Learn how to run a successful restaurant, so that you can remain in business. The restaurant business can be extremely difficult, and there are always new competitors. Running a lean operation can improve your profitability and allow you to have greater financial flexibility.
- Assess your current food vendor management strategy. Buying ingredients is one of the most important parts of running a successful food operation. Single location restaurants have a disadvantage when it comes to sourcing. Mult-unit restaurant have greater purchasing power in terms of overall volume, and have the ability to lock in longer price terms. Analyze what larger chains do to make themselves successful, and replicate those in your own business. You should compile a list of your 20 most purchased items. Take your list, and compare the costs against three different restaurant food vendors. It is normal for some items to be high, and others to be lower. Compare this list on a monthly basis, to see if you should consider changing some of your suppliers. Lowering your food costs will help you run a restaurant which will continue to remain successful and lean.
- Create publicity and momentum for your restaurant. The restaurant business is extremely fierce and competitive. Customers can often be very fickle when it comes to dining. If you do not have a large advertising budget, consider guerrilla marketing techniques. Maximize the exposure of your restaurant by generating good press. Good free press can often go much further compared to paid advertising. One way to generate good successful press is to consider donating your unused food to organizations such as abuse shelters, homeless shelters, and fund raisers. Food donations can be a great way to get article write ups in your local newspaper.
- Consider changing your hours. In the restaurant business, you need leverage your fixed costs against your variable costs. Review your sales records, and identify any trends which may be currently occurring. If it seems as if your sales are extremely slow on a certain day (such as Monday), you may want to consider closing on that day. Closing an hour later, or opening an hour earlier can also affect your sales volume. These small changes can help increase your chances of running a successful restaurant in the long term.