In this episode of The Boelter Wire, Dan Holen and Rob Frost, principles of Boelter Blue, talk through the difficulties that restaurants, bars, and craft breweries have faced during 2020. They also discuss some of the advancements technology has made during this time – from QR codes and digital menus, to digital waitlists and mobile friendly websites, online ordering – and how business owners in the food and beverage industry should be embracing this technology as a means to support and grow their brand.
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Rob Frost: Rob Frost and Dan Holen here, talking about restaurants and COVID-19. We are a restaurant people. We love bars and restaurants and the people that work in them, attend them, own them. And it's been a struggle.
Dan Holen: And you've heard us this podcast before, talk about few of the other topics, but I'm excited to talk about this one, even though it is about a frustrating time that we're in. There's definitely some solutions out there to kind of help through it.
Rob: I think laying out the scene, people know what's going on. If you're listening to this, you probably own a bar or a restaurant or a brewery. And depending upon where you are, there's probably different restrictions you're living under or different things you have to do to keep your restaurant open. We just want to outline kind of a COVID survival, recovery, tips and tricks that we've seen from some restaurant owners and some businesses that we work within Southeastern Wisconsin.
So, the dramatic and sudden emergence of COVID-19, we've seen restaurants having to embrace technology and in a bunch of different ways. So, obviously that's kind of something we're focused on. And when we talk to restaurant owners, they, you know, are focused on that because that's our expertise. But we've also seen them dealing with a lot of other things like, you know, customer perceptions of COVID and you know, how the people walking in the front door of the restaurant view their business. Now it's almost like they're being judged every time a customer walks through the front door. If the mask is one centimeter below the nose or that wasn't wiped down, I mean like the stress level for a restaurant owner just gets ratcheted up to about 15 during this.
Dan: And then you feather in the change of the weather and their staffing and all the other stuff, you know, muddled in there. It is tough. It is tough. But you're right. It's like the wild West out there. There are some rules, but also it's so new and so different, and no one's gone through this before, it's like, everyone's kind of doing their own thing in a weird way. I'll go to one restaurant and there's like one set of rules. We go another and another set of rules. So it's tough to try to gauge this right now.
Rob: But what we've seen as the restaurants that are, I mean, the most successful with navigating these customer perceptions is obviously they're working within the rules set by their local state government or the municipality or, or whatever it may be, but they're also setting their own rules and expectations and making it really clear that the customer knows what to expect when they walk in the front door. So, uh, there's a local bar in Milwaukee that's done, that's done a great job of this. At the end of the day, it's just kinda like, the same theory is when I'm opening up a restaurant. I don't open up a restaurant and have a menu that serves every kind of food under the sun. If I go to a wing restaurant, I'm expecting a wings. So, if you can set up whatever your health and safety procedures are that are the right way for you and the way your business is going to do them and make sure your customers are aware of them, you're going to attract the people that want to come to a place that's doing those types of things.
And so, we've seen places that the, you know, the ones that are kind of wishy-washy on it, or they're not sure what they're doing, or, you know, they're, they're flopping back and forth. Just like at any other phase of your restaurant, you gotta have clear directives and follow those and your customers have to know what to expect from you. I mean, that's just what we've seen as far as managing kind of customer perceptions. And you're going to get the people on social media that are going to comment one way or the other, but that's no different than anything else.
So, the next thing we've seen is, people that were already playing in the technology space and we're maybe a little better prepared for something like this are doing better. So, it's not too late to, to get some technology to help you with some of these issues. So, you mentioned earlier winter coming. We're in the upper Midwest, outdoor dining is pretty much going to cease to be a thing soon here, if it hasn't already been and you might say, well, you know, what is technology going to do to help me overcome this problem? If I have a reduced capacity inside my restaurant, I can't seat people outside. How could I use technology to fix that?
Dan: And more importantly, what do you use? Because if you Google it, there is no short supply of solutions, quote, unquote, air quotes solutions out there that can help you. So it not only is, you know, what kind of technology are you using, but it's, what's gonna be the most effective for your restaurant and where to start. Which I think is a huge thing that at least I've received a lot of phone calls with is like, “Hey, my, uh, my friend who runs a restaurant is using this third-party service, should I be using that?” It's like, well, they're in the city and you're in the suburbs. So, how much delivery are you going to be doing? So, it's just kind of navigating through these different things, making sure what you have is what is going to be the best for you.
Rob: So, it comes back to kind of what we were saying about your guidelines or how you're going to operate your business during COVID. Okay. So, what are your guidelines and how are you going to operate your business with reduced capacity? So are you, is your goal to turn and burn as many tables at that reduced capacity as possible? Is your goal to kind of keep things as they are with your dine-in, as far as the way people come in and visit, but do more takeout or do more delivery or do more catering? So, we have kind of solutions and things we've seen work in all those different areas, delivery, catering, dine in and some technology that can kind of feather in with that. So, the first one that we've seen people struggle with is, I used to run a waitlist, I used to have a busy Friday night for a fish fry and, you know, they'd come in, they'd put their name on the list. The hostess would, you know, write it down and maybe they'd get a buzzer, or maybe I just yell out their name. Or if they were really sophisticated, they sent them a text message, you know, or, and they were paying for a program that costs like No Wait or something that cost hundreds of dollars a month. But what if I've never done any sort of program like that? And now people are afraid to come to my restaurant when it's busy on a Friday, because they don't want to wait inside, in the cold, in a crowded lobby, waiting for a table. You're not used to that. So, you know, some technology you can look at, obviously you could do a reservation system and that doesn't work for everybody. But, we've seen some of our restaurants use Open Table. It's expensive, but it works. If that's the type of business that you're running. There's other ones that you can use, like Resy, some of our customers use. But a simple way is to run a waitlist.
Dan: Yeah, in a waitlist feature, at least with our system, with Boelter Blue, is people just put their name on a list so they can be at home, or at work, in their car or wherever. And they can open up your app in their own personal cell phone and see how long the wait is. So, they know, it's a 45-minute wait at the local restaurant. I live 20 minutes away. I'm going to get my name on the list here in a few minutes, hop in the car, my wife and I are going to drive out there and we're going to go walk in and eat when our time is ready. So, there's no waiting in a lobby. There's no worries there. You can just pop in, sit and get out. That's definitely one way to do it, one effective way to do it.
Rob: Yeah. And in a waitlisting system like ours and ours, isn't the only one out there. You could see some of the features of it on our website, if you want to check it out. But, it allows you to manage that in person, in the restaurant, you can set different wait times for different table sizes. You can let people know through the app when their table is ready. So, streamlining that and allowing people to social distance and allowing people to know what to expect from you. Now they can open up your app and they can see what the wait is at the restaurant. Like that's powerful. If there's two places I can go to, I'm going to go to the one where I know what to expect.
Dan: Exactly. And I think it's also important to be thinking about, as the guidelines change, can this program evolve with that? So, whether it's the one we were just talking about with Boelter Blue, our waitlist technology or something else, you need to be thinking about that is, let's say right now you're at a 25% capacity, but let's say six months from now, it's now up to a 75% capacity. Can you use that same wait-list system and slowly build? And more importantly, once you're back open, is this still gonna be relevant for you to use later? Because once people get used to your technology, you want to kind of keep that thing going. So, can this thing work when you are back to, quote unquote, normal? So, you want to be thinking about all of these things, not just right now, because the last thing you want to do is buy something now to solve, you know, put a band-aid on it and then we're back to normal. And it's like, why invest all this money and time and resources, and now not what? Now I'm back to square one again.
Rob: Couldn't agree more. So, we've got people that now are in the restaurant and you've got the issue of how do I keep them safe? One of the issues is how many surfaces are they touching? How many things do I have to sanitize? And kind of to your point about what we were just talking about, Dan, you know, how do I put a system in place that's not just for COVID, but it's going to help my business when this is over? And we come out on the other side of it and menus are a thing that restaurants can struggle with because menus could change. I'm constantly, hopefully adding new items, taking items off. So, how do I manage that? So, you know, a solution that, that we've seen our restaurants use that has been great is, we allow them to create a digital database of their menu basically, and then take that, that list of menu items, categorize it, you know, put all the information in there and then basically make their own menu and put that menu anywhere they want to put it.
So, obviously that's going to be on your website. Obviously, that's going to be in your mobile app if you have one. But, we also allow them to take these streamlined mobile friendly menus, automatically create QR codes that restaurant owners can put into their restaurant, on a table tent or on a laminated card or what have you. So, I can be sitting there, just scan the menu, you know, with my phone. And, you know, today's, today's options will pop up. Like I was in a Buffalo Wild Wings. I'm embarrassed to admit this, but I was in a Buffalo Wild Wings. I was coming back from, from someplace. And, uh, that's exactly what they do. And I'll guarantee you that their system, cost them lots and lots of money. So, I know you have, there's a couple of local restaurants that you've worked with specifically that use this really well.
Dan: So, I've seen a couple of different things. But, like you said, they can take that QR code and put it anywhere. So, whether it be on social media, I've seen people put it on to go boxes, like a sticker. They stick it right on there. So then, you know, in the future, I guess you saved your to-go box. I know why they put on it to go box, but they did. A to-go bag. I've seen it on to-go menus, which is also a kind of a redundant thing, but you could really put these things really anywhere. You could stick them on it, on anything, put them anywhere that, that you want to help get that repeat business. But the most important thing about that QR code is that as you update your menu, the QR code does not change. It's the same code. So, as those codes are out there on business cards or wherever, and you go in and you add a different beer, or you add an appetizer, or a Saturday special, you know, they scan that QR code. It's going to pull up the most recent menu. This also works in-house. You'll need to print out all these menus if you don't want, and you can save the trees and save the ink and just have this be a hundred percent digital in the person's phone.
Rob: A lot of places though, choose to print menus for a variety of reasons. Um, and our system allows that as well. So, if you're looking at okay, how do I get, you know, the beer menu, which changes every day as taps come in and taps come off, you know, effectively in my customer's hands. You could just print it on paper. You know, we can, literally, our system will just create a PDF for you that you can print, formatted, don't have to worry about it. And it's using that same menu database that you use to build everything else. You know, there's, there's some systems out there that, that do this and, you know, encourage you to look into them, but finding a way to effectively present your menu, not only today during COVID, but going forward to your customer, I think is something that's really important for the restaurants that we've talked to.
Dan: I did see one other example of the QR thing this past weekend. So, you know, us being here in Wisconsin, the Green Bay Packers are playing on Sunday and a customer of ours posted on social media and said, “Hey, we have a special Packer menu that you can order” right through their online ordering or through Door Dash. So, you scan the QR code, the, the menu pulled up, which then prompted them to their mobile app and our website for them to order either delivery or pickup throughout their online ordering. So that all they had to do was just post his picture up on social media of the QR code, mention they had a special, and then let the word get out. And they were able to do all those call to actions right there. So again, they can still do this afterwards.
In fact, I was talking to them and they're like, this is so great I don’t know why we didn't do this so long ago. And I can't tell you how many times I've heard that since then, because you know us talking about technology a lot with restaurants, sometimes they're like, “No, I'm good. We got our stuff in place. It's working. I don't want to touch it.” That's fine. I respect it. I like it. But now they're actually embracing it. They're like, “Wow, this is making my life a lot easier. Even though it's just chaos out there right now. It's still making this situation for me a lot easier.”
Rob: And that's the thing is, you know, there's all this technology, but is it going to make your life easier? Um, and everything we do is geared towards that, you know, simplicity and easy, the ease of use, you know, how can I reuse it? How can I do multiple things with it? More importantly, you know, how can you be creative? Because, you gotta think of the Packer special. You got to think of the to-go menus. You got to think of these things. And this now is the time more than ever to be creative, to grab your customer's attention. So, that's, that's really important.
So, let's just say that you don't have a big dine-in space at your restaurant, right. So, let's just say your capacity is a hundred people and you're down to 25% and it's just, you're going to have to do business outside of those four walls in order to make it work. Because we don't know how long, you know, capacity limits are going to be. And we don't know if this was going to another, something similar, isn't going to pop up a year or two or, or, or whatever it is from now. So, building up a good pickup or delivery business is something that a lot of places are trying to do.
Dan: And you don't have to go through the third-party systems either. I think at least people that I, that I've talked to, they kind of feel like they have to, like, I have to be on Door Dash. I have to have Uber Eats. I have to have these things. You don't. There are solutions out there. You don't have to go through a third-party system that takes 30% of each order. There are things out there. We always recommend you talk to your POS provider number one, because that makes it really easy for the kitchen. Your POS provider probably has a solution for you. But there are also other solutions out there that can most certainly work, you know, for you to not only, you know, have the delivery, but more importantly, the pickup. Delivery can obviously be, there's a lot of moving parts there. But, as far as a simple, “Hey, I want to order this pizza and I want to come pick it up.” You don’t have to pay somebody 30% to make that happen.
Rob: What if you have a way to connect with your customer and let them know that, you know, you have a special you're offering pickup, you can get that message across to them and you can get them to visit your website or your mobile app or better yet they already have your mobile app and you can send them a push message and say, “Hey, don't forget to order your pizza on Saturday night.” And then they can click a button and complete that order. They don't have to go to that third-party service, right? So, you can build some customer loyalty there. And the ability to build a digital loyalty program where they don't actually have to come in the front door to track and earn their loyalty points, uh, is a big thing. So, you know, we've been building digital loyalty programs for years. You know, we've been doing this for almost 10 years with restaurants through mobile apps. And it couldn't be easier now that we need to be contactless to set up a program that allows you to award loyalty points, let people, you know, earn rewards and then, you know, find a way to connect with them digitally where you don't have to be face-to-face. Um, and that's an, that's an important thing too. And you know, managing that, that pickup or that delivery business, starting a delivery business from scratch is going to be really difficult unless you're in a business that's probably known for delivery. Pizza, right? If you don't deliver pizza, that's going to be difficult. But if you're, you know, running a hamburger business or, you know, a taco business, something like that, if you can build a strong pickup business, you can, and you can control that audience. You can then build a strong delivery business. And maybe you can take some of the staff that you laid off before and bring them back as a delivery driver, bring them back as a coordinator for to go business. Or, you know, some of those different things might present themselves as you build up a loyal following and you have a direct connection with your customer.
Dan: And let's get real people want to leave their house right now, right? Like you're in the house all day. Like you and I we work from home. A lot of people are working from home, still. If we want to eat dinner, I have no problem hopping in my car and driving a couple of miles up the road to go pick it up. Especially if I have a curbside pickup punch card. I swing on in, I get my card punched, I grabbed my food, I get home and everybody wins there. So, I think we got, uh, it's the people that I've been talking to, they were like, you know, people that they don't want to leave their house. And I'm like, well, maybe, you know, and the ones who really want delivery, they'll seek out delivery and that's fine. But the ones who want to do curbside pick-up, if your food is good, and it travels well, they're going to keep coming back.
Rob: Yeah, absolutely. So, look for those online ordering systems that you can control that are low cost, that are either through your point of sale system, but make sure they're simple to manage. Um, you know, we have a solution there of course, and go for it. There's no reason not to, to start a pickup business.
Dan: And Boelter is here to help you. So, if you are like, “I don't know what to do.” Just reach out to us, somebody here, especially Rob and I, you can do, firstname.lastname@example.org. Just shoot us out an email. It'd be like, “Hey, I'm debating between these three things. Here's our type of restaurant. What are your, what do you recommend? What do you see?” We're here to help.
Rob: And Boelter, in general, can help with outfitting the right supply setup to execute a to go business. So, containers and boxes and bags and all the things that, it's kind of a one-stop shop.
So, the other piece that's really important here is how do I attract that business for pickup or delivery, especially if I haven't been that way before, or that's not something that, you know, my restaurant's known for? You know, one of the things you could do is use technology to open up a ghost kitchen. And that sounds really backwards when you hear somebody say that I'm going to use technology to open up a ghost kitchen. You're still gonna cook, you know, all of the food in the same kitchen that you're currently cooking it in. You might have to get some new equipment depending upon, you know, what you're changing. If you're going from, you know, uh, you know, cooking everything in a deep fryer to needing an oven, obviously you're going to need some more equipment and, and there's, you know, Boelter can help with that. But the key is, is how do I brand that? How do I get that message out? So, you know, using technology, you could create easily create, um, a website, a mobile app, social media page, and create a whole new brand around specifically only, you know, pickup orders or to-go orders. It doesn't, people don't necessarily expect to be able to walk into a restaurant, um, all the time, these days. And we're seeing ghost kitchens being a really positive way for a restaurant that maybe is only known for wings and burgers to expand into, you know, tacos and nachos with a different brand. And that's something that, you know, if you need help doing, you know, there's, there's people that can help out there, but with technology being the way it is today, it's something that you could probably execute yourself.
Dan: I actually have two really good examples of this. One is a local dessert company. Uh, they make pies. So, you just have a small little dining area, a little coffee area, stuff like that, right. We can come in order a slice of pie, get some coffee, dine in or buy a pie to go and, uh, and take it home. Well, they got rid of the whole dining area. They got rid of the coffee, they got rid of the tables and chairs. Um, they added in a few other ovens. They bought two new ovens and basically made their restaurant a giant kitchen. There's no place for it to sit. You can't even sit anywhere in there. It's just basically a giant kitchen. So, you what you do is you go on their website, you order your pie in advance. It takes 24 hours to get it minimum, and you just go in and you pick it up. So, there's no dining in there. You gotta buy a whole pie. They're not selling it by the slice anymore. You just buy the pie. They just completely changed their entire business in a way, rather than selling by the slice. So, you got to buy the whole pie, but it's definitely a creative way to do it of just, Hey, let's rather than having tables, let's put two more ovens in here, pump out pies quicker and just sell them online.
Rob: I bet they're selling them to restaurants and other establishment. Maybe catering companies. There's a lot of different ways to do that instead of selling one slice for $3. Let's how the whole pie for 25.
Dan: Exactly. Exactly. So they kind of just changed it, still doing what they love to do. Still doing what they're good at, just morphed it a little bit to where it's like, “Hey, sorry, you're not dining in, but you can come in and pick up.” And another one is a local sports bar that has just added catering for the very first time. So now you can just buy stuff in bulk. Everything's family style. So rather than buying an individual burger or individual fish fry, individual appetizer, you just buy a family platter of chicken wings or a family platter of pasta, or whatever's on, on the menu. And they can go out and bring it to you, to your family, uh, and a small catering style. Or, let's say you are having more people over or something like that. You need a bigger, you know, more food for an event or whatever it may be a smaller event. You can, um, you know, order a full out catering from them as well. So, they just added, they called it a different name. Um, they made a new Facebook page for it, made a new website for it, but it runs out of the exact same kitchen. And it's the same menu. Just bigger.
Rob: People love new. People love exciting stuff. They want to try new things. You know, why not give people an opportunity to do that?
Dan: Yup. And, and the owners, the delivery driver for all the catering, because they can justify driving around with a giant catering order than driving around and trying to sell a burger, you know, to someone's front door.
You know, a lot of things have gone virtual. Well, everything. And a lot of these shows that we talked about have gone virtual this year. Hopefully we can all get back together and meet face to face, and then even break bread together, be able to have a meal together. That's kind of what I'm looking forward for, too, but you know, right now we're doing what we can. I think it's been great with what you guys are doing and I appreciate you reaching out and spending some time with you.
Rob: And that place has a really good following in general, doesn't it? And, at the end of the day, that's the key is how do I maximize my existing customer base and give them more options to do business with my restaurant? And if you, I know who you're talking about, if you know, they have a direct way to communicate with their customer. They can talk to them directly. They can message them. They can offer them specials and deals and loyalty without having to go through a third-party service or without having to go through a social media site. So, they can have these ideas and these programs and execute them easily, flawlessly. And that's the exciting thing. And that kind of business won't go away as the pandemic hopefully goes away. You know, that kind of business is going to be here to stay. And, uh, you know, that's exciting for businesses, you know, using this time as a way to, you know, build a launching pad for yourself when things are better, instead of using this time as a way to hunker down and cut back.
Dan: Right. And you, you said it like, it can be exciting right now. I know it doesn't seem like it can be, but it can be because for the last 10 years you've been talking to people and, and I might get the objection of like, you know, my customers just like the way we're doing things. They like what we're doing, or I don't want to change it. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Well, now everything's broken. Everything's broken. So now it's time to be like, okay, what are the things you've been wanting to do? Given the course of your existence in this restaurant or this bar, or this brewery? Like, what are some creative things you've wanted to do or, well, you want to try to do, like, it's kind of just wide open. If you want to have a crazy idea, run with it, see what happens, like who knows it might be the next best thing.
Rob: When I talk to new restaurants or like we get a referral or somebody says, Hey, I have a question about this. That's exactly what I do. I sit down, uh, in front of my computer, you know, over a, a zoom call. And I say, Hey, what are the things you want to do? What are the things you want to accomplish? Let's make a list of all the crazy things that, and not even crazy, just exciting things that you, that you could get done in this restaurant. And that's, let's brainstorm and see, you know, what technology can do to help that. And then, you know, what do you need to do within the four walls to get that done? You know, what would it actually take? Um, a lot of, lot of restaurant owners I've talked to have been surprised at how, how freeing it is to be trying something new.
Dan: And they're not worrying about making their customer mad about trying something new because everyone's dealing with this, right. So there's, it's kind of like a restart button, a start over button. If, you know, if you want to look at it that way of like, okay, if I look at it that way, how can I make, how can I get rid of all the stuff that was bugging me or annoying me in the past and replace it with something that I actually enjoy doing? Because, if you own a bar or a restaurant, I know for sure there is stuff that you wish you wouldn't have done, but now you're stuck doing right. And now you have the chance to definitely change those things.
Rob: So, talking about ghost kitchens and exciting ideas and finding ways to bring new people in it can be, it can be really easy to get, kind of get lost in the weeds and not think about some of that big picture stuff. But I encourage whoever's listening to this to make a list, figure out some exciting things that you want to do and go after within your restaurant and use this time to experiment, and try to attract new customers and build new revenue streams, because things are going to recover. And when they do, those revenue streams will most likely still exist for your business, and you’ll come out the other side stronger.
Dan: So, to wrap this up and kind of just box up of what we just said for you. Um, here, I think are a list of things. If you're like, where do I start today to at least start researching or looking into? It's hard for us to maybe give exact specifics because every bar restaurant brewery is different. You're located in different spots; you're selling different things. So it's tough to give a broad, like here's what I would do, no matter what business you are, but at least here's where I would start. Number one, a mobile friendly website. People are on their phones, especially right now. If your website is not mobile friendly, you need to get a mobile friendly website. Contact us, go to wix.com, go to Squarespace. There's plenty of build your own stuff that can make it mobile, but get a mobile friendly website, and have some sort of way, this is the second thing, have some sort of way for your customer to order. Whether that would be through an Uber Eats type of thing, or if it's through your own POS online ordering system. But, give your customer a way to order without having to call you whatever way that that is. And I would honestly start with those two things right now.
Rob:The third thing is you need make sure that your Google profile on your business is up to date. If your hours have changed, if your menus have changed, if your policies have changed, if your specials are different, if you have events you're not doing anymore, um, you know, whatever that is, you just need to go to Google My Business and set up your Google. If you haven't already done that, then you need to do that yesterday. Um, but I would certainly make sure it's up to date, because that's a great way to make sure that people see the information that you want them to see when they Google your business.
Dan: Absolutely. Yeah, but those three things I think are unbelievably important right now.
Rob: Yeah. Yeah. And I think if I was going to add a fourth thing to that, um, it would just be making sure that you own your customer. And I, and I say that in a way, meaning you own the relationship, you own the ability to communicate with them because, you know, given the, the social media landscape and the third party delivery landscape and you know, all the different ways that you could reach your customer, if you don't own that data, if you don't have a way to reach them without paying someone, that's generally a problem. Now, you're, you're always going to have to, you know, find a surrogate in a way, so you, you know, you're going to maybe use an app or, you know, use an email service to email people or a text service. But, investigate those different things and make sure you're building a list, building a database, building a way to engage your customers. And then, in a way that they want to be engaged with, you know, so it's not annoying. It's things they care about. Because there's gonna come a time where you're going to need to lean on them, you know, to help support your business. And you know what a Facebook isn't showing your posts, all of a sudden, you know, what if their algorithm decides to put them at the bottom? You know, there's so many things that can be out of your control. So, finding a way to control and own that relationship with your customer would be at the very top of my list as a restaurant right now, if I owned a restaurant or bar, because there's no better investment I could make other than maybe arguably investing in my staff. But if your staff is not face-to-face with your customer right now, that's even more important for you to have a digital relationship with them.
And that's the thing, you know, it always used to be, and it still is, invest in your staff, they'll treat your customer well, and there you go. It goes back to what you were saying earlier, Hey, we've been doing it this way and it's worked and I don't want to change it. Well, gosh, I understand that. But what if they're not coming in the door anymore? What if they're just picking up a bag at the curb? Like, they're not getting that service. Well then how are you engaging them? And that scares me if I'm a restaurant owner. So, I need to find some way to do that.
Dan: If there was Googling food near me, are you popping up? Are you there? Is it easy to find? Is it easy to navigate? Is it easy to order? Is it easy to find what I want to eat? If not, you're probably losing them. Because that quick little search is basically, that's everything right now
Rob: And your customer that used to come in every Friday. Because they loved coming into your place. They love sitting in your bar, they love talking to your staff. They loved the music you played in the atmosphere and the, you know, the whole day they loved your place. But now they're ordering your fish fry on Friday to take home. How long is it going to take for them to say, man, maybe we should try another place. Because I'm just eating it at home. And it's just the fish now. You know, that's the thing is, and now when they Google fish fries near me, they're going to have other options. They're going to be thinking about other places to pick up and, and maybe you'll pick up some new customers that way as well, and you'll have a chance to win them. But when you pick them up, pick them up and keep them. So that's, that would be the fourth thing. You got to have a mobile friendly website. You’ve got to have a way for people order online. You know, absolutely need to have a way to connect with your customer. And you've got to make sure that you're, you're showing up on Google.
Dan: Absolutely. And, as always, I know we've said this before, but reach out to us here at Boelter through the Boelter website. You can reach out to Rob and I directly at email@example.com. I'm more than happy to chat with you about your specific situations, what we can do to help and what Boelter can do to help overall.
Rob: Good luck.
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The Boelter Wire is an episodic podcast that focuses on thought-leadership conversations with industry experts and established partners, and is designed to help listeners evolve their business, stay competitive and pursue their passions.