A restaurant is a complex machine and if you know the hospitality industry, you know that the competition is fierce.
Improving certain aspects of business operations or marketing can make a significant difference in the strength of your restaurant.
Of course, there are basic things like having good food and a great location that will help you stand out; but here are some tips to win and maintain a good image and stay ahead of your competition.
Hire exceptional staff.
Your staff is the front line of your restaurant: their voice and their attitude. It pays to train your staff, but sometimes hiring the right people from the start can save time and money too, as letting the wrong person go and starting the process over again takes valuable manager time. Hire the right people and save a lot of time and headaches.
Your staff are a big part of your restaurant’s image, so take care of them. A good way to do this is by empowering them with responsibilities and providing them with proper and regular training.
Cleanliness is the most important factor for consumers today. And it may sound silly, but keeping things clean is harder than you think.
Hold your staff accountable for cleaning their areas; customers have a keen eye for dirty glassware, stained cutlery, and smeared menus. If you want a good image, start by keeping it clean.
Write down the rules.
The worst enemy of a good image is the lack of coherence. Identical repetitive experiences create an image. Reliable and consistent service will make your restaurant look professional and customers will keep coming back.
Make sure your kitchen staff have all recipes written down and within easy reach. Make sure your dining room staff are aware of service standards and their sequence.
Write down everything from how your staff should greet customers to how many elements make up each dish. And finally make your team follow the rules.
Make your restaurant family-friendly.
Make eating out with young children easier for parents. If possible, families should be given a larger table so children have room to color or play. In addition to offering high chairs and booster seats, staff should offer coloring materials and toys, but always ask parents first if these items are okay.
Remember that having a fine dining restaurant is no excuse for not serving children.
The best restaurants in the world change their menus often. That doesn’t mean you should do that, but keep in mind that your restaurant has to evolve one way or another.
Changing your menu has so many benefits that it would be hard to list them all. It keeps the kitchen team excited and creative, it makes customers wonder what you’re doing next, and probably most importantly, it keeps your restaurant from becoming stale.
Take a look at current restaurant trends and try to incorporate them into your regular menu. You don’t have to change your entire menu, but have you considered having vegan, paleo, or keto options? That’s where evolution is.
Listen to your customers.
As a restaurant owner, don’t be afraid to go out and mingle with your customers. Walk around the dining room, introduce yourself and ask for feedback. People will appreciate your attention, and more often than not you will hear compliments on your restaurant and your staff. However, if you do receive a complaint, do your best to remedy it as soon as possible. Often the owner is liable even when the mistake was made by the kitchen or service staff.
Correct use of social networks.
If you’re not using social media to promote your restaurant, get started right now. Social media is a fun and easy way to reach customers and can be a great platform for keeping customers informed about special events or extra tables.
Through social networks, you can show your restaurant through images and videos and motivate word of mouth. Taking the time to create a social media marketing plan can bring you new customers and increased online visibility, two things that are vital to your restaurant’s continued success.
Being active on your social media will show people who take the time to follow you that you’re thinking of them too.