Monday, March 18, 2013

Social Media and Equipment Repairs Could Make Investing in Restaurants Worthwhile

Inviting decor, chandeliers hanging over each table and the aroma of fresh steak and seafood grilling in a commercial kitchen, these features alone may be enough to tempt you to phone your banker, checking to see if you can take out a loan so you can open a restaurant. Add in hundreds of highly satisfied customers, people who visit the winning restaurant every week, and you might not be able to stop yourself from going into the restaurant business. But, not so fast.

Even the brightest entrepreneurial investors struggle when it comes to managing a restaurant. For example, as reported in the May 11, 2012 New York Times "Investing in the Restaurants Can Work, but It's Not as Easy as Pie" article, some restaurant owners hold down a full-time job during the day and work at their restaurant at night, a schedule that definitely doesn't spell work-life balance. It's these types of struggling restaurant owners who might be open to, perhaps even passionately searching for ways to make running their eatery less demanding.

It might be why some of these owners are turning to social media, mobile devices and e-waiter checkout technology. This hardware and software allows restaurateurs to receive orders via the Internet, a step that could attract new customers and lower a business' telephone and utility expenses. Owners are also looking to repair equipment like tables, chairs, grills and freezers using devices like a wobble wedge instead of renting or buying new equipment.

Considering the fact that a wobble wedge can be purchased for less than two dollars, it makes good sense. Money saved by repairing restaurant equipment using a wobble wedge could be used to pay for social media devices like iPad order kiosks, design costs to build a customized Facebook page, digital menu boards and a tablet waiters and waitresses can use to process customers' credit and debit card purchases right at the customers' table.

To take advantage of potential spring and summer restaurant sales, owners are also spending money they save repairing equipment with devices like a wobble wedge to develop online coupon programs. In fact, as reported in the December 7, 2012 Forbes "How Restaurants are Using Technology to Deliver Better Customer Service" article, "More restaurants are using digital coupons, and diners gobble them up." As many as 58 percent of the diners responding to a Technomic survey said they used online coupons when ordering food from a restaurant.

Order kiosks help diners avoid having to stand in long lines, waiting to place takeout orders. This service is akin to placing meal orders over social media networks like Facebook or Twitter. In today's advancing technological age, the numbers of diners seeking easier and quicker ways to get the meals they want (and at reasonable prices) is growing. For example, although order kiosks are still being tested, they are expected to take off over the coming years.

To keep customers interested in their menu items, more restaurants might also start using digital menus, so they can add and/or remove food items in minutes. Expenses associated with these and other digital and social media marketing tools that could make the lives of restaurant owners easier might be evenly distributed between hardware, software and training. It's these expenses that a wobble wedge could help restaurateurs cover, especially as each wobble wedge saves these passionate entrepreneurs hundreds and thousands of dollars on new refrigerator, oven, grill and table purchases. And that small wobble wedge . . . it generally slides beneath uneven equipment in five minutes or less, restoring a higher level of functionality for some equipment.

Sources: (Forbes: How Restaurants are Using Technology to Deliver Better Customer Service) (New York Times: Investing in Restaurants Can Work, but It's Not as Easy as Pie)

This article was contrinbuted by Rhonda Campbell for Stop Wobble.

1 diner's comment:

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