A study by Professor Dr. HG Parsa of Ohio State University notes that about 59% of businesses in the hospitality sector fail within the first year of opening. There’s another prevailing stat in town that about 80% of new restaurants fail within the first five years year. Of course, it might be hard to substantiate much if the pessimistic data, but there’s no denying the fact that running a restaurant or food business is hard.
Most times when people in the food business run into trouble, the problem is not usually a function of the of the quality of their food. A restaurant can actually provide great food at fair prices and still run into trouble because of many factors beyond their immediate control. This piece provides insight into four tips that can help people in the food business increase their odds of success.
Offer variations with food combos and portion sizes
Combo meals are an important revenue driver for food businesses, especially food businesses that are not in the fine-dining niche.
People love ordering combo meals because they are fast and easy to order. More so, combo meals often provide great value for money. You can however increase the volume sales of your combo meals by varying the combos available or giving customers more leeway to choose and pick the side options they want in their combos.
You should also consider offering different portions sizes – such as smaller plates, half portions, and shareable sizes.
Use technology to improve the customer experience
Technology is meant to be disruptive but you can harness the disruptive nature of technology to improve the odds of your business success. In 2017, 17% of diners revealed that the kind of technology in use by a restaurant improves their dining experience and 95% of restaurateurs agree that technology helps them improve business efficiency.
Technology such as Shopkeep POS system provides business owners with an easy to use interface that provides unparallel depth in inventory reporting. The iPad point of sale systems accepts different payment systems such as EMV cards and Apple Pay.
The best part is that customers get choose how to pay at their convenience without the slightly overbearing presence of a waiter with a check.
The front of the house can make or mar your business
Providing your customers with a proper dining experience goes beyond tasty food. A proper dining experience should make them feel welcome, important, and valued right from the moment they show up on your front door.
A smile goes a long way in making people feel welcome and you need to ensure that the people at the front of the house go out of their way to make your customers feel comfortable.
You should also train the wait staff to use welcoming gestures and to pay attention to the needs of customers without being invasive. A genuine concern about how well customers enjoyed their experience and a warm goodbye could also go a long way in making them loyal returning customers.
Maintain stable and profitable inventory
Many restaurants see their profits margin shrink because they are literarily throwing money away in unusable food items. If you don’t sell all the food you make and you end up throwing the money away, you are practically throwing money away. You will also have shrunken profit margin if you throw away ingredients and uncooked food because they were spoilt before they can make it into a meal.
You can improve the odds of the profitability of your business by taken a data-driven approach to control your stocking volumes so that you don’t waste money on unused ingredients. You should try calculating the volume of ingredients you use in a day, track the volumes for a full week, and then use the information to make projections for the month.