Restaurant Development & Design

March-April 2017

restaurant development + design is a user-driven resource for restaurant professionals charged with building new locations and remodeling existing units.

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M A R C H / A P R I L 2 0 1 7 • r e s t a u r a n t d e v e l o p m e n t + d e s i g n • 2 7 for a fine-dining operation. Understand the brand's architecture and codify it. That way, opportunities and solutions can be easily judged to de- termine if they are appropriate solutions for the brand. While this technique is usually applied to things like new menu items or decor, it is an equally valid way to evaluate technologies. Rethinking Apps Of course, technology doesn't just provide ways to change how business is done inside restaurants. Operations should also view it as a way to bring people in the door. Many restaurant chains, in fact, already do this with their smart- phone apps, typically through reward programs. Many app-based reward programs are more complicated than they need to be, with multiple tiers for guests and rewards based on everything from number of visits to money spent to types of menu items ordered. Don't make people work to understand your program. As always, simpler is better. However, operators should get more creative with the rewards they offer. While most programs offer a discount, consider offering perks. One restaurant I frequent, a Mexican chain, gives me free queso as a VIP guest. It's not a high-cost item for the operator, and it makes guests feel special every time they walk in. There are no points for guests to keep track of, no levels — just free queso because they're a VIP. Other great options include letting guests skip the line or going to the top of the waitlist. Keep clear goals in mind, and review data to ensure your efforts are paying off. I once worked for a $2 bil- lion restaurant company that spent $8 million on a loyalty program. After a year of running the program and analyz- ing the data, they discovered they were not driving incremental sales. Having technology for technology's sake doesn't make good business sense. Customers judge restaurants by what they always have: the food, the service and the overall experience. Op- erators should view technology as a tool to make the customer experience better than ever. + Fermob - Thoissey - France FOR MORE INSPIRATION Professional catalogue available at Fermob's Luxembourg Collection embodies the spirit of the renowned chairs from the Jardin du Luxembourg and adds a modern flair. Available in 24 colors, the durable collection combines the lightness of aluminum, comfort of curved slats and practicality of stackable frames for a stylish space. - Photo : Stéphane Rambaud THE LUXEMBOURG COLLECTION VISIT US HD Expo Booth: 5329

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