Owning a restaurant can be one of the toughest entrepreneurial endeavors out. Not only are the margins difficult to perfect but it can take a while to break even. Due to these limitations, a lot of investors and lenders are hesitant to give capital to those looking to start a restaurant. However, even with these setbacks, it’s still one of the most prominent businesses to start, and the road to success (while strict), is possible. That’s why we’re giving you a few helpful tips on how to take your restaurant to the next level. Check them out below:
Promoting More On Social
A big part of marketing your restaurant is becoming more active on social media. This has practically become a standard piece for promotion, in fact, as noted by Restaurant Business Online, 82 percent of restaurants devote at least part of their marketing budget toward social media. However, navigating what exactly to do with social can be somewhat of an interesting hurdle, particularly in what you can and can’t advertise.
Depending on what state you’re in, advertising your restaurant on social media can be somewhat of a headache. For example, certain state alcohol laws prohibit restaurants from promoting happy hour specials on social media, with some even going as far as not allowing any advertisement of alcohol at all. Despite these limitations, there are still some great strategies you can use to promote more on social media, including utilizing professional looking product shots, promoting events, pictures of staff or patrons, and even taking part in the latest viral challenge. The goal for your restaurant’s social media campaign should be for people to not only have a point of discovery for what you serve but what the ambiance and brand are like too, as all of these factors collectively help influence the customer’s decision to come.
Provide The Proper Tools
Another important factor in running a successful business is having the proper tools in place to maximize revenues. Although many restaurants try to cut corners in hopes it will save them money, that’s not always the wisest decision as inefficient processes can lose 20 to 30 percent of revenue (according to Entrepreneur). Instead, ensuring that you put in the proper procedures upfront will not only help save money but time as well.
Start running through all of the processes you use for your restaurant on a day-to-day basis, as well as where your problem areas are. From inventory audits to portion sizing, every little thing should be accounted for. Furthermore, take a glance at what items could be improved from a time perspective as well. For example, sending Echecks to vendors for shipments rather than trying to provide cash receipts could save time. Take your time in listing out the pro’s and con’s of each tool, as this is a decision that should be calculated to a T.
Knowing How To Budget
As important as it is to implement the proper tools, having a solid budget in place is even more of an important step for success. One of the biggest mistakes a lot of restaurant owners make is overlooking their accounting on food or other items they’re paying by the weight but not accounting for selling by the weight. This, plus turnover and no marketing is why 19 percent of restaurants fail in their first year, and if you’re looking to avoid that, hitting the books on the daily is crucial.
Keep A Dedicated Team
According to Toasttab, the average turnover rate for a restaurant is a whopping 73 percent. That figure is well above other industries, and to keep that down, you’ve got to have a dedicated team around you. A big way to solve this is by treating your employees with respect, working with what’s going on with their lives, and showing them they’re a valued member of your team. Just because you’re a restaurant doesn’t mean you can’t have employee happiness that mirrors the likes of Google or Facebook, which should be the bar you’re trying to set. And of course, as money comes first, always do your best to take care of your staff, even on a slow night.
What Others Are Saying Can Make A Big Difference
Finally, word of mouth is perhaps one of the most important marketing goals for any business, which especially rings true for restaurants as well. According to Upserve, online reviews tend to impact approximately 67.7 percent of purchasing decisions, and what’s the first place we go to when we’re thinking about going out to eat? Our phones. Because of this, it’s a good practice to encourage customers to write positive reviews (perhaps even offering a coupon if so), as well as responding honestly to any negative you might receive. Do your best to hit the mark as much as you can, as getting good word of mouth will help your business spread like hotcakes.
What are some strategies you’ve used to ensure the business stays steady at your restaurant? Comment with your insights below!