The great Robin Williams once said, “Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!’” In the restaurant business, any cause for celebration can increase traffic and profits. You want nothing more than for guests to think about your restaurant first when they’re planning meals out for birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays. The trick to growing restaurant profits in the long run is to give guests more reasons to visit your restaurant and make sure your staff is trained to make the most out of every guest visit. Here are some of your most fertile opportunities for increasing profits this spring and beyond.
How do you know if you’re offering what your guests really want? Simple – ask them! You don’t need to hire a consulting firm to do a bunch of fancy surveying for you, you just need to reach out to the people who know your guests the best. Start with your staff. Not only do they have valuable insight, getting staff members involved with your marketing will increase buy-in and loyalty. Next, find a way to ask your guests what they want. Use social media, online surveys, or even go old school with the tried-and-true suggestion box.
After your proactive promotions get new guests in the door and keep your regulars coming back, are your servers simply taking orders or making sales? The change in seasons is a great time to revisit your server sales training. Train servers on basics such as product knowledge and service excellence. Show them the difference it can make to their own income if they use suggestive selling to raise check averages by only one dollar. Commitment to training is a major factor in predicting overall business growth.
Manage the Details
During the colder months, people tend to tuck themselves into their coats on their way inside. As the flowers emerge from the ground in springtime, people emerge from their protective layers, too. Make sure the exterior of your restaurant, including your patio if you have one, is as ready for springtime as you and your customers are.
One sure-fire way to have more money is to spend less of it in the first place. With margins tight and competition fierce, cost control is a must for growing restaurant profits. It’s not always the dollars flying out the window that will get you. Sometimes, it’s just a few pennies rolling under the door that lead to thousands in lost profits. The key to making your restaurant operation more cost-efficient is to see those rolling pennies as opportunities for improvement.