When you operate a restaurant, it’s easy to get caught up in the numbers. If sales are high, then your restaurant must be doing well, right?
Sorry to break it to you, but that’s not always the case. It’s tempting to use sales figures as proof that you’re managing your restaurant well. Sales figures can fluctuate based on many things, and they don’t always represent an accurate picture of how you are doing overall. There is a difference between temporary increased sales and long-term sustainable business growth.
Solid, reliable restaurant management is the only thing that will ensure business success in the long run. However, it’s not always easy to spot poor restaurant management when looking at facts and figures alone.
Here are three ways to tell if you may need to work on your restaurant’s management, and how you can solve these issues:
High Employee Turnover
You never want to blame yourself for the employees that leave, but sometimes it’s important to face the hard truth: employees are loyal to good bosses first and foremost. You can offer every perk in the book, but if you aren’t a good boss, you’ll see high employee turnover.
Things like overworking, undervaluing, poor management attitude, inflexibility, and passing blame have no place in a well-managed restaurant. It’s easy to want to blame poor work ethic and low morale on employees, but employees reflect the attitudes and work principles of their leader.
How to fix it:
If you increase their workload, you must immediately follow it up with a reward. If employees do a job well done, praise them for the tasks they’ve accomplished. Bonus points if you recognize their efforts publicly.
Find out what motivates each employee. Bonuses? Recognition? Job perks? Flexibility with their schedule? By learning about your employees and providing these things, you can build better relationships with your staff members, fostering a positive attitude all around.
It’s important for managers to work on active listening skills when they are speaking with their employees. When concerns are brought up, truly listen to them without letting your defenses get in the way. The power of open communication between employees and their managers cannot be overstated. This allows problems to be solved quickly and effectively as soon as they arise, and promotes a mutually beneficial, peaceful work environment.
If you are currently struggling with this, consider how your company can evolve to overcome this challenge. Remember to listen to the suggestions of your employees—they’re the ones on your front lines. They know the ins and outs of all your processes, so they’ll be the best resources you can find for first-hand knowledge about what works and what doesn’t.
Remember—managers set examples. You are the leader, so when there is an issue, it’s on you to take responsibility. On top of that, give employees credit for successes. You can’t operate a restaurant successfully without your staff, so they deserve credit for the work they do. Your employees will respect this approach and follow your example.
Download our free ebook: Pandemic Survival, Recovery, and Preparedness Guide
Poor Customer Satisfaction
Unhappy customers means bad business. If your customers aren’t happy, that means you aren’t paying enough attention to their needs. Customer satisfaction must be prioritized. You can have what you think is a phenomenal idea for a promotion that can boost revenue, but if it isn’t centered around what your customers want, good luck making it fly.
As the owner and manager of a restaurant, it is directly up to you to understand customer behavior and learn how to deliver the things your customers crave most. If customers aren’t satisfied, it is a result of mismanagement.
How to fix it:
First and foremost, you need to manage customer expectations. You can’t promise an experience that you can’t actually deliver. Rather than advertising the same things your competitors offer, try looking at what unique experiences your business can bring to the table, and focus your advertising efforts on that.
You can’t always control what customers crave, but you can control how you respond to your customers. Try to cater to food preferences. Many customers may have dietary issues, and it’s wise to find ways to accommodate those so you can provide a positive experience for each and every customer.
Training is a major tool in your toolbox. Train your staff thoroughly, and give refresher courses when needed. Equip your staff with the knowledge and skills to deal with customer issues as they arise. Teach them how to deal with disgruntled customers with finesse, and how to win back business if a customer gets upset. This is the best way to ensure both your customers and employees stay happy.
If something does go awry, encourage management to protect staff as much as possible from customer tempers and wrath. When your employees know you have their backs, they’ll provide high-integrity work, and your customers will benefit from it.
Poor Customer Experience
It’s easy to tell whether or not restaurant mismanagement is driving your customers away. Things like order accuracy, speed of service, delivery, and online ordering options are all a must for the customer experience right now. If you aren’t providing these services, or if they aren’t operating with efficiency, it could be a major sign of poor management.
Times are different in a pandemic-stricken world. Social distancing has thrown a wrench into restaurant operations, and though necessary, it can take a tool on the kind of customer experience you are able to provide. While customers may not be able to enjoy the same experiences they were used to before the advent of Covid-19, there are still many steps you can take to ensure your customers can enjoy the best experiences possible.
How to fix it:
Without the right technology, you may not be able to efficiently and effectively provide the services that your customers need in order to stay safe and happy. It’s critical that you implement high-quality delivery management software to ensure that all deliveries are accurate, on-time, and most importantly, safe.
Online ordering can be leveraged to let customers order from the convenience of their homes, and you can provide contactless payment options to reduce face-to-face interactions. Implementing services like contactless drop off and contactless curbside pickup can also help reduce the risk of spreading harmful pathogens. The right high-quality restaurant management software can help you do this with ease while also streamlining your restaurant management overall to ensure success.
Focus offers a wide range of restaurant technology to help improve restaurant management and overcome the challenges of owning and operating a restaurant business. For more information on our software, contact the experts at Focus today!