Did you know that in the United States alone, approximately 1.8 billion dollars are spent daily in restaurants? However, 60 percent of these restaurants close shop or change ownership in just 3 years. Why? While restaurant business is a booming one, most owners fail to capitalize on some key strategies that would see their businesses gain immensely in this ever-growing field. In this article, we will discuss some of these strategies and how you can leverage to improve your bottom line.
The next points will be meaningless if we do not address the issue of food. In a nutshell, food is what you are trading, therefore focusing on any other strategy without thinking about this will not work. We are talking about quality food. This is why your customers check in every day. Apart from the quality, consistency is key. You need to invest in chefs who can maintain quality, fresh, and prepared in a timely manner. Invest also in quality ingredients that will assure you of superior food quality for your guests.
Most restaurant owners commit the cardinal sin of micromanaging. It is impossible for you to open the restaurant, cook, greet the customers, serve, clean up, receive payment…it will not work. You will need to cut yourself some slack by knowing and defining your roles and hiring proportionate staff who are competent to handle tasks. Do not fall into the pitfall of over hiring or understaffing. Overworking or underworking the staff will eat into your profits. Delegate duties that you cannot handle to enable you to concentrate on what you can functionally handle.
Maintain a good front of house
Talking about hiring, you will need a polite and amiable waitperson at the entrance ushering in guests by greeting them with a welcoming smile. The gestures have to be calculated, bearing in mind that first impressions are key. Be sure to instruct your team to utilize the first 10 seconds to create some good rapport with the guests by simply showing enthusiasm and courteousness. It goes a long way in making customers feel welcome and comfortable, and that you care about their well-being and are not just out to make a quick sale. You might as well consider having a lead host who will be in charge of the front of the house and making reservations. This individual must be well experienced in what they do.
Build a digital platform
A robust digital presence will mean a website and a social media strategy that will portray and sale your restaurant to the ever-growing digital space. Today more than ever, social media is playing a pivotal role in marketing. You can start with a simple but well updated Facebook page. Any upcoming events, photographs of your sumptuous meals and short posts will be instrumental in driving this agenda.
Your website should be well optimized with a good overlay and easy navigation menus. It should be a one-stop shop where your customers can contact you, get directions, promotional coupons or any offers that you are giving. Do not scrimp on the cost with an amateur web developer. Invest in professional website builders or better yet use a website builder that specializes in restaurants.
As a corollary of greetings, farewells are just as important. And this will be reinforced only if your team is well trained in etiquette as it should come out naturally. This is where you get to assess the service that you granted your guests. If you provided stellar service, feedback will be positive and mostly, immediate. Mediocre service might as well earn you feedback, albeit negative, but then you can mitigate this by offering a coupon to avert a negative review online. They will also feel appreciated and welcome.
Monitor your expenses
Lastly, you must keep a close eye on your expenses. You are in to serve customers but most importantly make some profits. If they are not matching, then maybe you might increase the price without compromising quality.
Restaurants offer different menus, vary in size and hence the expenses and profits vary greatly. Choose tips that work best for you and maximize your profits.