No-one ever said running a restaurant is easy. Not only do you need to provide a varied menu, exceptional dishes, superb customer service, and beautiful décor, but your restaurant will need to be positioned in a great location and cater to local demand.
It doesn’t matter if you are running a cute café or a high-end restaurant, a declining profit margin is an indication you need to make one or more major changes to your business. Find out how to turn around a struggling restaurant.
Take Control of Your Food Costs
It is important to review the cost of every item on a dish, so you will know exactly how much it costs to make. As a result, you can sell it at a price that helps you to generate a greater return on your investment, while providing value for money to your customers.
If possible, work alongside a head chef when developing a menu, so you can create dishes with your budget in mind without inhibiting his or her creativity in the kitchen.
You also must talk to your chefs about portion control, as they should be encouraged to serve smaller portions or create specials to use leftover produce, which can help you to increase your profitability.
Tweak Your Interior Design
Worn, flimsy or cheap-looking furniture and dreary, outdated decor will be off-putting to customers. If your restaurant is looking a little unkempt or outdated, you must improve its interior design, or your profit margin will be forced to pay the price.
Transform your restaurant’s interior by using bright, light colours that reflect your branding, and aim to welcome as much natural light as possible into the space. You also must invest in stylish, durable furniture that can endure all sorts of wear and tear each day. For example, you could buy cafe tub chairs that will maintain their high-quality appearance throughout the years.
Improve the Customer Experience
Unfortunately, a lack of customers could be related to poor customer service. To make your restaurant a success, you might need to improve the customer experience.
For example, encourage every member of staff to:
- Provide customers with a warm welcome
- Flash a smile during service
- Make friendly conversation
- Adopt a helpful attitude
- Offer something extra (a free drink on a customer’s birthday)
- Check if there are any problems with a dish or experience
- Routinely refill their drinks
- Learn and remember loyal customers’ names
All the above will encourage your customers to make a future reservation and spread the word about your restaurant.
Maintain a Clean Environment
Nothing will make a customer want to head elsewhere quite like an untidy, dirty restaurant. Make your establishment appear more inviting by ensuring you maintain a clean, tidy space, which will encourage your visitors to return time and again.
To do so, encourage all servers to remove any crockery or glassware and clean tables immediately, so they are ready and waiting for your next customers. You also must ensure your chefs routinely deep clean the kitchen to maintain a hygienic space.