Archive for Restaurant Blog Innovates Online Food Ordering with a Charitable Twist Innovates Online Food Ordering with a Charitable Twist

SOUTHERN FAIRFIELD COUNTY – BreadBooks announced today the launch of combining food ordering with the desire to give back to their community. The site set sail with both a web and mobile friendly version, with an app for iPhones and Droids on the way. acts as a liaison between the clientele and restaurants; you will be able to order food for pick-up or delivery from some of your favorite eateries throughout Stamford and Norwalk. On the opening day, the site offered up to seventy local establishments, with more to come.

The team is comprised of three local Stamford gentlemen, one Senior Sales Director, and a multitude of part-time employees. The company was founded with an initial investment by venture capitalist John Ramsey, CEO of Seedcess Investment Group.

One value that sets apart from its competitors is their desire as a company to give to the local community. They have partnered with The Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County to help raise funds in aid of feeding those less fortunate. The way they gather their donations is a rather simple, yet ingenious method, a round up. Every time that a customer places an order they have the option of rounding up their order total to the next dollar; in doing so, they can be contributing one or more meals to someone in dire need. It only costs a mere twenty-five cents per meal. doesn’t want this to be an action that only the consumers partake in; they are also matching all orders. All funds are sent directly to The Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County.

Within the first seven days, patrons and have donated nearly 500 meals to those less fortunate. The goal of the companies Managing Partner, Max Asciutto, is to deliver over 100,000 meals.

In addition to assisting the community, another aspect that differentiates from the rest, is their loyalty program. As a company, they feel that loyalty is a key aspect in repeat clientele. A selection of the restaurants on the site are, a part of their Restaurant Rewards Program. When purchasers see the trophy icon paired with the restaurants name, they will be able to earn 1 loyalty point for every $5 spent. For example, Ole Mole, in Stamford, rewards you with a free burrito of choice, when you have accumulated 25 points ($125). Foodies everywhere will truly rejoice.

“Our mission is to feed struggling families in our community; I have never gone hungry myself, however, I believe those of us who are more fortunate have the great opportunity to help those less fortunate.”
– Max Asciutto, Founder,

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Are you engaging your audience with social media? 3 Effective Restaurant Examples

Are you engaging your audience with social media? 3 Effective Restaurant Examples

You keep hearing it…social media…social media! Right! I get it. Well, I have to say if you are not at least intrigued to learn about social media at this point you’ve done your business a disservice. If you don’t have at least a Facebook page and you are a consumer driven business I’m going to urge you to open one up today. If you don’t know how to do this you need to grab your nearest teenager and get them to help you. It is not hard to get this going and this is not a how to blog on opening a Facebook page.

This is however an article on the benefits of getting social. So what’s the best form of advertising? Yup…word of mouth! Wouldn’t you spend money more willingly upon the recommendation of a friend of family member? Probably, unless you are paranoid and that is a whole other issue. Doesn’t it make you curious when you hear about something over and over again? Oh yea…I heard of them… or I heard of that. Somehow once you’ve heard about something repetitively it all of a sudden has more value.

Be Consistent, Post at the Right Times, and Get to the Point

Making social media work for your business takes consistency and creativity. To be consistent you need to post regularly. Five posts a week should be your minimum. Your timing also needs to be optimal. Restaurants get the best engagement between the hours of 7am-12pm. If possible each post should have an eye catching image. Yummy looking food is always a good choice. Keeping your post short is always the way to go. I have a low attention span so if you have more than 100 words you’ve lost me. Some people are more patient than I am so try to keep it under 150.

Know Your Audience

Know who you are talking to and be authentic when you do. Your current or potential patrons should be able to read and feel the vibe of your business through your posts. Always include a call to action in your posts. Ask for shares and comments. When you get really good at using social media break out and add in a contest, promotion or a survey.

Deliver Value to Your Customers

As you post, try to include content that has value to your customer. Content does not always have to be directly related to your business. It could be a public service announcement. But just be sure it is relevant to your audience. The best way to increase your followers is to be entertaining. People love funny content and that is the content that gets shared. When you get really creative create a list of top 10’s. This is also great shareable content. Lastly, tailor your content to the season.

Here are some examples of great social media in action:

Ray and Mikes Deli in Hamden, CT does Twitter right! They post multiple times a day and encourage their customers to post photos and hash tags to win a free sub. A very effective, inexpensive way to gain exposure.

ray and mike effective twitter campaign

Baker and the Bean in Cheshire connect with its customers daily. They post their menu and when they plan to be in and out. They also respond to their customers if they comment.

baker bean facebook page

engaging restaurant customers on facebook

The Boiling Crab in Dallas, TX does a great job with eye catching photos, cute poems and did you know posts. They are also utilizing hash tags which is new to Facebook.

boiling crab facebook page

You don’t have to sit on the computer all day to make social media work for you. Most content can be planned into the future. You can also utilize programs like Hootsuite to manage your posts.

If you would like to engage our restaurant community or ask one of our social media experts a question, please comment below.

Posted in: Marketing, Restaurant Blog, Social Media for Restaurants

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Restaurant Menu Keywords that Increase Sales

Restaurant Menu Keywords that Increase Sales

Your hostess seats a party of 8 at your restaurant and warmly hands each customer your menu. Hungry and excited to see your offerings, each customer carefully reviews your menu. You put so much care and passion into each one of your dishes, can simply enhancing your dishes’ names increase sales? Absolutely!

Here’s a few tips:

  • Begin menu names with their preparation method to add some flair. Charge more for each dish by using preparation keywords like simmered, braised, seared, pan-fried and smoked.
  • What makes your dish unique? Is your sausage and broccoli rabe penne an old family recipe? Do you use free-range chicken? Does your Kobe beef come from the most massaged cows in Japan?
  • Highlight special ingredients. Maybe you’re using San Marzano tomatoes or farm-fresh eggs, let your customers know!
  • Detail where your food comes from. Maine lobster? Atlantic King Crab? Texas beef?

Have you had success with a particular dish name? Looking for some advice naming a dish? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

Posted in: Restaurant Blog, Restaurant Sales Tips

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4 Keys to a Great Restaurant Website

4 Keys to a Great Restaurant Website

All the screenshots in this article are taken from the online ordering website we did for the Bedford Street Diner in Stamford, CT.

Time and time again we see restaurant websites with out of date designs, long loading periods, image-based text, frustrating user experience, useless content, and many more.

In today’s society the Internet plays a big role in business: attracting new customers, and keep reoccurring customers happy. You want to look appealing in the restaurant business; you want to attract people to your restaurant not away from it. Websites are essential into doing just that.

As a restaurant owner put yourself in your visitor’s shoes, what do they want to know?

4 Keys to a Great Restaurant Website

1 Menu – a restaurant’s menu is there central piece.

2 Contact Info – consisting of your phone number, and address.

3 Operational Hours – customers need to know when you’re open & closed.

4 Mobile Website – The majority of restaurant website visitors are now customers on-the-go, your website needs to be able to adapt.

Interactive Menu

Your restaurant menu needs to be your main focus on your web page. A lot of restaurants still use a separate PDF download link in order for the visitor to view your menu. This at times is frustrating for the visitor the PDF has to download in a separate browser taking the attention away from your website. Also having a PDF menu can slow down your actual website, and have a negative impact on search engine rankings. Your solution to making your menu more beneficial for your restaurant on your web page is integrating it into the web design. The menu can be set up so it is easy to edit; therefore, keeping your visitors up to date in prices, and items.

Restaurant Contact Info

Always include your contact info: phone number, and address. Without contact info visitors are likely not to dine or order from you. When putting your contact info on your restaurant’s website make sure to put it on every page so the visitor can always find it. The address can be shown using Google Maps giving the visitor a visual on where you are located.

Hours of Operation

Make sure to always put your operational hours on your restaurant’s web page. If a visitor goes to your website, and there not sure if you are open or closed what keeps them from not moving on to the next restaurant in your area. Something so simple but holds a lot of leverage in the deciding factor for a visitor.

Mobile Website

Mobile responsive website are essential to restaurant-goers. Customers are always out and about and use Google Maps, and Yelp to find restaurants around them; therefore, when they click on your restaurant it is easily viewable from their mobile device.

In all, your restaurant’s web page should be clear and consistent. Making it easy for a visitor to browse your menu, find your contact info, and locate your hours of operation.

Taking Your Web Page Further

  • A photo gallery, visitors want to see what dinning experience they will have at your restaurant; fancy, family-oriented, casual, before stepping in to dine.
  • Integrate social media: Facebook, Twitter, and so forth. By using sharing buttons, and a like box.
  • Take online reservations.
  • Use online ordering.
  • Post an events calendar.
  • Create your own restaurant blog.

The use of all these features on your restaurant website will increase traffic and turn more of your website visitors into paying customers.

Posted in: Restaurant Blog, Restaurant Websites

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Opening Your First Restaurant

Opening Your First Restaurant

If you’re looking for a bit of help we may be able offer some assistance. The information at hand is by no means a definitive guide for the first time owner, but it will wet your appetite.

I will give you some of the principal reasons for restaurant failure so that you can avoid them, and give you five rules that will help you to be pragmatic and set realistic goals for your first restaurant.

Realizing your dream of owning and running a successful restaurant is going to require equal doses of reality and passion.

Base your dream on either a passion for the food and hospitality or a passion to succeed as an entrepreneur. If you focus your passion on realistic goals, you are more likely to ground yourself firmly and make successful choices and decisions as you pursue your dreams.

Plan for Success

As the old adage goes, “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.”

Why are franchises so much more successful than independent restaurants? The answer is simple. Franchise operators put a lot of research into site collection and concept development, and they can rely on the lessons learned by earlier franchises in the same chain. As a result, a franchise comes to the table with proven operating and financial systems.

Consider the most common reasons why independent restaurants fail:

  • Unrealistically high rent and occupancy costs. All too often, the inexperienced restaurateurs take on rent and other occupancy costs that are too high for their budget, making it difficult to sustain viable operations.
  • Undercapitalization and lack of working capital. Frequently, concepts that would have otherwise been viable, fail because of lack of sufficient funds and working capital to keep the restaurant going until the corner to profitability.
  • Lack of attention to details in managing financial resources. Maintaining proper controls over cash management and handling, controlling portion sizes, controlling food and beverage costs, managing inventory and shrinkage due to theft, and managing spoilage and waste are essential to an operation’s success.
  • Poor operational management. Having a well-trained and happy staff plays an important role in the success of any business. Good management policies help to set the tone. Influence employee attitudes and performance, and encourage repeat customer visits.
  • Excessive investment in construction, equipment, renovation, and acquisition costs. Too many first-time restaurateurs take on too much debt to build or buy their dream restaurant, which results in debt repayments that are too high for their too be profitable.
  • Poor choice of location. The right location is very important. It is not unusual for a mediocre business to succeed simply by having a good location, while another well-run operation may fail because of poor location.
  • Poor choice of concept. A poor concept for a particular location, or a concept without a unique selling proposition (USP), often fails to attract enough customers to make a restaurant profitable.
  • Poor or inconsistent food and service. Reliably good food and service are very important to most restaurant guests. Inconsistent food and service negatively impact the overall dining experience and discourage repeat business.
  • Lack of a value proposition. Customers instinctively seek value, and when they do not get good value for their money, they do not return. They seek it elsewhere. Lacking this understanding, many operators unwittingly price themselves out of their market.

Five Basic Rules for Restaurant Success

Follow these five basic rules and the whole process, though still challenging, will be rewarding and manageable.

1 As you move ahead with your plans, keep one foot firmly planted in the realities of business and the other in your passion for your restaurant.

2 Consider starting small even if you’ve had previous as a chef or a manager.

3 Set initial realistic goals and objectives. Setting practical goals will help you focus on the appropriate type and size of restaurant for you.

4 Recognize from the start that the amount of financial resources you have access to will limit the type and size of the restaurant you can realistically open.

5 Make a commitment to find surround yourself with the right people to help you get the job done.

You might be saying to yourself, “this is a tease… I need more… how can I get additional info?” Well, Roger Fields, an experienced restaurateur has written an excellent book, “Restaurant Success by the Numbers: A Money-Guy’s Guide to Opening the Next Hot Spot”.

Posted in: First Restaurant, Restaurant Blog

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Collect Customer Business Cards

Collect Customer Business Cards

Most restaurant relationships are one-way, your customers come to your establishment when they get the craving for your food and service. What if you could begin to contact your best customers and send them an email to entice them to come back to your restaurant? How much would this affect your bottom line through more repeat business and sales?

2 Easy Ways to Collect Customer Business Cards

  • 1. Add a slip of paper to each customer check asking for their business cards.
  • 2. Put a fishbowl on your host table or bar counter.
  • Incentivize Customers to Leave Their Business Cards

    • 1. Run a weekly or monthly contest for a gift card to your restaurant. Nice and straightforward.
    • 2. Create a Customer Network and help your customers network with one another. Now we’re getting fancy. When your customers leave their business cards, give them a checklist of different industries they’re interested in networking in. Enter their name, business, and industries into a spreadsheet; or ask someone at BreadBooks to help you. Then at the end of the month, email each customer a list of the cards you received in their industry. Not only will your customers be more excited to leave you with their cards, they’ll become your most loyal customers as you help them get business leads.

    Turn Business Cards into Restaurant Sales

    On a frequent basis, send your list of restaurant customers an email with your latest specials, coupons, or just a simple thank you. You will be amazed with the response.

    Email marketing and customer management is a critical way that we help our restaurant customers grow their business. If you’d like to discuss these ideas and see how we can help you increase your sales on & offline, shoot us an email at

    Posted in: Email Marketing, Restaurant Blog, Restaurant Sales Tips

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