Cash, cash, no checks. What do I mean by this? I mean contactless. I mean streamlining. I mean avoiding dirty money whenever possible. I also mean getting on the technology train that is going to take you to where you need to go as a restaurant owner. Any business owner during this time is thinking of ways to make a profit without jeopardizing their health and safety of their customers. Here are a few ways to improve profitability for your restaurant.
First, you need to have a positive mindset that regardless of a pandemic, you can continue to move forward. From this, you need to build and have the right team.
Building a Strong Team
The 2019 COVID-19 pandemic is a game changer for a lot of restaurants. Some restaurant owners made cuts to their staff based off of performance. Other restaurants, however, made staffing cuts due to affordability. Either way, now is the time to really take a look at your team and get some fresh ingredients. Now is the time to really be focusing on your hiring endeavors and finding quality help. Likely you let go of your worst or average workers and respectably kept the best. So, now, take this opportunity to keep that foundation strong. Add the right amount of ingredients to perfect a dish.
There’s so many amazing and qualified individuals out there right now who are willing and able to work. Don’t rule out consolidating your help in an effort to make sure you can remain operating. A smaller yet qualified team is not a bad thing. Quality over quantity during this time is a smart business decision. Having to deal with hiring every single day is not something you, as a restaurant owner should have to deal with. Amidst the pandemic transition, work smarter not harder.
Include Employee Incentives to Improve Profitability
It may seem counterproductive to add incentives for employees if you’re trying to make a profit. However, keep in mind the lesson a lot of people learned during COVID-19 . The lesson learned here: restaurants are deeply impacted by disease. To protect your restaurant from losing quality help, start thinking about protecting that quality. If you have to pay your staff more to keep them, I would say that is going to be wiser. With on-boarding and hiring resources not only low but costly, again, keeping a strong team is what you should plan for.
Restaurant workers are like family. You see them everyday and likely hear about their personal lives more than you may like, but because of this, if you protect them, they will stay. Employees that stay will equate to less resources spent on hiring and a peace of mind.
Offer Benefits to Improve Profitability For Your Restaurant
You may have to spend more to get more. Also from COVID-19, we’ve seen employees get-out-of-dodge because they do not feel safe. Think about employee benefits that are not offered at most restaurants. Health benefits is a huge incentive for people to work. Now, more than ever employees want to feel protected. In the event they may become ill, they want to know they can seek treatment accordingly.
Health benefits may not be an option for your restaurant. If you cannot offer health benefits, offer others. Sign-on bonuses have become attractive. They aren’t as solid as providing health benefits, because there’s no telling that once someone signs-on, they wouldn’t then leave. Instead, protect yourself and offer the bonus in stipend increments. Instead of offering one large lump-sum upon w-2 signing, add an additional amount at the end of the month. So, if the employee does decide to leave, you’re not out thousands. Be transparent, if you don’t work, you don’t get the incentive.
Use Any Extra Space
Are you a restaurant owner who’s had to cut back on services and because of this have unused space? Think about leasing that extra space to other appropriate business’s to help with rent. Leasing any extra space you may have to other business’s or adjusting your business hours to provide to other business’s that start earlier in the morning. These are ideas to consider when thinking about expenses and improve profitability in your restaurant.
Make Menu Adjustments to Reflect Comfort
Think back to a time where your mother made the most amazing bread pudding. Your bad day turned to good all with a little bit of comfort. When it comes to happiness, comfort food makes people happy. With this, it’s smart to offer menu items people crave to make them feel good. What did your mother cook you as a child that turned your entire day around? Did you have a best friend who’s mother was a “bomb” cook? What did she make? Think about those items and add them to your menu. Chances are, the majority also enjoys those comfort foods as well.
Your services will likely need to be cut back until further notice, so it’s to your favor to have menu items that are easy to make but enjoyed by all. This will be better for the BOH to prepare and cut back significantly on any waste. Again, work smarter not harder.
Marketing Makes You Profitable
Not just any marketing, though. The right marketing. Think about how your current menu is setup. Is it conducive to the current situation? Do the items appeal to people? Make your menu appealing so as to take your customers back to a happier time. Make it fun, make it funny, make it happy, but more importantly, make it tasteful.
Think about your community – work with local farmers, producers, and suppliers and share their stories. Generally speaking, people like to provide and support people and business’s they care about. A personal story is the type of messaging that is coming through and reaching people. Most people don’t really care about the Budweiser beer, but their heartstrings are pulled when they see the puppy run after the beautiful Clydesdale horses, because imagery tells a story. People attach their feelings to food and beer, so should your restaurant.
Establishing a Customer Database
Run a real business. Your business fitness is being tested and right now, it’s survival of the fittest. You need to really make sure that you have the right tools and resources in place. Otherwise, you will be heavily burdened. Before, there were so many restaurants just operating. Now, we have seen that just operating isn’t going to cut it. Even more than that, you need to have the right databases, the right team, the right connections, and the right mindset.
Having a direct connection with your customers at all times is fundamental in restaurant success. As we’ve seen, curbside and take-out has been successful in keeping many dining restaurants afloat. This is why having that ability to reach out to your customers in the event of pandemic is crucial to keep that profit margin open. The time to get personal is now. This isn’t an attempt to “Black Mirror” anyone, this is the new-age endeavor to provide exactly what your customers want. In order to do that, you need the data. You need the metrics to make changes and improvements. Think of it like a BLT, without the bacon (the data), it’s just a sad excuse for a sandwich.
Whats Your Wifi Password?
In order to know what customers want, you need to get to know them and yes, that means collecting personal information. You’re not asking for their beloved SSN or address. A name and email is all you really need to then get to work on collecting valuable data to use.
So, how do you do this? You know wifi, right? Yeah, that’s a start! When customers come into your restaurant, they, 100% of the time immediately connect to your wifi. Instead of having an open network, require your customers to connect only if they put in their name and email. Starbucks does it and you can’t get a seat quick enough to connect. Have your network setup to take these tasty nuggets of information and place them into a CRM or customer tracking databases. Make sure to have these systems backed by security measures and state this upon having customers sign up. Now you have a name and email where you can provide deals, coupons, and market to improve profitability in your restaurant.
Profit Isn’t Always Money
Profit isn’t always just in the form of cash. Profit can mean having a large customer-base you can market to, Profit can mean that you have a solid and qualified staff that are dependable and won’t leave. Profit can mean having returning customers because you have the best homemade macaroni and cheese. Profit can also mean providing your employees with a peace of mind. At the end of the day, you’re only as strong as your weakest link. One way to avoid having any weakness on a team is to add security.
If you can add the appropriate employee incentives, market correctly, and collect information to provide your customers with exactly what they want, you will make a profit. These are just a few things to consider when wanting to improve profitability in your restaurant.
Sign-up For The Fliptable App Today And Save
Inevitably, you will need to hire back staff and create that solid team. If you have a solid team already, you may need to add some fresh ingredients, that special something to take your restaurant to a new level.
Fliptable is a new, innovative restaurant hiring and job listing app that is coming soon. We connect the best servers, bartenders, chefs, line cooks and managers with the most sought after jobs in the restaurant industry.
Our mission is to make life easier for restaurant managers by making hiring servers, bartenders and staff easier, faster, more affordable, and efficient. Sign-up today.