How to start a successful food business in 2021: The 4 C Strategy

Step 4 of the 4C Strategy is: Customers

Running a successful and efficient food business is all about concept, cost, culture, and finally customer management.

At this stage of the 4C Strategy, you are ready to start putting the final details together and preparing for the launch of your restaurant business. But before you open those doors, here are 3 Critical Processes You Need to Implement to Conveniently Manage, Measure, and Increase Your Customers:

1. setting up point of sale technology for your restaurant

Implementing the right technology can optimize your food business and streamline operations for maximum efficiency, revenue, and customer management. Your restaurant POS (point of sale system) is a vital element and these days cloud POS systems are the most popular and well-integrated option.

Once you have implemented all of the right SaaS tools, you can then input your inventory and menu and use them to track stock, monitor your income and expenditure, and track customer interactions with the business.

Track Everything from Inventory to Cover Averages with SaaS

When you implement SaaS (software as a service) solutions in your restaurant business, you can always make sure that you have access to the technology that you need and as you scale your business, it can easily handle the increased demand and changing needs.

 

Cloud POS systems can integrate with other software, like your accounting applications, for easy financial tracking and management. They can also be used in conjunction with inventory management tools so you can always track stock levels and avoid running out of key ingredients.

Mobile POS systems that allow you to use an app on a tablet are more efficient for servers and allow for easy payment at the table, which brings a lot of benefits. When comparing POS systems, consider the features included and how well it integrates with other tech tools, but also think about the monthly subscription cost and how this fits into your budget.

CRMs Help Increase Customer Loyalty and Improve Marketing Efforts

CRM (customer relationship management) tools are also very useful for restaurant businesses.

On average, roughly 70% of diners will only visit your restaurant once and never return. That means the remaining 30% of customers are the ones driving your profit margins.

CRMs store customer information like their name, age, birthday, dietary restrictions, and their contact details. So, on repeat visits, you already have a lot of information you can use to improve their experience. It also gives you great opportunities for marketing too.

 

CRM software will then track the effectiveness of your marketing so you can adjust your strategy and create more effective campaigns in the future.

2. increase your customer base with effective digital marketing

Digital marketing is the best tool you have at your disposal when it comes to first impressions and whether someone will decide to dine with you or not! There are a number of strategies you should employ to increase the effectiveness of your marketing while making the customer experience as convenient as possible.

in 2021, effective Social Media Marketing is necessary for a restaurant's visibility and audience retention

Social media marketing is an excellent way for restaurant businesses to reach a large number of potential customers and show people what they are offering.

Using visual platforms like Instagram is perfect, so post pictures of the food and the restaurant itself to help promote the brand and build some buzz about the restaurant. Live-streaming is also a good way to give people a behind-the-scenes look at the restaurant and create some more exciting content. Streams of your chef making a signature dish or your bartender mixing up a cocktail, for example, will get a lot of interest on social media.

Interacting with existing customers on social media can also help to build loyalty and encourage more visits in the future. Engagement is the key to building your following and strengthening your brand, so make sure that you post consistently and interact with people on social media as much as possible.

Automated Email Marketing Keeps Your Customers Engaged For You

Email marketing is another important aspect of your digital marketing strategy. If you use your website and in-store collection to build a strong email list, you can leverage those contacts to increase footfall in the restaurant in the future. Sending out specialized promotions to existing customers, for example, is a good way to get them to come back in.

When people visit your website and show some interest but they don’t book a table, re-contacting them is important. If you don’t take any action, you lose that potential customer, and email marketing is a good way to do that. A simple pop-up asking people to sign up to your email list can help you gather those contacts and connect with them, hopefully encouraging them to book a table.


Finally, email marketing is a good tool for letting people know about any promotions or events that you have coming up, and you can use it to give updates about any loyalty programs you have.

Why does the best Website Design matter for a food business?

Surveys show that 77% of people visit a restaurant website before deciding if they want to visit. A staggering 70% of people in that group have decided against visiting after viewing the site.

So, creating a vibrant website that showcases the amazing elements of your restaurant is vital, along with implementing proper local seo and digital marketing strategies. Contact details, easy online booking systems, and reviews are all key features too. You need to make the whole process of booking a table and getting to the restaurant as easy as possible for your customers.

Professional Video and Food Images are a Must

High-quality images and media matter just as much as the functionality of your site. People need a sense of what the food is like and when they can’t taste or smell it, it’s all about the presentation.

Professional photos of mouth-watering food will get people excited about eating at your restaurant. Make sure that your menu is easy to navigate and provides plenty of information too, especially the prices. If people can’t see prices, they cannot judge whether your restaurant is within their budget or not, so they won’t visit.

3. Optimize and automate your operations for a better customer journey

When the restaurant is up and running, you should always be focused on ways to optimize your operations for better customer experiences. 

 

In 2021, there are a number of effective ways to optimize and automate operations while creating conveniences, for the best return on investment all around.

Simplify the Customer Experience by Integrating Online Pickup and Delivery

The food delivery market continues to grow, and all restaurants should capitalize on this. You can manage deliveries yourself or integrate with a third-party delivery service like Just Eat or UberEats. This opens you up to a whole host of new customers and creates a brand new revenue stream. Being set up for delivery kept a lot of restaurant businesses alive during the recent pandemic, and you never know what the future may hold.

Track, Analyze, and Collect Data to Improve People, Process, and Product

Standardized processes throughout the business need to be constantly monitored using the software and apps that you have already implemented, as well as new tools. You should always be looking for opportunities to streamline things and optimize processes to cut costs and manage your overheads.

Once the business has been up and running for a while, you can start evaluating your results and looking for areas of improvement. You will get a good sense of what works and what doesn’t, so you can then start making plans for the future in order to grow the business and adapt to changing consumer demands.

With enough data tracking, automation, and optimization, your business should be convenient for customers and employees alike no matter what new trends come along.

The 4C’s provide an excellent framework for new food businesses. If you follow them closely, you can make the journey from an initial idea all the way to a successful restaurant business.

If you’ve reached this far and are motivated to grow and scale your food concept, our food business consulting classes and resources are available to help you succeed from day one.

 

Follow us as we take the next steps to success.

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