With Covid-19 affecting all businesses, especially local small businesses and restaurants, it’s time to get creative to generate enough income to keep the doors open.
Too many restaurants are suffering and in danger of joining the ever-growing number closing permanently. Owners are looking for ways to generate income and keep the doors open.
Too often, the first thought is to raise prices. It isn’t always as good an idea as it sounds. About 10-15% of customer base is lost when you raise prices noticeably. And right now, with everyone watching what and where they spend their money, most restaurants cannot afford to lose even 1% of customers. A better, more creative way is to cut costs without cutting quality or raising prices.
The All-American Hamburger is one way to illustrate this option. A majority of restaurants offer hamburgers – generally served with fries, LTO (lettuce, tomato, onion), salt, pepper, and packets of condiments – ketchup, mustard and sometimes mayo. Be aware of what comes back un-used and gets thrown away. Most people don’t use all condiments or don’t eat the onions either.
Maybe have waitstaff ASK if someone wants onion, same with mustard and mayo, rather than automatically putting on every plate and then throwing away. They can carry in apron, so if customer wants it, they don’t have to make a separate trip. It’s amazing how a 2¢ item can add up at end of week to $$$ being thrown in garbage!
Also review your menu and what your best sellers are, AND what gives you the most profit – focus on those, maybe trim number of offerings so you do not have to keep so many varied supplies that don’t have a long shelf life.
Ask your kitchen staff for input – they know the equipment, stock and how best to maximize the use. Ask them to suggest New Items or Specials – offer an incentive when they sell! Getting your staff “invested” in your business is a great asset.
#FoodSpecials (and beverage specials) and NEW menu items are proven to increase sales; most are not the least expensive items (and sometimes are more expensive) on the menu, BUT they do get ordered 80% of the time.
Make sure your servers are aware of the new item or special, OFFER it to customers, and know how to describe it so it sounds appetizing. It’s a good idea to have a staff tasting as well.
Now is NOT the time to do away with special offers – with the Covid-19 lockdowns and slowdowns making it harder to compete for the available business and customers out there! A special can make the difference where people decide to take their business – and you want that to be YOUR PLACE!
Watch for next blog about how a restaurant was losing money on it’s most ordered dish!