but it also impacts your table turnaround time significantly, as it would take longer for you to serve the guests
Now that we have given you our comparison regarding long food menus in restaurants, it is time to focus your attention on the much advised small restaurant menus.
Pros Of Having A Small Restaurant Menu
Most menu engineers endorse small menus for food outlets. This especially stands true for new restaurants which have just entered the industry. Here we have for you the top 3 advantages of having a small food menu at your restaurant.
Smaller menus are more customer-friendly. Customers can easily look through the menu and decide what they want to order without much hassle. They save time when the customer is in a rush and make the entire decision-making process easier. This customer-friendly nature of smaller menus adds greatly to customer satisfaction.
2. Easy To Engineer, Design and Optimize
Smaller menus are easier to work with. Hence it makes engineering these menus for profitability and optimizing them in future easier. Smaller menus have fewer offerings which make setting the most profitable dishes in the best menu spots possible. At the same time, the designer can create a high profit yet appealing menu through the use of graphics, pictures or highlights. Setting decoys also become easier, and the overall menu works to boost restaurant profits.
Fewer dishes are easier to optimize as well. Individual factors impacting each dish may be many, but with a less amount of dishes, say five, you do not need to consider many factors while making menu decisions. Hence it is easier to strategize your upselling techniques and marketing campaigns. Understanding the individual sales of each dish and comparing performance patterns also takes a lesser amount of time, thus making the process of optimizing the menu relatively easy and less prone to errors.
3. Does Not Load The Inventory Management Process
One of the biggest perks of offering a limited number of dishes is that managing inventory gets easier. With a small number of dishes, less raw materials are required. Managing fewer ingredients is far easier than managing huge quantities, the risk of mismanagement, wastage, and internal theft is greatly reduced, and you do not need to hire more staff to manage a humongous amount of inventory.
Cons Of Having A Small Restaurant Menu
Even though a small restaurant menu sounds like a designer’s and a restaurant owner’s dream, it comes with its share of negatives as well. Here are the main disadvantages of a small restaurant menu –
1. Cannot Tap A Varied Audience
Unlike its longer counterpart, a smaller menu will have more specific dishes, targeted towards the target audience. You will not be able to tap into a broader consumer base due to the limited amount and nature of your dishes. At the same time, even your target audience may not come to you all the time as it is not necessary that your menu will cater to their every mood. Hence, you lose some potential customers and sales from your target customers due to lack of diversity in your menu.
2. Can Accommodate Limited Items
A small menu will have limited items. The problem with this is that even in a selected cuisine, you will not be able to experiment a lot. This is because basic strategy calls for you to keep some safe and default items for the customers, like Arrabiata and Alfredo Pasta, Pizzas, or garlic bread. These are the item that the customers can order anytime without worrying about the taste as they are conventionally good at every restaurant. The drawback of a small menu is that because you must have these items for customer satisfaction, hardly any scope of serving anything else is left. Due to this, neither are you able to serve all of your specials or your creations, nor are you able to create a recall value in the minds of the customers.
3. Easy To Get Tired Of
As said earlier, small menus don’t host much variety. The immediate drawback of this is that customers can easily get bored of the dishes being offered and move to a more diverse competitor. If your menu does not excite the customers, or if you fail to add value and diversity to it from time to time, your customers will get tired of the same dishes sooner or later and opt to dine at another restaurant.
Designing a restaurant menu requires a lot of thought and practical decision-making. Every element needs to be put at a particular place for increased profitability. Even if you master the design of the menu, if you choose the incorrect length or categorization all your effort can go to waste. Consider both the pros and cons of long and small menu sizes before choosing an ideal length for your restaurant menu. Once that is done, this article on the psychology of restaurant menu design can help you engineer your menu to maximize profits.
Koushika Vishwanath, the head brewer of The Grid, was not inclined towards the F&B industry, but since childhood, he had this hobby of preparing drinks for his family. The preparation techniques always excited him which made him take this up as a profession. He started learning all the intricacies of spirit and alcohol which pushed him to join The Grid as there his passion finally got its way as a profession.
The Grid is Kolkata’s first gastro-brew up and gained a lot of popularity in the market in a very short span of time. The look is pretty industrial, and the 10,000-sq ft space looks like a place where you can sit for hours and have a glass of beer, or ten!
The microbrewery is one of a kind and offers different elements. From mouth-watering global cuisine, foot-tapping music, microbrewery or awe-inspiring interiors, there are plenty of options to keep you hooked for long.
In Conversation with Koushika Vishwanath, Head Brewer Of The Grid
In an exclusive interview with The Restaurant Times, Koushika Vishwanath spills the beans on the growing brewery culture, the operational challenges involved, marketing ideas and a lot more.
The Growing Brewery Culture And The Rise Of Craft Beer In India
At the moment the brewery space is at a very nascent stage. India’s first craft brewery, Doolally, opened its doors to beer lovers in 2009 in Pune. Since then, craft breweries have come up in Mumbai, Gurgaon, and Mangalore, among other cities. But Kolkata got its first microbrewery only a few months ago, and now the town suddenly has three of them. Now in 2015, there were around 55 breweries in India, so with time, the country has seen breweries growing. The beverage sector in India is booming at the moment, says Vishwanath.
According to Vishwanath, craft beer and microbreweries are niche concepts in India which have been growing for the past few years and are beginning to take shape now. The emerging trend is attracting middle-class Indians, particularly in urban areas. Beer continues to be accepted, especially amongst the youth. In addition, continuous periods of hot weather have a positive effect on the performance of beer, both on-trade and off-trade.
Choosing The Right Location For Breweries
For breweries, the leading business is the sale of bottled beer.
One thing to take into consideration is the influence of the location cost on the final product because your brew will compete with other bottled beer products.
‘Look for a location that is not only suitable for brewery operations but one that is also reasonably priced to keep your investment and operating expenses as low as possible, says Vishwanath.
In Kolkata, The Grid is strategically placed in a not so very prominent space, which made people sceptical, as the outlet was set in an unknown location in the middle of nowhere. According to Vishwanath, creating an identity of the brand is of great importance. Hence location is critical, but it is just a part of building the brand value. If the product is good, the location won’t make much of a difference.
The Difference Between Craft Beer Business And The Mass-Market Breweries
Craft beer is slowly expanding in India, whereas market breweries are at the macro level. In the craft space the product is based on the type of ingredients used and how can it be presented.
According to Vishwanath, the brewery’s model is built on sustainability in a rapidly changing craft beer market necessitating a scaled-down approach as new breweries threaten to crowd the market. The small brewers feel the need to remodel their product to compete with the existing brands.
Bar Promotion Ideas
Marketing should solely be based on the product rather than the brand. According to Vishwanath, providing discounts and deals is a good way to promote a bar. It isn’t necessary to hold a free cocktail contest or a “2 + 1” promotion every week. It is better to offer something more interesting; for example, give guests the opportunity to create a cocktail together with your best bartender. Or ask people to invent names for new cocktails in the comments and the best get three cocktails for free. Embrace the competition and create a midweek bar crawl. Since you came up with the idea, the crawl starts at your place for dinner. Sweeten the deal with bar promotions focused on food for big groups.
‘To identify the market, it is important to consider the attributes of the local population, and the foot traffic near your location. This involves creating an ideal customer profile based on analytical and psychographic data, and shaping your bar marketing strategy around their preferences’, says Vishwanath.
Designing A Bar Menu
The bar menu today should be based on the Indian palette as living up to the taste of customers is essential. Before working on the list, it is imperative to understand the market and the type of crowd along with their taste.
Ever since the word “mixology” entered the bar and restaurant lexicon, beverages have started to move from sideshow to centre stage. This trend shows no sign of slowing, with more restaurants adding show-stopping drinks, and more beverage-centric concepts emerging on the scene.
Let flavours and critical ingredients guide your menu descriptions, but be descriptive enough to get that extra space in there. Make smart choice while including drinks in your menu. Don’t overwhelm the customers with too many options, but also don’t limit their choices.
Although there’s no set number of drinks to include, it’s generally good to have at least eight to twelve different wine, beer, and cocktail options. This number can vary depending on some factors, such as which alcohol category the bar choose to focus on’, says Vishwanath.
The best thing about beer is that the moderate consumption of this lowers risk of heart diseases, hypertension, cholesterol, and cancer. The carbon footprint of craft breweries is also lower than the regular ones,’ says Vishwanath.
Vishwanath concludes by sharing his future plans, and his goal of opening a brewery of his own one day.
Earlier in 2018 FSSAI had asked the restaurant listing websites to delist the restaurants that failed to abide by the food safety norms.
This time they have introduced new norms for e-commerce food companies following periodic complaints from customers. FSSAI aims to prevent any sort of misconduct regarding food safety and delivery norms.
New FSSAI Guidelines For E-Commerce Food Companies
Keeping the food safety of the consumer’s in mind FSSAI took some strict steps. These guidelines were not only meant for food listing websites but for the packed food delivery apps/websites as well.
Here is a list of the guidelines that FSSAI wants e-commerce food companies to follow sincerely.
The new guidelines indicate that the food can be intercepted at any point. The food can be sampled at any point. From where it is being cooked and packed, to where it’s being delivered. For dine in restaurants, the food inspectors can come in at any time and ensure the food is being prepared under hygienic conditions.
It is now mandatory to add indicative images of the food on e-commerce websites. This will enable the consumers to identify the food that they are ordering and will eliminate any misinterpretation.
All mandatory information mentioned in the FSSAI Act needs to be clearly mentioned on the website. This information should be made available to the customers before they make a purchase. This includes the expiry dates for the websites selling packed food.
According to the new guidelines, restaurants and e-commerce websites are only allowed to deliver fresh food. The food should have a remaining shelf life of thirty per cent or should be delivered forty-five days prior to the expiry date. As there have been several incidents of people receiving expired food products.
There is a clear mention of the guidelines for the delivery executives as well. According to the guidelines, the food should only be handled and delivered by trained personnel. This will eliminate the chances of the food being handled carelessly.
The safety of the food should not be compromised at any cost. The food should reach the consumer safely. The food should be handled with utmost caution from the time of preparation till the time of delivery.
With people increasingly using the e-commerce food websites and the surge in food orders placed online, these FSSAI guidelines aim to provide them with a seamless experience.
Over the past few months, the complaints regarding food safety have skyrocketed. This has encouraged FSSAI to introduce stricter guidelines.
Ankit Gupta belongs to a lineage of hoteliers and restaurateurs and had always wanted to open a brand of his own. Along with his childhood friend Chirag Chhajer, Gupta built Burma Burma. His mother and her family were brought up in Myanmar which had set the base for the early introduction of the exhilarating flavors of Burmese cuisine to Gupta.
The cuisine in Myanmar has had many influences in India but is very different from the Thai, Indian, and the Chinese food that Indians are familiar with. Myanmar has several turfs from India, including Marwaris, and samosas are a part of the country’s cuisine, as are idlis that have undergone several variations. Burma Burma leaves no space for doubt in letting the customers enjoy authentic Burmese food, complete with tea leaf salad and sunflower seeds that are hand-carried from Myanmar.
Bura Burma aims at serving authentic Burmese food to the consumers without any blend. In the Burmese culture, every name is repeated twice. Hence Gupta thought it to be only fit to name his restaurant, Burma Burma.
In Conversation With Ankit Gupta Of Burma Burma
In an exclusive interview with The Restaurant Times, Gupta talks about Burmese culture and food and how he brought Burmese cuisine to India and a lot more.
Healthy Selection Of Food Choices
The demand for healthy food is on the rise, with people becoming more health conscious lately. Displaying nutrition factors or calorie counts on every menu item and your website can be an effective way to challenge your chefs and also attract consumers. It should be used as an opportunity to discover healthier alternatives to classic dishes or incorporate heart-healthy ingredients into menu favorites.
Customers prefer to order lower-calorie foods when calorie information is displayed on the menu. ‘Burma Burma is not only vegetarian but 80% vegan, as well. We have a gluten-free list, we only use brown rice and offer a variety of tea. Healthy food works for us, and we are known for our salads like tea leaf salad, raw mango salad and a lot more. There is no use of cheese, and there is no alcohol, says Gupta.
Importance Of Location
Location is one of the most important factors while setting up a brand, and it is the first aspect that decides the future of a brand. Even a difference between a ground floor or second-floor can make a revenue difference of 60%- 70%. So, location becomes extremely important.
Visibility plays a significant role when it comes to the area. ‘Most of the customers make last-minute dining decisions based on what restaurants they happen to see when walking or driving while they are hungry,’ says Gupta.
Before deciding on a restaurant location, it is important to consider the competition that already exists in the area. A lot of competition is not always a bad thing since it means that the market is healthy. However, minimizing the direct competition is important. ‘It gets difficult to compete with restaurants that are already established, and that share the same style and concept as yours,’
However good a product is, it will do no good if there is no marketing and is not brought into the limelight. According to Gupta, the initial three months after a restaurant is set is the most crucial time for setting up the brand. If the restaurant doesn’t set up a standard in this span, then reviving after three months gets difficult. Hence, it is essential to have a well-planned marketing strategy before, during, and after the launch.
“Brand-building is about filling the void between what you promise and what you deliver. A powerful brand is one that has adjustment between the assurance and execution.”
‘Burma Burma has a lot of tie-ups with multiple media and print partners, and we even have a strong PR marketing team and an in-house digital marketing team as well. We have almost twelve partners through which we conduct our branding. These strategies have helped Burma Burma reach the pinnacle of success, says Gupta.’
Importance Of Staff Happiness
Keeping your staff happy should be the prime goal not only as a restaurant owner but also as an employer. If your team is not content with the way things work at your restaurant, rest assured it will reflect in their service. Happy and motivated restaurant staff are the ones who go out of their way to deliver impeccable service to customers.
‘Burma Burma sources a lot of freshers who have a genuine intent towards having a career in the industry and coming from the Taj where I have handled brands like Wasabi, the philosophy of service is ingrained in me. I have personally worked as a waiter during my training, and so I do empathize the problems the staff faces. You need to make your staff realize that they are an essential part of running the brand. The HR policies need to be very strong concerning the remuneration and payment. Since we are expanding Pan-India at a decent rate, so there are chances of vertical promotions as well, says Gupta.’
The Restaurant of the future is likely the most extreme example of how far science has gone to understand the dining patterns of a consumer, food choice, practical design and layout, the influence of lighting on buying and eating behavior, presentation, packaging, preparation, and dozens of other components within the dining experience, says Gupta.
According to Gupta, the most recent and prominent technological advancement in the restaurant industry is undoubtedly the Point of Sale software. It has made things very easy, and everything is streamlined quite efficiently
Gupta concludes by saying that the consumers can expect 15 new outlets of Burma Burma by the next year, in the existing market as well as few new markets like Jaipur and, Kolkata. Burma Burma will soon be seen in international markets like London and New York as well. ‘We are looking forward to the coming year as it is going to be quite lucrative and exciting for the brand, says Gupta.
UAE has always been a place best known for its luxurious indulgence and lavish hotels. The UAE’s hospitality market is expected to reach $7.6 billion by 2022, growing at a five-year CAGR of 8.5 percent between 2017 and 2022. The number of hotels in Dubai is expected to reach 132,000 by 2019. Hotels are also most favored in UAE for opening a bar or a restaurant. A hotel restaurant is a great spot for the checked in guests to enjoy a nice meal, but that is not enough to keep the restaurant running profitably. Hotel restaurants, like any other restaurant, require walk-in customers to sustain their business. And this is where restaurant marketing comes handy.
Here is a list of hotel restaurant marketing ideas that would help you attract more customers.
Effective Hotel Restaurant Marketing Ideas To Grow Your Restaurant Business
The marketing of a hotel restaurant would differ according to the audience you’re trying to target. While promoting your hotel restaurant to the checked-in guests is important, you should also focus on attracting walk-in customers.
Here are some of the marketing ideas you can utilize to grow your business and spread a word about your restaurant as well as the hotel.
1. Running Seasonal Promotions
A hotel’s business year is divided into two, the peak season and the off-peak or weak season. UAE’s peak season starts from November and continues till March. June, July, and August are typically the off-season in UAE as the incoming of tourists is substantially less during this time.
The business during the peak season is exceptional, but the success of a hotel restaurant success is majorly dependant on how well the weak seasons are managed.
During peak seasons when you know the number of checked-in guests would be more, devote your time and budget in marketing your restaurant within the hotel premises. Put up posters in the hotel lobby or near the front desk to make your guests aware of the FnB outlets within the hotel.
You can create special discounts and coupons for the checked-in guests. This would entice them to eat at your restaurant instead of stepping outside for a meal.
During the weak seasons focus more on attracting the walk-in guests. Try doing something unusual, such as, celebrate international holidays like Environment Day, International Dance Day, etc. You can also organize small events to attract the local crowd. For example, on the International Dance Day, you can have a small dance party at your hotel restaurant.
Offer your restaurant space for corporate parties or get together, these things will work all-the-year-round. All these tricks are great for luring in walk-in guests.
2. Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is one of the biggest platforms for advertising your hotel restaurant business. There are millions of people engaged on social media in UAE, with approximately 7.75 million on Facebook and 5.01 million on Instagram, etc. Hence, chances for you to reach out to your potential customers automatically increases.
You can use the hotel’s social media profile or create an independent page, especially for your restaurant.
Creating a social media page on Facebook, Instagram, etc. is free of cost. Make sure you are regular with your posts as it would increase your restaurant’s visibility. Post actively about any upcoming events, food/restaurant interior pictures, menu updates, etc.
Another effective way of using social media is by seeking help from food bloggers and by asking them to talk about your hotel restaurant. It would help you reach the right people since their followers would predominantly be interested in the food and beverage industry.
That’s not all! Social media also provides you with various marketing tools that give you reports and help you analyze how many people are interacting with your posts. This will give you more clarity and let you examine if more input is required from your end.
For example, The Wavebreaker restaurant at Hilton Hotel Dubai had organized a rugby screening which they actively advertised on their Facebook page. Along with the screening they had some exciting discounts for the hotel guests and daily appealing deals for walk-in customers.
3. Online Restaurant Listing Sites
Another way of marketing your hotel restaurant is by listing your restaurant at popular restaurant listing and review sites. It increases the awareness amongst the walk-in customers who may or may not know about your hotel restaurant.
Listing your restaurant on the leading sites would mean more people would come across your hotel restaurant. You can mention the complete details like opening or closing time along with the contact details and address on these websites.
Online listing sites also allow your customers to rate you and if you have a good rating more people would prefer visiting your hotel restaurant over others.
Some of the popular websites in UAE for listing your restaurant are :
Searching on Google is the very first step a guest takes while looking for a restaurant, be it a hotel guest or localities. Google is a credible source which people trust for accurate results; therefore use it to your advantage. Make Google a part of your hotel restaurant promotion strategy.
Listing your restaurant in Google My Business page will show your restaurant details to the people looking for similar services nearby.
Add every detail of your restaurant to the listing — the operating hours, phone number, website URL, pictures, and any additional information you want to make easily accessible to your guests.
For example, here is a Google My Business listing of Miss Lily’s restaurant at Sheraton Hotel, Dubai.
It has all the information listed along with a Google Map and pictures on the very first search results page.
Google My Business listing is an excellent way of ensuring your hotel restaurant shows up for local Google searches.
In the last few years, UAE has seen a growth in the number of hotel restaurants which has made it imperative for the hotel restaurant owners to up their marketing game. The possibilities are endless for the hotel restaurants as they cater to both checked in as well as walk-in guests. Strategically planned marketing ideas help in running your hotel restaurant profitably and assist in building a reputation.
Anisha Maker always had immense love for food and has always been very fond of cooking since her childhood. Coming from a family associated with the F&B sector this inclination of hers kept on growing. Therefore she automatically decided to make a career out of the F&B space. In 2008, Anisha was selected by the Taj Group for the prestigious “Taj Management Training Programme.” After being trained by some of the most talented domestic and foreign chefs for two years, Anisha was honored with the position of the head chef at KEFI.
In 2012, Anisha along with her father and husband decided to open Garage Inc – American Diner, which is housed in Hauz Khas Village. Garage Inc has been doing great business ever since it opened, as Chef Anisha along with her husband pays the utmost attention to the diners by being present at the restaurant every day.
In Conversation With Anisha Maker Of Garage Inc
Garage Inc is a real pub and not just a bar as the architecture and design are still true to the past. A garage is seen to be part of the home, and after the personal and professional space, Garage Inc calls itself as the third stage of life. In an exclusive conversation with The Restaurant Times Anisha talks about her brand and the challenges she has faced while managing the restaurant and a lot more.
Along with all the excitement comes the blunt reality of managing the finances. The fact is that opening a restaurant is a costly venture. Everyone wants their restaurant to stand out, and have that “wow” factor when customers walk through the door, which requires a significant investment.
According to Maker, new restaurant owners often undervalue the initial capital required to open and run a new restaurant.
Most new restaurants do not turn in profits for several months, even years, after opening. Well rooted restaurant owners can also suffer financially, especially during recessions when they have fewer customers.
Garage Inc is a family run unit, so there is no investor in the picture.‘Budgeting was troublesome for us. We applied a lot of do-it-yourself technique back in 2010. I have done the graffiti in the washroom, the burning of the wood in the ceiling. To curb the budget we did a lot of things on our own to avoid outside expenses. So, smart analysis and segregation of the budget is of utmost importance,’ says Maker.
Choosing The Right Supplier
Vendors are the backbone of any restaurant. It is imperative to maintain the right balance between the restaurant and the supplier. Selecting the right suppliers for a business is vital to ensure that one can deliver the products and services on time, at the right price, and in compliance with the quality standards.
Setting standard criteria is crucial. According to Maker, establishing the requirements in advance will enable you to evaluate potential suppliers on each of the listed items and ensure that you don’t overlook any crucial requirements.
Even the most stable vendor can periodically slip up. Make sure they have a direct unity with your brand and conduct regular performance reviews. This will help you keep tabs on their work and make sure they’re fulfilling their end of the accord.
Service Is Key
Service is critical since your restaurant staff is someone who can make or break a brand. According to Maker, transparent communication from the moment new hiring starts is essential to keep them for a longer duration. By thoroughly explaining job expectations and policies, as well as walking them through some routine tasks, can help ease the new-hire and also ensure the work-flow of new team members.
‘Before hiring we go through a lot of screening process to make sure that there are no glitches later. In our Delhi outlet, we have a lot of people in our team, who have been there with us since inception. It is essential to maintain a human touch with the team, cultivating a quality bond is what makes them reciprocate and give the best output possible’, says Maker.
According to Maker, most restaurant operators and chefs are aware of how to engineer and optimize a menu; however, surprisingly few put the concept into practice. Before designing the list, it is critical to understand the palette; especially the Indian palette.
It is vital to creating separate sets within the menu. One should consist of general everyday things like ‘daal’ (presented uniquely), as it attracts the Indian customers. And others can contain some experimental dishes There should also be some items on the menu that may not be your star seller, but they increase the value of the menu like lobsters, prawns prepared in an unusual manner, etc.
The cuisine that Garage Inc offers are Chinese and Pub Grub. Indulging the American flavors, Garage Inc also offers great burgers such as Garage Inc’s Grease Burger, the Giant NYC Burger, and the OMG Burger, which are some of the all-time classics. They also wish to introduce authentic Delhi flavors like Indian grills and innovative kebabs.
Everyone is getting tech-savvy these days, and technology plays a prominent role in the F&B space today. According to Maker, the most significant advancement is the POS system. It simplifies communications between the kitchen and the wait staff and helps track everything, from food usage to the most popular menu items.
‘We use POSist at the Garage Inc and it has made our lives very simple. It has helped us stay up to date with all the details such as the sales that have been made during a day in the restaurant even when I am not present there. Along with the daily operations of running a restaurant, POSist has helped me organize profit and loss statement and sales tax with ease,’ says Maker.
Maker concludes by saying that the motive of Garage Inc is to continuously build a brand, and make people familiar with the American diner flavors.
Money is a major concern for every restaurant business, be it new or old. Managing your expenses tactfully would help you run your business profitable and would ensure your restaurant is never out of business. There are two major restaurant expenses in any food business, food, and labor.
In UAE, most of the food products are imported which leads to high food costs. Plus, despite UAE being an attractive destination for hospitality jobs, there is still a lack of skilled labor. High rentals and operational costs further add to the restaurant expenses.
However, controlling the restaurant expenses does not mean compromising on the quality or increasing your menu prices. You need to be strategic when controlling your restaurant expenses and know how to manage the capital when the cash flow is low.
How To Control Your Restaurant Expenses
When it comes to bringing down the restaurant expenses, most operators simply focus on food and labor costs. While these are an integral part of restaurant expense management, you should consider other areas of your operations as well to keep your costs in check.
Here are some tips you can abide by when planning out an agenda for restaurant expense management.
1. Trim The Food Waste
The biggest mistake that restaurant owners make is not supervising the amount of food being purchased, cooked, and wasted. It is not just the duty of the head chef, but you need to pay attention to how much food waste is your restaurant producing and how you can curb this. According to an article released by The Gulf News, Nearly 38 percent of food is wasted every day in Dubai, which goes up to 55 percent during Ramadan. You can imagine the high losses that the restaurants might be facing due to high food wastage percentage.
The two primary reasons why the food is wasted in the restaurant industry are:
Overstocking the inventory and not being able to use the raw material on time.
Overfilling the plates with excess food which the guests are unable to finish
Whatever the reason might be for the food wastage it is your loss ultimately. You can use these tips to stop throwing food and money in the bin.
Have a recipe list handy: You should have a standard recipe list which your cooks should abide by. Creating a recipe list helps in identifying how much raw material would be required for cooking and what would be the portion size. This would avoid any wastage and help maintain consistency.
Digitalize the inventory control: You cannot keep running back and forth to check the inventory levels and the expiry date of the raw material. You should invest in a good inventory and stock management system. This would prevent overstocking and would also let you know if the raw material is about to go rancid. It will also provide you with real-time inventory reports that will prevent you from placing orders unnecessarily.
Reuse the unusable: Find innovative ways of using waste. For example, after the “meaty” parts of the chicken have been used up for cooking you can use the remaining pieces to prepare chicken broth which you can later use for some other dish.
2. Energy Conservation
Cutting down the electricity cost drastically helps in controlling your restaurant’s expenses. Also, it is a great environment-friendly practice which is the right thing to do!
You need to make your staff realize the importance of energy conservation and how it helps in controlling the restaurant expenses.
You can organize a meeting and help explain to the staff the need for energy saving and how they can contribute to this change.
Here are some steps you can take to save energy at your restaurant:
If you are planning to buy new appliances for your restaurant make sure to look for the Emirates Energy Star(EES) rating, it indicates the percentage of energy saving. These appliances are better at saving energy and help in reducing electricity bills.
Proper cleaning and maintenance of the appliances have a significant impact on saving energy. If they are not taking care of the appliances they will have a work a lot harder to do its job and would consume more energy.
Switch to LED lights if you still haven’t. They might be a little expensive as compared to a bulb but the energy saved on the electricity bills would pay off.
Use motion sensor lights, which light up only when needed. You can use them in the washroom, whenever someone would enter the washroom they would automatically light up and as they leave, they will turn off.
Encourage your employees to turn off the appliances when not in use.
3. Shorten Your Menu
Analyzing the menu and removing the items that are not doing well for you is a brilliant move to control your restaurant expenses. Having the un-popular food items listed on the menu would mean you would have to stock the inventory with the raw material required to prepare that dish. And if no one orders it, the raw material would go to waste costing you a lot of money. Therefore it is better to get rid of the items that are not performing well.
You can use an efficient POS system to determine the items that are not performing well using the sales report which not only provides total sales count but itemized sales count as well, you will be able to understand the most and the least selling items. You can either replace these items with new dishes that use the same raw material as the rest, or you can remove them entirely.
4. Staff Appropriately
Overstaffing or hiring wrong people would mean a waste of money. If you have an event at your restaurant, you can always hire temporary staff to help your permanent staff. There is no point in hiring more people than required. You can manage the shifts of your present staff wisely and have more employees coming in over the weekends when usually there are more guests at your restaurant.
Another major point to keep in mind to manage your expenses is hiring the right people and making sure their goals coincide with your restaurant’s objectives.
You need to provide your staff with the best training and environment to prevent them from leaving as hiring a new person would require you to invest a lot of time and capital. Identify the strengths of your employees and use them to your advantage.
5. Be Realistic About Spending Money
Every decision you take would cost you money but, you need to ask yourself if you need to invest in that thought right now. Often restaurant owners spend on the unnecessary stuff which might not be required at the time. You can avoid such expenses and invest in something that you really need to run your restaurant successfully.
For example, you might want a fancy painting at your restaurant which may cost you a fortune but, is it necessary right now? You can purchase that later down the line. You need to be savvy and spend your resources tactfully.
Be realistic about the money you are spending and how much the things cost; this would help you control your expenses and not exceed your budget.
6. Reduce Freebies
To attract footfall, restaurant operators are tempted to offer obnoxious discounts and offers. While promotional discounts do bring in sales, you need to create them carefully so that you are still able to make profits. Instead of offering complimentary items and freebies, pair the items with a low food cost in your menu with high profit and popular items and serve them as a combo.
If you serve free food items like chips, bread, etc. you can decrease the portion size of the free item. If the customers want more bread or the chips they can ask for it. This would reduce wastage and help cut the cost.
7. Daily Restaurant Business Review
It is essential to keep track of the daily cash flow. Knowing how to handle the cash flow is vital for a restaurant business. The most critical aspects of managing a restaurant’s cash flow is to properly budget future expenses, such as rent, utilities, food orders, etc.
Analyzing your previous expense and forecasting the upcoming budget would help you give a clear idea of how much capital you would require.
The business review on a daily, weekly or monthly basis helps you understand if you are facing any loss or if there is a need to invest more.
Such calculations certainly help control the restaurant expenses. How much you spend on the daily operation of the restaurant should coincide with the profits you are making. It is essential to manage your restaurant expenses to survive the UAE restaurant industry.