The restaurant industry is notoriously difficult—most restaurants shutter within a year of opening, and of those that succeed, many succumb within the next few years. Today, restaurants need to do more than serve satisfying portions of great food. To draw people in they need to offer an enticing environment, create enough marketing hype, and even be photogenic—savvy restaurant owners often consider how their restaurant and food will appear on Instagram and social media.
Despite the increase of people who identify as “foodies” it may be more difficult to run a restaurant than ever. Here are four tips you should keep in mind.
Use Technology Where Possible
Some advances in tech can make your job easier. There are many solutions which are both helpful and easy to implement: in one such example scheduling software can save time and money for your restaurant’s bottom line.
Managing a schedule can be a real pain point, as employees have busy lives outside of work, too. Week to week, there are many moving pieces to juggle when making a schedule that can be difficult to sort out. Save frustration and time by investing in software that significantly eases this process, and also helps track all kinds of other important metrics, like inventory and cash flow, which can be integrated with your Point of Sale (PoS) system.
Respond to Technology (User Reviews) the Right Way
Today’s restaurant manager can’t afford to ignore online reviews, which can make or break a business. Everybody knows that many restaurant goers use Google or Yelp before deciding where to eat. Positive reviews are a green light. Negative reviews, a red light. But that isn’t the end of the story!
When restaurant managers responded positively to a negative review, they found that 33% of the negative reviewers took their post down. It can be tempting to respond with attitude or snark when a stranger posts something unreasonable that can threaten your business, but see the bigger picture and handle it in a way that best suits the restaurant.
Retain Your Staff
According to the Harvard Business Review, the most popular reasons employees quit is they don’t like their manager or feel they don’t have a chance for promotion or growth. You may not necessarily be able to control whether each employee can get promoted, but you can be a great boss for your employees. Get to know them, respect their time and their work, and consider their concerns and opinions closely. This will increase loyalty and increase the feeling of a team dynamic, that intangible quality that makesspecial restaurants thrive.
Keep Your Regulars
There’s nothing wrong with trying to get new clients in the door, but don’t take the regulars who keep the lights on for granted. Make sure they’re still satisfied with the food and service, and don’t just assume that they will continue to be indefinitely. Often such customers know their value to the restaurant, and may quietly expect some sort of special treatment. Maybe it’s some comped food or drink, maybe it’s some personalized interaction with the staff—whatever it is, it’s both a nice thing to do and a wise investment.
Restaurants need all the help they can get to stay in business, no matter how high the quality of the food they serve. Hopefully incorporating one of these tips makes life easier for you and your employees, while helping the restaurant to run smoothly.