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.
What does value mean to you and your guests?
We’ve been hearing it a lot this year: To generate traffic when consumers are hesitant to spend on restaurant meals, operators have to provide value – or at least the perception of it. But that doesn’t necessarily mean offering discounts. According to Kinetic12, a consulting firm that works with emerging brands and identifies trends, there are many ways in which an operator can provide “value”: You can offer premium ingredients – guests will be more willing to pay top dollar if you’re offering high-quality food and it feels that way. You can offer a couple of portion sizes, so guests can trade up or down (this can be more palatable to guests who might otherwise notice that their usual-size dish is suddenly costing them more). Price is still part of the equation and you may well have guests who are looking for more budget-friendly options right now, so consider lunch deals, value meals and other promotions to draw traffic and allow people to mind their budgets. The service and overall experience you provide will continue to mean a lot, so prioritize your staff’s interactions with guests and ensure your website and app are easy to navigate and communicate accurately about timing. Your consistent execution is important – guests need to feel like they know what to expect in terms of their overall experience with you. Even if you’re cutting corners right now – whether it be with ingredients, serving sizes, staffing or something else – that shouldn’t come through in the overall experience you provide. If guests feel they are suddenly getting much less value for their money, they won’t return. Finding even incremental ways to elevate your brand’s value can make your guests feel like your meals are a worthwhile purchase, regardless of what you’re having to charge.
Could more cross-training benefit you?
A survey conducted by the National Restaurant Association earlier this year found that 79 percent of operators are having difficulty hiring. Hospitality and foodservice labor turnover, which is about twice the national average, adds to the costs and strain of finding staff. Whether you’re currently short-staffed, or if you simply want to be more prepared and flexible when members of your team are ill, cross-training your team can help you. Employees who know how to perform multiple roles can flex with the shifting demands of your business, giving you better protection against absence and changes in the overall business environment. It allows you to redirect staff to other tasks if you happen to be over- or under-staffed during a shift. It can also encourage your team to be more engaged with their jobs if you’re offering them opportunities to develop new skills and varying their day-to-day responsibilities. While additional training can demand resources, you might offer rewards to team members who provide on-the-job coaching to less experienced staff, and if you’re already relying on automated tools to deliver training materials, you can expand their use to a larger group of staff. Who knows? Your cross-training efforts may help you to more quickly identify employees’ individual skills and find ways to use them in other parts of your business.
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