21 September 2016
The hospitality industry is undoubtedly a highly competitive market and, with the effects of Brexit still to be determined, restaurateurs should begin to consider how they can make their restaurant business as robust as possible over the coming months.
What should I be considering?
- Brand/identity – you need to stand out from the crowd and this can take various forms from the quality of the service to a specific concept – are you selling food and drink or offering the customer an “experience”?
- The menu – whether it’s traditional or digital, keep it short, balanced and focus on an eye-catching design. Additionally, with the menu being one of the most imperative components for creating and maintaining a profitable flow of customers, conducting extensive research on local competitor offerings and pricing should not be overlooked.
- Staff – train and energise staff; whether front or back of house. Inefficient or demotivated staff can drive customers away, whereas exceptional levels of service will have the opposite effect. Encourage enthusiasm and motivation through rewarding your teams for great performance, perhaps through an employee rewards programme? Or why not allow your staff the chance to share any ideas they have? This will help staff to feel part of the business and begin to build a sense of loyalty to your organisation.
- Management team – ensure that the senior management team engages with the rest of the team and that there are clear lines of communication between the two. This will allow for smoother, efficient processes whilst ensuring all staff feel part of one team.
- Get your location right – not just for the first site but for any subsequent sites. Examine rent review clauses in your lease agreements – you don’t want any surprise rent increases in five years’ time! And before making any final decisions, make sure you conduct extensive research. Focus on the number of local competitors, look into the footfall of other local businesses, consider the prices of local suppliers/competitors, and consider availability of customer parking etc. to ensure the success of your new location.
- Finance – ensure you have the right amount of funding and in the right form, whether debt or equity. If you need help in this area, please feel free to contact one of our specialists here.
- Marketing is key – how can you stand out from competitors and attract your target customer? From ensuring your business is listed in relevant directories and establishing an eye-catching website to creating an impact on social media and generating PR coverage; marketing is key to ensure business success, especially within such a competitive industry. However, marketing can take up much needed time so why not consider hiring an expert adviser to guide you?
- Systems – try and make your IT systems as integrated as possible, subject to the needs of the restaurant. Ensure good links between your EPOS system, supply chain process, payroll and general accounting. Clunky systems which do not produce accurate, timely financial information will put an unnecessary strain on the business. Additionally, digital ordering, mobile payment solutions and cloud accounting systems may not suit all but are worth exploring for efficiency savings.
How can we help?
In this fast-moving industry, we understand how difficult it can be to keep abreast of the latest developments, whilst managing the everyday running of your business. As specialist accountants to the hospitality sector we can help you to stay ahead of the game, and work proactively with you to help you achieve success.
If you would like further information on the services we can provide to your business, or if you are considering establishing a restaurant business, please get in touch with our specialist, Martin Jones.