Discover the benefits of digitising your restaurant
Discover the benefits of digitising your restaurant
The hospitality industry is a very complicated sector due to the enormous competition that exists, the fact that there are periods with almost no demand, and how difficult it is to gain the trust of your customers so that they become loyal and return to your business on a regular basis. Faced with this prospect, it is necessary to use all the advantages that the environment offers you to get ahead and to be able to overcome the difficulties. So, what is the greatest advantage that today's environment offers us? Exactly, connectivity.
Digitalising your hospitality business will be a process that will help you re-encounter the modern world. If you haven't already done so, it will seem like a complex, strange and difficult world to enter, having to compete to stand out not only among the businesses in your street, but among businesses across the country and the world; it may seem like a faux pas then, but nothing could be further from the truth. For every account, page or hospitality business on the internet, there are thousands and thousands of users willing to use your services, it is only necessary to use the right tools and be guided by the basic rules of coexistence and follow a series of tips that I am going to give you here, with which you can make your way and succeed.
What does digitising your hospitality business involve?
Digitising your hospitality business may sound complex if you are not familiar with these terms. It doesn't mean ditching all your furniture and going digital, in case you were wondering.
Digitising means giving another dimension to your business, so that it is not framed in traditional ways that in the global world may not be sufficient. It refers then to the action of making use of the platforms, media and tools that the digital environment, mainly the internet, offers you.
These tools are aimed at making your business more efficient, faster, more organised and better optimised. The obvious result is to look for an increase in productivity, savings and results, but I will tell you more about the benefits later.
It is important, first of all, to talk about what tools you can use to digitise your hospitality business. Consider the following recommendations, which are only a reference of the most popular tools, as there are millions of methods and platforms available on the web. You will have to choose the one that best suits your needs.
Offline digital tools
We will start with the tools that you can install and use on your computer without the need to connect to the network, ideal for hospitality businesses that want to take a step forward but, being in remote locations, have connectivity problems.
The digitisation tool par excellence, as it allows you to digitise your hospitality business from the most basic step: doing without paper. You will still need the physical format for some tax and fiscal matters, depending on where you are, but with Office you will no longer need huge shelves full of endless folders that are a pain to review. All you need is your PC, hard disk space and to familiarise yourself with the use of the Office modes you require, or hire someone who is familiar with them.
In Microsoft office you will find applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc. Each with its own functions and features.
When digitising your hospitality business, you may need to archive, send or simply save space because you have an immense amount of files, images, videos, etc. If this is the case, Winrar will be your ally, as it has the ability to compress and decompress folders of several Gigabytes in weight and in a relatively short period of time.
PDF files are among the most common text files and a multitude of them can be found on the internet. It is possible that a government circular is published in this format, as well as files of interest to your business.
Acrobat Reader is the most popular but not the only one, although it has a number of very interesting tools, such as the possibility of underlining, bookmarking etc. However, unlike Winrar, the most interesting features, such as the ability to edit, are not in the free version.
Online digital tools
This will be the most interesting section if you want to digitise your hospitality business, because of the immense range of possibilities that the internet offers you, and perhaps the one that first came to your mind. On the internet you can find different platforms that have different purposes, such as improving your work methodology, popularising your business or making you appear in search engines when people use the right words. Some of the most popular are:
The various social networks that are available to you on the internet have a wide variety of functions and features that give you enough material to do a full article on each one and how they would help you to digitise your hospitality business.
The main function of these tools is to publicise your business, and this is done through marketing strategies, such as creating your brand image, connecting with users, interacting with your customers, humanising, etc. Here I will show you, roughly, some of the most popular ones with comments on their main attributes. Consider that, for the most part, these have the possibility of using them for free or paying for promotion, each with its own characteristics.
The oldest and most popular social network is still very relevant and a very powerful advertising tool. The first step is to create a fan page for your business, where users can subscribe to your page by liking it and interacting with you or your community manager, sending you messages, commenting or sharing your publications and following up on the availability of your business, being able to post opening hours, location, etc.
A social network designed to express simple thoughts and ideas, although this is no longer the case when you take into account the famous "threads", which can have dozens of parts. As a marketing tool it has less relevance than Facebook, but even so, accumulating a good number of followers can help you to quickly empathise with your customers. Also, your followers can like, share and comment on your posts, which is a general rule on these platforms.
This social network, owned by Facebook, is perhaps the most robust digital marketing tool for businesses in this section. It is a visual social network, with images as its strong point. It is very interactive and it is easy to get followers to empathise with them.
People find it much easier to interact with business accounts on this platform, which should be your starting point.
Tools for teams
In recent years a number of applications have started to appear that, hand in hand with an internet connection, offer you a workspace that tries to mimic an office methodology, but purely digitally. You can create teams and small groups, assign tasks, place your hospitality business files in specific folders to be viewed by the right people at the right time, and more.
If you have many employees in your hospitality business or numerous bookings, these tools will allow you to organise efficiently, quickly and effectively.
Some of the most important ones are: Microsoft Teams, Asana, Google Meet, etc.
This should be the first step in getting your business online, although nowadays many businesses choose to leave it aside and focus entirely on social media. However, having a website for your hospitality business will bring you numerous advantages and will allow you to better promote your business on the internet.
The first step is to acquire a domain name, this will give you your own address and a space where you can create your website. Once you have it, you will be able to place everything about your business for your clients, from its history to photos, a booking section, employee profiles, contact information, etc. Subsequently you will have to hire a hosting, to host your website, the price of these depends on its power and can range from 1 euro to 20, depending on its characteristics.
If your website is well optimised, it will appear in search engines such as Google when someone searches for the name of your catering business, and the words or phrases you choose, such as: restaurant in Gran Canaria, eating in Marbella, etc. On the other hand, you can also include a blog that will allow you to develop a content marketing strategy.
How to digitise your hospitality business?
Now that you know the basics about digitisation, you may be wondering how to apply that knowledge to digitise your hospitality business and be successful. Here are some key tips.
Find the right people
When it comes to digitising your hospitality business on the internet you can find many companies dedicated solely and exclusively to digitisation or to specific sectors of digitisation. These companies will offer you different packages with various offers and added services, with which you will have to choose the one that best suits your needs.
Choosing a good digitalisation company can be costly, but the return on investment it can guarantee you fully justifies it, and a good community manager, programmer, copywriter, consultant, etc., can position you on the web so quickly and efficiently that you will notice the change very quickly.
On the other hand, you should invest in adapting your employees to the tools mentioned above, so that you can get the most out of them and improve your workforce. If, on the other hand, you are looking for employees, look for a profile that fits these needs; asking for knowledge about the good use of Word and Excel is a good start.
Invest money consciously
Again, digitising is expensive, but it is worth it. However, make sure you hire the right professionals so that the process runs smoothly and you can reap the rewards of your efforts in the growth of your business and a greater influx of customers. If you position yourself on the internet, people will start talking about you, make sure they have positive things to say.
Let the professionals advise you
If you are a digital savvy person, you may feel that taking a business online is not a difficult task and that you just need to get your vision online. The reality is that professionals study the digital environment very hard in order to make the most of it. Appreciate their work and let them lead you in the right direction.
Familiarise yourself with digital tools
Beyond the previous point, in order to digitise your hospitality business, you must inform yourself and avoid being in total ignorance, especially if you are going to invest money. In this article you will learn many things that will help you, but you should look for more information on your own and be aware of what you are doing.
Benefits of digitising your hospitality business
Although we've already given you some insight into what digitisation could bring you, it's time to flesh out some ideas and understand the scope of the benefits of using digital tools.
The latest technologies have a very explicit function: to make your activities simpler and more efficient. Digitising your business will allow you to save space and time in many ways, as well as streamline the work of your employees, who will be able to see their diaries at the click of a button and will not be dependent on a person who is constantly giving instructions in the traditional way.
Using traditional working methodologies can lead to many mistakes: losing a piece of paper, forgetting an order, confusing dishes, etc. By digitising your hospitality business, you reduce the possibility of human error and streamline tasks by delegating some tasks to software, such as accounting or inventory management.
Streamline the work, make yourself known without paying for a billboard or TV ad, decrease the amount of staff required for some tasks, avoid mistakes that cost money, etc. There are many possibilities to increase your income and reduce your expenses with these tools.
Make yourself known
Do you have a beautiful restaurant but far from the public eye? Are you in a busy restaurant area? Are you proud of your chefs and want to make them known? That's no longer a problem with technology in the age of hyper-connectivity. I promise you, whoever bets on positioning themselves on the internet and digitalising their catering business has everything to gain in terms of making themselves known all over the world.
You can take a look at our website Bliscop if you are looking for a POS Software for your hospitality business!