There is more to running a restaurant than just serving a tasty fare. Right from the attention to detail, to understanding customers to even managing inventory, there are certain aspects of the restaurant business which you will understand only once you start dealing with those situations every day.
Of the many things that you need to pay attention to, there are three key questions you should ask yourself time and again to gauge your progress.
- Do I have clear focus?
Restaurateurs, in a way, are artists wanting to stir appreciation in others through their menu, bar decor, overall ambiance of their restaurant, and even down to the glassware in which they serve their drinks. The threat to this creativity emerges when you can’t tell which patron is giving you their subjective opinion and which feedback needs your serious attention. Adjusting your offering to suit every opinion is nearly impossible and can steer you away from what you passionately wanted your restaurant to be known for when you started out. If you want to hold on to your passion, no matter what, do this instead:
Ask the right questions and stay informed on what is being said about you
- Don’t jump ideas midway, instead use technology effectively to measure yourself through ratings and reviews.
- Design appropriate feedback forms which gathers customers opinion on what’s working in your restaurant and what’s not.
- Create offers around new items on your menu, new locations, or new additions on the wine list and invite feedback.
- Host special introductory events for your newly decorated wing, new live entertainment or Chef and measure their popularity over time.
- Do I have good business sense?
You might be the creator of some of the best food and service in the world, but the restaurant business can’t survive on creativity alone. There are various aspects to look into while running a restaurant, ignoring which could spell failure for your business. Immediate questions should have answers like “What is my profit & loss for each week?” and “Which item is not being ordered anymore?”
If you want to turn a profit & also stay current, do this instead:
Invest in a new age restaurant management technology to get factual insights on your business
- Instead of waiting for the office genius to inform you of your profitability, get equipped to Collect, Analyze and Interpret your business data.
- Manage your staff & tables effectively to turn slow days into a full house
- Critical insights about staff turn-around time can help reduce labor costs and increase returns per table during peak hours.
- Track and target your customers based on their spend value, dining frequency, age groups and much more. Send them special offers on their birthdays and anniversaries to ensure loyalty.
- Do I have the ‘Right People’?
The quality of your service is determined by the quality of the people you hire. While your own personal interaction might be limited with your customers; your valet, doorman, waiters, hostess and bartenders interact with them all time, representing your restaurant and its core philosophy. People come with differing personalities and ‘years of experience’ isn’t necessarily a qualifier for great service attitude.
If you don’t want to lose business to bad customer service, do this instead:
Re-visit the elements that make for a good team and good service
- Analyze the attitude of your team
- Make sure that your policies and work culture promote qualities like team spirit, rewards & recognitions.
- Give your team the freedom to incorporate new ideas to bring customer delight
- Lead by example and keep reminding yourself that only valued & respected teams create quality on ground
- Most importantly, take feedback from your patrons and assess what the reviews are saying about your service.
There is much to learn as you set about the task of building a successful restaurant business. But in order to inch closer to a successful restaurant business, bring technology and orientation together to stay engaged with your customers and to assess your growth & popularity. Visit these 3 critical checkpoints intermittently to keep potholes from turning into sinkholes.