The past year has been no picnic for the restaurant industry but now is the time to bounce back with a vengeance! 58% of customers say they want to frequent restaurants more in 2021 than they did in 2020 and that's good news for the industry. We'll cover a few things you can do to make 2021 the most successful year it can be.
Adjusting to changes
Government imposed business restrictions may not completely disappear and it's important to be able to fluctuate with the change. Keeping a streamlined inventory is essential to be able to quickly pivot. Customer behavior won't change overnight, so it is more important than ever to instill confidence in your business while still maintaining healthy operations. Guests may still feel nervous about visiting an establishment, so it will be important to keep carr-out and curbside service up and running.
Maintaining your online presence
We live in the information age, and a brand can be boosed or hurt based on online reviews alone. Use online reviews to identify any issues and be proactive in your responses. Use social media to keep your brand at the forefront of foodies' minds. It's important now more than ever to express a personality to the public. Remind guests that you are more than a restaurant—you're an authentic group of people.
Hiring and keeping staff
With increased guest flow the industry is faced with new challenges. A labor shortage in the food service industry has created its own set of headaches. While keeping quality employees on the payroll has always been a challenge, the increased demand for workers everywhere is causing strain across the industry. Here are a few tips and tricks for hiring and keeping staff:
1. Hire on the spot
Hiring on the spot is the new quick way to add staff. Before background checks can be administered, get new hires started with training. This will jump-start the process but also keep your new hires from too many customer-facing tasks.
2. Remain consistent with culture
Money isn't always a motivator when it comes to staying in a position. If the culture of an establishment matches the employees' desires, they're more likely to stick around. Be open and honest with your staff.
3. Be authentic
When looking for new opportunities, potential employees don't want an extremely polished image. They want to know a company is real. Use social media to your advantage and spread content that shows an authentic culture at your establishment.
4. Walk the walk
This one is simple nut we're going to say it again. If you talk the talk, walk the walk. Keeping staff is all about honesty and transparency. Remember that building trust with your staff with lead to happier and healthier operations. If there's strain in the kitchen, there will be strain in the food.
Keeping a profitable menu
Continue to track the cost of recipes and adjust to any changes in costs. It is likely that you will have to adjust your many and you should plan accordingly for these changes. Your menu should allow for a lean inventory that minimizes waste. Try using recipes that share multiple ingredients to reduce what ends up in the garbage can. It's important to balance popularity with profitability, and that includes an ever-changing menu. Keep in mind that takeout and delivery will still be popular, and these items will need to hold up when they head out the door.
The restaurant industry has been face with a lot of new challenges in the past year, but 2021 looks to be a bright spot in what could be a very good year for the industry. So, this year, pack up the gloomy faces and bounce back!