At a time when the coronavirus outbreak has impacted all industries, the travel and hospitality businesses have been worst affected. Setting up a new restaurant and running it successfully have become quite the challenge. Besides the high rentals, cutthroat competition, growing labor and material costs, reduced customer spending, restaurant owners now have to grapple with Covid fallouts. All these make the task of running a successful restaurant harder than ever. This guide may help you learn the tips and tricks of keeping your business afloat even in the midst of such adverse conditions:
- When competition is tougher than normal, the only way to make customers keep coming back to you is to offer them something unique. This USP ensures that they promote your brand name amongst others. You could consider making your restaurant pet-friendly, for instance, to attract dog and cat lovers. You could bring in a star chef to dish out some delicacies for a while; this will go a long way in promoting your brand.
- You need to set your restaurant up in a location that matters. When the area can be accessed easily, it will ensure a better footfall. Visibility will bring more guests; so, researching location is a must before you establish your business. The right location can target the right customers. But better locations also mean higher rents.
- Controlling restaurant costs will allow you to keep aside money to pay for the high rentals. You must optimize margins in order to cut down costs like utility bills, costs of materials, and staff salaries. This is not hard to achieve when you can find a local vendor which agrees to supply raw materials at discounted rates or you find a location that has great ventilation and sunlight, saving you on electricity costs. It may be wise to hire temporary staff to handle non-peak hours and maintain a permanent team for the rush hours.
- Controlling the inventory well can help you run a business successfully. Your inventory lists must be regularly updated. It is advisable to make lists of the slow-moving and fast-moving foods during both busy and non-busy hours to replenish goods on time. This will also ensure you do not unnecessarily overstock items that will perish in time, escalating your expenses.
- Just as keeping a check on inventory and restaurant expenses is imperative, it is equally important to use new technologies to increase operational efficiency. This has become all the more significant in the aftermath of the Covid crisis. Features like online reservations, contactless dine-in, mobile ordering, contactless payments, etc have become a must for restaurants to retain their clientele.
- Training the staff properly and keeping their interests in mind helps you retain quality workers. You may have spent a fortune on the décor and ambience, but if the staff is lacking in manners, all this becomes futile. It is therefore important to allocate staff duties properly, train them to interact with customers, and teach them to handle emergencies. Just like you expect your workers to give their best to the job, they have similar expectations from you. So, you need to offer them competitive salaries, good and hygienic working conditions, enough holidays, incentives, and opportunities to grow in their careers.
- Finally, you must always remember that the customer is always right; if they are not satisfied, your business will suffer. Their negative reviews and ratings can cost your business dearly. So, you need to address all customer complaints and grievances promptly. Send them free vouchers for their next visit or waive the bill; do what it takes to make sure they go home happy.