The Top 10 Toast Blog Posts in 2017 (+ Our BIG Plans for 2018!)

By: AJ Beltis

10 Minute Read

Dec 31, 2017

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Looking back, this was a big year for the Toast Restaurant Management Blog. Why?

  • We published 256 new blog posts (this one included).
  • We doubled our subscribers and have a following of over 20,000 people.
  • We published the words of 79 authors vying to make your job easier.
  • The blog had more than 1.5 million views (we're still processing this one ourselves).

In the spirit of the new year, we wanted to look back at the ten most-viewed posts we published on the blog this year.

Plus, read on to see what we learned from our readers in a recent blog survey (and catch a sneak peak of what's new for the Toast Blog in 2018).

The Top 10 Toast Blog Posts in 2017

As I mentioned, the Toast Blog published 255 new posts this year (prior to this post), so making the Top 10 was no easy feat.

Without further ado, here they are! Make sure to take a moment to revisit them for inspiration and advice for a successful 2018.

1) 27 Creative & Cool Restaurant Names

By Cameret Bannister | Restaurant Marketing

Our most-read blog post of the year highlights the most clever wordplay employed in the restaurant world. Names like "Cheesy Does It" and "Lord of the Fries" are just a couple of the knee-slappers included on this list. Opening your first restaurant, or feel like you need a rebrand? Take a look at this list compiled by Toast Marketing Manager Cameret Bannister for inspiration (or just a good laugh).

2) 15 Clever and Inspiring Restaurant Mission Statements

By AJ Beltis | Restaurant Management

All great restaurants – from international favorite Panera Bread to Boston's Flour Bakery – have great restaurant mission statements. I compiled a list of the restaurant mission statements that stood out to me from a creative, sincere, and inspiring standpoint. Does your restaurant need a mission statement? Take a look at the list to see what the best ones are!

3) What is the Average Restaurant Profit Margin? [3 Ways to Improve Yours]

By Jessica Reimer | Restaurant Metrics

Names and mission statements aside, running a restaurant is a business. That's why comparing your financial performance to other restaurants' is a wise financial idea. Jessica Reimer and our friends over at 7shifts answer the question of what the average restaurant profit margin is, as well as some ways you can raise yours. Revisit this piece and stay profitable in the new year.

4) 75 Great Restaurant Ideas to Create an Unforgettable Concept

By Allie Tetreault | Restaurant Marketing

Pour your own pint of Guinness? Turn the meal into a show? Become pet-friendly? All of these restaurant ideas (and more) are highlighted in this blog by Toast's Content Manager Allie Tetreault. As the competition in the restaurant industry stiffens, making your business stand out is a neat way to get new faces in the building. Check out this list to get the creativity flowing!

5) 10 Restaurant Promotion Ideas You Wish You Had Thought Of Earlier

By Robert Hale | Restaurant Marketing

Restaurant marketing is tough. Restaurant promotions make it easier to appeal to new and old customers in unique ways. Free swag, loyalty programs, and holiday giveaways are just a few of the restaurant promotions highlighted in this post penned by Toast's Director of Marketing Robert Hale.

6) 10 Facts and Statistics About The Fast Food Industry

By Danielle DiRaddo | Industry News & Trends

Would you believe that the average fast food menu item is 12% cheaper than it was in 2013? As personal budgets tighten and health concerns grow, one of the most fascinating sectors of the restaurant industry to watch these past few years has been fast food. Danielle DiRaddo, former Product Marketing Intern at Toast, dishes on the most surprising fast food facts.

7) The 5 Worst Habits of a Bad Restaurant Manager

By AJ Beltis | Restaurant Management

Restaurant employees can't stand a bad manager. When we posted this blog on the Toast Facebook page, servers and restaurant workers weighed in on how poor restaurant management has tainted their jobs – and how amazing managers make a great job even better. Want to know what not to do in your restaurant management position? Check out this list for a few ideas.

8) How to Open a Bar [The Complete 9-Step Checklist]

By Nick Rubright | Restaurant Management

Any fan of How I Met Your Mother knows the episode where Barney and Ted say, "We should open a bar." Well, it's not as easy as it seems. From a liquor license to the right bar POS system, everything you need to know about opening a bar is highlighted in this checklist post by Dozmia founder and CEO Nick Rubright.

9) The 35 Best Chefs & Restaurant Experts to Follow in 2017

By AJ Beltis | Industry News & Trends

Back in January, I announced the list of the best restaurant experts to follow in 2017. This year, those included didn't let us down. For example, restaurant consultant Donald Burns went on to publish a book, Your Restaurant Sucks, and Chef Chris Hill appeared on the very first episode of Toast's Podcast, The Garnish. See who else made the list, or check out the new list to see who made the cut for 2018!

10) The 12 Worst Mistakes When Marketing for Restaurants

By Kendal Austin | Restaurant Marketing

Toast Senior Marketing Manager Kendal Austin calls out some of the biggest marketing mistakes she noticed during her time working in full-service restaurants. Restaurateurs who don't complete their Google My Business profile or their social media pages are missing out on a potential sale. Learn more about today's most common restaurant marketing mistakes in this blog.

What's Next in 2018?

Here at Toast, we're always trying to improve. A few weeks ago, we sent out a survey asking our blog readers what they thought of our content and how they wanted us to improve. Here are some of the changes coming your way.

A New Mission

Moving into the new year, we wanted to create a more structured approach to helping restaurateurs. Not only did we use the survey to help us accomplish this, we also revamped our blog mission statement.

In creating our mission statement, we knew we wanted it to highlight a few aspects of our publication.

  • Inspiring, not telling. You know how to do your job better than we do. We wanted our mission to clarify that our blog posts are here to give you guidance, advice, and inspiration that you can act on if – after reading – you think it's best for your restaurant.
  • Actionable insight. Your time is limited. When you give us your time to read our blog, we want you to get something out of it.
  • To-the-point content. As fond as all of us here are of our own writing skills, we know you don't have the time to read our soliloquies and deep, thought-provoking metaphors. When we have a point, we'll get to it and make it very clear so you don't walk away wondering what the key takeaway was.

With all of that in mind, we came up with a mission statement we're pretty excited about.

Our mission is to help restaurants thrive by providing actionable, bite-sized content to inspire, inform, and indulge in. Go ahead, help yourself.

We hope this mission statement will provide clarity to you and us moving into 2018 and beyond.

Posting Frequency

This past year, we've dabbled in publishing new posts anywhere from four to six times a week. Towards the end of 2017, we settled on five times per week, and it seems that our subscribers are on board with that.

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80% of our subscribers want us to continue posting at our regular cadence of five times each week. We'll strive to keep this frequency up and still deliver high-quality, helpful tips for you.

Blog Topics

There's nothing worse than stale toast. That's why we try to keep things fresh, so we cycle through our content topics to give a good balance between metrics, staff training, news, menu management, and everything in between.

That said, we want to make sure the content we create is beneficial for you, so we asked which topics our readers found most helpful.

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Turns out restaurant owners really find articles about marketing, management, and industry news helpful. In 2017, we'll do our best to cover these posts more frequently and diligently.

To those of you who come to our blog for metrics help or staff training ideas – worry not! We will still be covering these regularly.

Additional Content

Regular readers of our blog know we try to provide an additional resource within or after every post so you can take something away after you finish reading.

Examples include our embedded COGS calculator in our Restaurant Cost of Goods Sold blog or the 2017 Restaurant Technology Report released alongside our Restaurant Industry Statistics blog.

In that light, we asked which of these tools, resources, and content types you find the most engaging.

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From this, we've determined our subscribers want resources that will help them decipher their business metrics and compare them to industry benchmarks. That's why we'll continue to release calculators like our Restaurant Numbers Calculator and templates like our Restaurant Business Plan Template, and why we'll release updated versions of Toast's annual Restaurant Success Report and Restaurant Technology Report.

Plus, stay tuned for brand new restaurant industry benchmark reports coming your way in 2018.

These reports will continue to source first-hand information from restaurateurs and diners across the country so you can see what's shifting in the industry and decide the best course of action in your restaurant.

Also, to the 19% of you who enjoy podcasts, make sure you check out Toast's podcast, The Garnish, on iTunes!

A New Look

When you see anything we create – from an email we send out to the page you read the blog on – we want it to be captivating.

Let's take a look at our current email notifications.

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They could use a little work, huh? Well, change is coming. A new, refreshing email will be hitting your inbox in no time.

We've already added a couple improvements to the blog page layout, like a progress bar, a print button, and better readability for mobile users. In 2018, we'll continue to improve your reader experience so you can get the most enjoyment, education, and engagement out of the Toast Blog.

Working With Experts

We love working with experienced, knowledgeable industry experts who like to write for our blog. A couple of them even made the list of the most-read blogs of the year!

These consultants, owners, and chefs are able to offer first-hand advice on running a restaurant in today's world. New to the blog this year were legendary chef and restaurateur Jacques Haeringer and employees from restaurant-focused companies like HotSchedules and Elo.

The newest member of Toast's Blog Team, Amanda McNamara, is on a mission to find the next wave of guest bloggers for the Toast Blog. Know someone who would be a good fit, or want to send us a pitch yourself? Check out our Write For Us page for details on how to get in touch with us.

That's a Wrap for 2017!

Thanks to all of our readers for an outstanding year for the Toast Restaurant Management Blog. We appreciate your support and welcome any more comments, suggestions, or advice you have for our team!

P.S. - Did you know we do more than just write blogs here at Toast?

We also provide an all-in-one, award-winning restaurant point of sale system. Sign up for a free demo of Toast POS and learn how we can help revolutionize your restaurant!

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