Happy New Year! Now that 2015 is upon us, resolve to make this the best year yet for your restaurant business. Every day in January we’ll be featuring a new tip from restaurateurs, chefs, and other industry leaders to shape up your marketing, operations, hospitality, and more. Check back daily for expert advice and successful strategies to start your year off right.
To get started, take some time to set clear goals for your restaurant and share them with your staff. These goals will help you prioritize as a team and stay focused on what you want to achieve in 2015.
Identify Opportunities. Look at customer reviews for common grievances, from wait times to cleanliness or quality of the food itself. Think about your daily operations and the usual pain points or areas of weakness. Make a laundry list of opportunities for improvement (and don’t forget to take note of what you’re doing well in the process).
Set Goals. Look at your list, and focus in on your top-priority opportunities — the ones that can make the biggest difference in your business. Make your goals as specific as possible. Instead of “increase revenue,” aim to increase your covers by a certain amount over the next three months. Or, pick one or two social media channels to focus on and set a goal to gain 30 new followers in a designated time frame.
Whenever possible, goals should be measurable so that you have a metric for benchmarking. Maybe you’d like to increase your number of email subscribers or reduce food cost. Set an amount and a deadline for each objective to keep you focused on the end result.
Make a To-Do List. Think about what you and your team can do to achieve your goals, and be realistic about the time commitment and bandwidth. If you want to get more press, resolve to send three media pitches every month. If you want your staff to perform at a higher level, devote a few hours every week to training. Whatever your goal is, outline your plan of action with target dates.
Make Regular Audits. Depending on your goal, check in every day, week, month, quarter or year to track your progress, celebrate your successes, and set new goals. As your business changes, so will your priorities and objectives.