Oh no! Your restaurant isn't filling up tables like it used to. But why?
It's certainly not your customers, it's your restaurant.
A decline in sales is a sure sign that your restaurant is in need of a change! A restaurant makeover is just what you need to strike excitement back into your team members and customers.
Although change can be intimidating, it can also be the answer to your lack luster sales. Here are some areas where you can begin making necessary changes.
Are your POS systems sending tickets to the kitchen on time? Is there a delay? Or are there issues with your POS systems? The technology you use should be helping to enhance your business in making organizational details easier to manage, while your focus remains on customer service.
If this is not the case for your restaurant, you should consider an update in technology. When your POS systems are up-to-date, not only does your team have an easier time taking care of guests, but it simultaneously improves guest satisfaction. No one wants to hear that technology is the reason for being cashed out late.
This is why POS tablet systems at the table have become popular. Investing in this new technology, restaurants have been able to cut their labor costs down because of the self-service quality they have (FSR Magazine).
Aside from being an immediate source for staff members and customers, new technology is able to record statistics and sale trends for you. This way, you will be able to keep track of how your restaurant is performing very easily because the organization is done for you by a machine (Linga POS). This makes analyzing areas that are in need of improvement easier to pinpoint.
Not to mention, your competition has already thought about making this change. Revel Systems revealed a survey that showed within one year, 58 percent of restaurants decided to spend 4 percent more within their budget for technology.
An outdated menu will result in your restaurant producing low profit because even your most consistent guests change their wants and needs, and your menu needs to adjust to those changes or you will have items that are rarely ordered. A sign that you need to consider updating your menu is if you are experiencing normal to high sales, but your restaurant is still losing money (The Restaurant Times). An example would be through those menu items that rarely get ordered. Even though sales are good, behind the scenes, ingredients for items that are not being ordered are quickly expiring.
Though this may seem like a common problem all restaurants experience, if you decide to keep menu items that customers are not ordering you lose money. This item could be replaced with a newer item that people will actually order and enjoy (The Restaurant Times).
Are guests asking your staff members too many questions about your menu? This is a sign that your menu description might not be clear enough. A confusing menu will frustrate customers and cause your staff members to spend more time with one guest, rather than equally distributing their attention to all of their guests.
This can also be detected if too many errors are occurring within guest orders. Yes, mistakes happen among your staff, but taking time to understand the root of the problem will better determine where communication is lacking. The Restaurant Times believe it's most likely the way customers are interpreting your menu.
Replace Poor Quality Employees
Making sure that all team members are on the same page is important. Every once in a while, it's good to have "one-on-one" meetings with each team member for an evaluation. This is helpful in giving them a push in the right direction if they need one, and is also helpful to determine which team members need to be let go and which ones are good to keep.
Yes, this is going to be time consuming, but just remember, you are investing money into your staff therefore, time needs to be taken to figure out which team members are worth keeping. Poor talent within your business is not worth the money you are paying towards labor.
Toast recommends that restaurants avoid hiring inexperienced staff members even if you think hiring them will cost less money. In reality, the price of hiring them adds up.
Quality over quantity.
Toast explains, in the long run, it is more money to be paying for two workers who are worth minimum wage (at $11 an hour) rather than pay a single worker who is worth more than minimum wage because of the skills they hold. You will end up spending a total of $22 for two workers to get a single task done rather than paying $16 for one skilled staff member to get the same task accomplished alone.
Not only will this improve what you are spending on labor, but you will increase customer satisfaction by guaranteeing that every team member you hired on is capable of providing top-notch service to your guests since they are skillful.
Have you had a chance to stop and look around your restaurant lately? Are the walls looking a little dull? Maybe you haven't had a chance to fix that darn leaky ceiling, and the booths just aren't as comfortable as they used to be.
It's understandable as to why an interior design remodel isn't at the top of the priority list - it's expensive and you look at the same walls everyday, which means you are blinded to the gradual wear and tear of your restaurant.
But just know, all your customers notice.
Consider redecorating. Yes, it can be pricey, but Upserve Restaurant Insider informs restaurant owners that before customers enjoy their meal, they indulge with their eyes first. No one wants tattered seats and poor lighting.
Furniture replacements will help make your guests more comfortable and the color of your walls will influence their mood (Linga POS).
The restaurant business is a competitive one and Touch Bistro explains that when your restaurant experiences change, it portrays that you are current with the trends.
Even if you are comfortable with the current flow your restaurant experiences, eventually those regular guests will want change and will appreciate it when it happens. The change will also attract newer guests in. But if change is overlooked, your restaurant will fail to compete.