Blog

  1. Adding Fall Flair to your Marketing Strategy

    Adding Fall Flair to your Marketing Strategy

    Taking advantage of fall trends and holidays, and incorporating them into your marketing efforts is a great way rein people in and keep them interested in your restaurant. Most people love fall, so if you live in an area that experiences all 4 seasons, you should make the most of it!  

    Holiday Marketing

    The beginning of fall means Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are coming and because these are the biggest holidays, it’s so easy to do special things centered on these holidays. Specifically for Halloween, you can hold a costume contest each week leading up to the big day and give out a gift card or some type of reward for the winner. You can also have sales that correspond with Cyber Monday and Christmas discounts. People love a good sale during the holidays and will be sure to get involved with anything that allows them to spend less money!

    Seasonal Content

    Those generic posts that you put out on your social media every so often can be transformed to fit the fall theme. Create content that is personal, shareable, and goes with the theme of colder weather. You can create content about your chef's’ favorite “Fall Recipes” or something similar to get your customers excited.  

    Fall Themed Events

    Throw a fall-themed event (wine tasting, harvest party, etc)! This not only gets your customers excited for fall, but gets them excited to visit your restaurant and actually gets them to come out and generates foot traffic through your restaurant. You can offer special drinks and food, and maybe even go a step further and use fresh produce that’s popular in the fall, like apples and pumpkins! 

    Smart marketers take advantage of what’s going on around them to stay relevant, so as we say hello to fall, think about capitalizing on some of the key themes of fall to draw in customers!

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  2. Getting your Patio Fall Ready

    Getting your Patio Fall Ready

    Patios are HUGE revenue boosters for restaurants, but now the colder weather is moving in—a little early, so it’s time to start thinking about how to equip your restaurant patio for the cold. No one wants to sit outside to eat if they’re cold, so how can you make changes to your patio so that it’s still accessible during the fall? Obviously, extreme weather will shut your patio down, but before the snow comes I’ve got some tips for how to maximize the time you have left with your patio:

    Heating Equipment

    There is plenty of heating equipment out there for you to buy to keep your patio cozy. Propane heaters are a viable option because for all those concerned with safety out there, they are cool to the touch and have safety controls, allowing customers and servers to move by with ease. Tents are another option that can ward off winter a little longer and are cheaper than adding a permanent addition to your restaurant. These may seem a little pricey, but over time these investments will pay off!

    Fireplaces

    Just like a moth to a flame, fireplaces will draw in customers. People love a fireplace (or fire pit), and the cozy atmosphere it provides! In the case that you might not want to have your staff worry about tending to the fire, you can purchase a “fake” fireplace—you know those infrared space heaters that people have in their homes that still give off heat.

    Seasonal Specials

    Mixing up the menu is the perfect way to attract customers, especially if some of those specials are specific to your patio. People will be impressed that you can pull off keeping your patio open in the cold weather and as an added bonus, you can provide them with special drinks or dishes to keep them even warmer!

    Just because the colder weather is coming, doesn’t mean that you have to shut down your moneymaking patio. We want you to keep your patio open as long as you can, and so do your customers—as long as you make it warm and cozy!

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  3. Boozy Popsicles

    Boozy Popsicles

    People keep saying their summer is over, but we have a great way for you to extend your summer just a little bit longer! Adults especially, need summer more than the kids do (or at least it feels like it), so we’re going to put a twist on your child’s favorite summer treat and make it adult-friendly. 

     

    Mint Chocolate Popsicle

     2.5 ounces Kerrygold Irish Cream

    1 ounce chocolate liqueur

    ¾ teaspoon mint extract

    1 ounce rich syrup

    6 ounces light coconut milk

    4.5 ounces full fat coconut milk

    In a mixing bowl, combine the Kerrygold Irish Cream, chocolate liqueur, mint extract, rich syrup, and coconut milk. Whisk to combine, pour into popsicle molds, and freeze for 24 to 48 hours. 

     

    People love the mint/chocolate combo and this is a great way to treat your sweet tooth, while also having some fun. Perfect for picnics and parties. Extend your summer a little longer with these tasty treats!

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  4. Picking the Right Dinnerware

    Picking the Right Dinnerware

    Even something as small as the type of dinnerware used at your restaurant matters an can make or break the success of your restaurant. Whether you need to spruce up your restaurant’s look and style, or you’re opening a restaurant of your own, dinnerware is something to focus on. Presentation is everything! There is a wide variety of dinnerware to choose from and I’m here to give you some tips for where to start:

    Ceramic Dinnerware

    On the less expensive side, ceramic dinnerware is glazed and fired to have a more rustic look. Ceramic dinnerware is less durable than most others and prone to chipping, but if taken well care of, can be extremely aesthetically pleasing to your customers and can help set the tone for your restaurant. Bonus: it’s dishwasher safe!

    Porcelain

    I’m sure we all know that porcelain dinnerware makes for very upscale and elegant dining. Even the finest porcelain dinnerware is generally dishwasher and oven safe. However, it's not microwave safe and porcelain dinnerware tends to be more expensive than other types.

    Wooden

    Wood dishes are made with---well wood, obviously, and have been sealed with lacquer to create durable dishes perfect for your restaurant. They can be used to serve hot and cold foods and can bring a warm and welcoming feel to your restaurant environment. Perfect for fast, casual places! 

    Although a seemingly small part of your restaurant, dinnerware is essential to your restaurant and can significantly contribute to the ambiance of your restaurant. Here’s the link to some of the dinnerware we sell on our website: https://www.restaurantsupply.com/restaurant-dinnerware!

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  5. Naming your Cocktail

    Naming your Cocktail

    You’ve been working on this drink for quite a long time, and now you’ve finally perfected it! Well---now what do you name it? That seems like a long, arduous task in itself after you’ve just poured your heart and soul into making this drink. So, how do you find a name that does your drink justice? Here are some tips!

    Ingredients

    Using ingredients to name a cocktail can perfect for your customers in explaining what's exactly in the drink. It’s not always the best, most creative idea, but is definitely something to fall back on if all else fails. 

    Local 

    You might be able to attribute your drink to something in your town. A local park, monument, or something of that nature might be perfect when naming your drink! 

    Inspiration

    What inspired you to create the drink? Maybe someone you know inspired your drink and you can work their name into it somehow. Using your inspiration as the name for your drink gives it a personal touch. 

    Get creative and give your drink the justice it deserves! We know how hard you work to put out great tasting drinks for your customers and having a bad name might derail the success of the drink.

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  6. Garnishing with Dehydrated Produce

    Garnishing with Dehydrated Produce

    Bartenders have been seeking new techniques to make their cocktails unique and using dehydrated fruit is one of the newest trends! There’s plenty of bars all serving the same drinks, but you should be constantly brainstorming new ideas to make your bar and drinks stand out. You can easily buy a food dehydrator to dry out your vegetables and fruits to garnish your drinks with. 

    Even just drying your basic limes and lemons can make a world of difference because although they’re used in many drinks across the world, dehydrating them makes them identifiable. These dried fruits are not only aesthetically pleasing, but they’re delicious and can be eaten by the customer. 

    Dehydrating food for your drinks also decreases your carbon footprint and reduces waste. If you chop up a lemon or lime, they only last for a few days, but drying them out makes them last indefinitely. Along with the reducing your impact on the environment, you get the added bonus of saving money (yay for impacting your bottom line!). You spend less on garnishes for your drinks because you’re now cutting garnishes once a month instead of every single day. 

    Check out some of our food dehydrators below to use in your restaurant:

    https://www.restaurantsupply.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=food%20dehydrator!

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  7. History of Ice

    History of Ice

    Ice is found in most drinks across the world, but at one time, way, way back when, ice was a rare treat for the wealthy. Ice was used sparingly before the 16thcentury, but was brought back by the Italians and picked up by France to be used for extravagant events. Henry III displayed ice on tables when entertaining to chill his wines and show off his excessive wealth.

    Eventually, ice found its way to the United States and became popular among the rich, with the likes of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson using ice to enjoy drinks and treats. At the beginning of the 19thcentury, lakes were no longer the only ways to obtain blocks of ice with the first ice machine created in 1845 in Mississippi. However, it wasn’t popular, so it sat on the shelf for a couple more decades before it was picked up again in Texas and as the end of the century approached, ice became all the rage in the beverage industry.

    Ice became a garnish and part of the flair of a cocktail. Using clean ice was aesthetically pleasing and people began experimenting with how to use certain ice shapes in different cocktails. Because of the changing liquor laws in America, ice took a back seat for some time, but returned as an essential part of the modern cocktail in the 2000’s. Ice companies grew to serve the demand for innovative, clean ice that bartenders were looking for to experiment with in their cocktails.

    Next time a bartender places your cocktail in front of you, take an extra minute to appreciate the ice in your drink and be aware of the shape that they used to perfect your drink!

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  8. Creating Budgets for your Restaurant

    Creating Budgets for your Restaurant

    Whether you’re opening a new restaurant, or playing with new ways to save money at your current restaurant, budgeting the correct way can save you a ton of money! Knowing how much money you bring in each month lets you know the targets you’re hitting and if your restaurant is actually successful. Being aware of how much money you’re making allows you to be proactive with your money and plan for the future. Here are some tips for restaurant budgeting: 

    Forecast your Restaurant’s Sales

    If you don’t already keep track of your profits, you need to go back and gather your sales from the past year. Once you know your sales from the past year, you need to make a 12-month budget. This isn’t something that needs to wait until January of each year (we know you’re just trying to procrastinate!). You can make a budget any month of the year.

    Create your Budget

    Making your actual budget helps you plan for the year ahead. Obviously you might make some missteps, but those can be easily corrected. It’s better to plan for the future and adapt as time passes than to completely ignore it and have to go into self-preservation mode without any idea of what you’re doing. Creating a budget allows you to set goals for the restaurant and that way at the end of your 12-month budget, you can see if you exceeded goals (or completely flopped, but we’re hoping for the former!).

    Setting a budget for any business can seem stressful, but if you take the time to sit down and truly make a budget, you’ll know where your restaurant stands and you’ll be able to set goals and plan for the future.

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  9. Strong Restaurant Culture and Values

    Strong Restaurant Culture and Values

    Designing a strong restaurant culture proves to make a restaurant more profitable and successful. People identify with brands and businesses that resonate with them and that have identifiers that make them different from their competitors. Anyone can own a restaurant and just do the basics: serve food, but having a restaurant culture with identifiable values helps not only your customers feel more connected, but your employees. We’re going to focus on employees for this blog because retaining employees is important. Values give employees a sense of purpose and the sense that they’re working for a larger purpose and this has become very popular among millennials entering the workforce.

    Differentiation

    Identifying values that make your restaurant unique sustain culture, and culture is what drives a business and promotes those values further. Values should come from leadership and be consistent with your brand. If values aren’t set in stone from the top, employees will set those values for you, which doesn’t typically work because they get miscommunicated. 

    Little Things

    The little things DO count. Having the necessary equipment and materials to get the job done is very important to employees. Employees shouldn’t have their materials shorted and little things, such as having a sufficient amount of pens, towels, etc, are essential in running your restaurant. Employees feel neglected and less important and respected when you can’t even provide them with the basics that help them do their job. This can lead to a toxic work environment and a culture where employees feel disrespected and unable to approach management. Management needs to be consistent with its messages and values and follow through on these promises.

    The work environment and culture can easily become toxic and be detrimental to your restaurant. Clearly communicating your values and brand identity to your employees makes for an overall better work experience and more successful business.

     

     

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  10. Furnishing your Restaurant

    Furnishing your Restaurant

    Planning the opening of a new restaurant, or even rebranding and refurnishing your current one can prove to be a difficult task. You would assume that it might be easy and might even be a bit fun (depends on who you ask—we’re not all interior decorators), but it can prove to be a daunting task.  We're here to provide you with some tips! 

    Consistency

    Atmosphere is important and certain colors and environments can complement your menu better. Once you decide the theme or vision of your restaurant, you need to keep that consistent across everything inside your restaurant because this reinforces your brand and what you want to convey about your restaurant to customers. If you’re not great with interior design, stick to neutral colors (black, white, tan, etc.). Sticking to the same colors and theme will reinforce your brand.

    Comfort

    Even if your restaurant and business thrives on sophistication and elegance, you still want to make sure your customers are comfortable. If you’re a quick-serve restaurant, you can forego comfort for wooden or metal chairs without sacrificing your customer base, but if you’re a sit-down dinner restaurant, you want to make sure your furniture is comfortable for the amount of time your customers spend there. Uncomfortable furniture can result in the turning down of the dessert menu and less glasses of wine!

    Upkeep

    At first when buying furniture for your restaurant, you might opt for the cheaper options, but you need to think of the future and how well the furniture can be cleaned and how durable it is. Wear and tear happens very quickly in popular restaurants (more so than at your own kitchen table), and then you’ll have to keep spending money to replace it.

    There are so many great options for furnishing your restaurant, but being smart about what you buy is important in building a successful restaurant. Check out the variety of furniture we have on our website: https://www.restaurantsupply.com/restaurant-furniture!

     

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