How To Handle Sudden Restaurant Growth
It’s everything you’ve ever wanted: a dining room full of diners, no empty tables, and rapid revenue growth.
Yet, interestingly, swift growth can be difficult to manage.
As your restaurant grows, you’ll find you need to change some policies and procedures. You inevitably need to hire more staff, and you’ll need to concentrate on training. What’s more, you might find you need to buy more equipment to meet the demand.
The most important thing to remember is to manage your fast growth so you don’t damage your overall reputation with slow service or poor customer service.
To help you, let’s look at how to handle sudden restaurant growth.
Have a Business Growth Strategy
You’ve got short term goals for your restaurant. But do you have long term goals?
It is beneficial to your restaurant to have long term goals in place for growth so you can create a business growth strategy.This will help you before you start growing so you are prepared and ready for it. For example, you’ll know how much extra staff, food, and equipment you’ll need to have on hand.
Understand Why You’re Growing
If you’re seeing your sales starting to inch up, make sure you know why it’s happening.
Are you doing extra marketing? Is your new chef upping the ante on your food? Is all your extra customer service training working?
Whatever you’re doing to experience rapid growth is moving you apart from the competition. It is setting you on a new level, and it’s important to know why you are growing.
When you know why, you can harness it and move forward. Analyze your sales, your payroll, assets, and receivables, as well as any increase in overhead costs.
Once you know why you’re growing and how it’s affecting your bottom line, you know what you can do to move forward in a financially sound manner.
Concentrate on Holding the Line with Service
Customer service can make or break a restaurant. While your menu counts, bad customer service can have your diners running to the competition. (tweet this)
Sudden growth can really hamper the great customer service you routinely offer.
So, the most important thing you can do is have a plan for increasing staffing and customer service training.
Put your ear to the dining room and talk to your customers. Listen to them and make sure you’re meeting their needs.
Keep your personalized service at the forefront. Concentrate on taking great care of diners at each and every shift, and you’ll be one step ahead of managing sudden restaurant growth.
It can be easy to go overboard when you’re restaurant is growing quickly.
How can you control your costs? You can control those costs through intensive planning.
Pay attention to things like your rent/mortgage, food costs, payroll, overhead, and more. Set goals based on your growth increase. Be careful not to overspend so you can actually enjoy your extra growth and revenue.
You want to maintain your costs when you’re growing so you don’t binge spend and end up with less in the bank than you started with.
Get Some Financial Advice
If you don’t currently work with a financial planner, it’s a good idea to help you manage your growth.
You might end up with new expenses that a financial planner can help you anticipate. What’s more, a financial expert can help you find opportunities while guiding you through your growth.
Take a Look at Your Systems
Before your sudden growth, it may have been easy for you to manage your restaurant, but as you grow, you might need to have a little help handling the day to day business.
You may find you need to revise your processes and policies so you can implement systems that help your restaurant grow.
Don’t forget that you may need to provide some added training to your staff, so they know about your new processes. For example, you may change the way you handle take-out to ensure you can handle the growth in to-go orders.
Have the Right Team in Place
Your staff is important to the growth of your restaurant. You want to have highly skilled team members in your kitchen and in your front of house.
The team you hire to help you grow and those you bring on in your period of growth are vital to your success.
Be sure to hire the best team that you can and train them properly and in an ongoing manner to ensure they provide the best service they can.
Recognize Your Team
Hopefully you have a recognition strategy in place. If you don’t, it’s time to create one.
Why? Your employees will be working harder than ever as you grow. They may feel tired and overburdened.
You can help them feel better by recognizing them for their great work. A simply thank you or acknowledgement that you saw them doing something good goes a long way to fostering a good employee morale.
Happy employees translate into happy customers. Now that you have more diners, you also need employees who feel respected and valued in their job at your restaurant. (tweet this)
Be Open to Change
Sudden restaurant growth means adapting to change. The most successful restaurant owners will be able to pivot and adapt to the change.
You want to be open to trying and testing new systems and strategies to help manage your growth.
An effective leader leads by example and shows grace with change. If you can show this to your staff, you’ll be quite adept at managing this growth.
Your restaurant is experiencing unprecedented growth. Your sales are increasing, and your restaurant is always full.
This is what you’ve been working for, and managing that sudden growth comes with risks and pitfalls.
The best thing you can do is get yourself prepared. Make sure you can handle the exponential changes. Don’t overspend, manage payroll, increase your customer service training, and work on your policies and procedures.
If you do these things, you’ll be able to handle sudden restaurant growth with ease.
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Images: Austin Chan and Shirota Yuri on Unsplash
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