On average, millions of dollars are spent on restaurant operations. Of these, two-thirds of restaurants fail or change ownership. All this happens within the first three years. The restaurant industry is certainly a money-making business. Many restaurateurs however, overlook key details that can drive their business to the ground. All restaurant owners would obviously like to see the restaurant succeeding and churning out a profit. Here are some of the best tips to ensure your restaurant is consistently profitable and remains at the top.
Calculate your operational costs
You need to have a comprehensive knowledge regarding operational costs at your restaurant. Typically, food costs should be between 29-31%. Costs for alcohol are slightly lower at 21%. When you are completely aware of your costs it is easier to set up prices of dishes, maximize profit and not overcharge your customers. Menu prices should be between $15-23. Did you know that pricing plays a significant role in your success? If you have priced a dish at $14.99, for instance, your customers may be more likely to order it than if you were to price it at $15.05. Though it is a matter of a few cents, they do make a difference and restaurateurs who know the tricks of the trade, will price their dishes accordingly.
Local produce is the best
Buy fresh and local ingredients. It is cheaper and tastes better. Work closely with local vendors to make certain you order the correct amount, reduce wastage and offer customers a value-added meal.
Understand your role in the restaurant
You’ve most probably always dreamed of having your own restaurant, and since it became a reality, you can see how much hard work goes into its daily operations. Overworking will not make your restaurant any better. In fact, you need to know your role and roles of other staff for improved efficiency. You cannot be the manager, bartender, waiter and chef all at the same time. Hire appropriately and delegate these tasks. This frees up time for you to concentrate on core business goals which includes making a profit.
Know your market
Who is your customer base? You need to understand who your customers are and cater to them accordingly. If you run a small diner which serves Southern BBQ food, it doesn’t make sense to offer fancy dishes and small portions. Cater to the local surroundings and taste of your audience. It will maximize your revenue and turn average diners into repeat customers.
First impressions mean everything
Customers expect good first impressions. For one, you should have a polite host to welcome your guests to the restaurant. Use warm and inviting gestures and seat them quickly. Always smile, look pleasant and thank them when they are leaving. If you are to ever make your customers feel like they should return, you must give them the best possible treatment. Be kind; it will make them feel like their presence is appreciated.
Create a digital presence
Create a website, if you don’t have one already. The website should include your address, phone number, hours and menu. You can also build profile pages on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. With millions of people using the internet this is a great way to connect with your customers.