Restaurant management is no doubt, difficult work. Aspiring restaurateurs must not only have enough capital to open their business but also be well-versed in the skills needed to succeed in the restaurant industry. And with countless restaurants opening nationwide each year, competition is always high. If you want to remain profitable here are the dos and don’ts of restaurant management from various industry pros
Do Use Technology Software
In the digital age, it is hard to imagine a business that doesn’t take advantage of technology. But surprisingly enough, many restaurants still use pen and paper and the like to record expenses and sales. For the modern eatery, restaurant software tech providers say that it is essential to have a digital system that can connect all aspects of your business. Here are the ways in which technology will improve the management of your restaurant:
- Managing inventory has never been easier. The right restaurant software can help you keep track of how much food and liquor is left as well as the freshness dates so that you know when to order more.
- Managing your employees’ payroll will be simple with restaurant software as it keeps records of every single employee’s shift, when they worked it and how much they made. This way there will be consistency in the way you pay your people.
- Managing bill payments in a restaurant is quite a challenge as you have to make sure that your bills are paid on time, especially if you have suppliers who demand immediate payment. Good restaurant software will allow you to have a dashboard where you can see all of your outstanding bills so that you know who needs to be paid and when.
Don’t Keep the Same Hours
One of the most common mistakes restaurants make is to keep the same hours every day of the week, which results in low traffic on off days. While it may be tempting to keep the same hours every day, the smarter move is to change up your schedule so that you can attract customers on different days of the week.
Do Hire an Accounting Firm
Since restaurants have a fast pace of work and tight deadlines, mistakes can easily slip by restaurant owners who aren’t well-versed in accounting practices. For this reason, many restaurateurs hire accountants so that they can have a second set of eyes on the financial side of the business. Here are tips for choosing the right accountant:
- Seek out someone who is experienced in the industry. Most accountants have books on restaurant operations so that they can be aware of the common pitfalls and challenges restaurants face.
- If you want your accountant to review your bookkeeping regularly, look for one with flexible hours so that you’ll get the time slot that works best for you.
- Find someone who charges a flat rate vs. an hourly fee as you will save money if your accountant can do the work for you in one visit.
Don’t Order Too Much Food
This is probably the biggest mistake restaurant owners make when it comes to ordering food. Overestimating demand can result in waste products that you pay for but don’t get to sell, which not only hurts your profits but also contributes to wasting natural resources like food and water. To avoid this drawback, smart restaurateurs order as little as they need to meet demand.
Do Hire a PR Firm
Many restaurateurs underestimate how important it is to market their establishment and attract potential customers. This mistake results in a huge loss of profits.
Hiring a PR firm is one of the smartest moves you can make as they not only help you increase awareness about your restaurant but also work to build your brand, which means that if someone hears about your business for the first time, they’ll be more interested in visiting simply because they already know it exists. To find the right PR firm, look for a company that has experience in the food and beverage industry as they will have a better understanding of how to increase your revenue.
Don’t Forget Your Signature Dish
Your restaurant is going to be judged on more than just the food you offer; many people will also check out the menu online or ask their friends for recommendations. With this in mind, it’s critical to have a signature dish that people can’t stop talking about. If you don’t have an item that stands out, here are some ideas:
- Think about your target audience and what they’re looking for. For example, if you run a breakfast place, go with something that appeals to most morning people like pancakes or waffles
- Make sure the dish is easy to make so that you don’t lose money on food costs
- Think about how long it takes to eat your signature dish, too. You don’t want something that requires a long time commitment, but you also don’t want to offer an appetizer
Do Accept Different Payment Methods
When you don’t accept payment by check, credit card, or other methods, you are limiting your customer base. Also, some people are cash-strapped and do not have access to bank accounts or cards. While many restaurants choose to only take credit cards, for this reason, savvy restaurateurs understand that catering to all consumers will increase their profit margin. Go a step further and accept money from payments apps.
Don’t Forget to Clean Regularly
A restaurant that is not clean sends a bad message about the kind of food you’re serving and can also increase the chances of contamination, which will push customers away from your establishment. Making sure all surfaces are cleaned on a regular basis will eliminate bacteria and food particles so that employees don’t get sick and customers feel comfortable eating at your restaurant.
Don’t Let Your Phone Go Unanswered
When you have a restaurant, it can be easy to get caught up in doing other things and forget about your business phone. However, when people call looking for directions or to make a reservation, it’s your job to pick up the phone. Additionally, people use these calls to leave messages about parties they are organizing or occasions like birthdays. With this in mind, it’s important for your business phone to go directly to voicemail when you’re away from the restaurant so that you can easily return any call without having to worry about missing important information.
Don’t Let Bad Reviews Stand
When people offer feedback about your restaurant online, even if it’s negative, make the necessary changes so that future customers will be satisfied. For example, if someone complains about slow service, work to improve this issue by hiring more staff or streamlining the waiting process.
Managing a restaurant can be tricky, especially if you are relatively new to the industry. However, with the right advice, you can make smart decisions that will help your business flourish while staying in line with different restaurant-management best practices.