Managing a restaurant can be extremely rewarding, but that isn’t without the odd blip of course. Each role has its ups and downs, but we’re here to help you turn your hurdles into hoorays! Keep reading to find out what we found to be some of the more challenging things and what we think could help, and while you’re here, we do have some more tips for restaurant managers here.
One of the first challenges a lot of restaurant managers have mentioned is the inventory, as you need to keep on top of what items are coming, going and being wasted. You need to ensure that your supplies are of the desired quality, make sure it fits within your ingredient cost and budgets, as well as making leeway for any price fluctuations – which with the uncertainty of Brexit, you may need to keep an extra eye on – and so many other factors that if managed in the wrong way, can be seriously stressful.
Our suggestion on how to overcome this timely hurdle, would be by bringing in a POS system. This will allow you to count stock during shift changes, track usage between opening and closing and updates in real time with the current inventory in your restaurant. Train your staff on how to use this, come up with waste reduction plans, such as sorting inventory according to their expiry dates so that you can use up more of the current stock rather than replenishing with unnecessary additions.
Another is staff retention. The hospitality industry is so fast paced and an incredible place to create a strong career, however, it is often harder to keep staff in restaurants than it is in hotels and that is a mix of a few things (students working while they study, people using it as a stepping stone not realising that a restaurant career can set you up for life etc.) so it is important to find ways to retain your staff.
It goes without saying that employee engagement is one of the most valuable things in the business, which really comes down to listening to what your employees need. For example, flexibility and training are two things people are now looking for when applying for jobs. Show career opportunities for advancements in your restaurant by finding new things to teach your employees so that they don’t feel stuck and that they know they have room to grow.
Lastly, though it is such a big feature and advancement to both our personal and professional lives, we forget that social media marketing can be great for restaurants. It can be difficult to retain customers and attract new ones. Marketing involves a lot of discipline, creativity and consistency which can be a challenge, but we have some ways to make it easier.
The first thing I personally do when I discover a new restaurant on my commute home is to check the menu online, and often find it disappointing if there’s nothing there for me to see, and a lot of people feel the same way. So set up a website and post your menu there, along with your other social media pages, which is a simple way to do some constant marketing. You can also set up online advertisement that will run in the background promoting your restaurant while you’re out there managing everything else.
Another suggestion would be to set up a blog and run the occasional competition; this will engage with newcomers and returning customers alike!
Do you have any other hurdles and tips to share with us? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!