Bring on 2018 – New Year’s Resolutions for Your Restaurant
New Year’s is a time for renewal. A time to try new things. If you feel that you are in a rut or just need to shake things up a bit, no time is better than the present. Whether you want to go big and revamp your menu or start small and experiment with some online marketing – now is the time!
Below are a few ideas to try out in 2018.
Refresh your staff. Are your employees just phoning it in? Great service is what keeps customers coming back. It could be time for some re-training to make sure that your staff is meeting your service expectations. Many restaurants hold weekly or monthly contests that engage and encourage staff in a fun way, while also boosting sales.
Revive your menu. Look at your sales reports to see if you have items that are not selling or, perhaps, are selling but not bringing in a profit. These items need to be removed from the menu or have the recipe reworked. Should you not be able to part with an item and choose the latter, be sure to let customers know it is “improved”, or change the name of the dish so those who didn’t care for it before may give it another chance.
Experiment with weekly or seasonal specials. Trying out new menu and drink items as specials is a safe way to see if they will be embraced by your customers. Using local, in-season produce can prove to be cost effective as well.
Update your décor: Has your customer base grown or changed since you opened your doors? Are you attracting the types of crowds you desire? Décor that may have worked when you first opened may now be dated. When was the last time you updated the look? It may be time for fresh lighting and fixtures, upholstery, paint, window coverings, and/or uniforms.
Try some new marketing. Gone are the days of running expensive ads on the radio or in print. You can create an effective online presence at little to no cost. Start with creating a Facebook page for your business, and having all your friends, family and staff “like” it. Perhaps offer a free appetizer or dessert for customers who review your Yelp or TripAdvisor page to get more eyes on it.
Do some deep cleaning. Take a look around your restaurant with fresh eyes. Are you turning a blind eye to certain things that may need some attention? Now is the perfect time to take on some of those big projects. It does not have to be all at once! Create a schedule to have contractors come in or schedule staff to help out and dust that bottle display, clean out those light fixtures, paint the baseboards, sanitize the ice machine, degrease the kitchen hood, and so on.