Opening a restaurant requires a great deal of capital and poses very high risk. We’ve all heard the common statistic: 59% of hospitality facilities fail in the initial 3-year period. Don’t let your business fail by overlooking these seven common problems restaurants face. Let BlueCart help you understand these common holes in your system and together we can overcome them!
Problem #1: Customer Service
Let’s face it: no matter how you slice it or dice it, the first impression is a memorable one. It can be pretty assumption-filled if not all questions are answered and needs met. Your food may delight the palates of your customers, but your service could drain them. If your customers have a bad first trip, it’s not very likely that they will return for a second go.
There is no magical potion that generates happy and loyal customers – it really does take the entire village to create a great experience. From management to busboys, every contact made to your customers has to be delightful and accommodating. Customers can get easily turned off at any point in the dining experience, so paying attention to their needs and creating a welcoming service is essential.
Problem #2: The Menu & Unique Selling Point
These are a couple of the most common problems restaurants face today. A good menu requires considering how many items are too much versus offering too little. It’s best to have a smaller number of dishes, but making them really well. Typically, longer menus take longer to order from, require more ingredients, thus making you have to buy more ingredients.
Here’s some tips for your menu from restaurantengine.com:
• Group your most profitable items together.
• Don’t use dollar signs.
• Let your menu be a tour guide. This can be accomplished through photos and/or creative text. Consider hiring a copywriter to craft a compelling menu.
• Keep your menus clean – no grease and no food or water stains. Get rid of worn or torn menus.
• Update your menu and prices at least once a year.
• Build your menu around popular items.
• Make sure your staff is thoroughly trained and has memorized the menu.
This trickles down into your unique selling point. What is your original offering or idea that makes you stand out above the rest? It could be a popular dish on your menu you are famous for. This uniqueness will offer your customers a feeling that enables them to remember you long after they are gone.
Problem #3: Management
This is the most important player in the game. As a manager, you’ll need to know how to analyze your business from all angles to ensure that it runs properly and profitably. Many small restaurants can’t pay attention to the number of customers they feed per day, nor keep track of popular items ordered, or most profitable dishes, and their inventory loss.
Problem #4: Training and Hiring
One of the unfortunate aspects of the restaurant industry is a high turnover rate in employment. Restaurants obviously want to hire and train their staff appropriately, but sometimes you may not have a solid management structure to help everyone understand their role and responsibilities. Then things get overlooked and customers may feel the frustration on the backend of this disaster train. You may feel you don’t have enough time to adjust your current employee structure because all the other aspects of your business needs your attention.
Try establishing a very solid management structure that your employees can follow even in your absence. Make sure they understand their responsibilities as well as everyone else’s roles. This will provide you with a strong team where all employees can help pick up the pieces of one another.
Problem #5: Marketing
Many owners fail to market enough or market appropriately. You could avoid this by paying attention to the following:
· Formalizing your brand across the board: mission statement, logos and graphics (good for menu’s and website), etc.
· Make a marketing plan (mplans.com).
· Get a kickin’ cool website.
· Social media and digital marketing are a must in this day and age.
· Start an email database and create a customer loyalty plan.
You may think that this much marketing will hinder your budget, but many things can be done for little to no cost such as social media marketing. A great deal of your clients can be accessed directly through social media channels. So hop in there. The water’s warm!
We all could use more time, more capital, more training, and more marketing towards our business. Don’t get let yourself get lost in the mayhem. By downloading the free BlueCart app today, you can save so much time in the back of the house leaving you with more time to manage and enjoy the front of the house. Cheers to that!