Here on the blog, we have already talked a lot about setting up your own business in the gastronomy field, be it a bar, a restaurant, a food truck, and even a butcher shop.
This post will address a different theme, aimed at entrepreneurs who already have their own restaurant and struggle every day to make it successful and keep it running: management.
Managing a restaurant is not easy. It is one of the most difficult establishments to survive on the market. The competition is extreme. The country imposes numerous difficulties on the entrepreneur. The political and economic instabilities do not collaborate to provide security to those who want to invest.
To give you an idea, half of the restaurants and bars open in Brazil close before they turn two. Knowing how to manage your restaurant is essential to remain competitive and steady on the path to success in this scenario.
6 tips that will ensure good management for your restaurant
Empower your team
A well-trained team is essential to offer quality products and services. Therefore, invest in frequent training and train your employees – from the kitchen and the lounge – to ensure that both the dishes and the service offered are of excellence.
It is considered ideal to allocate about 10% of the hours worked in training in the market. Thus, a restaurant that operates 40 hours a week should devote at least 4 hours a week to training the team. It is also possible to take advantage of a new employee’s entry, for example, to carry out new training.
Here, it is important to go over everything: while the service team must be reminded of the importance of good posture, patience, and sympathy with customers, kitchen staff must always pass on good food handling, hygiene, and safety.
Focus on security
Safety at work is a sensitive issue and deserves all the attention of restaurant managers. After all, in an environment full of sharp objects, fire, boiling oil, and hot ovens, it is necessary to guarantee all employees’ well-being and integrity.
In this sense, safety starts at the basics: ergonomics. Employees who spend all day bent over counters handling food are more prone to spine problems and, therefore, need frequent rest.
The same goes for those who perform repetitive tasks, such as chopping onions or peeling potatoes. Constant and prolonged work can cause repetitive strain injuries (RSI).
Besides, it is essential to avoid accidents. Thus, it is important to have a risk map, which helps to identify the points most prone to accidents and alert employees who perform certain tasks to always use personal protective equipment (PPE).
Therefore, it is worth posting obvious alerts on how to manipulate and sanitize equipment, especially those that offer more risks, such as oil grinders and fryers.
Hear what the customer has to say
The clientele’s opinion is one of the best tools for those who want to better understand their business and improve the management of their restaurant.
Find out what your customers think and seek to learn from the criticism and praise you receive. Invest in satisfaction surveys and create quick ways to assess what consumers have thought of your restaurant’s food and service.
For this, avoid written forms; nobody likes to fill them. Instead, ask the customer when paying at the checkout, or use more modern alternatives, such as spontaneous search machines – those with four-face buttons (great, good, regular, and weak).
Nowadays, people are more engaged with social networks than ever and feel motivated to express their opinion about the products, services, and brands they consume. Use this to your advantage and interact with the public online, always paying attention to the ratings and comments you receive on Facebook, Google, or any other platform.
Finally, pay attention to what the customer leaves on the plate. Known in the market as the index of rest-intake and leftovers, this practice helps to identify possible quality problems in the preparations. For example: if a good part of the potato chips is left on the plates by customers and ends up in the trash, this may indicate that something needs to be improved.
Invest in Digital Marketing
In addition to your restaurant’s physical environment, you should also invest in marketing, especially in digital marketing. Here are some platforms you can explore:
A website is the virtual address of an establishment, and, therefore, your business must have one. After all, this is how your target audience will more easily find information about your restaurant. It is important, however, that your website generates a good customer experience. So, offer a menu, tell your story, put in contact information and opening hours, and everything else you think is interesting.
Today, many people use Google to search for information about a restaurant, so you must optimize your site to rank well on that search engine.
It is important to invest in SEO techniques (Search Engine Optimization or Search Engine Optimization). Thus, when someone searches for your restaurant’s name or its segment + your city or region, it is more likely that your establishment will appear at the top of the searches and, thus, the audience will get to know your business better.
Nowadays, almost everyone has a profile on at least one social network, and, therefore, your company should invest in them. On social networks, your company can publish photos of dishes, make promotions, disseminate content that may interest your audience, and create relationships with customers.
Also, many social networks allow you, with a little investment, to advertise your business. These ads appear to users in the form of banners and are a good way to advertise your establishment.
Focus on Financial Control
No establishment can succeed in its management if it does not have strict financial control. Thus, you must know how to answer some questions to manage the finances of the house:
– How much do you spend on purchasing inputs for production?
– How much do your customers pay on average over the month?
– What is your spend on employee payroll?
– What maintenance expenses do you have monthly (water, point rent, website domain, outsourced cleaning, electricity, software payment, telephone, etc.)?
– What taxes do you have to pay?
– What fees are charged when customers pay with a card – that is, how much do you “lose” from the payment?
Numbers are part of restaurant management: they can be a little difficult to deal with, but they also point out the results – both good and bad. Therefore, having a vision of the whole and a mastery of your business numbers is essential for every manager of a restaurant.
Technology as a management tool
Fortunately, technology can be a great help tool for restaurant management. Today, there are applications for the most diverse functions, such as home delivery apps, online menu, inventory, financial control platforms, etc.