October 14 2014 – Robert Fiumara
We all know the deal; the economy right now is sluggish and shows few signs of improvement, particularly for those in the restaurant industry. This means that we as owners and operators have to reign back our spending and really examine what is and isn’t worth an investment. How you prioritize your sp ending is important, particularly as more and more people avoid eating out because of the costs involved.
Among restaurants polled, almost all owners and operators reported that funding social median and technology is chief among their investment concerns. That spreading their message and conveying their products and specials to potential customers and guests ranked highly on their priority list. Many operators even sited such spending as essential and that without it they would have difficulty cultivating new audiences. According to the CEO of Bennigan’s, a large restaurant chain in Texas, “It’s about continuous connection, 25/8”.
Right behind social media spending, other restaurateurs emphasized an in house brand ambassador; creating a position that’s about creating relationships in the neighborhood markets. A person who can create opportunities for people in the community to come into your restaurant and feel especially cared for and treated. They cultivate business by offering sample opportunities or opportunities for savings.
In terms of cutting costs, many restaurateurs are opting out of tabletop location payment, instead opting to have servers’ tender payment in traditional ways. This is because while tabletop payments are convenient, they take out a key point of interaction for guests. Why lose out on a free and easy opportunity to cultivate good will toward your brand, particularly when such loss of opportunity will result in lost capital?
Travel also was a point of contention for owners and operators, with many opting out of attending various seminars and meetings to cut back on costs. As an alternative, they have opted to conference call using various online services that are easy to find and inexpensive to use, such as Skype.
Another popular cost cutting choice is to reduce portion sizes, which is something that most customers are demanding. A more health conscious society is on the rise, and as a result smaller plates require less of an investment but attract a greater variety of customers. This really seems like a no brainer.
Ultimately, the choices you make vary greatly on what you value as an operator. That said, these are some things you’ll definitely want to keep in mind when it comes time to create your budget.