Posts Tagged ‘growth’

3 Best Practices for Restaurant Menu Expansion

September 15, 2014

When it comes to expanding a restaurant’s menu, there are several important considerations to be taken into account. You need to know when to follow trends and when to ignore them, which new items will make the most bang for your buck and which will allow your restaurant to blossom into an ever more successful venture. Poorly thought out choices can have long-term business consequences. Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind when expanding your restaurant’s menu.

Be Discerning About the Menu Trends You Follow

Menu trends come and go on a regular basis, and not all are going to be a good fit for your brand. Choosing which are and which are not is a matter of assessing how well the trend fits with your overall brand image and appeals to your target demographic. If it fits with your overall brand strategy and is feasible to implement, go for it. Just remember that there’s no shame in letting a few of those trends pass on by, or in even trying to set a few trends yourself. Authenticity and individuality wins big in any business, but especially so in the restaurant industry. If you do decide to follow the trend, design what you offer around a quality experience for your guests, not the cost of implementation. There’s no sense in trying to do something specific if it’s not done right.

Allow Your Restaurant Menu to Evolve

While you don’t need to change your menu every time a new trend comes around, it is important to have flexibility and diversity built into what you offer. For example, there needs to be enough diversity in your menu that you’re not relying on just a few items to get you by in case of food shortages and price spikes.

Furthermore, your menu needs to be allowed to evolve. It could be that certain items or practices that worked ten years ago are no longer serving your restaurant business well today. Look for ways to be visionary with your brand image and discard those elements that no longer serve that purpose. If changes are made, strong leadership and communication skills are needed to ensure that team members, guests and franchisees are brought up to date and are on board with the new plan.

Listen to Your People. Look at Your Menu Data

It would be remiss to make menu changes without talking to your people and looking at your numbers. Your employees are your most reliable resource when it comes to decisions about menu expansion. They are on the ground with the guests daily, observing and serving their needs. The numbers will tell you what is most profitable to your business; your employees will tell you how your guests feel about what you offer, what impresses them the most and what they’d like to see more of. Some restaurants even go so far as to involve the guests’ decisions about new menu items directly. However you do it, utilize the people and information you have at hand to make the best determination for menu expansions.

Expanding your restaurant’s menu can be an exciting and profitable venture. If done well, the opportunity is there to attract new customers, increase sales and drive your brand’s overall expansion into the profitable restaurant business it is meant to be.

3 Essentials for Successful Company Growth

May 25, 2012

New business owners often find the prospect of growth intimidating; however, the drive to open new units is a critical factor for success.  More units mean that you can employ economies of scale in areas such as marketing and purchasing.  There are several factors necessary if you wish to grow your business successfully in an increasingly competitive environment.


Begin with Your Existing Operations


Start by ensuring that your existing operations are profitable and stable.  They should consistently meet or exceed operating standards.  An accurate understanding of your finances, both the operational systems and profitability of each location, must be clear.   This goes beyond having cash in the bank; although that is important as well.


Hire New Employees Instead of Stretching the Demands of Current Ones


Next, take the time to invest in the human resources needed to support your anticipated growth.  New units require both time and physical resources to sustain operations.  You can’t expect to draw either from current restaurants without creating voids.  Have a team of individuals on hand specifically for use only in the new location.


Money Up-Front


Finally, obtain the capital you need to fund growth.  Don’t wait until a leasing or purchasing agreement has been reached.  Have the money on hand in advance.  If you have to draw money from other units to support the growth of the new unit, all of the locations could be endangered.  Lack of financial means will also take away from your focus on establishing the core business operations.


Wax on, Wax Off – The Importance of Focus and Discipline


Focus and discipline are necessary for any expansion you plan.  Management needs to be able to focus on both maintaining current operations while growing new human capital and locations.  Discipline will keep you moving along the growth strategy you determine necessary.


The urge to grow is strong when business is good, but without the proper resources, success is unlikely.  By taking the time to set your foundation, you improve your chances of a positive outcome.