In this post we will look at How to run a successful restaurant. This series is divided into 2 parts and this is part 1 of the lesson.
Do you have an operating restaurant? If it is doing well then congratulations the restaurant industry is a cutthroat industry with many players’ disruption, and low margin. If your restaurant is struggling or you would like it to do better then this video is for you. In this video we will help you focus on what is really important for your restaurant and hope that you can improve the profitability.
Now restaurant marketing is a big topic and while I will try to cover all the elements, but it may be worthwhile to have it in two parts so that we can go in-depth and try to improve the business.
To begin with I am sure you have a vision for your place. Now the visions can be something like making more money or it can be a noble cause like employing people who are marginalized. Whatever your vision is it will help if you have some extra money coming into the till.
Your core customers
In order to begin let’s do an exercise to understand who is your current guests are they families or couples looking for a retreat. Within this demographic you may have subsections on age, whether they are local families or tourists etc. If you are located on the highway then it may just be passing traffic and no local families. So the first key thing to do is identify who is your current market.
If you have not done this before take time to get this done… Why? Why is this important ? Because you will not be able to make any plan without knowing who you are targeting. If you don’t know who your current customers are no need to worry spend the next five days observing your restaurant, look at the comment cards and in general speak to the guests. Why are they at your restaurant are they visiting, did they get any recommendations, why do they come here. You get the idea. Once you know what your strengths are and what attracts your present set of customers. All you need to do is concentrate on the same set of guests if you are happy with the result or find out how you can change your restaurant positioning to target someone else.
Know your customers
Once you have done that and once you get to know your customers now is the time to get to know your competitors. Your competitor is ideally someone who operates in the same price point as you do but sometimes it may also be location specific. Example if are losing your guests to a nearby sandwich joint next door, it may not be a competitor but since you are losing money to them pay attention to what they are up to.
Understand your Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats
I’m sure you would have heard about the SWOT or the strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats. Some people agree that it’s a good tool while others don’t. I have found that it helps you focus on what needs to be done. Speaking of SWOT there are four quadrants Strengths, Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats. Strengths and Weaknesses are internal to your business maybe you have a good chef, a great marketing agency …weaknesses are also internal… maybe you’re struggling with attrition or losing good people. This is internal to your business. Opportunities and threats are things you can’t control ….a new competitor, a fun park opening nearby which will increase your footfalls. These are good to know items so that you can change your strategy if required.
You will need to sit down with your team to understand what is it that is your strengths and opportunities or weakness and threats then depending on the resources of hand you can decide to focus on your strengths and opportunities or reduce your weakness and threats.
Know your USP
Once you have done this exercise of identifying the SWOT it boils down to identifying what is your USP. What is your unique selling proposition. It can be one or two things that your competition can’t lay claim to. Is it a legacy cocktail or a great service culture or a good chef. These are things that will help you identify how to make your restaurant profitable.
This is part 1 of the series of making your restaurant profitable where by the end of the video you have learned how to identify your USP. Now you can head to the next part of the video or you can take a break, do exercise with your team to identify your SWOT and USP and then come to the second part of the video.