Today's post was originally published on Toasttab.com.
The writer, AJ Beltis, gives some good insight into how to solve those nagging issues that most restaurant owners face. The content here has been slightly modified, so if you want to see the original post be sure to check it out here.
What keeps you up at night?
This is a complicated question - especially when asked to someone working in a restaurant industry.
"Is it finally time to let Sam go?"
"Why are our sales slumping all of a sudden?"
"Did I order enough chicken for the week?"
You name it - there are a slew of thoughts that keep restaurateurs tossing and turning all night long.
We reached out to a few of our fantastic customers - restaurant owners and professionals just like you - and asked them a simple question: What restaurant concerns keep you up at night?
As I read through the responses, common themes became evident and similar issues arose. The silver lining, however, is that many of these problems can be solved.
Here are five of the biggest problems that keep restaurant owners up at night and some resources you can employ to help you sleep tight.
1) "What in the world do I do about my staff?"
Jonathan Schroeter of IL Primo's Pizza & Wings answered the question of what keeps him up at night with the following response:
"Staff Retention - Who is going to quit on me tomorrow without giving a notice?"
Jonathan wasn't the only restaurateur stressing about staff. Far and away, concerns over restaurant staff were the most common in those that we heard from.
More than half of those who responded mentioned scheduling, retention, and/or shift management as something that keeps them up at night.
This issue doesn't just plague our respondents. The turnover rate in the hospitality industry sits at over 70%, which seriously impacts restaurant operations.
2) "How can I boost my sales?"
Julie Stark from Mongers Market + Kitchen told us the struggle of increasing business is one of her stress-inducers, while Elena Dellutri of Ye Olde Falcon Pub is always crossing her fingers for a very busy night.
The good news is the restaurant industry is doing well. Sales have grown for the past seven years, which means Americans are going out to eat more often. However, with more than one million restaurant locations in the country, it's easy for your restaurant to be seen as just another player in a very big game.
3) "How do I increase customer satisfaction?"
Greg Schmitz, Owner of Palm Greens Cafe, lists customer satisfaction as one of his late-night thoughts.
In fact, it seems like everyone's concern revolves - in some way - around customer satisfaction. After all, a bad meal, a sour interaction with a staff member, or finding out a favorite meal can't be made because you ran out of beef all impact customer satisfaction.
Customer satisfaction is intertwined with nearly every aspect of your restaurant. In this industry, dissatisfied customers typically means no customers.
4) "How the heck do I do inventory?"
One night, Michelle Tapscott from J-Mack BBQ woke up in a panic because she forgot to place her inventory order. Talk about an inventory nightmare!
The logistics of running a restaurant are never easy. Jazmin of Campbell of Flour Bakery + Cafe spoke of the struggles of invoicing and scheduling - something no restaurateur can honestly say they enjoy.
Specifically, inventory is an enormous area of concern for restaurant owners. Variance, spillage, and theft lead to the unaccounted loss of inventory, which negatively impacts your restaurant's bottom line. Tasks like these aren't easy, but they can be made easier if you understand how to perfect your systems.
5) "Where can we save money?"
When Joe Guenther from O'Maddy's Bar & Grille rests his head at night, he can't close his eyes without asking himself, "where can we save money?"
Expenses in restaurants add up quickly. There's food & beverage inventory, employee wages (and overtime), cleaning fees, kitchen supplies, and utility costs...just to name a few.
Because of the competition in restaurants, many are operating on thin margins as it is. With food prices rising continuously, there needs to be a way to save money in restaurants - but how?
Thanks for Reading!
Share your thoughts on what you will do to stop stressing about these things...