The culinary business is a hectic world. Between maintaining food safety and quality and brainstorming innovative ideas to place on the table, the nitty-gritties of running the business can take a nosedive. But it’s important to focus on a few strategies that can help keep your culinary venture successful.
Poor organisation skills can cost you time and in turn money. From something as simple as jotting down orders to running reservations or payment schedules of vendors, streamlining your job can help you save hours that you can then use to focus on your real passion – food.
Use online tools to make schedules – paying taxes and bills, renewing licenses, off-site catering orders, shift rosters for staff, etc. You could also invest in a restaurant management system designed specifically to help organize back-end needs from inventory to employees. Delegate jobs wherever necessary.
Feedback doesn’t only refer to reviews about your food and service. Restaurant analytics help you make better business decisions based on data from orders, payments, take away deliveries, online reviews, check requests, wait times, and even tips if clients add them onto digital payments.
It helps boost profit, improve productivity and enhance services, while revealing your pain points and blind spots. Restaurant analytics give you important information on your audience so you can build better relationships, learn which items on your menu are popular and which to replace, reduce food waste, develop staff incentivisation programmes, design deals and discounts, spot emerging trends, and improve takeaway and delivery systems.
Make friends with marketing
Marketing is a mainstay of any business today. Clever ways of connecting with your target audience can help you develop a strong fan following and also get new leads. You should be consistent and thoughtful. Social media users follow accounts they find value in, so planning ahead is key.
But you don’t always need to go online for marketing. Face-to-face marketing works in the digital age too. Think about stalls at local events, pop-ups and even free food samples in big supermarkets. They not only offer potential patrons a chance to try out your food but also give you the opportunity to connect with them.
Control food costs
One important business strategy is to develop an action plan to control food costs while still maintaining quality. This helps increase margins. Consider portion variations but also focus on reducing food waste. Develop strong rapports with local vendors who can deliver consistent quality at competitive prices. Keep your staff happy to avoid instances of expensive or exotic ingredients ‘going missing’.
Efficient organisation will also help follow First In First Out methods for all inventory items.
Never compromise on quality
The business rule every chef must follow is to maintain quality consistently. There are other ways to increase profits and deal with stressful situations without cutting corners on your food and service.
Quality outcomes leave lasting impressions. Patrons expect their food to taste just as good every time they visit, whether it was a couple of weeks ago or even many months later. Ensuring wait time and quality of service stays consistent is vital as well. Train your staff accordingly.