Everyone knows that the weekend after Thanksgiving is the traditional start of the big holiday shopping push here in the U.S. Retailers offer big deals and extended shopping hours starting as early as Thanksgiving morning – and even earlier this year – to try to attract the masses’ holiday dollar.
Business owners give a lot of thought to what goes on in their front-of-store – how employees interact with customers, what they wear, how signage is presented. A successful business has a plan for promoting company standards in customer service, product quality, and loss prevention. In the restaurant business, though, it is essential to have an equally well-developed strategy for ensuring that the back-of-store, in particular the kitchen, is managed according to standards just as demanding.
Recent years have seen the advent of a slew of innovations changing how people pay for merchandise, food, and hospitality, and point of sale technology has had to grow and adapt accordingly. Here, we look at some of the implications for hardware and software at the register.
As technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, it affects how just about everything is done, including making and accepting payments for anything from airline tickets to donuts. Here are some of the ways mobile devices are being used to move along the payment process.
As summer draws to a close and holiday marketing campaigns receive their finishing touches, owners, managers, and marketing heads are turning their attention to next year’s marketing strategy.
Customer Service Week is October 5-9, just a few short weeks away. Are you ready?
Our recent trek through the history of restaurants got us thinking – what about hotels? Some of the oldest restaurants were originally established as ways to feed travelers staying at inns, so what about those inns? How did the practice of paying for a place to stay get started and how long has this been going on?
Every year, the National Restaurant Association releases a comprehensive forecast and overview of the restaurant business, based on the previous years’ performance, economic trends, and its now almost 100 years of experience monitoring and serving the industry. This year, it noted an improving economy it predicted a record high in restaurant sales, growth, and employment. Here are some highlights.
The recent loss of one of the oldest restaurants here in Dallas has us asking the question – where did restaurants come from and what are the oldest ones still around? See what we found out!
Businesses that rely on leisure-time visitors have to think about how to drum up customers when tables or beds would normally be empty. We offer some ideas to get you through the dry (or wet) spell.
If you read our earlier post on listening to the voice of your employees, then you know how important developing this aspect of your business can be for your bottom line. But what exactly does it mean to listen to your employees? How do you go about seeking out that voice? And what should you be listening for when you do? Here we offer some tips on getting down to the doing of valuing the employee voice.
The humanitarian reasons for listening to the suggestions and concerns of your employees are obvious. But beyond treating people like people, making sure employees are heard and their ideas treated with respect is part of sound business practice. This is especially the case in customer-centered industries like food service and hospitality.
Recent data suggests that employee performance reviews may do more harm than good. An infographic from international employee management service FindMyShift explores the ins and outs of this long-standing tradition.
A mystery shopping program provides real, unbiased, and focused insight to help managers and owners make informed decisions that influence the bottom line.
Keeping restaurant costs down requires constant vigilance. Here, we look at five key areas where restaurant owners can start plugging leaks, and increasing profits, right away.
Proximity marketing takes advantage of smartphone technology to encourage customers in the store to make immediate purchases or visit departments they may not have otherwise. Read on to see how it works.
Connecting customers with digital content, whether they’re in the store or online at home, is becoming an increasingly vital part of every marketing strategy. Here are some creative ways cutting-edge marketers are getting customers to engage using smartphones and the technologies that surround them.
QR codes have been a subject of debate in the marketing world for some time. Here, we suss out the final word on whether a QR code campaign could ever be right for your business.
Online reviews can be as powerful as word of mouth in this digital age. Do you know what to do when they’re not all thumbs-up? Well, here’s what the experts say.
For service industries, online reviews are the new word of mouth. No business, especially one that depends on referrals, can afford to ignore its online presence. Here, we offer some advice from the experts for getting good reviews and connecting with customers online.
While customer surveys certainly have their place, they primarily measure customer perception, and not necessarily customer experience. Mystery shopping fills in the missing piece of this picture.
At most companies, mystery shoppers are considered independent contractors. At tax time, this means that there are a few extra steps shoppers need to take to make sure the appropriate taxes are paid on their earnings. At Sentry we always recommend that our shoppers turn to the experts to make sure this is correctly done. Here, we offer a few pointers to get you headed in the right direction.
Recent regulations handed down by the FDA suggest that the current trend toward healthy eating may be here to stay. While only restaurants with 20 units or more are currently required to provide nutritional information for all of their menu items, any restaurant owner would be well advised to get on board the health train before it leaves the station with all of your customers.
The FDA has recently announced new regulations requiring larger restaurant chains to provide nutritional information on all regular menu items. Businesses with fewer than 20 units are exempt from the new rules, but some may find it advantageous to opt in voluntarily.
Since access to the internet and email has become widespread, we have all seen hundreds of scams involving strangers asking people to transfer money, make deposits, cash checks, etc., on someone else’s behalf. When it comes to mystery shopping, companies asking you to deposit, transfer, or otherwise handle large amounts of money are not to be trusted.
In any industry and on any platform, there are those who try to take advantage of others by putting on a façade, making false promises, or just selling outright lies. In our experience, companies advertising big bucks for a small fee are almost certainly running a scam.
2015 is right around the corner. We’ve boiled down predictions from two of the industry’s most established consulting groups to 7 essential bits of advice.
Merged Mystery Shop, Guest Feedback and Brand Audit, Marketing Groups form Best of Class Services for Multi-Unit Restaurant and Retail Brands
Mystery shopping is one of the most cost effective tools that you can use to ensure your team is delivering a consistently outstanding experience.
The real image of your performance is like a panoramic photograph. One angle doesn’t capture the entire picture.
Your brand, like your reputation, takes months and years to build while only seconds and minutes to tear down.
Mystery shopping for the food-service industry.
How marketing research can help the restaurant industry get through the recession.