Posts Tagged ‘creative management’

3 Fun Ways to get Your Restaurant in the Holiday Spirit (and Boost Business!)

December 4, 2013

The holiday season brings what has traditionally been the biggest sales days of the year – for retail and restaurant owners alike. As a restaurateur, you are uniquely positioned to leverage the holiday season to the benefit of both your business’s bottom line as well as its reputation. With the holidays just around the corner, now is the perfect time to think about fun ways to get your restaurant into the holiday spirit!

Get Your Restaurant in the Holiday Spirit #1: It Starts with the Food

If there is a single thing that could be named as the commonality shared between most of the holidays, it would be people coming together over food. That said, you would be remiss not to alter your menu in some way as a nod toward that understanding. This could mean something as simple as adding eggnog to the menu or something as elaborate as creating a complete list of holiday specials, complete with festive decorations.

It could mean offering group discounts or freebies for kids or simply stringing up lights and adding some decorations to give your eatery a festive air. Showing your holiday spirit attracts all the people who are out looking for special holiday food and experiences.

Get Your Restaurant in the Holiday Spirit #2: In-House Contests and Games

Another fun way to engage employees and customers alike is to host fun in-house games and contests for the holidays. There’s a number of ways you could do this, and it could be done to raise proceeds for a charity or just for fun, it’s up to you. Host a raffle to win a free meal every day for a month. Run a contest to see who can come up with the best holiday photo for your social media pages. Implement a game where customers can choose to give a gift certificate for a Secret Santa item off the menu to another customer, as well as receive one in return. Whatever you pick, tell everyone about it, get your employees in on it and most of all, have fun with it!

Get Your Restaurant in the Holiday Spirit #3: Get Out in the Community

Another fun way to get into the holiday spirit while building your restaurant’s reputation is to take your staff and get involved in the community under the banner of your business. You could do this by signing up as a vendor for a holiday event, delivering excess food to people who need it, organizing a community clean-up project for customers and employees alike who are interested in volunteering, or simply taking your staff out for a night of caroling and eggnog.

Getting your restaurant into the holiday spirit through these types of activities is both fun and business-savvy. It engages your employees and customers, builds your reputation in the community, and helps to bring people through the door. What more could any business owner want as a gift for the holiday season?

Savvy Cost Control for Restaurant Operators

April 10, 2013

As a restaurant operator, you are well aware of the sometimes too narrow profit margin that exists in the food service industry. With rising costs of food and transportation, it’s more important than ever to control your costs wherever possible. Fortunately, there are several savvy strategies you can employ to do just that. Here’s a sample of what other restaurants around the country are doing to help them manage their bottom line.

Control Costs by Managing Your Workforce more Effectively

Aside from the cost of your goods and merchandise, payroll and management of your employees ends up being one of the biggest operating expenses. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to cut costs in this area. For example, setting time standards for your kitchen, bar, and serving staff can go a long way toward making the valuable ‘third seating’ available and turning a profit. The ideal is for customers to be seated, fed, and exiting the establishment within a 45 minute to one hour time frame.

Being clear about your expectations with your staff regarding how much time they have to fulfill their duties ensures smooth operating and increased revenue. Cross-training your staff wherever possible is useful as well because it not only enables your employees to fill in for each other and avoid backlog, but it also builds appreciation for their co-workers’ jobs.

Last but not least, consider moving your hiring process online. Doing so reduces both hiring costs and the amount of paperwork you have to deal with. You can pre-screen employees, have them fill out and sign all paperwork electronically, and even see if they are eligible for a federal tax credit.

Monitoring Energy and Resource Use Cut Costs Drastically

One of the easiest areas to control costs lies in the implementation of energy and resource efficient equipment and practices. For instance, replacing all of your electric kitchen equipment with gas equipment alone can save you hundreds of dollars a month. Low-flow toilets and faucets will cut your lighting bill, LEDs in place of incandescents will lower the cost of electricity, and smaller portion sizes not only cut your food costs, but serve to reduce waste as well.

Utilizing a company that provides energy conservation technology can make a major difference as well. You can have a wireless system installed that monitors your lighting, HVAC, refrigeration, and power consumption and sends you text messages if it notices even the slightest degree of alteration, allowing you to catch a failing refrigerator for example, before any food spoils.

Looking for Other Innovative Ways to Control Your Restaurant Costs

Spending a little time thinking of creative ways to control the cost of doing business can have great pay-offs as well. For example, say you haven’t been able to take advantage of bulk liquor costs because you don’t have enough storage space to hold it. Run the numbers and see if perhaps renting a small additional storage space nearby would allow you to take advantage of bulk pricing and still make a profit.

Sourcing your local community for goods can help cut costs as well – you can often get a better deal from a small, local provider than you can from your corporate standbys.

The important thing to keep in mind when looking for cost-cutting options is not to trim costs in areas which affect guests, but rather to look for behind the scenes opportunities that save your pennies but don’t affect the quality of your guests’ experience in your establishment.