Running a restaurant is one of the most cut-throat businesses around.
There is tons of competition and dubious margins when you’re just starting, and the restaurant industry is facing a host of serious issues.
No restaurant becomes successful through luck; every successful establishment is a product of hard work and innovation, especially among three significant facets of the restaurant business: food, service, and location.
There are no shortcuts to creating a successful restaurant, and you must put out every fire as it happens.
But if you know the most common problems that restaurants face, then you can be more ready to take on the challenge of becoming a successful establishment. Thus, this article will discuss the most common problems that restaurants face to help you better prepare the solutions.
Common Issues Your Restaurant Might Be Facing
Without further ado, let’s look at some of the most pervasive challenges restaurants face and their solutions.
Having A Messy Restaurant Menu
In many ways, your restaurant menu is the connection between your establishment and your customer. In this document, your customers know what you offer and what they might like.
The menu offerings are even in the fourth top reason customers can become a regular of an establishment, according to a guide from Toast.
However, most restaurants don’t pay any attention to their menu offerings – which is where the mistake happens. Creating the right menu for what you are trying to accomplish is a delicate balancing act, not merely a haphazard collection of food your chefs know how to make.
Solution: Design a Menu Engineering Strategy
Re-evaluate your restaurant menu, then ask yourself whether it’s the best it can be or is it just what you’ve gotten used to.
Questions that arise when developing the menu are:
- Too few or too many items?
- Is there a coherent theme to the menu and style?
- Do we have a variety of things to please a variety of customers?
- Are the dishes under or overpriced?
Menu engineering is a good remedy for this. This optimizes your menu offerings according to what sells and doesn’t. With the evaluation, grouping, and creation practices you can get from menu engineering, you can make a better and more profitable restaurant menu for your establishment.
But it doesn’t end there. The menu should be an evolving project that will change over time as you build a customer base.
Regularly evaluate what sells, what doesn’t, and what you can do to improve things. You should set a schedule, whether that’s monthly, bi-annually, or yearly. Having current knowledge of the performance of your menu is essential.
Offering No Unique Selling Point
What makes your restaurant unique?
Do you offer a style of food different from the other local competitors or a unique atmosphere that compliments the meal? Maybe you have a picturesque environment or a stand-out brand of service?
Having no unique selling point is another mistake that restaurants make.
The restaurant industry is cut-throat; plenty of other competitors are waiting to take your prize. It’s a battle for attention and branding; if you don’t have anything that stands out, you won’t draw people to your doors.
All established restaurants (chains or not) become known for their unique selling points.
Solution: Make it Your Mission to Create a Brand
The best solution to this dilemma would be to conduct a branding strategy session to highlight precisely what your restaurant is and what it offers. Once you develop what will make customers come to you instead of your competitors, you will be able to market effectively and efficiently.
For example, if your restaurant carries a large selection of craft beers or you are known for the best burger in town, use that to your advantage in developing your presence in the culinary scene.
But having a distinguishing factor isn’t as important as using it to make an identity.
Branding is essential in a restaurant; it tells your customers who you are and what to expect, even before they sit at your table. Having a brand is more than just having a logo and a tagline; it involves living your restaurant’s mission and will connect to the responsibility or advocacy it takes on in the greater world.
Having Inadequate Restaurant Management Systems
Effectively analyzing your restaurant’s daily operations and sales is critical in running a tight ship.
This is why you must face restaurant management problems with caution and expertise.
Some of the most common problems in restaurant management include inefficient staffing needs, ineffective inventory management, minimal profit margins on each menu item, and inadequate monitoring of daily/monthly/yearly sales figures.
Identifying where revenue is lost and where costs can be reduced is the job of your management team.
Solution: Automate Restaurant Management
Restaurant management is critical to running your restaurant well, but it’s also filled with unbearable administrative work and minutiae. This is essential information, especially since many restaurants are facing a pervasive labor shortage throughout 2022.
This means that restaurants can’t afford to let even one employee simply sit around during peak hours and do menial administrative work like writing figures on a spreadsheet or manually logging every gram of ingredient you have.
However, in an age when your staff can jump ship any time they like, it simply wouldn’t do to overburden them.
This is where restaurant automation comes in. Automation has been one of the most revolutionary innovations in the past couple of years, especially in the restaurant industry. Through various platforms and software, you can now operate processes that used to take up valuable man hours to accomplish.
Here are some of the software you need for your restaurant:
- Scheduling shifts
- Reports and analytics
- Inventory management
- Order, fulfillment, and delivery
- Contactless ecosystem for dine-in restaurants
Hiring Untrained Staff and Bad Customer Service
Yet another problem that restaurants face daily is unreliable staff members that don’t bring much value to your establishment.
Your restaurant can serve delicious food or have a pleasing ambiance, but diners will remember if the customer service is terrible. There is nothing more memorable about a dining experience than the service.
It’s easy to say that you just need to hire the right people, but in an industry where hiring is highly competitive, you might need to find other measures.
Solution: Train and Upskill Your Staff
Many restaurant owners are afraid of upskilling their employees, especially since the industry has one of the highest average turnover rates. In that situation, it would seem like a waste of time and resources to train someone who might be gone in the next month.
Nevertheless, upskilling may be all you need to help improve your company’s retention rates in today’s environment.
After all, career development or training is a significant factor that influences employee retention rates. Good training is one way to motivate your employees to come to work because they will feel that you’re taking care of their professional development.
Plus, as its primary benefit, your employees would be more equipped to handle customer services and interactions.
Being Unable to Maintain a Solid Online Presence
If your restaurant has a website that’s constantly down or a less-than-appealing social media presence, you’re losing out on many potential customers. One report reveals that at least 80% of surveyed customers use their smartphones to go online and search for restaurants to dine in or order from.
The online realm is changing how restaurants advertise themselves, especially with the relatively low-cost solution of social media marketing or ranking on local search engine results.
If you haven’t yet adopted a digital component to your marketing strategy, you’re losing out to competitors reaching a wider audience at a cheaper expense.
Solution: Design a Digital Marketing Strategy
The solution is to sit down and create a digital marketing strategy that works for your restaurant. Try out new and exciting ideas to promote your bar or restaurant, especially those involving your online presence.
If your finances permit, you can hire a consultant or designate a full or part-time position within your pay role solely focused on managing and growing your online image.
Ineffective Internal and External Security Measures
Restaurant security is a big issue, but not many managers seem to be paying much attention.
Typically, a restaurant doesn’t invest in security until something terrible has already happened. At this point, of course, the establishment has already sustained damages, and the further expense will only make recovery more difficult.
Improving security helps prevent this from happening. It dissuades petty theft, dine-and-dashers, and even vandals from damaging your restaurant’s pockets and reputation.
Customers will also feel more at ease when your establishment is well protected.
Another aspect of your restaurant’s security is protection from internal theft. It’s not a good thing to think about, but losses caused by internal theft account for 5% of an organization’s revenue, according to some statistics.
Employees are critical to your operation; without them, your restaurant quite literally can’t function. This is why it’s vital that you need to detect and remove the bad apples because they can shatter morale, ruin your finances, and erase months of hard work.
Solution: Improve Security Measures With Technology
One of the best ways to deal with security issues and loss prevention is by investing in adequate technology. Advanced security solutions help you automate security concerns without it becoming a significant drain on your workforce and resources.
Measures such as the following should drastically improve your means of securing your restaurant, both internally and externally.
- Limit access to cash and other sensitive resources.
- Adopt a seamless digital POS technology to minimize cash handling.
- Implement automated inventory tracking to discourage cheating during manual inventory.
- Utilize AI solutions such as Glimpse to track potentially harmful behavior of customers and employees.
- Improve digital protection, such as locking down WiFi access and installing powerful firewall protection.
The Best Loss Prevention Solution: Glimpse
Restaurant security is one of the most overlooked problems facing restaurants. When resources are tight, and competition is fierce, you can’t afford to worry about revenue loss and the loyalty of your staff.
Glimpse provides a smart camera technology that captures and performs video audits of your restaurant’s beverage sales. The daily and weekly reports show owners and operators when drinks or food have been recorded incorrectly or not at all, resulting in direct loss of income.
Hunting down the common restaurant problems and offering the solution is what Glimpse does best.
With Glimpse, you can do the following:
- Integrate your existing POS system to track sales and review audited reports with digital images.
- Enjoy advanced inventory management through AI-powered monitoring.
- Improve employee recognition and provide a learning tool for less accomplished employees..
Solving Restaurant Problems This 2022
The restaurant industry might be in tough times now, but that doesn’t mean that it’s any less profitable or even fulfilling. Instead, restaurant owners and operators must work harder to gain better rewards.
One of the best ways to improve your operations is to use Glimpse.
Glimpse uses a smart video-camera technology that automatically detects, catalogs and verifies all drinks served over the counter in a bar, or food served out of the kitchen. With these reports you will gain higher profitability within the first month of implementation. If that sounds like something your restaurant can use, don’t hesitate to try out the demo now!
Glimpse provides business analytics and loss prevention technology for bars, restaurants and nightclubs.
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Glimpse provides business analytics and loss prevention technology for bars, restaurants and nightclubs.Learn More