CAPTAIN ON THE NOT BORING PODCAST

9 items found

  • How to save labor costs and free up your team by automating your restaurant’s phone

    Takeout and delivery restaurants are increasingly looking to labor-saving solutions to help ease the pain of soaring costs and staffing shortages. As automation technology has gotten better and cheaper, it has become more appealing for restaurants to add automation to their stores. The phone is an area ripe for automation. Some restaurant leaders say pushing customers who call on the phone to automated systems where they can place their order or book a table can reduce pressure on their teams and lead to better service through less time waiting on hold and increased order accuracy. Online orders have higher check averages as well. According to a National Restaurant Association survey, 65% of restaurant operators say they don’t have enough employees to support existing customer demand and in another survey, 90% of restaurants agreed that increased automation would allow staff to focus on other tasks. Restaurant automation technology is having its moment. From kiosks to pizza-making robots to the phone, technology companies are racing to develop solutions for the industry. At Captain, our restaurant partners told us phone automation is an important way we can help them deal with labor shortages and rising costs so we built Captain Phone. Captain Phone automates your answering with custom messaging, sends text messages to direct callers to place orders online, and answers frequently asked questions. Callers can always opt to speak with someone, but Captain Phone leads to fewer calls for the staff so they can focus on hospitality and other tasks. Captain Phone never misses a call, it works 24 hours a day, and it costs a fraction of a team member while it frees up your staff to focus on hospitality and the kitchen. Check out Captain Phone today and try it free for 30 days. Reach out today to get started.

  • Digital Storefront: Build a Restaurant Website that Converts Customers

    Picture the storefront of your restaurant. You likely put in a lot of effort to make sure the sidewalk is free of debris, your sign is in good condition, and your windows are cleaned daily. This is because you want your business to make a good first impression on potential customers. Now picture your restaurant’s website, and think of it as your digital storefront. It’s where the majority of your customer base will get their first impression of your brand, and plays a key role in the decision-making factor when choosing to order online, or even dine-in. A great website can convert a casual visitor into a lifelong customer. A powerful website will also rank your business higher in SEO, to keep you top of mind when visitors search keywords such as “restaurants in my area.” Before you dive in, there are several best practices to keep in mind when building or revamping your restaurant’s website. Keep Mobile In Mind In early 2021, 54% of all Internet traffic came from mobile devices. That means that over half of your potential customer base will visit your website from their phone rather than a desktop computer. Your restaurant’s website should be optimized for mobile in order to ensure this large group of visitors has a good experience. Captain helps restaurant brands develop branded websites that are optimized for mobile browsing, such as irazuchicago.com. Optimize Website Navigation When developing your website, create a top-navigation bar or a drop-down menu where all pages of your website are linked (menu, hours and location, gallery, events, etc.) so that visitors can easily find what they need. If you offer online ordering, add an “order online” button to the top header field of your website, and include it in your navigation menus. This will help to make it show up on Google, too. Include Web Content that Converts Your restaurant’s website is a great place to include a field for guests to enter their email to sign up for your mailing list. Even if you don’t currently send out emails, include the field anyway with text such as “sign up to stay in touch!” so that you are able to capture customer data and understand who is visiting your website, and when. Your restaurant’s website is also the place to list your business hours, and embed a Google map with a drop-pin locating your restaurant. Contact information should be in an easy-to-find place, such as the bottom banner of your website, and linked in the navigation menu as well. If the idea of building a website for your restaurant is overwhelming, consider enlisting experts to help. Captain helps restaurants build beautiful, easy-to-navigate websites to help convert customers and drive orders.

  • Digital Marketing for Restaurants

    Collectively, the team at Captain has over 80 years of experience in restaurant technology and marketing, and we’re eager to share our knowledge with our restaurant partners. Our playbook for turning customers into regulars embraces the fundamental principles of marketing: Awareness, Consideration, Conversion, Retention. We think of the customer journey as a funnel, starting with Awareness and narrowing to Retention. The key to success is attracting new people and turning them into loyal customers who keep coming back to your restaurant. Awareness: In the digital marketplace awareness starts with making sure people can find you. If someone searches your restaurant or browses for “restaurants near me,” it’s critical that you rise to the top. Since most searches start on Google, the best investment you can make to attract new customers online is to enhance your Google My Business Profile and take action to move up the Google search rankings. Consideration: Next up in the marketing funnel, turning internet searches into sales by not only attracting customers, but encouraging them to interact. Once they’ve found your website, what can you offer? Beautiful photos? Reviews? A promotional offer for placing that first order? This step is all about getting customers to place an order. Conversion: Once they’ve decided to order, you need the technology in place to quickly convert visitors into customers. Sadly, this is where restaurants commonly miss out. When online ordering is a bad experience, frustrated customers have no option but to bail on an order before they checkout. This is where Captain shines. 40% of customers who start an order complete it. Retention: The final and most important step is continuing to build relationships to turn customers into regulars. Restaurant owners know this: it's why you work so hard on customer service. And the numbers back it up. According to Invesp, acquiring a new customer is five times as expensive as retaining an existing customer, and increasing customer retention rates by just 5% increases profits by 25-95%. The funnel isn’t a journey with a finite destination and it’s vital to invest at every step. Ultimately you want to turn that funnel into a fountain with a steady flow of regular customers returning again and again.

  • Google Food Ordering with Captain

    We’re excited to announce our new partnership with Google to provide restaurants with access to Google Food Ordering (GFO), a powerful tool to help independent restaurants reach new online customers and increase sales. Over 80% of takeout and delivery orders start on Google. Now, customers can complete their orders there too. Google Food Ordering allows you to capture online customers with a single click. Whether customers search for a restaurant by name, type in “restaurant near me” or “pizza” they’ll see a big blue button to "Order Online." In the past, these orders were filled primarily by third-parties, like Postmates. But now, Captain operates behind the scenes to integrate with Google so customers can order directly without even clicking on your restaurant’s website. What is Google Food Ordering? Tell customers how you want them to order. To reduce fees to third-parties paid by you or your customers, set up Captain as your preferred provider. And while you can't entirely remove the option for third-parties you work with, you can let customers know that ordering directly from you is their best option. Google Food Ordering helps reduce third-party fees One a customer chooses to order pick-up or delivery, Google Food Ordering allows restaurants to designate a preferred provider to avoid third-party fees Google Food Ordering makes order completion easier With just a few clicks a customer can complete their order, making it less likely they will drop-out before they checkout. Google Food Orders processed by Captain are automatically routed to the Captain App. Google Food Ordering provides consumer data Unlike third-party apps which don’t always share consumer information with restaurants, Google Food Ordering provides robust customer data that can be used for targeted marketing. Google Food Ordering increased more than 230% in the last year And it's poised to continue to grow, giving independent restaurants a unique opportunity to reach new customers and grow their sales. Set up Google Food Ordering Now Get started now with Google Food Ordering powered by Captain for just 3% per order.

  • How to Activate Google Food Ordering

    What if you could get a customer to start an order even before they visited your website? With a little help from Google (and a preferred provider like Captain), you can capture new online customers with a single click. By turning on Google Food Ordering (GFO), each time a customer searches for you, they will see a big blue button to "Order Online." With one click, customers can view a menu and start their order. All you have to do is work with a provider like Captain who can process orders from Google. Step 1: Turn on Google Food Ordering. Sign in to Google My Business. If you have multiple locations, select the location you want to manage. Select "Food Ordering". Step 2: Select your preferred provider. Tell customers how you want them to order. To reduce fees to third-parties paid by you or your customers, set up Captain as your preferred provider. And while you can't entirely remove the option for third-parties you work with, you can let customers know that ordering directly from you is their best option. Step 3: Remove third-party providers you have no relationship with. If you have no business relationship with a provider that is showing up on your order page, Google can remove them as an option. To remove an unauthorized provider from your Google My Business Profile, use the opt out form. Set up Google Food Ordering Now Get started now with Google Food Ordering powered by Captain for just 3% per order.

  • Take Control of Your Google Food Ordering Before Anyone Else Does

    Google has been airing ads nationwide about helping local businesses. One way they are helping local restaurants is with Google Food Ordering (GFO), which allows online customers to discover and order from restaurants with a single click. Whether customers search for a restaurant by name, type in “restaurant near me” or “pizza” they’ll see a big blue button to "Order Online.” Since Google is too massive to integrate with every restaurant in the country, they rely on providers like Captain to coordinate menu updates and process orders. Unfortunately, third-parties like Postmates and Slice figured out early that they can use Google Food Ordering to siphon off customers without the cooperation of individual restaurants and then charge those restaurants or customers for each order they process. So it is critical that you turn Google Food Ordering to make sure those orders are coming directly to you. With one simple decision, you can block third parties from accessing your orders and stealing your customer data. Google wants to help customers find your restaurant and order instantly, but it’s up to you to access your Google My Business account and make sure that your blue buttons send customers directly to you through an approved provider like Captain. Set up Google Food Ordering Now Get started now with Google Food Ordering powered by Captain for just 3% per order.

  • How to use Google My Business to grow your restaurant's sales

    Whether someone is typing your restaurant’s name into Google search or scanning maps for “restaurants near me" you have a huge opportunity to win over new customers before they even click on your website. Google My Business (GMB) is the business profile that shows up on the right side of a Google search or to the left of a Google Map. By taking advantage of your Google My Business profile, you can drive more business to your restaurant. Step 1: Claim your Google My Business profile. Make sure customers get the most up-to-date information. Sign into your Google My Business account and check the following: Are the hours accurate? Is it the right phone number? Are there appetizing photos? Google is offering you prime real estate on your customers' screens, so make the most of that space by taking control of your profile and using it to showcase the things that make your restaurant unique. Step 2: Climb the search rankings by adding categories and attributes to Google My Business. The number one reason restaurants don't show up in more searches is the lack of categories and attributes. Select multiple categories so you can show up in a variety of searches, the more specific you can be the better. Restaurants can select one primary category and up to nine additional categories. For instance, your primary category might be Mexican Restaurant but you can also choose Taco Restaurant, Burrito Restaurant, Meal Delivery and Takeout Restaurant so you rank at the top when people search for a more specific craving. The more categories and attributes you list, the higher your restaurant will rank and the easier it will be for customers to find you. Are you kid-friendly? Do you offer vegetarian options? Are you open late? Let customers know by adding multiple attributes to your Google My Business page. This way, when someone searches “late-night vegetarian taco takeout,” you’re more likely to be shown as a search result. We created a list of available Google My Business categories and attributes specifically for restaurants to help. Step 3: Use Google My Business to promote direct ordering. Make sure you highlight the best way to order directly from you, because chances are, third parties are already using your Google My Business page to get your customers to order from them instead. Under the section titled Order ahead links, you can link to your official ordering page and set it as your preferred link by clicking the star icon. This will be indicated to your customers and help them order direct. Step 4: Activate Google Food Ordering Turn the “Order Online” button on, and select your preferred provider. Click here to learn more about Google Food Ordering and how to activate it. Step 5: Use Google My Business data to learn about your customers. Google My Business is full of free information about how many people are engaging with your restaurant online. What percentage viewed your profile with Google Search? How many used Google Maps? Which searches triggered your Business Profile? You can also find out what happened once they found you? Did they call? Get directions? Visit your website? Google has compiled all that information for you and it’s free. Google wants to help you connect with customers. Put the tech giant to work for you by using Google My Business to give people a preview of all the things that make your restaurant unique.

  • Have you Googled your restaurant lately?

    The reality is that over 80% of takeout and delivery orders start on Google. It’s the first place your customers go to find your restaurant. Sadly, it’s all too common that when someone types in the name of your restaurant, the first result they see is not your website. That’s because companies like Grubhub and DoorDash have spent decades gaming the system. They’ve perfected techniques that get them to the top of Google’s search results for individual restaurant name searches, often displacing the actual restaurant itself. These giant tech companies essentially stop customers on their way into your restaurant. Imagine someone standing outside the door, grabbing your customer, taking their order, and then charging you to fill it. That’s what they’re able to do. These companies will even pay Google to get customers to click on them first, knowing they can immediately charge you a premium commission. And it’s not just paid ads. For any restaurant search, a potential customer will likely see the same 5 or 6 sites - Grubhub, Seamless, Eat24, Allmenus, Menupages - all owned by Grubhub. In addition, if a customer uses Yelp, their order is filled by Grubhub. When it comes to search, Google is playing a different game, and they keep changing the rules. But don’t let that stop you from playing, because the more you play the game, the easier it is for customers to find you. There are simple strategies you can deploy, including managing your GOOGLE MY BUSINESS listing, having a good WEBSITE, and activating GOOGLE FOOD ORDERING.

  • Did You Know That 2/3 of Third-party Orders Come from Existing Customers?

    That’s exactly what third-party delivery platforms like Doordash, UberEats, and Grubhub work so hard to hide. It’s why Doordash came up with a host of new pricing plans recently, but not one plan includes an option to access customer information. Because if restaurants saw the names, phone numbers, and addresses for third-party customers, they’d realize they were paying a premium for customers they already had. By owning the customer data, third-parties can rent out those customers to restaurants over and over again. It’s like letting someone stay on your couch and somehow they start charging YOU rent for your own home. In the early days of third-party delivery platforms, customer information was shared for mutual benefit, but now third-parties hold onto that data, leveraging the restaurant’s own brand to grow their own customer list and reward investors. Doordash or Grubhub may give restaurants a discount for pick-up orders or offer deals for links on a website, but they’re keeping the valuable customer information. Because once restaurants have a phone number or email address for “Charlie H,” they don’t need a middleman to reach out. They can use that contact information to establish a relationship and keep online customers coming back, the same way they build a rapport with customers in the dining room to turn them into regulars. Get an online customer to place two orders within 30 days, and there's a 70% likelihood they’ll become a regular. While knowing when to send the right email at the right time to the right customers sounds complicated and expensive - like all technology - it’s gotten easier and cheaper. With in-store dining, restaurant owners can thank first-time customers or pay extra attention to regulars, and on the internet, it's no different.With the right software, it doesn’t take much to automatically recognize new email addresses and reach out to those customers within 24 hours. Restaurants can send a coupon or a simple, “Thank you for ordering. We look forward to seeing you again.” Third parties want to make this look complicated, so they can maintain ownership of customers and continue renting them out to restaurants… turning valued customers into expensive, anonymous orders. If restaurants get the key to their customer data, they can unlock those relationships and take ownership of their businesses. Interested in learning more about how you can start owning your customer relationships? Get started now.

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