Seek the advice of individuals who have opened and managed restaurants before you. Even the most successful restaurant owners started out as novice cooks who had to educate themselves on the business side of the industry, from marketing to bookkeeping to coming up with novel ways to bring in money.
Recently, restaurants have had to adjust to industry-wide demands to suit client requirements. Restaurant professionals met at the DoorDash Main Street Summit in Los Angeles to exchange ideas, learn, and advise one another. What follows is their advice for operating a successful restaurant in the present day.
- Think outside the box to lower food expenses.
Food and packaging costs have risen due to inflation, so it’s prudent to assess current spending and consider methods to cut it down. Buying foods at their peak seasons (when they are both abundant and inexpensive) is one strategy for controlling food expenses. By keeping meticulous records of stock and providing thorough training to cooks, many businesses ensure that no edible part of the food they serve goes to waste.
Operations and suppliers may collaborate to save money via bulk purchase, prepayment, and better packaging. HomeState’s founder and CEO Briana Valdez of Los Angeles is responsible for various supplier efficiencies. The first thing she did was have her suppliers repack her butter orders into five-pound blocks rather than the usual sticks. In addition, she saves money by not having the supplier send the eggs in-shell and instead having them blended in advance. Her own staff may now spend less time each day cracking eggs because of this strategy.
Do you need additional support to make your restaurant a success? Visit the McDonald Paper Supplies online store to see how bulk purchasing can make life easier for your business. Or stop by the offline showroom in Brooklyn to pick up the latest in restaurant equipment.
- Broaden your sources of income.
In the current economic climate, restaurants that rely only on dine-in revenues are doomed to fail. Restaurants may increase online order volumes and profit margins by providing alcohol to-go in order to promote additional sales and attract new customers. Order data from DoorDash suggests that businesses might see an increase of up to 30% in average customer order value from restaurants and groceries, and an increase of over 50% from convenience shops, by offering alcoholic beverages for delivery. DoorDash has released a report on the trends of online alcohol ordering for the year 2023.
Middle Eastern restaurant Sumac in Montreal, Canada, began selling retail products during the epidemic by using DoorDash and an in-store display. First, it was condiments and seasonings, and then it was munchies like chips and candies. David Bloom, a partner at Sumac, remarked, “The mini market has been super popular.”
Greg Dulan, proprietor of Dulan’s Soul Food Kitchen, agrees that giving customers options is crucial to their satisfaction. He’s got a banquet hall for special occasions, a food truck for catering, partnerships with other eateries, and a brand new takeout-only kitchen in the works.
- Reduce staff turnover to a minimum
Keeping your current staff happy is crucial to the success of your restaurant, since it is far more time- and money-efficient than constantly recruiting new ones. In today’s competitive labor market, engagement surveys, scheduling autonomy, and a revived company culture help retain employees. Here are two other tactics to think about:
Look for potential leaders within your current staff before bringing in new management. It’s typically quicker and more efficient than waiting for the ideal outsider applicant since they already understand your operations and culture. Provide high-potential workers with internal training and development initiatives that lead to promotions.
Provide an incentive for long-term employment: HomeState started compensating workers $500 for staying with the company for three months. Though large, it has helped retain personnel and encourage them to bring in their own networks.
- Keep close tabs on your money at all times.
There are a lot of figures involved in running a restaurant, from monthly expenses and employee salaries to daily sales and profit margins, and it may be tough to make sense of them all and act accordingly. By monitoring many key financial indicators, you may better meet consumer and employee needs and maximize profits.
Business administration courses like accounting and financial reporting are recommended by chef, writer, and restaurateur Tanya Holland. “To be sustainable and viable, you must know how to work the numbers,” she said. “There’s more than cooking.”
- Put money into your restaurant’s social media accounts.
Restaurants can promote their cuisine, ambiance, customer feedback, and much more on social media without breaking the bank. A solid social media footprint does wonders for brand credibility, product exposure, and consumer satisfaction. Social media marketing for restaurants is more important than ever in the modern day, when so many customers research their dining options on sites like Instagram and TikTok.
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Whether she is researching the latest trends in home decor, life-changing destination getaways, or the best way to maintain your finances, Dewey takes pride in leaving no stone unturned. She is passionate about distilling and delivering high-quality information that you can use to upgrade your life.