This morning I woke up to National Public Radio as I do every morning and I heard, as I have every morning for the past months, how bad the economy was every hour on the hour for until I hit the off switch. If I weren’t such an “up” person, who have heard this in the three prior recessions I would have been depressed. However, I already knew it was bad. I assume it will get worse, and, I know it will eventually get better.
So I have decided that the last thing you need to hear here is how bad the economy is. In future posts, I am not going to mention the state of the economy, as it is all relevant. If you own a restaurant in an area where people tend to eat, you have one of the ingredients to success- people who eat.
If you happen to have a restaurant in an area where people don’t eat, you should probably close. But for those open in an area where people eat, you are in charge of your own destiny and future. If you think about it, everyone has to eat. And, if you offer the perfect product at a price they can afford, served by professionals with personality and skill, you will survive.
I have always maintained that in the very end, the bars and saloons of the world are the last businesses to close. And, I believe that thought holds true today. It is the attention to detail, quality and service that will separate those who survive and those who shutter their doors.
So take this time and rethink where you are. Your future is bright, as long as you remember it is your future, in your hands, and nobody else’s.
Now is the time to fine tune your concept and make sure that everything is in order. Let’s stop thinking about how bad the blight is and begin to look at a better spring.
Here are ten tips to keep your mind off the economy and help you step into a brighter future:
1). Redesign your menu. Everyone has a computer graphic program, sketch it out and have graphic designer redo it for you. Graphic rates have dropped because of the economy.
2). Begin a punch list of problem areas in your restaurant: molding loose, fans dirty, window cracked, chair wobbling, and begin a repair plan.
3). Get the staff to completely clean the wait stations, behind the bar, and the corners of your restaurant that have nor seen the light of day in, How Long?
4). Have the kitchen team clean the kitchen. Not just a light wipe down, but a tough scrub.
5). Do a serious food cost analysis and make sure your costs are in line ad your menu is priced accordingly. If you need to readjust your menu do it now and introduce it for spring.
6). Analyze your payroll costs. Make sure that staff is coming in just before their shifts and leaving immediately after their closing duties.
7). Alleviate the wait for a friend and get paid by the owner practice. Often a waiter will be waiting for a fellow waiter to finish their side work so they can leave together. However, they both check out at the same time. Their friendship shouldn’t cost you money.
8) Write a letter to your staff. Let them know that times are tough but you are committed to success and prosperity and professionalism and in order to survive everyone needs to work harder, faster and be more attentive to their jobs and responsibility.
9). Be more concerned about your staff’s situation. A lot of the people, who work for you are from out of town, have multi facetted life styles while they juggle more than one job, school, kids, and other problems. Show a little compassion, it will go a long way.
10). Take time to reevaluate your concept, your menu, and your employee manual. Make the needed changes in each so that you offer those people who eat in your neighborhood a place that is comfortable and enjoyable and boasts a feeling of warmth, success and a brightness for the future.