Foodservice Updates is designed to help foodservice operators keep on top of all the industry news and provides tips for keeping business running smooth. We endeavor to provide the latest tips and solutions to keep you in the know.
Get ready for steady sales this holiday season
Strong third-quarter retail sales and overall growth in the U.S. point to a promising sign for restaurants as the holidays approach: Consumers may be looking to spend more freely than they spent in earlier months of the year. Are you ready to make the most of guest traffic? First lean on your technology – to enable seamless payments in the forms guests prefer, to generate greater participation in your loyalty program, to anticipate high-traffic peaks (and valleys), to schedule staff accordingly, and to deliver targeted promotions to guests looking to get out and celebrate with others over the festive period. Assess potential bottlenecks in your various sales streams, as well as opportunities to promote different parts of your business that could do especially well over the holidays. For instance, what mechanisms do you have in place to manage catering orders, track reservations, maintain your ingredients for your most popular holiday dishes, and promote retail items? What safety nets are in place to support you when problems happen? It can help to review the guest journey along every sales stream you have, gather feedback from staff about what works well and what needs to improve, and to check your online reviews to identify parts of your business that may need attention.
Adjust your model for the long term
For years now, it has felt like restaurant operators have been furiously swimming upstream. First, the pandemic jolted restaurants into a new reality, forcing them to change their business models overnight and adopt new technology to compete. Then, even when the toughest months of the pandemic were behind us, restaurants still had to battle with supply chain problems and high inflation. Tough as these conditions have been, they forced a much-needed fix in the industry. In a recent essay in the New York Times about the current restaurant revolution, San Francisco Chef Anthony Strong said the survival of his business has meant transforming his business model from 2020 into something with more staying power: He shifted from an 80-seat restaurant to a 35-seat dining room with a separate retail shop that sells pasta, sauces and upscale pantry items. So right now, as things finally feel a bit more – dare we say it – normal, how does your restaurant look different? As we approach a new year, it’s a good time to take a step back at the changes you have made this year. Is there a leg to your business that can reliably prop you up when another leg weakens? How can you strengthen each of those pillars? Where have you made important progress this year that can be replicated in other parts of your restaurant – and where is there opportunity to fine-tune your practices so you can last for the long term?
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