Think you’ve got the chops to make it in the restaurant industry? Maybe you’re already running a mouth-watering steakhouse or a delicious dessert bar. Whether you’re in the early phases of the business or just starting to plan, you might not be thinking long-term. Short-term successes are important for a new business. But new businesses also need long-term goals to reach for.
Long-term business goals help you stay focused on the future of your restaurant. They also ensure that you are practicing the activities that well help you stay in business. Here are five long-term business goals for your restaurant.
1. Increase Brand Awareness
Increasing brand awareness means carving out a distinct identity that sets the restaurant apart from everyone else. This unique identity is more than a mere marketing tool; it’s a narrative that represents the authentic experiences that a restaurant offers.
Increasing brand awareness is not just confined to the physical ambiance of the restaurant, but also extends to the online landscape. Utilize social media platforms to showcase the restaurant’s food and engage with the audience. A thoughtful social media strategy might involve sharing the story behind a special dish or introducing the team that works tirelessly to provide a memorable dining experience.
2 Improve Inventory Management
If you’ve ever watched Bar Rescue, you know how John Taffer transforms struggling bars in a short timeframe. Many times, he’ll walk into the back of a kitchen and find a disgusting mess that would consistently fail health inspections. And, he also often finds that bar owners struggle with the inventory management aspect of the bar.
Is this happening in your restaurant? Here are some questions you need to answer:
- You need to make sure that every item served to a customer is fresh. How will you do this? Do you have a system in place for tracking inventory to make sure no customer ever receives expired or spoiled food?
- Bartenders can prepare drinks differently, causing an inconsistent experience for your customers. Every time a customer orders a drink, it should taste the same. But, when drinks are prepared differently, this can cause the taste to vary, and it can also cause confusion with your inventory. How will you avoid this?
- Are you ordering too much food? Not enough? The food that you can’t use – that winds up in the trash can – is like money thrown away.
3. Lower Employee Turnover
When you think of running your restaurant, you may think of the food first. And it’s true, your customers come to you to have a nice meal or to crack open a cold one at the bar. But, your employees are the ones serving the meals and preparing the drinks. Don’t let their efforts go unnoticed. Every time you lose an employee, you’ll need to invest the time and money into training a new one.
Remember that working in the restaurant industry means sacrificing your nights, weekends, and holidays. Do your employees feel valued by you? Here are some ways to reduce employee turnover:
- When employees express concerns, listen. Ensure that their concerns will be held in confidence, as much as possible. Take action when it’s appropriate.
- If an employee offers a suggestion that you think would work, try it and give them credit.
- Be flexible as much as possible when employees need time off. Employees want to be able to attend celebrations like graduations and weddings. Unforeseen events, like funerals or illnesses, will pull them away from work, too. Your understanding and flexibility will create employee loyalty.
- Coach employees who want to take on more responsibilities.
Bonus Tip: Does your restaurant need a new look? Draw inspiration from other bars or idea boards to generate fresh ideas.
4. Add New Revenue Streams
A challenge for many restaurants is one that should also be one of their goals. That goal is diversifying and introducing new revenue streams that complement the core business. One way of doing this is by enhancing your delivery option for the business. Making it easier for customers to eat at home will help increase revenue without having to worry about seating capacity at the restaurant.
Apart from catering to home diners, a restaurant can also develop a line of merchandise that embodies the brand. This could range from selling gourmet products such as signature sauces or spices to creating a cookbook that shares the secrets behind some of the most popular dishes on the menu. The restaurant’s space itself can be leveraged as a revenue stream by offering it as a venue for events, parties, or corporate gatherings.
5. Increase Net Restaurant Sales
Increasing net restaurant sales is a multi-faceted task that requires a concerted effort from the leaders of the restaurant. One of the pivotal strategies could be enhancing the menu offerings continually. It is vital to keep up with the changing customer preferences and trends in the world of food. Revamping the menu based on seasonal ingredients or introducing limited-time specials can create a buzz and attract more customers.
Also introducing loyalty programs can serve as a catalyst in increasing net sales. These programs encourage repeat visits and foster a sense of loyalty amongst the patrons. Over time, these programs can translate into increased sales as customers are more likely to return, knowing that their loyalty is appreciated and rewarded.
6. Open a Second Location
Did you ever think you could open a restaurant? Maybe it was a dream you had your entire life, and you never thought the day would come. You’ve created short-term goals and long-term goals for your business, and you’re loving every minute of it! Your customers are happy, and your employees are happy. So, what’s next?
It’s time to start planning for a second location for your restaurant. But, before you jump in, it’s important to know that growing too fast can cause failure. Don’t let that happen to you! Slow growth is the best kind of growth because it’s sustainable. You can learn through your mistakes, so you don’t lose a lot of money. Also, observe what’s working, and what’s not. You can create a plan, and build upon it. As you start thinking about opening a second location, you’ll need to answer some questions first:
- Where do I want to open my second restaurant?
- Can I comfortably finance this?
- Should I hire a co-owner or co-manager, or can I keep doing it all on my own?
- Is now the right time to do this, or should I wait?
Bonus Tip: Opening a second location is a big decision. If you’d like to learn more about decision-making in your business, check out our resource: 5 Types of Business Decisions You Should Understand.
Totaling It All Up
Running a restaurant business can be a fast-paced venture. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day. However, every restaurant owner should create long-term goals for their business. Creating a signature dish, improving inventory management, and lowering employee turnover will help the business stay profitable. Winning a local award and opening a second location can also be points of pride for any restaurant owner.