Why Restaurants Need To Improve Their Wine Lists

Why Restaurants Need To Improve Their Wine Lists

It’s always a good idea to have an available wine list in your restaurant. Many people enjoy a nice glass of wine with dinner, and your selection should complement your entrees.

One of the biggest mistakes a restaurant can make is letting their wine selection grow stagnant. Markets and audiences are always changing, and it’s just as important to upgrade your wine selection as it is your menu. Here are some of the big reasons restaurants need to improve their wine lists and how doing so can help keep their business afloat.

Different Markets

Different age groups seek very different experiences at restaurants. While older customers may know that they prefer a sweeter white wine or a dryer red, younger crowds look for more adventurous options. Upgrading your menu to include some bolder wine pairings for your dishes may help your restaurant stand out with millennial diners.

Unique Experiences

Many restaurants work with larger distributing companies and end up with a selection of wine on par with what you’d find at a major grocery store chain. Your restaurant should provide diners with a unique experience, and that’s why it’s vital for restaurants to improve their wine lists.

The farm-to-table strategy applies just as well with local wineries as it does with fresh produce. Instead of keeping your pantry stocked with large names shipped from across the country, consider working with local winemakers and distributors to offer something other places may not have.

Perfect Pairings

One of the most notable advantages of improving your wine list is that it allows you to discover ways to pair newer wine selections with items on your menu. If you know how the flavor of your food pairs with the unique wine options on your list, you can use that as a tool to upsell to your customers. Creating individual recommendations that customers won’t be able to find elsewhere is a great way to ensure that you sell food and beverages together.

If you’re interested in creating a unique wine list or want to explore new technological restaurant options like iPad wine menus, eMenu International is here for you. Browse our helpful articles for improving your restaurant, and contact us with any questions about upgrading your restaurant menus.

5 Ideas To Promote Your Most Popular Dishes

5 Ideas To Promote Your Most Popular Dishes

When you run a restaurant, you likely have a signature dish or a dish that’s popular with folks. When people find something special on your menu, it’s a good idea to home in on that and do what you can to promote the item to other customers. No one dish is going to be for everybody, but here are five ideas for ways to promote your most popular dishes to your customers.

1. Staff Recommendations

One of the most straightforward ways to promote a dish is to train your staff to recommend it to guests who may be indecisive. Explain why it’s good or how it’s a special dish for your restaurant. Many people will consider a legitimate recommendation from an informed staff member.

2. Weekly Specials

Using special days to create sales is a great way to boost certain items. Offering items at a discounted price or having a Buy One Get One deal one day a week is a great way to sell more of that dish.

3. Menu Photos

Having photographs of every item on your menu often makes them look clunky, cluttered, and difficult to read. Even with digital menus, it’s a good idea to use photos sparingly. However, the creative use of images to highlight your premium dishes calls attention to them in a way you may not get with only text.

4. Social Media Promotions

If you’re in the restaurant industry, promoting your most popular dishes on social media is always a good idea. You can post photos of the dish on your own page or encourage guests to share images with a clever hashtag. No matter what strategy you use, social media is an ideal way to show people the quality of your food.

5. Restaurant Decor

Another straightforward approach for recommending and promoting your most popular dishes is through restaurant decor. When guests enter your restaurant, they may see signs or photos of dishes on your menu. One of the greatest things you can hope for is a guest to walk in, see your signature dish and say, “Oh, that looks good.”

If you want to learn more about increasing sales and using helpful tools, like restaurant iPad menus, eMenu International has the information and help you need. Contact us today for more details.

What Are Best Practices for Your Restaurant’s Digital Menu?

What Are Best Practices for Your Restaurant's Digital Menu?

Having some form of a digital menu at your restaurant is always a good idea. Whether you utilize tablet menus or have a QR code for guests to scan with their own devices, customer access to a digital menu is important in the current restaurant industry. However, putting together a digital option is a little different from a physical menu, so here are some of the best practices for your restaurant’s digital menu you can follow.

Avoid a PDF

One common mistake restauranteurs make when creating a digital menu is uploading a PDF file. PDF menus are typically long, awkward to scroll through, and much harder to edit when changing or upgrading your menu.

Include Category Tabs

When implementing the best practices for your restaurant’s digital menu, consider what makes things convenient for your guests. Does your digital menu offer an option to go straight to the burgers and sandwiches section for any customer, or will they have to scroll through the entire menu to find it? Providing easy-to-navigate tabs to take diners to any category they want to browse is a distinct advantage of digital menus.

Use Images Sparingly

Providing photos of every item on your menu may seem like a good idea, but it often creates more problems in the long run. Images take up a large portion of the screen—especially on smartphones—and may take additional time to load, making it more cumbersome for customers looking through the menu. We recommend showing one or two specialty items from each category and allowing a brief yet helpful text description for the rest.

For more information on electronic menus for restaurants, eMenu International has a variety of helpful articles for building your digital dining experience. Learn more about the advantages of incorporating technology into your business, or contact us with any specific questions or comments.

How Using Multilingual Menus Can Bring In More Customers

How Using Multilingual Menus Can Bring In More Customers

Multilingual menus are an excellent opportunity to expand your clientele. Throughout America, many regions have populations that may not speak English as a first language. Using multilingual menus can bring in more customers, which is beneficial for your business. Read on to learn more about these benefits.

A More Authentic Experience

Depending on the type of restaurant you run, it’s usually a good idea to consider having menu options in the language of the cuisine you sell. If you run an Italian restaurant, consider having menu options written in Italian with English translations; the same goes for Chinese, Mexican, German, and other cuisines. Putting in the effort to have a menu that matches the culture of the cuisine sends a message of authenticity and creates a better experience for diners, whether they speak the language or not.

A More Welcoming Experience

Another way using multilingual menus can bring in more customers is by including languages that may not be relevant to your food. Do you serve Italian food but live in an area where many residents speak Polish as their first language? Including a Polish menu option is a great way to embrace local culture and allow patrons to enjoy all that your business offers.

Competitive Advantage

One significant advantage of using multilingual menus to bring in more customers is that the more language options you have available, the more you can expand your customer base. One popular option these days is to utilize digital menus, which allow for quick and easy menu translations into a large variety of languages. The more inclusive you are to those who speak other languages, the more likely these guests are to come to your establishment over other places that may serve similar food.

If you’re interested in restaurant iPad menus and the different ways they can improve the quality of your eatery, eMenu International has the knowledge you need to help you successfully run your business using new technology. Contact us today for more details or to have one of our experts address your questions and concerns.

The Importance of a Wine List for Your Restaurant

The Importance of a Wine List for Your Restaurant

For some restauranteurs, putting together a solid food menu can be a difficult task. Another, equally challenging—and possibly overlooked—task for some restaurant owners? Developing a wine list. Today, eMenu International is here to explain why having a good wine list is important for your restaurant.

Helps Establish Your Customer Base

A restaurant’s clientele can often be as diverse as its food menu, so it’s a good idea to take note of the wines your customers are drinking to help figure out which ones to keep on your wine list and which to remove. If you’re wanting to attract more customers looking to try new and exciting things, consider changing your wine offerings to reflect that type of clientele. Just be mindful of the number of wines you add and subtract. If your selection is too vast, you risk overwhelming those customers who prefer to keep things simple. If your selection is too narrow, you risk underwhelming those customers who prefer a robust list. A good wine list provides a nice balance of options for guests, is easy to read, and appeals to the broadest range of clientele.

Provides Opportunities for Upselling

Another important factor to consider regarding your restaurant’s wine list is that it creates a unique opportunity to enhance your guests’ dining experience. Tailoring your wine list so that every available option pairs nicely with one or two things from your food menu allows your staff to make helpful recommendations. If a guest orders a particular bottle of red, suggest one of your ribeye steaks, or if they order the seafood pasta, inform them it goes nicely with a specific glass of white wine.

Expanding Your Selection

No matter how you construct your wine list, it’s beneficial for your business to have one available to provide a positive and unique dining experience for your customers. Consider utilizing technology to help expand your wine selection.

eMenu International has everything you need to know about creating wine lists on your iPad, and other helpful tips to get your restaurant business flowing. Questions? Call the number on our website to speak with one of our specialists right away.

4 Reasons Why You Should Be Updating Your Restaurant’s Menu

4 Reasons Why You Should Be Updating Your Restaurant’s Menu

One of the most vital aspects of running a restaurant is having a menu that keeps hungry guests coming back for more. One problem many eateries deal with is a bland and uninteresting menu that doesn’t mix things up. For restaurant owners looking to keep things fresh, here are four reasons why you should be updating your restaurant’s menu and how it can improve your business throughout the year.

Seasonal Items

Many fruits and vegetables grow seasonally, and it’s a good idea to incorporate that produce into your menu while they’re in season. Buying produce out of season is more expensive than when they’re in season, so cycling through specialty items throughout the year keeps things exciting and helps you save money on ingredients.

Attracting New Crowds

No food item is for everyone, but sometimes adding something new to your menu attracts new crowds of customers who may take an interest in what you’re offering. Vegan dishes, gluten-free options, or locally sourced dishes are all popular right now, and restauranteurs may want to try and capitalize on those markets.

Reducing Costs

One of the reasons you should update your restaurant’s menu is because it’s an excellent opportunity to take away things people aren’t ordering. If certain dishes aren’t popular, it may be a good idea to take them off the menu. Removing rarely ordered entrees reduces restaurant costs by saving money on ingredients you may not be using.

Creativity

If you have chefs with a true passion for the culinary arts, it may be a good idea to allow them to explore that creativity and develop new dishes for your menu. You can introduce these new dishes as a weekend special and see how they take off before deciding to make them permanent additions to your menu.

One of the most significant advantages of utilizing interactive menus is that they’re easy to alter when you make any substantial modifications or changes to your menu. If you own a restaurant and want to explore digital menu tablet options, eMenu International has what you need to get started.

4 Ideas To Improve Your Customers’ Winery Experience

4 Ideas To Improve Your Customers’ Winery Experience

Wine tasting is a popular and exciting event in which many people enjoy participating. If you have a restaurant and serve wine, there are many ways to use your wine list to enhance your guests’ overall experience. Here are some suggestions if you’re looking for ideas to improve your customers’ winery experience.

1. Flight Fridays

One of the best parts about wine tasting is sampling many different wines. However, the wine loses its freshness after the bottle has been open for some time, meaning a customer getting a taste from a freshly opened bottle will have a different experience from someone getting a taste from the bottom of the bottle. To give your guests a taste of multiple fresh wines in one evening, consider hosting a weekly or monthly event where parties can try small samplings of wine from different bottles. These events allow every group to sample wine from a freshly opened bottle.

2. Knowledgeable Staff

People feel more comfortable getting information from staff who know what they’re talking about. It may seem like a small step, but ensuring your team is knowledgeable regarding the wine they serve is a great way to improve your customers’ winery experience. Being able to answer questions about why the year matters or how wine from one region has a different flavor from another country or region is an important aspect of the job.

3. Something for Kids

Obviously, kids cannot partake in the wine tasting experience, but not every couple will have a sitter. To enhance the experience for your guests, consider having some activities available for kids. Many wineries offer grape juice tasting for younger visitors or provide tablets with engaging games to keep children entertained.

4. Questions for Customers

Not all customers are the same, and they have different tastes. To enhance their experience, we recommend asking them a couple of questions about their wine preferences. Finding out whether they prefer red or white wines or perhaps a sweeter flavor allows you to recommend drinks catered to their individual tastes, meaning your business can make a stronger impression.

If you’re interested in hosting wine tasting events and want to learn more about digital wine menus, the experts at eMenu International have the information to help you get started. Contact us today for more details.

5 Ways That Your Restaurant Can Go Green

5 Ways That Your Restaurant Can Go Green

There are many advantages to having a more environmentally friendly restaurant. Going green helps raise awareness of your brand, allows you to qualify for certain grants, and is helpful for the planet. Here are five ways that your restaurant can go green. These will help you on your way to creating a more sustainable, eco-friendly business.

1. Create a Sustainable Menu

Creating a sustainable menu is a common practice when going green. This process includes creating a menu that uses a smaller amount of ingredients in many ways. For example, you can use the same chicken you put in sandwiches for salads or soups. Alternatively, you can serve it as an entrée on its own. Meanwhile, if you only have one menu item that uses artichoke hearts, it may be a good idea to either remove that item from the menu or incorporate the artichoke into more dishes. Sustainable menus reduce the number of items your restaurant orders and allow you to focus on quality over quantity.

2. Use Energy-Efficient Appliances

Energy-efficient appliances are great for reducing your eatery’s carbon footprint. Lower energy reduces the amount of power you use and often requires less water, allowing you to save money on your utility bills and help the earth at the same time.

3. Reduce Potential Waste

One way your restaurant can go green is by reducing potential plastic waste. Consider investing in biodegradable alternatives if your restaurant gives out plastic eating utensils. Plastic straws create lots of unnecessary garbage, so many business owners switch to paper straws or only give out straws upon request to reduce the amount thrown out daily.

4. Utilize Natural Light

Natural light through windows and skyboxes is a great way to reduce the amount of electricity you use during the day, illuminating the restaurant. Turning off lights or dimming them when the sun comes in allows your patrons to enjoy a homier environment and enables you to reduce energy consumption during daytime hours.

5. Offer Digital Menus

Many restaurants are making the transition to digital menus. Not only are iPad food menus more cost-effective in the long run, but they create a greener experience by allowing restaurant owners to make quick and easy changes to the menu without needing to print out new menus whenever they make changes. Restaurant owners looking to invest in digital menus will find what they need with eMenu International. Call us today!

Another Pour: Tips for Upselling at Your Restaurant

Another Pour: Tips for Upselling at Your Restaurant

Upselling is the idea of using quality customer service to convince your customers to spend a little more in your establishment. You want to give them a good dining experience, and upselling is anything from selling a pitcher instead of a single beer or recommending a dessert or appetizer. There are several tips to keep in mind for upselling at your restaurant, and here are some vital ones for your business.

Avoid the Obvious Questions

How often do you go into a restaurant and have the server ask if you would care to hear about the specials or whether they can start you off with some drinks? Most people will agree to hear the specials to be polite and are going to want drinks.

Instead of asking these questions, use that opportunity to make recommendations. Instead of asking what customers want to drink, consider starting with “For drinks, I recommend—”. Customers are more likely to pay attention to a genuine recommendation over being told a list of current specials after answering a question.

Allow Customer Customization

Many customers are likely to make purchases at a restaurant when they have control over what they’re getting, which is why “build your own combo” options are popular in many chain restaurants. Allowing customers to put together their own appetizer sampler kits or create custom cocktails is an excellent tip for upselling at your restaurant. Many eateries also incorporate iPad restaurant menu software, which allows diners to place custom orders even when their server is not at the table.

Personalize Your Recommendations

Customers are more likely to take your staff’s suggestions if it comes from a place of sincerity. However, if your servers recommend the same items to the same people every time, it won’t always yield positive results. Encourage your staff to take a moment to find out what type of food they’re in the mood for each day. A guest with a craving for seafood will most likely order something different from a customer who wants pasta, and if your server always recommends a burger, that will not be much help.

6 Ways To Enhance Customer Experience at Your Restaurant

6 Ways To Enhance Customer Experience at Your Restaurant

No matter what type of restaurant you run, customer service is vital. You want to know how to keep your regular customers happy and turn your newcomers into returning guests. In order to make this happen, consider implementing these six ways to enhance the customer experience at your restaurant.

1. Create a Welcoming Atmosphere

You want a memorable atmosphere from the moment your customers enter the restaurant. From the art on the walls to the music coming through the speakers, take the time to create a dining experience that matches your restaurant. If you run a romantic Italian restaurant, use mood lighting and slow Italian music. If you run a more fast-casual establishment, ensure the space feels accessible and trendy.

2. Retain Friendly, Knowledgeable Staff

Taking care of your staff is essential to providing an enjoyable experience. Most of the time, the server is the only employee interaction your guests will have. Create a restaurant environment that makes your employees feel appreciated so they can pass that positive energy onto the guests.

3. Offer Customer Rewards Programs

Consider creating an online rewards program that accumulates points the more your guests come into your restaurant. A free appetizer on every tenth visit or a complimentary dessert on their birthday makes your guests feel appreciated and gives them an incentive to return.

4. Provide Customization Options

Guests at restaurants love to have some control over their dining experience. Many restaurants utilize digital table menus that are ideal for letting customers place orders for signature cocktails or appetizer samplers. Consider offering customizable drink flights to your guests if your bar has multiple beer varieties.

5. Choose Comfortable Seating

A great way to enhance the customer experience at your restaurant is by offering comfortable seating. Many restaurants opt for cost-effective chairs that customers find impersonal and uncomfortable. You want seating that suits families gathering for dinner or co-workers swinging by for a relaxing lunch.

6. Update Your Menu

Having occasional specials to gauge customer interest is always a positive sign, but guests may notice when you make changes to the menu. Consider phasing more unpopular items off the menu and give the impression that your eatery values customer feedback.