Restaurants require constant improvements in order to function at full capacity and efficiency. Asset management, training regimens, and distributor relations are some of the most important aspects of a successful restaurant, yet they tend to take a backseat to the flashier list items on your operational to-do sheet.
In the United States, tens of thousands of new restaurants open every year, and a great many shutters by their third birthday. In fact the third year in operation is the watershed mark for many food and beverage industry companies. Small businesses in this space have had enough time to expand or wash out by this point, and most restaurants that make it to this point have hit a measure of self-sustainability in their distributor network (outgoing expenses) and customer base (incoming cash flow).
If you’re looking to break into the marketplace with a great new food concept or want to expand your existing restaurant, these four ways to chase after systemic improvements are sure to help push you over that magical number that will signal long term success and prosperity for you and your family, as well as the team you’ve built at your establishment.
1. Utilize asset tracking solutions in order to streamline successes.
Asset tracking is a core component in the ultimate success that your brand will enjoy as you continue to grow and serve more customers on a regular basis. Asset tracking software is a simple solution for a widespread problem that far too many restaurants fail to address, simply due to a lack of knowledge surrounding industry best practices. In truth, asset tracking is a fairly straightforward process, especially when you have a software tool that allows you to view asset tags on your mobile device.
Building accountability for each tool that lives in your kitchen hooks, drawers, and cabinets, and expanding the process to include food items that need to be used before expiration dates are the best way to remain within compliance with OSHA standards and the general industry best practices as well.
Maintaining health administration standards and participation in licensing procedures is a great way to boost your overall capacity for efficiency as well. With an OSHA certification program, you and your management team can grow into a natural state of compliance with industry standards surrounding occupational safety and health and food safety standards that will protect those working in the back of the house and the guests who are dining at your tables every day. This all begins with a commitment to asset tracking and generalized streamlining of the efficiency of your operational day-to-day requirements.
2. Locate and create partnerships with excellent distributors.
Every restaurant has to forge partnerships with distributors. Without a steady supply of vegetables, meats, alcoholic beverages, and other food items, your business simply can’t function. In order to feed your guests and make a profit, you need the essential ingredients that go into every dish, cocktail, and experience that your guests will enjoy while dining in your establishment.
An alcoholic beverage distributor is a great source for all things beverage-related. Look for an all-in-one distributor so you don’t have to stay in touch with a beer distributor, farm winery, or distiller. A one-stop-shop will increase efficiency. Beverages are often one of your highest selling categories, so finding a distributor that will help you grow your profit margins is a highly important task when it comes to sales and long term growth. If you aren’t making a profit, your brand is only sustainable for a limited time period. Growth comes as you nail down excellent fundamentals and long term profit margins that can support rent payments, ingredients purchasing needs, and marketing considerations.
3. Introduce professional kitchen equipment into your establishment as well.
In addition to the food items that you sell directly to your customers, you’ll need a high quality supplier of kitchen wares as well. Pizza prep tables, ovens, kitchen knives, and pots and pans are all essentials at nearly virtually every restaurant in the United States.
Kitchen equipment that will stand up to the constant rigors of each new day of cooking, handling, washing, and then repeating it all tens or hundreds of times is a must in any new or growing restaurant. Quality wins out over quantity in this regard, and the most efficient restaurants buy with longevity in mind. Purchasing pans or pizza tables that will last for years rather than months in order to save on upfront cash costs is the way to maintain your business’ staying power. Buy for the future and you’ll grow into a flourishing business.
4. Lean on your marketing team for growth opportunities.
Marketing is a key concept in any brand’s industrial space. One place where this really shines is in social media marketing tactics. Your social media presence must be dominant because this is where your customers congregate in the modern world. There are more than four billion active monthly users across the most popular social media spaces these days, and this is continuing to grow with each passing day, month, and year.
Marketing is where you can really set your business apart from the competition. With new social platforms like Tik Tok gaining steam in the United States and all around the world, restaurants are leaning on these quick hit marketing ideas in order to generate buzz that will get people talking about their menus, dining spaces, and innovative delivery options.
The current climate of coronavirus-related lockdowns and public aversion to in-person dining will pass eventually. Once this happens, people will return to the spaces that have been living in their consciousness throughout this time away from dining rooms and professionally cooked meals.
Marketing is crucial to finding and building your brand’s niche. Communities love a good backstory that involves their hometown and daily living space, so leaning on these backstories that tell a tale about your origins and the food and atmosphere that your brand offers is a great way to build hype surrounding your business.
Building interest in your brand is all about word of mouth marketing in the restaurant industry. Yet online reviews have become the de facto way forward in this space. Reviews, blog content, and short video formats are an excellent way to make people salivate over the menu that you bring to the table. Keep them coming back for more with these interlaced growth tactics.