There has never been a more challenging time for restaurants and the hospitality industry than in the past two years. A perfect storm of Brexit and COVID-19 has presented restaurant owners with challenges across all areas of their business, from staffing and supplies, to customers and cleaners.
It seems that just as one crisis ends another one begins, and so it goes on. But like most businesses, restaurant owners are in it for the long-haul, with many years of blood, sweat, tears and funds invested in a business they love.
So it’s no wonder we’re hearing a cry of ‘my restaurant needs help’ more often these days. Restaurants have had to review and update their business models on what seems a monthly, sometimes weekly basis, since the crisis began.
Our role as a restaurant consultancy hasn’t deviated significantly from what we’ve always done – and that is to MAXIMISE PROFITABILITY of your restaurant. The crisis means we’ve had to perhaps act more urgently, and with more focus on what makes your restaurant profitable. It’s more important than ever to cut through the many obstacles that your business is facing and get you back to profitability and as streamlined operationally as possible.
If your restaurant needs help, what do you need to do, and where should you start?
It may sound obvious, but you need to focus on what makes your restaurant profitable. One issue with constantly evolving business models is the need to take a step back and review your business model and how it affects your bottom-line as often as you can.
This means keeping a close eye on the numbers. As restaurant consultants this is what we do first and foremost. Reduced menus, delivery options, chef shortages, supplier issues and so on, all contribute to the profitability of your restaurant. For example, home delivery may have served you well during the crisis, but is it time to review the P&L in this area of your business, and refine or even remove this part of your business model if it is NOT PROFITABLE.
However, our core areas of focus remain the same, and these areas are;
- SALES: how effective is your marketing?
- FOOD GROSS PROFIT: the relationship between cost and selling prices
- LIQUOR GROSS PROFIT
- WAGES & LABOUR COSTS: one of the biggest challenges in the current climate
- RECRUITMENT: finding and keeping the right staff
- VARIABLE COSTS: rent, utilities, marketing, cleaning, laundry, maintenance & cost of borrowing to name a few
If your restaurant needs help you need a realistic, actionable plan to give your restaurant the best chance of navigating the turbulent waters we find ourselves in. With the help of your restaurant consultant we will work on planning and implementing a realistic plan of action to give you the best chance of making it through. MENTORING is a big part of what we do, sometimes just having a confidante outside of your business can help you focus on what’s important and get back on track. We take the emotion out of your current situation and work with you to GET YOU BACK ON TRACK.
What to do next…
The first step is to provide your business with STABILITY. This can include updating operating procedures, engaging with your customers again through marketing initiatives, adjusting your menu, and reviewing the needs of your customers – how have their requirements changed, what do they want from you, delivery options or safety assurances.
It looks like STAFFING will be a challenge for the foreseeable future, so now is the time to review your staff scheduling and adapt rotas to suit your team members to keep them motivated and engaged. The world of work has changed, so it may be the right time to ensure you’re communicating and motivating staff in the most effective way to reduce absenteeism and staff shortages. We can help you to implement new rosters, incentive schemes, recruitment plans and training.
The ‘new normal’ may mean adapting your restaurant design to better suit the needs of your customers. Reconfiguring the layout and design of your restaurant can provide your customers with an environment they feel comfortable in, and more importantly, want to return to.
Your MENU has a huge impact on your PROFITABILITY and should be reviewed in detail to ensure every item on the menu is making you a profit. With supplier issues commonplace it’s imperative to review your terms with all of your suppliers, seek new (more cost-effective) ones where necessary and design a menu that delivers profitability as well as meets your customer requirements.
The SYSTEMS and TECHNOLOGY you have in place has an impact on your operations and profitability. Technology such as table ordering, QR codes, digital menus and the like can not only help to streamline your operation, but reduce staffing costs and make your customers feel more comfortable when they visit your restaurant.
Where can I get help?
We’re here to help. With over 25 years in the hospitality industry, restaurants in distress are nothing new to us. We will deal with you in confidence, and we offer a free one-to-one telephone conversation or face-to-face meeting (depending on location).
GET HELP FOR YOUR RESTAURANT by calling David Hunter confidentially on 07831 407984 or 01628 487613, or click here to contact us.