If you own or work for a non-formal restaurant, this blog post is for you. These are seven of the most common mistakes that restaurants are making and how to remedy them. Make these improvements, and watch your customers become happier and your restaurant become more crowded with new people coming to try your restaurant.
1) People want to watch something but they're not sure if they'll be able to get their channel—or you don't even have a TV.
Solution? You're under-utilizing your TV and your cable package (which most people no longer have). You're a sports bar, but you only play sports games. Which is logical. But in this market, you need to do things that set you apart from the 12 other sports bars surrounding you. So many girls throw "The Bachelor" show parties in their apartments. Why not throw one at your business? And trust me—build your field for women and the men will come. Get creative. Make a calendar online of what you'll be showing, and with extra TV's leftover, people can sign up to use them for certain times (and add passive income to your business).
2) People are hot.
I can't tell you how many times various dining parties I've been apart of have gone to Leon's in Decatur, GA, just because of their fans that mist water. They are surrounded by other restaurants, but they do something that no one else in the vicinity does.
3) People leave because there's a long wait.
This is one of the best problems you can have. But how do you keep those potentially frustrated or bored customers happy enough to wait 20-60 minutes for a table?
Solution? Consider putting TV Shield's outside your entrances and by the entrance patio if there is one. Dedicate one of your staff to start serving those customers drinks while they wait.
4) You're still using a clipboard for back-of-the-house tasks.
Solution? Proprietary software exists that will save you $1000's in time and money so you can focus on what really matters—your customers and the food. Manage invoices, track food and supplier prices, order supplies, and stop the madness of data entry at Orderly. Many notable local Atlanta chefs have had great luck with it.
5) You're still not using WiFi outdoors.
6) You're using incandescent lights and the lighting fixtures are rusting.
Solution? Hands down, Coastal Source offers the best outdoor lighting on the market. The air-tight "o ring" in their wires is a bright orange circle that makes a popping sound when you open it. That means that water, dirt, food, nothing is going to get into these wires. Their offices are located in Key West, Florida so their engineers have often tested them against the elements and even completely underwater. They also use similar and like metals when constructing the fixtures. This may not seem like a big deal, but it is when other companies will use a nice fixture but then stick cheap sockets, connectors, and screws inside of the wires. These dissimilar metals will eventually corrode and it will need to be fixed or replaced. Coastal Source isn't inexpensive in the beginning stages, but it eventually becomes way cheaper than competitors since little to no maintenance is needed on their products.
7) You don't have a control system.
Solution? It's easier than ever to integrate your audio, video and lighting using existing wired and wireless networks that you already have in place. Imagine being able to press the "Sunday Ticket" preset and turn on all of your TV's, set the DirecTV boxes to their appropriate channels, and later in the evening trigger the "Outdoor Dining" scene which would turn on music and adjust lighting and water features—all from the front of house iPad.
*This blog post was NOT sponsored. These are simply my opinions of what the best products on the market are.