Restaurateurs lead hectic lives - long hours, early mornings, late nights, often with poor eating and drinking habits that can lead to health issues. Sensibly, many restaurateurs have regular health checks, their blood pressure is taken and vital organs monitored. Doctors will then point out areas of concern and recommend courses of action to insure a healthy body.
When did the same restaurateurs last "take stock "of their business's vital organs?
Listed here are ten checks that cost only some of your time. The answer is not: ‘I do not have the time!' The answer is you cannot afford not to take the time! After all, it is your business!!
1. When did you last look at your business plan and objectives? This helps you and your team to focus on the important issue of PROFIT.
2. When were your product's purchase price and their quality last checked? There are price changes and new options available regularly.
3. Are you checking basic percentage formulas in regards to food cost, wages, etc.? Too much variance ether way needs investigation.
4. Rent is paid 24 hours day 365 days a year. Would longer operating hours improve business? Are there operating and or marketing opportunities to increase profit?
5. Can better use be made of the space you already have available, front and back of house? All space costs money, seat turnover is very important.
6. Are you still meeting customer's expectations, providing consistent service and product? Listen to customers, they may give you a great idea, good word of mouth is the best form of advertising.
7. Have you recently assessed your "successful "competitors"? Why are they busy, and is their business sustainable?
8. Are you monitoring what gets left on your customer's plates? It's a simple guide to find out if portions are too big (waste) or issues with a dish - customers don't always comment.
9. Do the menu and beverage lists reflect what is needed to encourage return business? Specials can be good if they don't restrict sales on your core offerings
10. Are staffing levels, skills and attitude appropriate to achieve your business objectives? This needs to be a never ending assessment - hire slow, fire fast!
Underpinning all this there needs to be a sound financial base, including cash flow.
In answering these simple but critically important questions, you can develop an action plan to further improve your operation and profitability. This will make sure you are doing the best you can with your current income/sales. We would all like to improve sales and cut expenses - this may not always be possible immediately, however the better the base you start from the better the results will be.
About the Author
After graduating from Westminster College, London, Val started work at Grosvenor house Park Lane in their kitchens before working for the Trust House Forte group in several properties. Val has also worked in Africa, China and Korea, working as an Executive chef, food and beverage manager and general manager. Moving on to a career in education, Val joined Regency college In Adelaide, South Australia, where he taught a variety of food and management related subjects with an emphasis on food & beverage organisation and profit. In 1991 he joined the Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School in the start up team. During his time at BMIHMS he has been involved in all aspects of the school's operation and educational programme. He now holds the position of Alumni Ambassador and his duties involve visiting graduates and observing hotel operations all over the world.