If futurology was possible and accurate, all businesses would be so much easier. Restaurants in particular should always be ready to face the adrenaline with a sudden full house on a tuesday night or a saturday that despite all high expectations ends up being slow and quiet. Both extreme scenarios lead us to wonder whether we should take action: buy more, buy less, get more or less staff, investing in advertising, etc. Here is how to face these uncertainties and be prepared to always provide the best service while optimizing costs.
Restaurant owners, managers, floor staff and chefs must ask themselves every day how many customers will they get so they know how to be prepared and how to make customer’s experience the best possible one: everybody and everything must be ready. This is very important from the sales point of view. But another major factor that will determine the success of the restaurant as a business, is costs. Optimized inventory and excellent service are two forces that must coexist in harmony in a successful gastronomic shop. Use these tips to learn how to prepare to achieve and use these forces in your favor.
- Use Eskalab’s Dashboard to see the sales prediction day by day and dish by dish. You’ll know how much you should buy of every ingredient to optimize costs without being short on ingredients. Also you can calculate how many people you’ll need and how prepared they need to be in terms of mise en place and organization.
- Get a large calendar and place it in some place where it is visible for staff. It will be a useful tool for everyone. Start by marking all the important dates that may affect the restaurant: national holidays, religious celebrations, mother’s day, father’s day, etc. Think of which events will happen this year in your geographical area: political elections, major parties in popular sports such as football, a visit of a celebrity, etc. Mark them all day by day. Do you have a theater or a school nearby? Or somewhere else that might attract an audience that can benefit from? Be aware of their movements to prepare yours and try to capture that people through partnerships with the establishment, promotions, exclusive benefits, etc.
- Schedule 15 minutes a week to check the calendar and complete it with more current information and events. Check the weather forecast and make notes on each day as “storm”, “sunny day” or “cold weather”. This not only helps to get an idea of the number of customers you’ll get, but also what kind of foods they’ll have (salads in worm days, hearty stew in cold days and other comfort food for rainy days).
- Events, festivities and the weather gives us a good approximation of what will happen during the week if we combine that information with the style of the restaurant and the audience to whom it is addressed. It’s a good idea to keep a record of the way people respond to different events to know and share with all the staff (especially if you hire new people quite often) which tends to be the effects.
- Communicate the information collected to the staff and tell them how to be prepared, what promotions you thought of making, what they should offer and establishes specific weekly goals. Take advantage of these brief meetings to obtain feedback from them who will also have good contribution from their experience. Stick in the kitchen the list of dishes to reinforce each month, you can print it out directly from your dashboard.
- Use all the information collected from weather and events to enhance your social networks. Post photos and appropriate comments to each day as “seize this sunny day by sitting on our deck with a cold beer and a bowl of wedges”, “come see the game tonight with friends and enjoy the best pizza and the best time in our giant screen” or ” to face this cold today do not miss our homemade pastas served with our still-worm handmade bread”. Find some other tips on how to manage social networks here.
- Use the events marked on the calendar to build promotions. The dishes chosen must consider the occasion (e.g. desserts for Mother’s Day) and profitability. It is important not to use any dish to promote but to pick the ones that will generate both advertising and profit margin. Find the specific strategies in your dashboard to see the good options to promote this month.
We hope we’ve helped you with this post. If you wish to receive useful information and good tips for restaurant management subscribe.
Want to improve the profitability of your restaurant? Get in touch!