Monday, November 30, 2020

Is now a good time to start a customer loyalty program? Absolutely!


If you’re the owner or manager of a small, independent restaurant, now is absolutely the right time to start up a customer

loyalty program.  You’ll be showing your customers and employees that you’re committed to the future when there is lots of

uncertainty out there about potential restaurant closings as we enter our first COVID winter.


With a loyalty program, you’ll be rewarding current customers for their support versus the more expensive cost

of developing a strategy to attract new ones.  


We recently spoke with Nick Harron, owner of REV Kitchen & Bar in Beverly, MA, who opened his restaurant with a built-in loyalty program he acquired when he bought out his partner(s). 

The loyalty program definitely helped Nick retain customers as he transitioned the restaurant’s name and underwent

a major rebranding and menu redesign.


“We are in a suburban area, on a main thoroughfare, that has lots of restaurants with slow drive time, and limited rooftops. 

By giving back to our customers, we get better word of mouth support and are able to connect with our guest core” says Nick.  


Nick also did a really great job of pivoting his restaurant from mostly dine-in, to all takeout and delivery during the early

COVID months (even featuring items like toilet paper, masks and gloves at the bottom of their menu when local supplies

were hard to get).  Now that his customers can dine-in again, he continues to work with a company called TableUp

that handles his online reservations, ordering, seating, and, perhaps most importantly, loyalty.


Another company on the Northshore of Boston that does a fabulous job of customer loyalty marketing is The Serenitee Group of Gloucester.  They started with a single restaurant, Alchemy in 2003, followed soon

by Cala’s in Manchester-by-the-Sea.  Prior to COVID, they were operating 8 highly successful restaurants,

and in just the past 2 months, they’ve opened TAJ Gloucester (a take out-only and delivery Indian restaurant)

and Little Red Rooster (a take out-only and delivery fried chicken restaurant located in a repurposed, Serenitee-owned

bar and music venue).  


The Serenitee Group has managed to leverage their customer loyalty base to support the recent launching of these two

new restaurants.  Plus they do an amazing job of marketing that generates customer visits to specific restaurants,

featuring specific offerings, on specific days.



You can start small, or go large.  But however you do it, rewarding your regular customers makes smart business sense.


Monday, November 23, 2020

It used to be about the food... Now it’s all about The Clean!


Pre-COVID-19, most customer conversations centered around food, be it the menu choices, quality and taste, serving

portions and price.  But now, it’s all about The Clean, especially across the Northern part of the country as outdoor spaces

close and patrons are deciding whether or not to dine inside. 


If they don’t think your restaurant is sufficiently clean, they won’t dine there and word will get out.


Like it or not, cleaning has become a part of the customer experience.  Think of it as “Clean Theater” without an

elevated, curtained stage.  Instead, your restaurant is the stage, your employees are the actors, and your patrons are

the audience. What they SEE will determine what they think.  


As with any theater production, the actors (your staff) need to be well-rehearsed (trained) and encouraged to perform to

their audience (your customers).  Don’t be afraid to visually maximize cleaning activities (like putting hand sanitizers in

the reception area); direct your staff to smile and talk to your customers as they clean and sanitize dining surfaces.

So as your wait staff “ServSafe”, now your customers need to “SeeSafe”. [link to www.ServSafe.com]


In addition to being vital for your customers’ comfort and well being, your employees need to know that as an owner,

or manager, you are also concerned about their safety.  Engage them in the new protocols and procedures because

after all, you can’t run a successful restaurant without a staff that feels you also care about their safety and well being.


Working together as a theater company and playing to your audience will help make the dining experience in your

restaurant better for everyone.  Break a leg! [link to www.Theatrecrafts.com]



Monday, November 16, 2020

Sustainability and technology are key to making it in today’s food service industry... Cloud kitchens are giving restaurant owners and chefs an opportunity that we have never seen before.



Every day, more and more chefs and restaurant owners are going out of business due to COVID-19,
a trend that will continue as we face the cold winter months. Cloud kitchens(also called ghost kitchens, virtual kitchens, and dark kitchens) are giving chefs and restaurant owners the chance to keep their businesses and menus alive through these tough times.

 

So what are cloud kitchens and how do they operate? 

Cloud kitchens are food production facilities where dozens of different restaurants rent space to prepare meals from their menus for delivery. Facilities like closed factories, closed restaurants, and warehouses all over the country are being repurposed with multiple kitchens and plenty of refrigeration and storage, giving restaurant owners a chance to keep their brand and business going without the cost of having a brick and mortar store, and an opportunity for chefs to keep their dreams alive and to provide for their families.

Cloud kitchens are likely to become the future of delivery-only style restaurants and kitchens which we’re seeing more of now because of the pandemic. It’s a fantastic way to replace lost

dine-in business.

 

Sustainability has become extremely important for businesses in the world today, but it can be a difficult

concept for restaurants to get a grasp of Cloud kitchens can help with sustainability because there is no direct contact with customers and all food is ordered online. If you’re a restaurant owner or chef being faced with losing your business, you may want to consider using a cloud kitchen to sustain your business over the next several months or even years. With cloud kitchens, owners and chefs only pay for the use of a kitchen when they use it, which dramatically cuts costs. By doing this, it will also help maintain the brand you’ve built so when the pandemic ends, you won’t have to re-create it or re-introduce your menus.

 

Because of this revolution, technology is becoming more and more relevant in the food service industry. Delicious food and outstanding service have always contributed to a restaurant’s success, but other than POS systems, technology hasn’t played a big role. With the use of cloud kitchens, good food is also key, but it’s important to become tech savvy as the business model is dependent on technology to get food from a cloud kitchen to the customer. It will also provide data about your customers’ likes and dislikes, what your customers are saying about your food, and how you’re ranked with different delivery apps. This easy access to data makes it much easier to enhance a cloud kitchen business than a traditional restaurant business. Restaurateurs who use cloud kitchens can quickly respond to new food trends and be able to cater and prepare the exact food their customers are looking for.


A new company actually named “CloudKitchens” has caught the attention of many investors and is looking to grow their business even further as the pandemic continues. To learn

more about what “CloudKitchens” is up, to click here.


And while chefs and restaurant owners are using technology for ordering/delivering, cloud kitchen owners and managers understand the value of using TableBoost, a free app to help manage all the equipment and systems in their facilities. It‘s imperative that cloud kitchen owners maintain and keep all of their kitchens functioning at optimal levels because it’s possible that their kitchens may be used 24/7 as this business model grows for restaurateurs, chefs and other food service providers.  Routine maintenance needs to be scheduled in advance, emergency repairs need to be immediate, and replacing broken equipment be done at the lowest cost. If you’re a new cloud kitchen owner or one who wants to expand, TableBoost’s competitive bid service will also help you find the lowest prices on equipment and services.




Monday, November 9, 2020

Reinventing YOU and Your Catering Business: How to Survive This Pandemic




COVID-19 has been a nightmare. Besides the fact that it is a horrible sickness threatening the lives of millions, it’s also threatening the life of many businesses. For those in the food service industry, the beginning of COVID-19 was survival of the fittest as the U.S. navigated its way through the beginning of a pandemic. As regulations changed, those in the food service industry were left to figure out how to modify or reinvent their business quickly enough to make up for lost time and revenue, while complying with the new regulations. 

This is where TableBoost comes in. We are dedicated to making life easier for those in the food service industry.

So, how can we help you reinvent your business to stay up to date with the times while continuing to do what you love?

Here are some ideas: 


Rebrand your corporate catering company as a small event/ family style meal catering company.

No one is going into the office, and if they are, it is certainly not in big enough numbers where they are having food

catered. This leaves those of you who are usually corporate-catering based left without customers. Try advertising to

appeal to local families and friends, and small organizations (e.g. Rotary Club ) who are getting together in small

groups. This means more locations, and smaller amounts of food. We recommend publishing a weekly menu of

dishes that travel well and can be easily reheated. 


Rebrand yourself as a cloud kitchen for the time being.

Cloud kitchens are delivery-only food services that do not have a physical space for dine-in. Cloud kitchens use online

orders placed through a website or a mobile app. Think of it as a mini catering company. You can remain at your

location, and have those employees who currently deliver for you maintain that position, just for more locations with

smaller amounts of food. 


Start selling your food premade.

You know that special sauce you make that everyone raves about? Keep the secret ingredient to yourself and sell it

in jars! Selling your food pre-made where people can easily access it without having to do a full catering order is very “COVID-19 friendly” because people are less likely to cater a meal when money is tight. 


Start a virtual cooking class!

Put your cooking skills to good use. With many working from home, they have a little bit more time on their hands to try

new things. Offer some paid virtual cooking classes (maybe even some meals that require your jarred homemade famous

sauce?). It brings in pocket change, and recognition of your business.


And last but not least, download TableBoost!

Pandemic or not, TableBoost handles to all of your kitchen-maintenance needs. No matter what, you are still going

to be utilizing the kitchen, requiring repairs, maintenance and occasionally replacement of equipment. Making sure

to keep your restaurant equipment running well and avoiding expensive equipment repair is a sure way to stay on top

of things and keep your business running smoothly and profitably. 

 

With so much going on, it is hard not to be overwhelmed. But if you take this as an opportunity to move forward and do something new and exciting, you can open a door of endless new possibilities! 



Monday, November 2, 2020

Looking for New Kitchen Equipment?



Whether you’re brand new to the foodservice business, or a seasoned veteran who might need to replace some of your older equipment, here are the manufacturers that are most often purchased.  For restaurants to caterers, cloud kitchens and more, these are the major players you should be dealing with by equipment type.


Beverages

Coffee Brewers

Bloomfield

Bunn

Grindmaster-Cecilware

Hamilton Beach

Proctor Silex

Waring

Wilbur-Curtis

Ice Machines

Follett

Hoshizaki

Ico-O-Matic

                Manitowoc

Scotsman Ice


Cooking Equipment

Charbroilers

Bakers Pride

Cooking Performance

Garland

MagiKitch’n

US Range

Vulcal

Convection Ovens

Alto Sham

                Bakers Pride

Blodgett

Cooking Performance

Garland

US Range

Vulcan

Deep Fryers

Anets

                APW Wyott

                Avantco

                Bakers Pride

Cooking Performance

                Dean

                Frymaster

                Garland

Globe

                Pitco

Proctor Silex

Weston

US Range

Griddles

APW Wyott

                Avantco

                Bakers Pride

Cooking Performance

                MagiKitch’n

                Proctor Silex

Vollrath

Ovens

Alto Sham

Bakers Pride

                Blodgett

Cooking Performance

                Garland

                Universal

US Range

Vulcan

Range Hoods

Avantco

                Eagle Group

                Hallifa

                ProLine Range Hoods

USA Equipment

Zline

Ranges

Bakers Pride

Cooking Performance

Garland

Sunfire

                Universal

                US Range

Vulcan

Wolf Appliances

Rapid Cook Ovens

Doyon

                Lincoln

                TurboChef

Vollrath

Toasters

Avatoast

                Hatco

Nemco

Prince Castle

                Proctor Silex

Vollrath

Waring


        Food Prep

        Blenders

Avamix

                Centaur

                Hamilton Beach

                KitchenAid

Proctor Silex

Vitamix

Waring

Weston

Carving Stations

Hatco

Nemco

Grinders

Globe

                Hobart

                Weston

Mixers

Avantco

                Doyon

                Eurodib

                Globe

                Hobart

KitchenAid

Samic

                Vollrath

Waring

Processors

Avantco

                Berkel

Hobart

Nemco

Robot Coupe

Samic

Talsa

Waring

Slicers

Avantco

                Berkel

Global

                Hobart

Vollrath

                Waring

Westmark

Weston

        Smallwares

Avantco

                Globe

                Vollrath


        Food Storage

        Vacuum Packaging

        Avantco

                Berkel

         Warmers

        Hatco

        Nemco

        Vollrath


        Refrigeration

     Back Bar Refrigeration

    Avantco

                    Beverage-Air

                    Delfield

                    Duke

                    Perlick

                    Traulsen

    True

    Universal

            Bar Coolers

    Avantco

                    Beverage-Air

                    Continental Refrigerator

    Delfield

                    Duke

                    Perlick

    Traulsen

    True

    Universal

Reach-Ins/Pass-Thrus

    Avantco

                    Beverage-Air

                    Continental Refrigerator

    Delfield

                    Duke

                    Traulsen

    True

    Universal 

            Sandwich Units

    Avantco

                    Beverage-Air

                    DelfieldContinental Refrigerator

    Duke

                    Traulsen

    True 

    Universal

Walkins/Coolers

    Kolpak

    Leer

                    Nor-Lake

                    Traulsen

            True

Workshop & Undercounters

    Continental Refrigerator

           Traulsen

    True 


         Fire Suppression/Extinguishers

    Ansul  

    Badger

                    Buckeye

                    Kidde


        HVAC

American Standard

                Carrier

                Fujitsu

                Mitsubishi

                Goodman Manufacturing

Rheem

Trane


        Plumbing

        Dishwashers

CMA Dishmachines

Hobart

Jackson

Noble Warewashing

                Perlick

Universal

Sinks/Faucets

American Standard

Universal

Water Heaters/Boilers

American

                AO Smith

General Electric

                Hatco

Rheem


        Point of Sale System

Cake

                Clover

                Reve

                Shopkeep

Square

                Toast

Touch Bistro

Upserve

If you need to purchase new equipment, use TableBoost’s competitive bid service that provides multiple price quotes in minutes... not days.  We can help

you save money on all of your future purchases.


Plus you can use TableBoost to inventory all of your new purchases that tracks warranties and regular maintenance, making sure that your new kitchen

equipment is performing at its best for longer than might you expect.


https://www.americanstandard-us.com

https://www.ansul.com

https://bakerspride.com

https://www.berkelequipment.com

https://www.bloomfieldworldwide.com

https://www.blodgett.com

https://retail.bunn.com/coffee-makers

http://www.centaurfoodservice.com

https://cmadishmachines.com

https://www.continentalrefrigerator.comhttps://www.follettice.com/foodservice

https://www.frymaster.com

https://www.goodmanmfg.com

https://hamiltonbeach.com

https://www.hatcocorp.com/en/equipment/water-heaters

https://www.hobartcorp.com

https://www.hoshizakiamerica.com

https://www.kidde.com/home-safety/en/us/

https://www.kitchenaid.com

https://www.kolpak.com

https://www.manitowocice.com

https://www.perlick.com/commercial/

https://www.pitco.com

https://www.proctorsilex.com/products

https://www.prolinerangehoods.com

https://www.prolinerangehoods.com

https://www.rheem.com

https://www.scotsman-ice.com

https://www.shopkeep.com

https://www.subzero-wolf.com/wolf

https://pos.toasttab.com

https://www.trane.com

https://www.traulsen.com

https://www.truemfg.com

https://turbochef.com

http://universalfse.co.uk

https://www.vitamix.com

https://www.vollrathfoodservice.com

https://www.vulcanequipment.com

https://www.waringcommercialproducts.com

https://westmark.de

https://westonbrands.com