No-nonsense Business Tips, pt. 2
Without further ado, the first three (of ten) straightforward tips to better business in food service:
1. Know your market. A successful restaurant knows its place. Better put, you have to know whom you’re serving. What kind of neighborhood are you in? Are you near a shopping center, a downtown area, or a big box retailer? Perhaps you’re near a big concert or sports venue. Once you’ve thought this through, take a look at your menu. Prices at your restaurant should reflect the type of market you’re in and what you’re near (as well as food costs, of course). If your primary customer demographic is shelling out megabucks for designer purses or football tickets, they’ll probably be non-plussed by prices that reflect their perceived socioeconomic status. But if you’re located somewhere where the cost of living is lower and there’re few draws for people with disposable income, try to cut costs and bring your prices down to increase business.
2. Familiarize yourself with your competition. If customers aren’t coming to your restaurant (and not all of them are, I’m sure), you might be well served by figuring out just where they are going. Who is stealing them? What is the appeal of your competitors when compared to you? Better food? Superior service? A popular theme? You’ll want to scout out your competition and figure how to improve your business and find your niche in the market. You can’t please everyone — a burger joint’s unlikely to steal competition from a sushi bar — but you can find out how to offer customers one of two things: 1) an experience they can’t get elsewhere, or 2) the best food and service compared to restaurants offering similar fare at similar prices. Figure out what makes you special!
3. Focus on exemplary service. I bring up this point again and again because it’s so important. Service counts! If I go to a restaurant I haven’t eaten at before, I’ll leave remembering the service just as much as the food (especially if it’s a negative memory). If I have a really bad experience at one of my favorite restaurants, it’ll leave a sour taste in my mouth. Either way, the chances of me going back have lessened considerably. Meet with your staff (everyone, top to bottom) on a regular basis to discuss ways to improve efficiency and to address concerns they might have. Keeping them happy will help your restaurant more efficiently, and meeting with them will allow you to address any questions they might have, provide further training, or get their valuable input as to what you could do better. Service, service, service!
Check back on Friday for more of the top ten tips! Until then, leave a comment below or contact us here.