3 Ways the Restaurant Industry Has Changed in the Past 10 Years

Over the past 10 years, the restaurant industry has gone through many changes. Some changes are noticeable while others are more subtle. Restaurant owners should be keeping up with industry changes to ensure they effectively compete. Important changes include an increase in speed and efficiency, greater responsibilities for the owner, and customers spending more time on their smartphones while dining.

1.    Increased Speed and Efficiency

The tech industry is constantly developing new technologies for the hospitality industry, and in the past 10 years it has paid off for restaurants. Ordering can now be done online through sites like Seamless or Grubhub, menus can be distributed across the web by companies like SinglePlatform and reservations can be booked online through sites like OpenTable. Your restaurant should look into ways that technology can help you get customers in the door.

2.   Greater Responsibilities for the Owner

Being a restaurant owner has never been an easy job and it doesn’t seem to be getting any easier. In the past few years, restaurant owners have had to start keeping track of their reviews on Yelp and Foursquare, create accounts on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, and monitor their results on search engines like Google and Bing. There is more to learn and more to do with the rise of technology in the business world and restaurant owners need to put these new resources to good use.

3.    Customers and Their Smartphones

It seems like everyone has a smartphone today and most of us never put it down. Many diners are guilty of being on their phone during a meal and this affects the restaurant in more ways than one. Not only can increased screen time delay meals and table turnover but many customers are also accessing restaurant information online. When a restaurant’s information isn’t kept up to date across the web, customers can leave feeling dissatisfied, especially if they came in for a menu item that is no longer offered.

The restaurant business is always changing and will continue to change as the years go by.  Learn more about how SinglePlatform can help you keep up.

Google’s New Tool for Small Business Websites

Living in the heart of the digital age, ensuring your small business has an active and up to date online presence is necessary for keeping up in a competitive market. Realizing this, Google has rolled out a new tool to help small business owners check how compatible their websites are with mobile and desktop, as well as how fast they load on each.

Generating scores for your website based on mobile-friendliness, mobile speed, and desktop speed, Google creates a report that ranks your website in each category and then allows you to see which aspects of your site need to be fixed in order to improve your score. 

This tool improves upon the previous one available from Google. The previous tool was only able to tell you if your site was or wasn’t mobile-friendly, without telling you how exactly to make your site better. With the detailed report, Google pinpoints your problem areas, allowing you to see exactly which areas are slowing your site down or making it less mobile-friendly. 

Considering that the number of searches completed on mobile has surpassed the number of searches completed on desktop, using Google’s new tool to ensure your small business is up to speed will ultimately increase your overall discoverability on the web.

SinglePlatform helps small business owners manage their online presence. Get started today!

3 Things to Know About Fixing Your Google Listing

As more people are turning to the web for their search needs, one of the most important tasks for small business owners is fixing the errors on the Google listing for their business. There are a few methods to go about fixing an error on a Google listing as well as different opinions on which method is best. Learn more about these methods to decide which would be the best for you and your business. 

1.    Suggest an Edit

If you have already noticed that your business listing on Google is providing incorrect information to your current and potential customers, you can suggest an edit.  Find your business’s online listing by searching for your restaurant via Google and clicking on the listing on the right of your screen. This will bring up Google Maps as well as your complete business listing. If you look at the bottom of your listing on Google, you will find a section that allows you to click and suggest an edit. As a security measure, Google asks you to verify if you are the business owner to prevent people from altering listings that do not belong to them.

2.    Google My Business

In June of 2014, Google announced the launch of a new tool called “Google My Business”. This is a platform created to help business owners manage their listing content on Google. SmallBiztrends.com reports that The Google My Business tool is a resource for business owners to manage how your business listing appears in sections of Google searches, including the main search pages, Google Maps, and Google Earth. This tool has the advantage of giving the business owner a platform to update multiple pieces of information within the listings shown on Google. Learn more about ‎how to get started.

3.   SinglePlatform

SinglePlatform is a tool used by small businesses in the US and Canada to help them update and manage listing data on Google as well as Yelp, TripAdvisor, YP.com and many more top review sites and mobile apps. The service is conveniently offered as a no contract subscription at a reasonable monthly rate. SinglePlatform users have the ability to update their business listings including their name, address, phone number, menu, or list of services everywhere that matters online. Get SinglePlatform now.

In short, fixing an error in your Google listing is an easy issue to resolve. The three options discussed are all viable ways to go about making an edit. For more marketing tips and trends follow SinglePlatform on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. For updates straight to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter below:

The New Google Maps Ads and Your Small Business

On May 24th, Google announced a new way for local businesses to advertise their business through Google Maps. Advertisers will now be able to put their local ads directly onto Google Maps, a place that used to be ad-free. With more than 1 billion users on Google Maps, this is a huge step for local businesses to tap into the advertisement world.

Considering around 90% of all global sales will happen in store as opposed to online bringing consumers to your local business should still be your number one priority. The Google Maps ad feature allows your business to show up first when consumers search for a specific business or product using keywords. For example, if you search “steak house near me” on Google Maps, a business that pays for the Google Maps ad service will have their steak house restaurant displayed first. This business will be listed with a small, purple box with the word ‘Ad’ next to their business name and will be marked with a purple box on the map as well.  This is a great way for businesses to stand out if they are competing with a similar business nearby. As far as price goes, google will charge you on a standard cost-per-click system, which can vary due to location detail, direction, and mobile click-to-call. That way, you only pay for what you get out of the ad.

 Photo Via Google Photo Via Google

Almost two-thirds of Americans own a smartphone and nearly one-third of all mobile searches on Google are related to location which means putting your business on Google Maps is essential in increasing discoverability. With over a billion users on the Google Maps app, the new Google Maps ads help local businesses increase their foot traffic.

To further differentiate your business on the Google Maps app, your ad will appear as a ‘promoted pin.’ Not only will your business’s pin appear on a map, it will appear in driving routes and walking directions as well. These promoted pins are designed to make your business stand out when people are walking or driving by your business.

In addition, you can also add a specific promotion under your Google Maps listing. When people click on your promoted pin, they will be able to see the deals and specials your business is having, as they will be listed under your business’s name, address and phone number.

Besides the benefits of being promoted on Google Maps, advertisers will no longer have to fear their ads on Google Maps will be blocked. Google has announced that people will not be able to block Google Map features from any ad blocking software.

While Google is still working out a few details on the Google Maps ad feature, it is expected to officially launch later this year. For more tips and tricks on how to boost foot traffic at your small business, check SinglePlatform out on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. To get industry news straight to your inbox, subscribe to our newsletter below:

9 Ways to Attract Tourists to Your Restaurant: e-guide

As the temperatures rise this summer, so does the number of domestic and international travelers. With the influx of tourists, your restaurant has an opportunity to increase traffic to your business during the summer months.

Travel-related spending averages $4,400 for international travelers with domestic travelers spending an average of $1,364 per trip. Make sure that your restaurant is catering to tourists so that they are spending that money with you. Staying up-to-date with new trends as well as using creative advertising tactics to reach new customers  in your area will guarantee your restaurant a successful summer of sales.

For nine innovative ways your restaurant can attract tourists to dine with you this summer, check out SinglePlatform’s latest e-guide.

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3 Tips for Local Services This July

The summer months are here to stay and local businesses can take advantage of the heat with summer-inspired deals and specials. Celebrate the summertime alongside your customers with these three tips:

1.     Run a Fourth of July Promotion

Demonstrate your patriotism with a discount on your products or services. By offering half-off to customers who present a military ID or doing a buy one get one free sale on all services, you entice customers to spend with your business for all their needs this July.

2.   Seasonal Giveaways

Get customers excited about spending with your business by offering giveaways throughout the summer. Whether you reward customers with a free pair of sunglasses to shield their eyes from the sun or a small bottle of sunscreen, you show them how much your business cares about them, increasing good will and inspiring loyalty.

3.    Host Special Events

Get customers excited about the products and services you have to offer by planning special events that encourage customer engagement with your business. By creating an atmosphere that is both fun and interactive, you entice patrons to spend with your business, allowing both you and the customer to reap the rewards.

As a small business, your greatest asset is being a part of your community. Use these tips to win over loyal locals and keep on the look out for neighborhood events that your business can participate in. To find out more about how your business can attract customers, check out SinglePlatform on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. To get industry news sent straight to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter below:

3 Tips for Pet Services to Get Ahead in July

July is a time for pet owners to get outside and spend more time with their furry friends, making summer the perfect opportunity for pet groomers, boarders, and trainers to expand both their clientele and their business. As the temperatures begin to heat up, so does the need for proper pet care. Check out these three ways your pet business can succeed this summer:

1. Furry Fiestas

Host summer-inspired parties for pet owners and their four-legged friends, complete with pet-friendly refreshments. By entertaining both pets and their owners, you not only show current and prospective customers that your services go beyond quality pet care, but that your business values the bond between owners and their animals too.

2. Discounts and Deals

Offer special savings during the summer to keep pets feeling refreshed in the hotter temperatures. Considering pets need to be fully groomed every one to two months depending on the breed, help their owners out by saving them money on your services. Not only will pet owners be satisfied with the value they receive at your business, their four-legged friends will be too. 

3. Expand Your Services

Pets have a multitude of needs, and their owners do too. With 45% of people taking their vacations during the summer, the demand for pet boarding increases dramatically. If you’re solely a pet grooming business, consider expanding to include boarding capabilities or hiring an on-site pet trainer. By offering your customers a variety of services for all their pet care needs, you eliminate the need for them to take their business elsewhere.

The summer months provide a strong opportunity for pet services to grow their business. To learn more about the pet industry and how your pet business can best succeed, visit SinglePlatform on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, or subscribe to our newsletter below: