5 Tips for Managing Your Own Restaurant
You finally made your dream come true and opened your own restaurant. The person who will be running the place is most likely going to be you. You have many tasks as a restaurant manager including inventory, mediating conflicts, ensuring customer satisfaction and running both the front and back of the house. You will need to tap into a variety of skills in order to be successful. Here are 5 tips to help you feel more up to the task.
1. Revamp the menu seasonally
It’s important to have signature dishes that keep people coming back, but it’s also crucial to change things up occasionally to keep things interesting. By revamping your menu for changing seasons, you will keep your offerings fresh. This also helps you take advantage of locally-grown and produced foods for that farm-to-table quality.
2. Make your staff feel valued
Employee turnover tends to be high in the restaurant industry. The average employee only stays on staff for an average of two months. This means that this industry has higher training costs. New employees require hours of your time for interviews and orientation days. It’s obviously better if you can motivate your crew to stay on board rather than quit.
One way to accomplish this is to have an employee of the month program that rewards the winners with bonus pay and perks. Another idea is to practice an open-book management style that creates more transparency and improves loyalty among your employees. When employees need to work double shifts, consider giving them a free meal. A holiday bonus is a good way to keep people on board at least until they get their reward. You can also offer incentives for remaining longer such as a raise, higher schedule priority and free food.
3. Everyone should expect mishaps
You should train your employees to expect the unexpected in the chaotic environment of a busy restaurant. It’s important to please the customers, but in some cases, this is easier said than done. Treat the customer how you would want to be treated within reason.
4. Don’t forget about marketing
Serving great food is a good way to keep people coming back, but a restaurant is a business, so marketing efforts will reap rewards in sales volume as it would with other businesses. Develop a restaurant marketing strategy via different channels including social media, your company website and direct-mail ads. Posting at least once a week on networks like Facebook and Instagram is a good start.
5. Host events and parties
If you want to give a big boost to your revenue, large group reservations are a sure-fire way to accomplish that. Offer discounts for customers who rent out a section of the restaurant, especially on weeknights. When you first launch an event hosting program, offer some introductory discounts.
Last of all, running a restaurant should be fun. If people are dreading their work-shifts, something is wrong. As you’re just starting out, don’t be averse to criticism from employees and customers. Look at your restaurant management experience as a journey of continual learning.