How Using Cloud-Based Energy Management Systems Help Multi-Unit Franchisees Keep Customers Happy
As a restaurant owner, you put a lot of money, time, thought and effort into your customer experience because it makes a difference in getting customers in the door – and then keeping them coming back. This blog explores how you can use energy management systems to ensure restaurant customer comfort, and how to keep them coming back for more!
When we ask restaurateurs what facility elements make for a good atmosphere in a restaurant, these answers most often make the list:
- Decoration: Make sure your restaurant decor offers a focal point for guests and that it suits the theme of the restaurant.
- Make your lighting attractive: Your choice of lighting must fit your concept, and has a direct impact on the tone you are setting for your guests.
- Music must be just right: The right music creates an ambiance that can suit your restaurant concept. Ensuring the volume is correct helps keep music from being overwhelming. Television or video, although not as essential for all restaurant concepts, should follow the same guidelines.
- Cleanliness is critical: Letting your restaurant stay dirty, with dishes or trash on tables and floors, is a great way to negate all of your efforts in setting up your theme. Restaurant cleanliness is also a barometer of food quality. This also extends to the bathrooms.
- Temperature = comfort: Shoot for 70°F to maximize comfort and work to eliminate or minimize drafts or hot spots from lights as much as possible.
Of the elements on this list, managing temperature can be the biggest challenge. Lighting, music and decoration are all big decisions that owners make and then are carefully executed but need little ongoing involvement. And an unclean restaurant is immediately noticeable to management and can be rectified. But without restaurant energy management, employees and in some cased even customers can change temperature settings to suit their own needs with no fanfare, which can lead to temperature variations that cause a negative experience for customers.
This can have immediate and long-term negative impacts. Surveys show that as many as 13% of unhappy customers will tell about 20 friends when they have a bad experience, while almost 90% of consumers will go to a competing restaurant following a poor customer experience.
On the flip side, 60% of customers say they would pay more for a restaurant that delivers a good experience.
Thus restaurant energy management systems, which were maybe only thought of as a tool to lower energy costs, can play an important role in ensuring restaurant customer comfort.
At EnTouch, we have a concept called Total Facility Intelligence – a combination of 24/7 energy management services, cloud-based energy management software and intelligent thermostats that ensures restaurant customer comfort and makes your life easier. Here are some of the restaurant customer comfort benefits that Total Facility Intelligence delivers:
Lock down the thermostat:
One key to keeping restaurant customers comfortable is ensuring that employees can’t change the temperature settings. The EnTouch Pro Smart Controller is a restaurant energy management system that allows you to lock all settings on the thermostat ensuring all HVAC systems are running at optimal levels at all times. You can also limit changes up to +/- 5 degrees to allow some flexibility for your employees.
Take control over HVAC settings from anywhere:
There are times that temperature changes need to be made, and so having remote control over the thermostat allows owners to make these changes from anywhere – or to assign this capability to their facilities team. With the EnTouch Pro Smart Controller, you have total control and visibility on each HVAC system at your restaurant or restaurants because it is a cloud-based energy management system. Remotely control temperatures and settings from any computer, tablet or smartphone. Is there a heat wave coming? Global adjustments save you time by allowing you to push changes to all restaurants with one simple click. You can also use the system to get timely email and text alerts that advise you of specific events that will impact your operation’s energy performance.
Maximize investment in HVAC systems:
Customer experience is expensive so getting the most out of systems – like HVAC – is critical. By monitoring and managing your HVAC system to reduce runtimes you can extend its useful life – some EnTouch customers have reduced runtimes by up to 25% which has meant another two - five years of service for an HVAC system.
Consistency is so important to the success of customer experience and an EMS can be the key to ensuring your temperature stays in a comfortable zone. While it has a big impact on customers, making changes to temperature is a detail that makes life crazy for many multi-unit franchise operators – locking down a thermostat keeps employees from making changes, but if that adds to your workload, then it may not be worth it. An EMS like the EnTouch Pro provides the best of both worlds.
Check out our EnTouch For Restaurants page.
Check out our EnTouch For Retail page.