This article is for our restaurant owner moms out there.
Every business needs to adjust and change with customer demands and the shifting landscape of the market. Restaurants are no different. If you’ve started your own restaurant venture, then you’ll need to find the path to success and then growth. There are techniques and tools you’ll need to make this happen.
Many look to enhance their menu and diversify to grow the customer base. You may want to look at this further down the line, but first, it is crucial to establish the restaurant. You might need to implement practices and processes that help you grow your restaurant without putting a strain on you, your staff, and the things that already work well.
The Systems You Use
While you don’t need a process for everything, you do need to build in the capacity to grow. If you use informal ways of doing things where nothing is written down, then your systems will fall apart as you grow.
Your systems, from taking payments to communicating with staff members, need to be built so that they can survive without you or the manager. We have busy lives to juggle, and can’t be in more than one place at a time. Anticipate the fact that one day, you might open a second venue and work from different locations, so a quick informal induction for staff won’t be possible anymore.
Instead of limited systems, create resources that will stimulate your growth and survive through the expansion. An employee handbook could be the perfect stepping stone in a strategy to improve the way you all work. You can learn more about the benefits of a restaurant employee handbook and how to create one.
Instead of constantly chasing new markets, remove a key obstacle to growth that threatens many restaurants and other businesses. It is, of course, customer retention. When someone leaves your restaurant, they should be looking forward to returning.
Maintaining a relationship with your customers encourages loyalty, word of mouth recommendations, and repeat visits. Restaurants that can build up a customer base this way will have much stronger foundations, which will help them to grow.
Trust Your Staff
When it’s your restaurant, it can be hard to let go of the details. You feel you need to know everything and keep an eye on the kitchen and front of house. If your business is going to grow, this won’t be possible anymore.
Employees that need to run everything by their boss can’t work efficiently and quickly, which means your restaurant won’t be doing the best that it can. In order for it to develop, you’ll need to trust your staff. That means delegating, giving them more responsibility, and opening the way for them to ask for the tools and training that they need.
When your restaurant has its first successful year, it’s an amazing feeling. Stop to celebrate the wins, but keep one eye on what needs to be done in the next six months, and the six that come after that.
You should have a plan for growth, which includes steps on how you’ll get to where you want to be. Once you’ve looked to the future, evaluate your performance so far, and identify the systems and processes that you need to develop to help you grow.
The key obstacles to your success will be paying too much attention to new customers, and not caring for your original patrons. You should also be wary of processes and practices that won’t work in larger teams. Finally, invest in the people around you, so that you can trust them to complete the tasks that will support your activities.