Eventually we all experience a restaurant soon to close due to cash flow problems. Either we will be the person closing the door or the next raconteur in line with a dream, a bundle of cash, and a few new menu ideas thinking we can bring a faltering location back from the dead. Few have the talent to breathe life into an eatery turned to restaurant road kill and make it soar like a culinary
Usually the scenario for a restaurant in trouble is to simply turn off the respirator. Cut off frequent injection of personal cash and the place goes dark, the doors shut, the lease sign goes up in the window and the landlord waits for the next victim.
I know it sounds pessimistic. But there is that level of eatery that just never seems to pack ’em in and its existence is a constant struggle. Waiting for the bail-out weekend is a tough game and more often than not that gangbuster register bursting event seldom happens. In the meantime we all hover around the checkbook waiting for a gift from the gods to get us out of the dilemma we find ourselves in.
With bills mounting, utilities close to being turned off and staff ready to organize a mutiny because the tips have slowed to an espresso machine sized drip what are you to do?
Here are ten tips to analyze your future:
1). Look at the picture with the eyes of a businessman not a Friday night, buy the bar a drink restaurateur.
2). When was the last time your restaurant made money? We are not talking cash, we are talking balance sheet.
3). Are you getting further in debt with each delivery?
4). Is your food cost in line?
5). Are you realistic with your staff scheduling or is payroll out of line?
6). When was the last time you took a paycheck?
7). Are you continually putting more money into your business from savings, your spouse’s paycheck or your child’s piggy bank?
8).What is the trend in your community for restaurants?
9). Have you recently changed your menu, remodeled your restaurant and done sufficient marketing to your customers and potential customers?
10). Are you still thrilled about going to work or is the stress that you deal with ruining your personal life while offering few, if any, rewards?
These are just a few of the questions to ask yourself when deciding whether or not you are in a restaurant rut. We all fall into it on occasion and sometimes we can get out of it with a few quick-fixes. Other times it may signify the end of a location is near.
Whatever your situation, make sure you always pay attention to the business end of the business. It will pay off in the long run.
Tomorrow: Industry update.