Today, we’re talking about 4 key areas for restaurant owners and operators to focus on improving this year. How can restaurant owners and operators do it right?
Are you ready to set and achieve meaningful goals this year as a restaurant owner or operator? If you want to improve your profits and your customer’s experience, it’s time to consider some resolutions for your restaurant.
Here are 4 key focus areas your restaurant can resolve to improve on this year:
- Optimize takeout and delivery
- Improve online ordering
- Cut down on waste
- Better your customer service
Let’s explore each of these 4 key areas, so your restaurant can grow, expand, and profit big this year.
Optimize takeout and delivery
To begin, if you want your restaurant to succeed today you must offer and optimize your takeout and delivery process.
“Prior to COVID, third-party delivery was growing at a very dramatic rate, but the numbers since COVID began have paled in comparison,” Eli Portnoy, CEO of market research firm Sense360, told FoodOnDemand. “Roughly half of people have used restaurant delivery since COVID began.”
In short? Today’s consumer demands their favorite restaurants offer takeout and delivery. So, if your restaurant’s takeout and delivery process is inconsistent or non-existent, it’s time to rethink things.
There are two options for delivery and takeout:
- First party delivery is orders placed directly through your restaurant’s app, website, or via the phone
- Third party services manage the entire delivery process for your restaurant
Both options come with benefits. However, direct orders through your website mean you must create and manage a delivery program. If that seems like too much work, third party services like UberEats, Postmates, Doordash, and GrubHub might be a faster, easier option for your restaurant to offer and optimize food delivery.
Improve your online ordering
Another key area to focus on for increasing your restaurant’s success? Online ordering. Today, the majority of customers want to order their delivery or takeout online and from their phones:
- 60% of U.S. consumers order delivery or takeout once a week.
- 33% of consumers say they would be willing to pay a higher fee for faster delivery service
- 34% of consumers spend at least $50 per order when ordering food online.
With stats like these, it’s clear that if your restaurant does not have easy online ordering, you’re missing out on a huge chunk of sales.
But, don’t panic! If you are overwhelmed about the idea of creating an online ordering system, you can always use third party service apps.
Third party services like UberEats, Postmates, Doordash, and GrubHub allow customers to browse menus, place an order, and pay for their food, all on the platform’s app.
If third party services sound like a good option to optimize your restaurant’s online ordering, a platform like Dash can help you:
- quickly set up online ordering
- manage all your third party delivery channels
- and manage all your third party delivery orders, from one place.
Or, your restaurant can offer online ordering directly through your website. Check out our tips to increase direct orders for your restaurant here.
Cut down on waste
A third key focus area for restaurants to improve upon this year is to reduce food waste to improve profit margins.
Did you know, according to FoodPrint,:
- “US restaurants generate an estimated 22-33 billion pounds of food waste each year.
- Approximately 4-10% of food purchased by restaurants is wasted before reaching the consumer.
- On average, diners leave 17% of their meals uneaten and 55% of edible leftovers are left at the restaurant, according to the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab.”
Even worse? Experts estimate U.S. restaurants lose $16 billion dollars every single year to food waste.
Now is a great time to assess your restaurant and kitchen practices to help reduce waste.
In order to reduce waste at your restaurant, ask yourself:
- Does my staff need to prepare less food?
- Do I need to reduce portion sizes?
- Do I need to offer less menu items?
- Am I adding too many garnishes or side dishes that just end up in the trash?
- Are my ingredients being stored properly?
- Do I inspect food deliveries for issues before acceptance?
- Are we using every edible, tasty part of an ingredient?
- Do I use efficient cooling to store perishables?
It’s time to take a hard look at your restaurant’s practices and see how you can reduce food waste. Reducing waste will not only save your profit margin, it will make your daily operations more effective and efficient.
Better your customer service
Finally, one more key focus area to think about improving this year is your customer service.
As a restaurant owner or operator, you know the customer is king. Loyal return customers create a framework of consistent orders and revenue. Meanwhile, new customers build and grow your brand.
That said, when was the last time you considered your restaurant’s customer service?
If it’s time for a refresh, there are several easy ways to boost your restaurant’s customer service, including:
- Offer digital loyalty programs (Did you know 45% of diners will select a restaurant if they are a part of its loyalty program?)
- Retrain employees and offer incentives for amazing service
- Offer ease with digital gift cards
- Connect with customers by highlighting their reviews on your social media
- Offer fun monthly contests or deals and give away digital gift cards to the winners
- Publicize your strict sanitization and hygiene practices to show customers you take their health seriously
- Respond to concerns quickly, online and in-house
- Streamline wait times for food, from in-house dining to takeout to delivery
Truly, the opportunities to improve your customer’s experience with your restaurant are endless.
Now, we want to know: What are your plans to improve your restaurant this year?