It’s tough to make money in the restaurant industry, especially if you’ve just started out. As a restaurant owner, it’s easy to overlook the key aspects that could turn your losses into gains. Check out these 7 tips to make your restaurant more profitable and stay that way for the times to come.
1. Calculate Your Operational Costs
A traditional restaurant’s average food cost should be between 29-32%. The average cost for different types of alcohol is slightly less, around 21%. You need to be aware of these costs so that you can set the right menu prices.
Calculate these costs so that you can maximize your profits without charging your guests too much. It’s common knowledge that profit margins tend to be the highest when the prices range from $15 to $25.
Buy fresh food that’s locally available. It not only tastes better but is also cheaper. Have decent relationships with your vendors to ensure you can get the best of the produce at reasonable prices.
Remember to keep your books organised, realistically forecast sales and order appropriately to increase savings and boost profits.
2. Hire the Right Candidates
As a restaurant owner, there are only a few roles you can play. Your dream of running a successful restaurant can quickly turn into a nightmare if you overwork yourself.
Understand that you need different people for different roles. You can’t open the restaurant, greet, serve, cook the food, bartend, handle the accounts, clean and close the restaurant all by yourself.
Hire the right kind of staff depending on the type of restaurant you’re running. Have a manager, bartender, chef and wait staff that’s efficient and more importantly, trustworthy.
Delegate tasks so that you can focus on what’s most important and also have a work-life balance.
3. Have an Excellent Front of House
First impressions are last impressions. It’s especially true when you’re running a restaurant. Have a polite waitperson or host introduce themselves to your guests and welcome them into your restaurant.
Little things like opening and closing the doors for your guests often leave a lasting impression on them. Understand that your customers deserve nothing but the best and therefore, a little kindness can go a long way. Don’t forget to thank them on their way out.
4. Update Your Menu Periodically
Are there items on your menu that customers rarely order? Instead of letting such items take up space in your menu, replace them with new, unique items.
Re-work dishes and introduce newer items every now and then. Catering to your audience’s tastes and preferences will maximize revenue and turn new customers into loyal customers.
5. Advertise, Advertise, Advertise!
Have a solid marketing plan in place. As a restaurant owner, you need to have the maximum number of customers try your food. To do that, you must first be easily discoverable. You can do so by listing your restaurant in search engines, on food delivery apps, and encouraging diners to leave a review.
Additionally, you can join a local chamber of commerce. Participate in local events and set up food booths showcasing your best (and most profitable) items.
You can also stick to digital advertising on social media platforms or create an influencer marketing strategy. Connect with your potential customers via polls and quizzes on Instagram.
Respond to reviews in a timely manner because your new customer is already checking out your restaurant and deciding if they want to dine there. Remember, your goal is to let everyone in town know where they can get the best dining experience.
6. Train Your Staff Properly
Ensure that your staff is well-trained. Organize weekly meetings to review and improve performance. Ensure that they know everything about the restaurant and the items that you serve.
Allow them to taste the specials of the day so that they can correctly answer diner’s questions about the items on your menu.
Utilize suggestive selling to upsell drinks, desserts, and appetizers. This not only enhances the overall dining experience but also increase revenue and increases your staff’s tip.
7. Have a Loyalty Program
The loyalty program is an excellent way to have your customers return to your restaurant.
On average, 35% of customers are likely to spend 46% with restaurants that have a customer loyalty program. In addition, 55% of loyal customers recommend their family and friends about your restaurant!
Other benefits include: increase in the average order value, customer retention, and attracting new customers.
No two restaurants are the same. What works for your competitors might not work for you. Therefore, try these tips and stick to the strategies that work the best for you. Before you know it, you’ll be the most popular restaurant in town!
Featured Image Credits: Pixabay