Monthly Archives: January 2018

  1. 5 Ways to Take Your Restaurant Instagram Posts to the Next Level

    restaurant instagram posts

    There’s no denying it: food porn rules the restaurant world. That's why 69% of restaurants are using Instagram

    Since many businesses have social media accounts, it can make your restaurant Instagram posts stand out.

    Believe it or not, it actually isn't too difficult to make Insta work for you.

    A huge majority of restaurants on Instagram play it safe because that works for them, but they could be doing so much more to boost their audience engagement. Let's explore five ways to make your restaurant Instagram posts stand out in a sea of digital competition. 

    Once you catch yourself up on the latest insight, head over to our Restaurant Social Media Guide and learn how to equip your restaurant with the best social media knowledge. 

    Click here to get the Restaurant Social Media Guide

    Infographic: The Facts of Restaurant Instagram Posts

    People from all walks of life use Instagram, but as a restaurateur, you should pay the most attention to the milliennails and gen Z users of the website. 

    As the infographic from Fundera below points out, the majority of millennials snap a photo of their food before they indulge, often sharing the picture with their followers and friends. 

    Letting your guests put out your restaurant Instagram posts for you is easy – and free. To make your restaurant more Instagram-friendly, take note of the tips provided in the infographic:

    • Feature the more popular "grammed" foods, like pizza, burgers, and sushi.
    • Keep your restaurant well-lit.
    • Pay attention to the detail of your plates and glassware for added aesthetic. 

    Follow these best practices and a lot of the work will be done for you.

    instagram-and-restaurants-infographic.png

    Crafting Your Own Restaurant Instagram Posts

    Want to take the restaurant Instagram game in house? Good choice. While word of mouth from fans is essential, nothing can replace a strong presence on your own Instagram account.

    Here are 5 key strategies to make your restaurant Instagram account stand out that are favored by social media experts. Incorporate them into your own social media plans, and you should be able to take your Instagram presence to whole new level. 

    1. Build a content calendar

    Unlike Twitter or Facebook, Instagram is a platform that really thrives on spontaneity. It’s all about capturing those candid moments in your restaurant.

    But at the same time, it helps to have a basic framework in mind for your posts so you can continue to post consistently, which is really the key to building up an engaged audience.

    Draft up a schedule of your upcoming events and promotions so you know how many posts you have to do in the lead up. And to save yourself time at the start of the week, plan out different themes that you want to cover each day so that your content remains diverse. For example, on Monday you could share an inspiring quote about coffee, on Tuesday something from your breakfast menu, on Wednesday the lunch special, and so on. Check out this well-structured content calendar from Kissmetrics that might be helpful. 

    2. Encourage customers to post content for you 

    Encouraging customers to create content on your behalf is a fantastic way to get word out about your venue. People are already taking photos of your food – so give them an incentive to do it more often!

    For example, get your front of house to tell diners that you’re running an Instagram contenst. The campaign could be quite simple: if they take a photo of their meal and use a specific hashtag, they could enter to win a free breakfast (or a different prize of your choosing). Make sure your hashtag is visible throughout the room so they are constantly reminded of it – on the menu board, on tables, by the cash register.

    And when customers do share photos of your venue, put them in the spotlight. Use an app called Repost to share their photo on your Instagram page. That way you’re showing them that you really appreciate their participation, and you’re showing potential new customers how much people love your venue.

     

    3. Connect with influencers

    There’s no denying the power of Instagram celebrities. Just look at the Kardashians – it’s fair to say half of their fame is built on their Instagram accounts, where they have millions of followers.

    That’s not to say you have to contact a Hollywood celebrity to get the word out about your restaurant. Instead, find out who the active and popular Instagram users are in your area. Look for food bloggers who have an influential presence. Then reach out to them personally and ask if they might be interested in doing something called an Instagram takeover.

    Essentially, this means they take over your Instagram account for a short period of time (say seven days). During this time, they have the freedom to post whatever feels natural to them, whether it’s pictures of your food, behind the scenes with your team, or with their friends hanging out in your dining room. Food Republic regularly allow chefs to take over their Instagram account using the hashtag #FRTakeover, and it boosts their following every time. Take a look – they have more than 200,000 followers!

    4. Research your hashtags

     Instead of randomly choosing the first hashtags that come to mind, research the hashtags you want to use, so you can make sure you’re reaching the right audience.

    Use a mix of popular, general hashtags like #foodporn or #coffeelover, and niche hashtags that target customers in your location.

    To find the right hashtags for your restaurant, use a free tool called Iconosquare. Just type a hashtag that you want to research into the search tool, and you’ll quickly see how many people are using it (how niche is it), who is using it (are they the right audience?) and what other related hashtags you can add to your post to increase your reach.

    The number of hashtags followers are willing to tolerate from you can differ depending on your audience; however, six or seven is a good starting off point. Remember, it’s a balancing act. If you use too few, you’ll miss out on new followers, but if you go crazy with it, you’ll look a bit too eager. This post by the Grounds of Alexandria uses a great balance of location-specific and general hashtags:


    5. Use apps to make your posts stand out

    There are a heap of apps out there that you can use to jazz up your photos and videos. Not only do they save you from hiring a professional graphic designer, but they also increase the shareability of your posts. 

    Here are some of the best: 

    • Over – Over adds stylistic text to your photos, which is perfect for promotions and inspiring coffee quotes.
    • Photo Grid – Photo Grid helps you create photo collages, and has over 300 layout templates to choose from.
    • Replay – This brilliant editing app lets you cut together videos and add filters, graphics and music.
    • Latergramme - Latergramme allows you to schedule posts in advance, which is incredibly handy when you’re too busy to manage Instagram during the week. It also allows you to manage multiple Instagram accounts from one platform, so you don't have to log in and out to switch between your personal account and your business account.
    • Flipagram – Flipagram lets you create video slideshows to popular songs. Here’s a fun example.

    The most important thing to remember about Instagram is this: authenticity is everything. While paid advertising is now becoming available on the platform, users aren’t yet accustomed to it like they are on Facebook. They prefer brands with a strong personal identity. In other words, they want to feel like they’re talking to another person when they visit your restaurant’s Instagram page. Keep that in mind when crafting your posts, and you will quickly build a loyal new following.  

    This article is compliments of Toast.

    As always, check out Restaurantsupply.com for all your restaurant needs.

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  2. The Top 12 Restaurant Food and Tech Predictions for 2018

    2018 restaurant tech predictions

    Last year, we premiered our very first tech predictions blog. You loved it so much that we brought it back in 2018!

    Below are some bold restaurant predictions from Toast's leadership team. Plus, we pulled some of the top food and technology predictions to give a sense of where the market is heading in the next 12 months.

    Download the Restaurant Technology Report to read about 2017 trends and what's new for 2018.

    Our Experts’ Takes on 2018 Restaurant Technology 

    pos technology

    1) Food Delivery Services Will Become a Focus of Discussion  

    Aman Narang, President and Co-Founder 

    “The market will form a point of view on third-party delivery; there is growth with third-party delivery services. Restaurants support them, but they are very pricey; it's a catch 22. If you do, you miss out on demand, but if you don't, you can lose out. There is friction here.”


    brook-stevens-white-background.jpg2) Restaurant Innovation will be the New Norm

    Brook Stevens, Director of Engineering

    “While the POS will remain the central hub for operations in restaurants, we will see increased demand for innovative products that work together seamlessly as restaurant technology shifts from an early adopter into the early majority segments of the technology adoption lifecycle.”

     

    technology in restaurants

    3) Restaurant Mobility to Become More Prevalent

    Chris Comparato, CEO 

    “I think the mobility of a restaurant itself will pick up momentum, whether in the form of a pop-up restaurant, a small quick storefront served by a commissary (or within corporations), or kiosk-oriented concepts with high-quality grab-and-go food. Healthy, convenient food is what’s in store for 2018.”

     

    cmiller copy.png

    4) Customization is Becoming Key

    Colleen Miller, Senior Director- Product & UX 

    “Today's consumers enjoy customized experiences and personalized recommendations. Restaurants will use data more and more to deliver those experiences, along with proximity marketing methods to drive traffic into the store.”

     

    restaurant apps

    5) More Robotic Restaurants?

    Steve Fredette, President and Co-Founder

    “You’ll see more robot restaurants opening in 2018 than last year. There will be a lot of Alexa food skills; one of the big chains will roll out automated voice ordering at the drive through; Panera will add a button for one-tap ordering to their app, much to my delight and every other user.”

     

    technology trends in restaurant industry

    6) Facial Recognition Will Debut in Restaurants

    Yi Chen, VP of Product

    “Facial recognition technology will help restaurateurs track repeat customers and allow servers to remember guests and to create delightful guest experiences.”

     

    2018 Restaurant Food Predictions

    1) Easier Grocery Shopping From Home

    Forbes10 Food Trends That Will Shape 2018

    “Technofoodology and Artificial Intelligence are the best things to ever happen to a grocery store. Alexa, Google Home, Sonos, and other home-based assistants are ushering in a new way to buy our foods. We can easily replenish our foods by asking Alexa to reorder from Amazon. And just last week, one of the nation’s leading c-stores, Sheetz, announced that its “made to order foods” from all 564 stores can be ordered on Alexa. By 2020, there will be 55 million smart devices in our homes, making that the biggest supermarket chain on the planet."

    2) Fine Casual Shows Up to the Party

    NRN, 15 Food and Beverage Trends to Expect in 2018

    “Fine-casual. Coined by Danny Meyer to describe Shake Shack, AF&Co., says, ‘Think upscale counter-service — and even table service — with curated ingredients and unexpected touches like a wine bar and optional tasting menu.’”

    3) Food Sourcing and Labeling Will Matter More

    Whole Foods Blog, Whole Foods Market Reveals Top Food Trends for 2018

    “Transparency 2.0: More is more when it comes to product labeling. Consumers want to know the real story behind their food, and how that item made its way from the source to the store. GMO transparency is top-of-mind, but shoppers seek out other details, too, such as Fair Trade certification, responsible production and animal welfare standards. At Whole Foods Market, this plays out in several ways, starting with these three happening in 2018: 

    1. In January 2018, all canned tuna in our stores will come from sustainable one-by-one catch methods; 
    2. In September 2018, labels will provide GMO transparency on all food items in stores;
    3. Dishes from Whole Foods Market food bars and venues are now labeled with calorie information.”

    Can’t get enough food trends? Eater rounded up what looks like every single 2018 prediction, here.

     

    2018 Restaurant Technology Predictions

    Like any industry, advancements in the restaurant world are contingent on the changes the rest of the world has seen. Restaurant kiosks, for example, could not be engineered in their current state until the proper touchscreen technology was invented. 

    In that light, we think it's important to highlight general technology trends for the upcoming year so you can know how this may affect your business in the future. 

    1) Drones Take Flight, Self-Driving Cars Speed Up

    Business Insider35 Big Tech Predictions for 2018

    “BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, has put together a list of 35 Big Tech Predictions for 2018 across Apps and Platforms, Digital Media, Payments, Internet of Things, E-Commerce, Fintech, and Transportation & Logistics. Some of these major predictions include:

    • Cryptocurrencies will become more widely accepted
    • Google and Apple will challenge Amazon in the smart speaker space
    • The resurgence of the VR market
    • The real self-driving car race will begin
    • Drone regulations will relax
    • Alibaba’s international expansion
    • Gen Z will become a major focal point for media companies and advertisers
    • Payment security will become paramount
    • Smart home devices will take off”

    2) Smart Everything? Maybe Not. 

    Seeking AlphaTop Tech Predictions For 2018

    “Connecting all kinds of devices together using simple internet protocol connectivity standards was supposed to enable smart cities, smart homes, smart factories, heck, pretty much smart everything. And yet, here we stand at the dawn of 2018 and – with a few notable exceptions – very few of those things have really come to pass. In retrospect, it's not really hard to see why. Just connecting things together doesn't necessarily provide any real value, and even tapping into the new data sources enabled by IoT hasn't proven to be as fruitful as many had hoped.”

    3) Severless Computing

    Network WorldTech Predictions for 2018

    Serverless computing takes off. This one is easy to make. It’s bubbling like a cauldron with tremendous interest, and development is racing along. Once people get past the misleading name and realize its benefits, it will take off.”

    This article is compliments of Toast.

    As always, check out Restaurantsupply.com for all your restaurant needs.

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  3. How To Calculate Liquor Cost in Your Bar or Restaurant

    liquor cost

    • “Why aren’t we making any money?” 
    • “I know people are stealing, I just can’t find out where or how.” 
    • “I have no idea if my happy hour is making me any money!” 

    These questions, along with roughly eight out of every ten questions asked by owners in our industry, can all be answered through understanding and analyzing your bar's liquor cost. Also known as COGS, your Cost of Goods (the cost of the goods you purchase and use to create revenue), is the nucleus of every successful restaurant.

    So, how do exactly can you calculate your bar's liquor cost?

    Calculating Liquor Costs

    There are very specific nuances related to the management of food and beverage costs; today we’re going to focus our attention on liquor costs.

    Managing your profitability with regard to beer, liquor, wine, as well as any non-alcoholic beverages, represents the single greatest differentiator between success in the food-service industry, and being a part of the 26% who don’t make it through the first year.

    If you’ve managed a bar or restaurant for longer than a minute, you’ve undoubtedly asked or been asked, “what’s your PC?” or, “what’s your Beverage Cost?” or perhaps, “what is your COGS?” 

    Knowing the answer, and how to calculate your liquor cost, can be the difference between life and death in the restaurant industry. Let's take a look at the liquor cost formula, how to use it to manage your spend, and find cost savings opportunitiesfor your business.

    Do The Math

    Managing your liqour costs begins with knowing the formula for calculating COGS: OI+P-EI/S

    Broken down as:

    OIOpening Inventory, or what you had on the shelf at the beginning of the week, 
    plus
    PPurchases, or what product you’ve purchased within that week
    minus
    EIEnding Inventory, or what you had at the end of the week
    divided by
    S) Sales, or by what you sold, 

     equals PC or COGS, your product usage.  

    Let’s put a face on this formula.  Here’s an example for calculating your liquor cost.

       OI   +    P    -   EI    /     S =     PC or COGS

    Liquor: $1906 + $6398 - $2425 / $23,000 = $5879 (25.56%)

    1. Our OI (Opening Inventory) of $1906 represents the total stock value of our previous weeks’ inventory. 
    2. Our P (Purchases) of $6398 represents all of the liquor that we purchased during the week. 
    3. Our EI (Ending Inventory) of $2425 represents the total stock value of the current weeks’ inventory.
    4. Our Sales (Liquor Sales) of $23,000 represents the revenue the business brought in from selling beverages assigned to a liquor sales category. 
    5. The PC or COGS (liquor Product Cost or Cost of Goods) of $5879 or 25.56% represents the answer to the question, What’s your liquor cost? or What’s your Liquor PC?

    Now that you have an understanding of how to calculate your liquor costs, let’s press on and address the reasons why it’s important to know your liquor cost, and some of our best practices for managing liquor costs successfully.

    The Why

    Having a keen understanding of your liquor cost enables you to protect your franchise players (liquor items) and ensure your restaurant is profitable

    Using the example above, we know that for every dollar in sales roughly 25 cents is used to pay for the liquor. This leaves you with 75 cents of gross margin.  

    Think about that for a moment: It takes a lot less to earn the 75 cents on each liquor item sold, than it does to earn 65-70 cents for each food menu item sold. This means, the labor needed to make and deliver each drink is significantly less than each menu item.  

    Pro Tip: This is why it’s dumb to focus on discounting booze for Happy Hour, as opposed to creating a value driven Happy Hour food menu. Liquor sales contribute to an organization’s net profit far more than food sales contribute.

    The How 

    While business priorities in the restaurant industry are hotly debated, two that are high on everyone’s list are theft prevention behind the bar and proper purchasing strategy.

    Behind-The-Bar Theft Prevention

    Your customers want alcohol, and your employees not only control said alcohol, but work for tips. There are a variety of ways for bar staff to cheat the system, and use their powers for evil, not good. The following best practices should always be implemented behind the bar.

      • Weekly Bar Inventory – Performing weekly bar inventory enables you to readily see the variance in your INV levels, as well as the relationship between your purchasing dollars against the sales revenue.

      • Consistency in Counting – Always having two people count and record the same way every week provides you the accuracy you need to readily spot anomalies in your bottle usage and stock value.

      • Repair & Maintenance Issues – By counting weekly it also keeps you aware of the surrounding facilities and equipment to be proactive on preventative maintenance concerns.

      • Breakage Book & Comp Tabs – The breakage book, also known as a Bottle Book is a tool that allows you to readily check your usage against your sales to clearly see if a team member has a pension to giving away a specific type of alcohol as well as controlling waste or spill.  For an added benefit it is always recommended to provide your bartenders with a Comp Tab.  Comp Tabs enables your bartenders to build your business and while you maintain control of how much product is being given away or promoted to do so.  

    Proper Purchasing Strategy

    Using your COGS to influence your purchasing strategy is a great way of turning data insights into tangible cost savings. 

    By tracking your restaurant’s sales and spend on a weekly basis in a weekly purchase journal, you’ll be able to zero in low on slow selling items and make spending cuts accordingly. 

    Using a declining budget based off of forecasted sales each week will allow you to keep Inventory levels lower, more easily track variances in your inventory, and cash in the bank. As an added bonus, having an inventory system will ensure that your stock value (total sum of inventory value) is accurate against your purchases for that week.

    This article is compliments of Toast.

    As always, check out Restaurantsupply.com for all your restaurant needs.

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  4. National Food Holidays in 2018: Marketing Calendar for Restaurants

    2018 food holidays

    With 2018 comes a new year and a new opportunity to impress your guests every single day.

    We all know about Mother's DayChristmas, and Valentine's Day - but in your restaurant, do you observe the popular national food holidays?

    I'm talking about everyone's real favorite days of the year - National Taco Day, National Shrimp Day, National Cheeseburger Day, and all the other national food days.

    Arguably, national food holidays are more important to your restaurant than the more "traditionally observed" holidays because, in a way, these days were made for restaurants. It's up to you to come up with creative restaurant promotions and marketing ideas to bring more customers into your restaurants on these days. 

    These national food days are also a fantastic opportunity to leverage your restaurant's loyalty program and sell more gift cards throughout the year.

    Here are 16 popular food days and national food holidays you can start planning for in your restaurant. Be sure to take note of them in your 2018 Restaurant Marketing Calendar.

    Download the 2018 Restaurant Marketing Calendar

    National Chocolate Cake Day – January 27

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    National Chocolate Cake Day (January 27) celebrates a staple of the restaurant industry – from bakeries and cafés, to Happy Birthday sing-a-longs at casual dining chains, to exquisite Bavarian delight in fine dining restaurants. Since desserts are among the most highly marked-up sections of the menu, don't dismiss this dessert's day.

    Try out a couple ideas for your National Chocolate Cake Day promotion:

    1. Bake a limited-edition National Chocolate Cake Day cake.
    2. Offer a free chocolate cake slice per table.
    3. Give a coupon for a free slice of cake for a guest's next visit. 

    National Pizza Day – February 9

    national pizza day

    National Pizza Day (February 9) is just around the corner! Pizzerias rejoice - this is one of America's most beloved foods, with 3 billion pizzas being sold each year in this country alone. If you create a promotion to celebrate the true joy that pizzas bring, your customers will definitely embrace it.

    If your restaurant sells pizza, try one of these promotions for National Pizza Day:

    1. Half-price pizzas with two or more toppings.
    2. A free small cheese pizza with the purchase of a $25 gift card.
    3. A complimentary slice of pizza to everyone who stops by and is a member of your loyalty program.

    To raise awareness of whatever promotion you decide on, share the special on your restaurant social media pages and send out an alert to your customer database and loyalty program members. 

    National Margarita Day – February 22

    national margarita day

    National Margarita Day (February 22) is clearly here for the 21+ crowd. Have some fun with this one for your bar or full service restaurant!

    Consider one of these promotions:

    1. Offer an extended happy hour to celebrate the day.
    2. Host an event for unlimited or discounted margaritas. Sell tickets in advance and serve light apps or chips and salsa. 
    3. Keep it simple and offer half-off margaritas.

    National Shrimp Day – May 10

    national shrimp day

    National Shrimp Day (May 10) lands just as the weather starts to get warmer and people get excited for summer months. Bars offering shrimp cocktail and classier seafood restaurants could see a surge in business. Acknowledge the day with one of these promotions. 

    1. Host a "Cocktails and Shrimp Cocktail" event in your bar. 
    2. Make your specials menu entirely shrimp-centric. 
    3. Offer a free fried shrimp appetizer with the purchase of any other appetizer. 

    National Wine Day – May 25

    national wine day

    National Wine Day (May 25) promotions will be most successful in bars, full service, and fine dining restaurants. Whether you have a limited selection or a wide array of fine wines, bring attention to your vino menu with one of these ideas.

    1. Offer a complimentary sampler of wines during dinner when guests order a meal over $40.
    2. Highlight a few featured wines that are new to your menu and aren't getting the attention they deserve. Add them to a special National Wine Day menu and sell them for a lower price to see if your guests enjoy the drink or determine if you should remove them from your menu.
    3. Offer a prix-fixe menu and include some of your finest wines as the selected beverages.

    Whatever you decide to do, it might be beneficial to turn Wine Day into Wine Week, especially if it falls on a weekday. Make the announcement on your restaurant's website and social media pages.

    National Egg Day – June 3

    national egg day

    National Egg Day (June 3) opens up a ton of possibilities for diners and for restaurants that offer breakfast. Whether you scramble 'em, fry 'em, or hard boil 'em, people love eggs, with the average American eating 250 eggs each year. Here are some ways restaurants can capitalize on this.

    1. Discounted omelets all day long. After all, who says no to breakfast for dinner?
    2. Bonus loyalty points for members of your loyalty program who stop in to visit and order a dish with eggs.
    3. Free toppings in omelets today only.

    For National Egg Day, share your promotion idea on any signs or boards you have in your restaurant so your regulars know it's coming up.

    National Onion Ring Day – June 22

    national onion ring day

    National Onion Ring Day (June 22) may just be the predecessor to the next major national food holiday (more on that later), but it's still a chance to bring some attention to an otherwise underrated appetizer. Try a couple of these ideas to get some sales rolling. 

    1. Charge a fee for upgrading to onion rings? Nix that for the day. 
    2. Give all tables a free onion ring tower if they purchase drinks. 
    3. The week before June 22, give all patrons a coupon for a free side of onion rings if they come in on the 22nd. 

    National French Fries Day – July 13

    national french fries day

    National French Fries Day (July 13) honors the staple side dish of almost every American meal. Some restaurants show their french fry appreciation in many forms: curly, sweet potato, parmesan truffle, you name it. Try some of these strategies to boost sales on National French Fries Day.

    1. Pizzerias can throw in an order of fries to all orders of $15 or more - even those that don't ask for it! This is called surprise and delight, and your customers will be gleefully taken aback.
    2. Fancier restaurants can offer a complimentary side of house fries (like parmesan truffle or sweet potato) at all tables.
    3. Post that it's National French Fries Day on your social media channels and say that all members of your loyalty program who come in and say "Happy National French Fry Day!" get a free side of fries. (Also mention that if they're not a member of your loyalty program they can easily join!)

    For promotion, it's best to stick to social media for this one. You can even try posting the announcement to your Story on Snapchat!

    National Vanilla Ice Cream Day – July 23

    national ice cream day

    "Anyone care for dessert?" 

    To get more of your guests to answer "yes" to that question, try these strategies on National Ice Cream Day (June 23).

    1. Any dessert with ice cream is buy one, get one free.
    2. Make any dessert a la mode at no extra cost. 
    3. Gift card special for the week: free ice cream cone/dish when a guest purchases a gift card $20 or more.

    National Oyster Day – August 5

    national oyster day

    National Oyster Day (August 5) finally brings us around to seafood restaurants, which have been waiting for their turn on the National Food Day calendar all year. Now that it's here, try these promotion ideas.

    1. All-you-can-eat oyster bar for a discounted price.
    2. Host an oyster eating contest at your restaurant. 
    3. Give a complimentary coupon for a free side order of oysters on the next visit when guests buy a $50 gift card.

    National Cheeseburger Day - September 18

    national cheeseburger day

    That picture is making me very hungry and I now wish that National Cheeseburger Day (September 18) were tomorrow. When it finally does arrive, these ideas may be worth a try.

    1. No charge for cheese or extra cheese on a burger. (It's National Cheeseburger Day, after all!).
    2. Double loyalty points when someone buys a cheeseburger today (and double points when someone signs up today).
    3. Free drink and fries with the purchase of any cheeseburger.

    Start promoting a week or two in advance. Social media is best, and reaching out to your customer base via email marketing will also work well. 

    National Coffee Day - September 29

    national coffee day

    Americans consume 400 million cups of coffee every day - it's almost like every day is National Coffee Day. Regardless, here are some ideas to help you celebrate.

    1. Free coffee for your loyalty program members. If money is tight at your restaurant or cafe, try offering a free coffee with the purchase of a pastry or food item (or vice versa).
    2. BOGO coffee when you come in with a friend.
    3. Complimentary coffee after a meal for fine dining restaurants.

    National Taco Day - October 4

    national taco day

    Forget Cinco de Mayo; October 4th is the real National Taco Day. Here are some ways you can embrace tacos in your restaurant.

    • $2 tacos all night long with the purchase of a drink.
    • Experiment with a limited-time taco menu - taco pizza, fish tacos, etc.
    • Taco eating contest. Enough said.

    National Nacho Day – November 6

    national nacho day

    National Nacho Day (November 6) embraces the classic bar snack. Add guacamole, chicken, salsa, corn, you name it. Everything seems to go with nachos. Promoting your National Nacho Day specials on your restaurant Instagram account with enticing images of chips smothered in melted cheese will have millennials flocking to your restaurant. 

    Here are a few options for specials:

    1. Offer free add-ons to any basic nachos.
    2. Promote a special of bottomless nachos with the purchase of any drink.
    3. Host bar trivia. The winning team wins a gift card redeemable for ten free nacho appetizers over the year.

    National Cookie Day – December 4

    national cookie day

    National Cookie Day can be a big seller for your cafe or bakery. Use social media to help promote one of these strategies.

    1. Complimentary dozen of cookies with the purchase of a $25 gift card and/or half off a dozen of cookies for everyone.
    2. One free cookie to everyone in your loyalty program and/or one free cookie with the purchase of another item for everyone else.
    3. Sell a limited-time cookie variety box with limited time varieties. Listen to the feedback you get and consider adding one of the types to your menu!

    Aside from social media, leveraging your customer database here is another smart idea.

    National Lager Day – December 10

    national lager day

    Cheers to you, National Lager Day! December 10 is the time to grab a glass and be thankful for the beers in your life. These days, Americans are obsessed with hoppy craft IPAs. If you have any German or Euro-inspired lagers, showcase them on your draft line this day. 

    Here are a few ideas you can give a whirl:

    1. Replace all of your ale kegs with lagers.
    2. If you can't swap out your kegs cost-effectively, offer half-off lagers. 
    3. Have a "two bears for the price of one" special to fill more seats at the bar.

    Preparing for National Food Days in Your Restaurant

    These are just ten of the hundreds of National Food Days and National Food Holidays your restaurant may want to prepare for. But how can you plan for the rest, not to mention every other holiday, like Mother's Day, Christmas, and Easter?

    We know how challenging it can be for restaurants to balance their marketing over the course of the year. 

    That's why we've whipped up a 2018 Restaurant Marketing Calendar. It's an interactive template you can use to plan out your marketing budget, activities, and promotions alongside 2018's national food days.

    We also connect you with the resources you'll need to formulate a restaurant marketing budget best fit for your restaurant.

    We've already made a dent in 2018 - it's time to start planning for the rest of the year in your restaurant.

    This article is compliments of Toast.

    As always, check out Restaurantsupply.com for all your restaurant needs.

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  5. 8 Things to Avoid When Managing a Restaurant in 2018

    restaurant trends in 2018

    The New Year always brings about a sense that things can be better. It’s like you get a mulligan for the last year; a fresh start filled with hope, promise, and ambition.

    This article is compliments of Toast.

    As always, check out Restaurantsupply.com for all your restaurant needs.

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  6. A Year In Food: Favorite Restaurant Dishes from 2017

    best food in 2017

    As another year draws to a close, we reflect.

    It’s pretty standard to look back on the year that was, and pay homage to the more memorable highs and lows dotting your timeline. Now, be honest: how many of those involve food?

    Shift your gaze from behind the lense of your mind’s eye, to your stomach’s.

     2017, among other things, was a year filled with some outrageously awesome eats. As America ushered in a new era of revolutionary change, we likewise witnessed (and tasted) some truly revolutionary creations coming out of restaurant kitchens across the country.

    To celebrate the year in all her delicious glory, we’ve polled restaurant staff and diners alike on their favorite dishes from 2017; from staff, their favorite new offering, from diners, their favorite fare eaten.  

    Pull up a chair, keep your napkin handy, and get ready to grub; let’s nosh our way through the year in food, and some of the most delectable dishes 2017 had to offer.  

    The Winner's Circle

    312 Beef & Sausage

    best food from 2017

    Described as “your neighborhood beef, sausage, and hot dog joint,” 312 Beef & Sausage in Freeport, IL shook up the sausage game in 2017 by beefing up their standard offerings with the inclusion of a rotating new “dog of the week” option.

    Co-Owner, Adam Talbert, says two were stand out sales successes:

    • The Mac & Cheese Dog – Bacon-wrapped Vienna dog topped with mac & cheese, toasted breadcrumbs & chopped fresh Chives.
    • The Southern Brunch Dog – Bacon-wrapped Vienna dog topped with fresh-cut hashbrowns, a fried egg, and homemade Italian sausage gravy on a steamed poppy seed bun.

    Au Pied de Cochon

    A unique dining experience in Quebec, Au Pied de Cochon is a carnivore-foodie’s dream. With two locations, one in the heart of the city, the other in the woods of greater Quebec, Au Pied de Cochon’s rotating menu offerings are small batch, undeniably drool-worthy, and only available to the eyes of diners once they sit down for their meal.


    Toast employee Theo Gugiou was lucky enough to have their Foie Gras Lobster Roll. “Amazingly decadent,” he says, “20/10 would eat again”

    Orinoco: A Latin Kitchen

    Cordero2 (1).jpg

    Orinco: A Latin Kitchen is spicing up the Greater Boston Community with their authentic Venezuelan flavors and flair. Boasting an entirely native Venezuelan staff, and a “casual, lively, and fun” atmosphere, they blend old family recipes, classics from the Andes and Caribbean region, and local ingredients to give Boston area diners the tastiest glimpse into life in Venezuela.

    Toast employee Lauren Hogge’s world was utterly rocked by their Cordero Tradicional, comprised of pistachio-panela-plaintain crusted New Zealand lamb chops with mint mojo, served with an Arugula/Cabrales cheese salad

    “It is

    This article is compliments of Toast.

    As always, check out Restaurantsupply.com for all your restaurant needs.

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