Sometimes a few very simple changes to the way you manage your restaurant can make a big difference in both employee morale and your bottom line. What are some of the simple changes you may want to consider?
Make Money by Saving Money: Oftentimes it is easier to save money than it is to earn money. Every dollar you earn, but don't spend, is a dollar that you don't have to earn again. Although the old adage is true that you have to spend money to make money, how you spend and invest that money is critical. If the margin on your sales is 20%, then for every dollar spent, you must earn five times as much, or $5.00, just to receive the original dollar back. There are endless ways to spend or invest, but which opportunity gives you the highest and best return? Also to be considered is the payback period. In other words, how long will it take to recover your investment? Two different investments may have the same returns, both dollar wise and percentage wise, but the one that recovers your funds the quickest may be the best investment. Plan ahead, evaluate your spending and invest wisely.
Looks do matter: Another old adage is that "You don't get a second chance to make a good first impression". Everything makes an impression; from your restaurant's signage to the wait staff's attire to your website's layout. It all has to be appealing to each of your customers' senses. With the very first look or first impression, your prospects will begin forming judgments and opinions about you, your employees, and the quality of your menu items. Once given an unfavorable impression, it will be very difficult to win them over and secure repeat business. A key strategy would be having an independent third party dine at your restaurant and have them "honestly and brutally" give you their first impressions. Because you see your restaurant every day, you can no longer impartially see what a customer can see. An independent third party can give you a completely different perspective. Alternatively, you could use one of the commercially available business assessment tools or checklists to conduct a self-assessment of your operations. This can save you a lot of time and money.
Employee's Have Great Ideas: Involve your employees in the decision making process. Employees will be far more supportive, motivated and productive with new initiatives or programs when they have participated in the decision. Even if some of them initially dissented, they will know their input was valued and they will typically respond positively. Because they directly interface with customers or participate in some other important business activity, they have unique insights and valuable ideas that can be leveraged to help your restaurant become even more successful. Have that meeting today!
The "Blame Game" has no Value: Don't play the Blame Game. This is an important adjunct to the above paragraph regarding employee participation. Be certain the focus of employee participation meetings is to solve problems and create high value programs, not just to cast blame on employees for things that are not quite up to par. It is much more productive and far less expensive to focus on first solving a problem than to waste time trying to figure out whose fault it may be. Oftentimes, it is no one's fault; it may be the process, faulty equipment, or a simple misunderstanding of the objectives and responsibilities.
Making a few, inexpensive changes to your restaurant's operations can oftentimes make a big difference, not only with enhancing your diner's experience, but with profitability and employee morale improvement as well. And, importantly, these changes don't have to cost very much.
Restaurant Self-Assessment Checklist: Restaurant owners and managers can now conduct a thorough "Self-Assessment" of where their operations stand today, and then, based upon the results of this analysis, implement sound business strategies for accelerating growth, reducing unnecessary waste, and improving their profitability. This unique management tool features 1,329 tactics, strategies and action items for evaluating thirty different operational categories ranging from store image to customer service to operations management; all designed to bring your restaurant to the next level of growth and profitability. To see a more detailed description and sample pages of the checklist, then go to: