How to Turnaround Your Restaurant: Tips and Tricks

Running a restaurant presents a unique set of challenges. 60 percent of restaurants close after just one year.

It’s important to understand the nuts and bolts of your restaurant so that you can navigate through the bad times as well as the good. Here are a few tips and tricks that can help turn around your struggling restaurant business.

1. Do the Math

When you’re in tough financial times, looking over your balance sheet can feel like torture. As uncomfortable as it is, though, thoroughly examining your finances is the only way to move back on to solid ground. You need to keep track of your sales, production costs, rent and any big expenditures that may be coming up.

2. Look At Your Reviews

If sales are plummeting, you need to know why. Online reviews are a great way to get feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of your restaurant.

A few bad reviews won’t sink you, but if the majority are negative, you know you’ve got your work cut out for you. It’s time to identify what the issues are and fix them so that you can improve your reputation. If you find a site that lets you respond to those reviews, use that as an opportunity to announce any improvements you’ve made.

3. Get a Handle On Your Food Costs

Because food is your business, your food costs are the most important factor in your ability to make a profit.

Figure out the cost of each meal based on what you pay your suppliers. Once you have that number, fix your sales prices at a level that will cover the cost of production and then some. Your food costs should never be more than 35 percent of the menu price.

If you are paying more than 35 percent, take a look at your list of suppliers and see if you can get better deals, either with your current suppliers or with others.

4. Keep Things Moving

By the time your customers order their food, they’re usually already hungry. You don’t want them waiting any longer than they have to. You should already know your restaurant’s busy hours as well as the hours when things are slow.

During busy hours, make an effort to get people seated as soon as possible and get them out quickly after they’re finished eating.

This isn’t an invitation to rush your customers; it only means that you should seat them, get their orders, serve them and provide them with the check in a timely and efficient manner.

Once those customers are out the door, clean and re-set their tables immediately. The more people you can serve during your busiest hours, the more money you’ll earn.

Are you running a restaurant that is currently struggling? Are you looking for tips to get things moving in the right direction? Do you have a successful restaurant comeback story? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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