By Lisa Siddons

Get Noticed on Google: Tips for Using My Business

Google listings on iphoneEver tried searching your business name? Besides a basic listing, what info appears? If there’s not much, you’re missing an opportunity to draw more customers to your store. A detailed business profile on Google can make your business easier to find, let hungry diners know what sets you apart, and give searchers additional information—like reviews, hours, and website links. It’s an essential part of a digital marketing strategy for both large and small businesses. And the best part: it’s free!

With more than half of Google searches conducted on mobile devices, Google now places more emphasis on displaying results based on the user’s location. Local search results are listed near the top of the search results, right under any paid ads, or in a sidebar with hours, so getting a placement there gives your business high visibility.

My Business: One Key to Ranking in Local Results

To rank in the local results, keep this in mind: The more data you give Google, the more likely you are to rank high in the results. So fill in your My Business (formerly Google Places) profile with as much information as possible, including photos.

Here are a few tips for getting the best results from Google My Business:

  • Ensure the address for your business exactly matches that used by the postal service, including suite or unit number and full 9-digit zip. Spacing and formatting should match too.
  • For the “I deliver goods” question, answer yes and then add a service area. This is particularly important for delivery restaurants, which can serve a wide area. Add nearby towns you service, or enter a radius that reflects your delivery area.
  • Get your My Business listing verified. This can take a couple of weeks, and usually involves entering the PIN on a postcard mailed to your business address.
  • Include photos. Professional quality pays off here: if you aren’t a pro or a keen amature, consider hiring one to take some exterior, interior and food shots. You can even add a virtual tour!
  • Get reviews. More reviews help move your business up the listings. For ideas, see How to Get Positive Restaurant Reviews: Tips for Pizza Operators.

From the Archives: 3 Ways to Make it Right – Dealing with Customer Complaints

customer complaints photoIt’s human nature: no matter how good the food and service, every restaurant will experience some complaints. What sets successful restaurants apart is how they handle them.

There is no question—customers who report a problem expect a quick answer. A fast and positive response can increase customer loyalty beyond what it was before the negative experience. But ignoring customer complaints can cost you customers. Not only the complainers, but potentially their friends (real and virtual), family, and anyone who reads their negative reviews online.  Check out these 3 tactics to dealing with customer complaints: Read more

5 Ways Your POS can Help Prepare for the Holiday Rush

holiday shoppingThe holiday season is upon us, and for most restaurants, that means an uptick in business over the next month. Hungry holiday shoppers create an opportunity to turn new guests into regulars. But the key is in the preparation. Rushed visitors won’t be impressed if their order is late or out of stock. Or if staff are harried and unfriendly.

Here are five ways you can use the tools in your point of sale system to take full advantage of the increased sales volume. Read more

Six Ways to Automate Your Menu

SpeedLine XT4015 restaurant POS terminal main menuWhether you operate a single restaurant, or a large chain with regional differences, automating these key functions in your POS menu can improve your operation. It can increase order-taking speed and accuracy, simplify administration, and improve customer service. Read more

Food Safety: 4 Ways a Restaurant POS Helps

pizza restaurant POS can help with buffet food safetyAs a restaurant owner, food safety and concern for the health of your customers is likely one of your top priorities, and with good reason. As this Pizza Today article points out, your customers are often your neighbors and friends, and in some cases a serious food safety incident could lead to restaurant closure. Read more

How to Get Positive Restaurant Reviews: Tips for Pizza Operators

surveycustomersWhile it’s nice to hear from guests that your food and service are good, it’s even better if they tell a friend—or many friends. Here are some ways to gather and publicize good reviews and attract new customers to try your restaurant: Read more

From the Archives: Restaurant Operations: 3 Ways to Go Green while Saving Green

Green-money“Going green” always seems to be in the news, but is it a viable option for your restaurant business? Many operators find it not only makes for good press and creates goodwill with environmentally-conscious customers, but it also saves them money.

Today we look at a few simple strategies for green restaurant operations—and how they can pay off: Read more

How to Turn Regular Customers into Brand Advocates

The Golden BrandEvery pizzeria has an idea about what makes their restaurant unique: the food, atmosphere, and service qualities that make it stand out from the rest. But with so many communication channels out there and so little time, how do you get the word out?

One way is to let your loyal customers do the talking. While these “brand advocates” post favorable reviews online, talk to their friends, or provide testimonials for your website, you can spend more time making your business the best it can be. An added bonus is that praise coming from your existing customers carries a lot more weight with consumers than most other forms of marketing.

So how do you create active, enthusiastic brand advocates? Read more

From the Archives: 3 Ways to Go Green while Saving Green

Save green“Going green” always seems to be in the news, but is it a viable option for your restaurant business? Many operators find it not only makes for good press and creates goodwill with environmentally-conscious customers, but it also saves them money. Read more

Pizza Delivery Drones: Future or Fantasy?

dronesYou’ve probably seen the videos: pizza delivery drones are out there now. But how many are actually delivering pizza for real, and how many are simply a brainchild of the company’s marketing department—a publicity stunt?

The truth is that, even for large, sophisticated companies like Amazon and Google, regular delivery by drone is likely some distance into the future.

Here are a few reasons why: Read more