Ian Said from Ideal Software, which specialises in Point of Sale and Inventory Control software for the Hospitality industry, takes a look at twenty ways to make this year your restaurant’s best.

Each new year provides a new opportunity to dive headfirst into a new set of strategic plans for your restaurant. What can you do to make your establishment truly stand out in a notoriously competitive industry?

Here are 20 simple tips to make this year a good one for your restaurant:

1) Embrace Delivery

According to USFoods, the average person in the United States orders food delivery three times per month, and by all reports, this number is only forecasted to grow.

If you’re not already on at least one delivery app, you may be getting left behind this year, that is, if you haven’t been already.

2) Run Through Your Contingency Plans

If you didn’t take stock of your business insurance policies and disaster protocols in 2019, then you should make it a priority in 2020.

3) Meet with a Financial Advisor

When’s the last time you looked at your margins? What about your labor costs? Meeting with someone who knows what to look for in your books is a great way to get a snapshot of your business’s financial health.

4) Reassess Your Cuisine

Food trends change with time. Make sure you don’t get left in the dust.

5) Review Your Technology

Are you using technology that saves your staff time? Just because a digital tool or system was the best option years ago doesn’t mean it still is.

6) Use Social Media

Social media is one of the most cost-effective forms of outreach for your food service business.

7) Leverage Diner Surveys

The simplest way to find out exactly what your audience wants? Just ask them!

8) Partner with Smart People

Any business owners will tell you. Leveraging the knowledge of smart people can help identify blind spots and areas of opportunity.

9) Observe the Competition

The best way to find out what you can be doing better is to examine how other successful operations in your industry do things.

10) Examine Your Vendors

Every few years, it’s smart to take stock of your vendors. Are they giving the best price? How is the quality?

11) Take Advantage of Psychology

It’s not uncommon to go for a restaurant redesign in a new year. Did you know that red is scientifically proven to make people hungry?

12) Look Within

Ultimately, the best-run restaurants are those where the staff from the hostess to the kitchen, is actually motivated to work hard. When’s the last time you asked your staff what they wanted?

13) Embrace Your Critics

While you may not want to look at those negative Yelp reviews, bite the bullet and take the criticism to hard when you analyze your restaurant.

14) Invest in Marketing

Who knows the best avenues to reach your target market than the people who do it on a daily basis?

15) Focus on Customer Retention

Strengthening loyalty with past customers is worth more than finding new ones.

16) Keep Your USPs in Mind

As you grow and change your business, don’t lose sight of your Unique Selling Point that make you stand out.

17) Don’t Overlook Small Things

Silverware and plates, bathrooms, tablecloths, and more — things that you don’t look at first when assessing your business can have the potential to hurt you the most.

18) Optimize Your Menu

You might be surprised at some of the things you can do with an analysis of your menu. Case in point? Removing dollar signs can actually get diners to spend more.

19) Be Cautious About Growth

Don’t mistake a busy season for a sign of sustainable growth. Make measured choices, especially when you’re considering expansion.

20) Enjoy It

Your restaurant is a business, but that doesn’t mean it can’t still be your passion project. Get out there and do what you love!

  • Ian Said
    Ian Said

    Ian Said is the owner and founder of Ideal Software, a company specialising in Point of Sale and Stock Management systems for the hospitality and retail industries.  Ian has a unique knowledge and understanding of the industry, which ensures that every aspect of the software and reporting systems are carefully designed around the end user. For more information, contact him via email on ian@idealsoftware.co.za or visit his website at www.idealsoftware.co.za

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