Running a successful restaurant business is similar to conducting a symphony orchestra. There are a multitude of aspects that you need to orchestrate meticulously and make sure your entire staff is working in harmony. By no means is this an easy task to handle.
You might have a passion for the culinary world and enjoy the art of cooking, especially the satisfaction gained by feeding people good food. Diving head-on into the world of the restaurant business, equipped with just this passion, might not be enough for you to emerge back up to the surface and stay afloat. Setting goals (both short and long-term) is imperative for running a successful restaurant. Here are a few tips for doing so:
- First Things First – As a restaurant owner, you need to have your finger on the pulse of your establishment. You should be able to detect even the slightest signs of distress or irregularities in the daily operation of your restaurant, from the get-go.
You will be able to do so by keeping track of the performance metrics of your restaurant, which includes break-even point, Cost of Goods Sold (COGS), overhead rate, gross profit, and employee turnover rate. In order to make informed decisions, make sure your goals are aligned with the SMART criteria (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely).
- Increase Net Sales – In the highly volatile and competitive restaurant business ecosystem, maintaining constant sales numbers can be difficult. You need to be on your toes and make sure you go the extra mile to ensure your net sales keep increasing.
- Create your Google My Business page and fill it diligently. Getting the Google Bots to find your restaurant website will help boost your online as well as offline traffic. Your Google footprint will help build the credibility of your restaurant as well as familiarize potential diners to the restaurant timings, menu, address, and even book a reservation using Reserve with Google.
- In this hashtag age, a restaurant’s food and decor presentation has to appeal to the diners, especially the Insta-centric crowd. Every diner with a smartphone is a potential marketing executive for your brand, so you have to make sure your food and decor are Insta-worthy.
- Invest in an advanced Point Of Sale (POS) system as it is an absolute necessity for running your restaurant more efficiently and thereby increasing your revenue. Apart from taking order payment, managing food inventory, and cash flow, an advanced POS system can also take care of customer loyalty and upselling, sales reports, employee scheduling, and customization of menus. It also helps curb employee-theft.
- Using Snapchat’s Geofilter feature, you can create a customized Snapchat filter specific to your restaurant brand—maybe incorporate your logo. This filter can then be used by Snapchat users in your proximity to add to their content, thereby enhancing the visibility of your brand.
- Add New Items to the Menu – A dated menu can drive loyal and regular customers away from your restaurant. Make sure you keep refreshing your menu regularly, based on food trends and customer feedback. Don’t swap out your food listings just for the sake of changing; make sure you have done your research and cost analysis. Also, stay true to the theme and vision of your restaurant and make sure the new items align with the theme. Try incorporating more seasonal local vegetables and fresh produce in your menu and make sure you don’t end up spending a lot on incorporating these changes.
- Give Your Customers a New Way to Dine – Customers today highly convenience-centric; therefore, as restaurant owners, you must step up your game to grant them the convenience to order and dine as per their choice.
- Implementing an infrastructure for digital ordering is one way to do so. According to a report, restaurant digital orders have grown at an average annual rate of 23 percent since 2013, and the rate is expected to triple in volume by the end of 2020. You can collaborate with third-party food delivery companies to receive orders via an app or website.
- Setting up a drive-thru is another way to go, catering to customers who are in a hurry. A drive-thru can also serve as an effective marketing and advertising platform for your restaurant.
- To set up a delivery infrastructure or even a drive-thru, you need to have specific pieces of equipment and hardware such as an advanced POS system, tablets that help take reservations, packaging equipment, and drive-thru intercom system that has automated messages.
Stay Hungry, Stay Humble
Running a profitable restaurant business requires more than just a passion for cooking. It involves strategy, hard work, planning, passion, vision, multi-tasking abilities, and leadership qualities. You have to ensure that you have well-defined and achievable goals for your restaurant. Keeping a clear head, focusing on your goals, steering clear of complacency, and staying humble will help you set the trajectory to success for your restaurant.
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