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Category: Restaurants


Automated Restaurants: They're Back, with Better Tech

You may not remember the Automat: a coin-operated restaurant, like a giant walk-in vending machine with freshly-prepared options available behind a wall of glass cases. The last one closed in 1991, but now the concept is making a return in the form of Eatsa, a fully automated restaurant where customers can enjoy an entire meal without interacting once with a member of the wait-staff. At Eatsa, customers place their orders on an iPad at a kiosk, then wait at a wall of glass compartments for their food. On the other side of that wall, the kitchen staff prepares the food fresh, then slide it into the appropriate slot, wherein the glass door of the compartment will light up with the customer's name to inform them that their order is ready. The menu at Eatsa is focused primarily on healthier options: grain bowls that are big on vegetables and healthy proteins like cheese, nuts, and eggs. Customers can either build their own bowl from an extensive list of topping and ingredients, or they can select pre-arran ...

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Online Marketing: the Whys and Wherefores

It's common among business people of a certain age to think that online marketing is an unnecessary expense. It's also common for a certain type of business, namely small ones. This view is typically due to a few types of misconception about the nature of either the business involved, or the nature of online marketing. The one thing a business owner can say to a marketing consultant that might actually rule out online marketing as a viable option would be "I don't need any more customers" or "I don't need my business to grow right now." You can't really argue with that, though you can ask how confident they are that the customers they have now will be around one, five, or ten years down the road. A less intractable objection is the idea that "all our customers are offline." This is circular reasoning: if you don't reach out online, of course the only customers you attract will be those who aren't online. This objection actually defeats itself, more or less: if you've saturated the market of people who aren' ...

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Human Resources Outsourcing: One Size Does Not Fit All

Does "one size fits all" ever really fit anyone?  HR outsourcing, an increasingly popular choice, particularly among franchisees, is no exception, where customizing your service arrangement is key.  There are three primary types of human resources outsourcing arrangements in the industry: co-employment (also referred to as employee leasing), human resources outsourcing (HRO), and administrative services outsourcing (ASO). 

Flexible, service-oriented PEOs understand that one size does not fit all.  Franchisees are encouraged to communicate openly with the PEO about their human resources needs in order to determine which outsourcing arrangement works best.  This type of customization ensures expectations are understood, and the franchisee is satisfied with the services it receives from the PEO, creating a long-term and rewarding relationship for both parties. Read the complete article on Franchise Expo.

Technology for Restaurants: Best Uses to Find and Keep New Customers

At first glance, the technology needed to own and operate a restaurant may seem pretty straightforward. The ways we prepare and serve food haven't changed that much, after all. But the ways we communicate definitely have, and these changes necessary effect a variety of transactions and services. Just as the advent of the automobile and the freeway led to the drive-in and drive=-thru, these days smart phones and social media are changing the way that customers consider, order, and pay for their food. Here are a few tech trends to be aware of the next time you take stock of your restaurant's technological cachet. But first, a word of caution: when considering any technological upgrade for you restaurant, consider it's potential "fit" above all. Is it right for you and your customers? Does it help you meet their needs more effectively or allow your employees to be more effective at their individual tasks? Also keep in mind there's usually more than one way to address a tech trend. That said, if your restau ...

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For Restaurants, the Internet Poses More Opportunities than Competition

Since its initial foray into commercial interests, the Internet has impacted a variety of industries in the ways that they deliver products and offer services. At times these innovations have been surprising: who could have predicted that the Internet would revolutionize how we make travel arrangements, for instance? But other sectors of the economy have remained curiously immune, albeit selectively so. Take restaurants, for instance. Unlike traditional retail, restaurants don't face significant competition from strictly online services. Online food delivery service has to date only served to augment existing businesses rather than replace them. Those companies that have emerged to deliver prepared meals without attachment to a brick-and-mortar location have been few and far between: after all, it's a business model that doesn't scale easily. Food spoilage issues would require a network of many, many local kitchens or commissaries, where in retail a few national warehouses can hold most of the stock needed ...

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