Archives for: April 2011
Life as I know it...
It's been 2 months since I last sent a newsletter - the last one being titled "Life as I know it (is about to change)." And I was right, restaurant ownership and management is my new reality - and pretty much whole world, at least for the time being. The insanity of remodeling and opening is now behind me, and I am now able to come up for air a bit. Gone are the 16 hour days, replaced with only 9 hour days!
What are the most significant changes since I last owned a restaurant? (Sold the last one in 1990!)
The world wide web has changed it all. I didn't even have a website the last time I owned a restaurant, and people still used the yellow pages. In this way, technology has made things much simpler. Websites are quick and easy to build and to update and the web make it much faster and easier for customers and potential customers to find you and easily get information.
I had a cash register last time around - not a POS system! Now we use the new generation online POS, an iPad connected with the receipt printer, cash drawer, and card swipe.
Revel software provides up to the minute reporting so we can track sales from any Internet browser in real time. There is no back of the house server or computer needed. They provide an online software platform in which our on-line store, iPhone app, and mobile website are all integrated in the POS. Also, Revel offers paperless receipts as well as printed receipts and if customers forget their wallet, they can pay via Google Checkout or PayPal. Pretty slick. Check them out at RevelSystems.com
3. Customer needs/desires
Customers today are a whole new breed. The sheer amount and detail of modifiers needed to accommodate customers compared to 20 years ago is huge. It seems almost rare to have an entire party simply order stright off the menu. Allergies, special needs diets and personal preferences are sky-rocketing, making it more and more interesting (and complicated) for the industry.
4. Social media
Of course social media has completely changed the landscape - both positive and negatively, for restauranteurs. Everyone is a critic, and the speed at which opinions and reviews are available to any and all is moving at a faster and faster pace. It certainly adds a fun component, adding a more interactive communication medium, although can certainly add stress as well, if not managed or if you feel unfairly attacked.
As for us, we are just starting to peek our heads back out into the world (for 2 months our world was held between our 4 walls), so how all these things will work - or not - for us, remains to be seen. In the mean time, we're having fun with it!
Visit Community Cafe at 875 West Napa Street, Sonoma, CA 95476 (707) 938-7779, CCSonona.com or find us on: