Maximize your restaurants’ competitiveness with these essential tips

Maximize your restaurants’ competitiveness with these essential tips

Many restaurants don’t have the financial clout to endure such a prolonged downturn caused by the pandemic. Particularly vulnerable are the smaller scale restaurants, especially independent operators unaffiliated with major restaurant chains. To survive, the restaurants will need to find ways to remain competitive in the middle of the pandemic or drastically reduce their costs; the independent restaurant operators could have an even harder time staying afloat because they don’t have access to the loans and rent deferrals that only some restaurant franchises may enjoy.

1) Your internal operations may need fine-tuning

This past year has ushered in a sea of change in the restaurant industry. For many restaurants, COVID-19 has presented an opportunity to refine operations and improve efficiency as the industry is rebuilt. Increased operational efficiency throughout your restaurant can help with faster table turnover, save you money, increase revenue, and create happier customers. Analyzing all types of restaurant reports, including those that have to do with your menu, sales performance, and labor management, can be intimidating. But with COVID-19 making restaurant sales even more unpredictable, keeping track of data and setting goals is even more important. Every aspect of restaurant operations is impacted by data and analytics. Knowing what to look for and how to read these numbers is essential for managing your money, keeping revenue up and costs down, and maintaining the financial health. Using modern systems, your time can be better spent on auditing, analysis, and reporting – instead of manual data entry. Regularly check in on your bookkeeping stats to give yourself a full view of how your restaurant is performing.

Another important tactic is to keep your restaurant (and your staff!) updated with the new technologies. The COVID-19 forced restaurants to adopt new technologies in order to meet the constantly changing preferences of guests and to run a more profitable and efficient business.As you introduce new technologies into your restaurant, make sure to set aside time to train your staff. Integrating training programs such as online training guides or lessons, videos, and articles for new and old recruits will help staff get up-to-date on any new systems and processes quickly.

2) Stay on top of local restaurant guidelines

Many familiar sources such as the renowned WHO (World Health Organization), are sharing the latest information about the best practices to operate retail food stores, restaurants, and associated pick-up and delivery services during the COVID-19 pandemic to safeguard workers and consumers. This addresses key considerations for how foods offered at retail can be safely handled and delivered to the public, as well as key best practices for employee health, cleaning and sanitizing, and personal protective equipment (PPE). Reassuring customers that you understand the concerns for safety and are taking important steps to address the current situation is paramount. These actions include sharing updates on new implementations, like whether you’ve established a dedicated team to focus on food safety. Other examples may include applying more stringent cleaning procedures, increasing the frequency of hand-washing among staff, and updating training materials for employees. Further, communicating your employee sick leave policy or addressing time off for ill employees is another great way to show how you are trying to reduce the possibilities of putting your workers and your potential guests at risk. In this challenging time, the last thing people want to worry about are meal options. By alleviating these concerns with relevant communication and safe, convenient choices, you’re providing them with the assistance they’ll remember and appreciate.

3) Meet you diners where they are

As a restaurant owner, great customer service is essential to your success. How do you deliver excellent customer service at your restaurant? When guests visit your restaurant, you want them to feel welcome. When you treat them with care and respect while providing an excellent meal, they’ll come back to your restaurant again and again. The ability to instantly order from your online menu provides easy access for your customers. It allows them to conveniently browse and then order from your menu. Oftentimes they’ll spend more money ordering online as they’ll be tempted to try more. You can use prominent calls to action to encourage a larger order. Today, over a year into the pandemic, many restaurants have wholeheartedly embraced online ordering — and they know it's here to stay, even when on-premise dining returns to the normal levels. Over the course of this year, even in the face of huge hurdles, restaurant owners and workers have adapted to new ways to maintain and improve their operations. They pivoted toward delivery and curbside pick-up, adjusted their menus and service style, and did everything they could to keep their businesses afloat while keeping their employees safe.

September 29, 2021