Technology to Help You Solidify Your Restaurant Business Plan
You have your concept and target market solidified, now what? What is the next step to make your restaurant come to life? Nobody plans on their restaurant failing, yet the saying credited to Winston Churchill is proven time again: He who fails to plan, is planning to fail. The solution: a restaurant business plan.
Still, six out of every ten new restaurants will close within a year of opening, and eight of every ten restaurants close within the first five years. Make sure your business can survive the battle ahead and develop a solid business plan.
Determining Service Type
Once you’ve settled on your restaurant’s concept, you need to decide what type of service method you will be using. Are you a high-end restaurant with very knowledgeable staff who will be waiting on your tables, or do you have a more casual concept? Your restaurant concept will determine your service type: traditional table waiter, self-serve kiosks, or tabletop tablets.
Your serving style needs to match your customer’s expectations. Keep in mind that one of the great obstacles the restaurant and hospitality industries is struggling with is a generalized lack of labor.
Out of necessity, many have been turning to restaurant technologies to help them bridge the labor gap. Before you spend your money, make sure the technology you’re buying is going to give you a good return on your investment (ROI). Consider the experience of other restaurants that have seen average ticket sizes increase by 18.5% when using a kiosk over a traditional table wait service. In so doing, they turned the challenge of lack of labor into an opportunity to keep costs down and increase profits.
Table-top kiosks can give you the flexibility to offer your customers a mix of service options with wait staff plus self-service.
Branding is so important for a restaurant. A simple image or icon can conjure fond memories. You need to know what you want to come to your customer’s minds when they see your branding. If you start opening your restaurant before you have a clear vision of that image then it will cause delays and frustrations.
To build your brand, you need to have a clear understanding of what you want your restaurant to be. To get that understanding you need to study your competition so you know what they are doing well and what you can do better. Finally, coordinate the design of your logo, merchandise, colors, and aesthetic to fit the image you want your restaurant to project.
Then you need to consistently present your brand. All signage, physical and digital, menus and promotions should all be coordinated to consistently project your vision. Keep your brand in front of your customers at all times.
You will have to invest in a restaurant POS system, so make sure the one you get allows you to customize your POS solutions to maximize your branding to help your restaurant reach its fullest potential.
Offer a tabletop kiosk or tablet that can promote your most popular menu item, allow for free and easy loyalty signups, and consistently flash different ads throughout your customer’s meal.
You will be at your restaurant a lot. Especially when you first open. But you can’t be there all the time and you can’t solve all of the problems your business may face by yourself. So make sure the people you hire as management staff are upbeat, proactive, problem solvers that are great with customer service.
Getting the right people is vitally important, but it is just the first step. You also need to provide them with the tools they need to be successful. A successful management team needs to know their business inside and out. This is why getting the right restaurant POS system is such a vital part of your restaurant business plan.
By employing the right restaurant technologies your team can do just that. Cloud-based reporting can help your team track your vital business statistics in real time and address potential issues before they become major setbacks.
Vital business functions like tracking inventory, planning employee shifts smartly to cover your busiest hours, and seeing when employees clock in, even if you aren’t in your restaurant. All of the vital information you need to run your business can be tracked from your phone.
Dwight Eisenhower, the mastermind behind the D-Day Normandy invasion said, “Plans are worthless, but planning is everything.” The act of planning through the challenges your restaurant will face after you open will help you avoid becoming one of the eight out of ten restaurants that don’t survive. Planning ahead of time and making sure you have the tools you will need in place, will help you thrive in an industry where many do not.
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