The Daily Rail: Wait… Is Sales Declining a Good Thing for Restaurants Right Now?

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Bucking the Trend

Why it matters to you: When are sales declines are a good sign?

It seems like it’s been all bad news this past year when it comes to sales and traffic in the full-service restaurant segment. A report by TDn2k doesn’t, at first glance, offer any hope that things can get better -- but that’s why we need to look a little deeper. It appears that if the impact of the two mainland US hurricanes is accounted for that a trend of deceleration in traffic and sales losses is underway. According to TDn2K, sales dropped by 2.8% in July, 1.8% in August, and 1.4% in September. If sales declines can bode well, it happens when they abate, as this trend portends.

Now, that doesn’t mean we don’t have some fundamental issues in our industry, but it does mean that you can overcome them. Chains like Texas Roadhouse continues to have both same store sales growth and is opening new locations rapidly. What’s the key? Other than locations, it has to be the value proposition of great quality food with a warm and engaging atmosphere. All things being equal, you have to do more these days than have great chicken wings and nachos, because your competitors have that as well. No, today’s market demands the best guest experience you can provide or they will go elsewhere.

Don't be a P.O.S., Go Mobile!

Why it matters to you: Are you ready for mobile payment?

Over the past four years, tableside POS and payment options have begun to slowly, but determinedly, invade the consciousness of both operators and guests. The road has been bumpy and the adoption uneven and suffering from our typical inertia -- but the progress is real. With EMV technology becoming the standard, now is the time to consider how you will respond to this trend in our operation. There are no shortage of options to choose from, but how do you make the right decision? In the end, only you know your business well enough to answer that question.

We suggest you first determine at which spot you want to make the change. There are three basic options.

  1. You can embrace cloud-based POS with integrated tableside payment options.
  2. You can just focus on mobile payment and bolt that on to your current POS.
  3. You can employ tableside tablet POS with included mobile payment options.

This article is a good review of the various ways you can begin and should at least get you thinking in the right direction.