Spring Cleaning: Simple, Yet Effective Tips for All Operators

Jenny Day
Jenny Day
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Spring is the season of renewal.  A time when the world revives and reinvigorates itself. A time to try new things. If you feel that you are in a rut or just need to shake things up a bit, no time is better than the present. Whether you want to go big and revamp your menu or start small and experiment with some online marketing – now is the time!

Below are a few ideas to refresh your restaurant this spring.

Re-engineer your menu

If you’re not getting the highest profit margin from your menu items, it may be time to practice menu engineering. Look at your sales reports to see if you have items that are not selling or perhaps are selling but not bringing in a respectable profit. These items need to be removed from the menu or have the recipe reworked. Should you not be able to part with an item and choose the latter, be sure to let customers know it is “improved” or changed the name of the dish so those who didn’t care for it before may give it another chance.

Experiment with weekly or seasonal specials

Trying out new menu and drink items as specials is a safe way to see if they will be embraced by your customers. The desire for regional menus has been on the rise for the past few years, and could draw in fresh customers.

Revive your staff

Great service is what keeps customers coming back. Are your employees getting burned out due to the long shifts and employee shortage? It could be time to work on your restaurant’s culture. Organizational culture plays a vital part in acquiring, engaging, and retaining employees. Creating a stable culture in which every employee understands how their daily actions affect the success of the entire restaurant will help build and maintain a loyal team of strategic thinkers.

Update your décor

Has your customer base grown or changed since you opened your doors?  Are you attracting the types of crowds you desire? Décor that may have worked when you first opened may now be dated. When was the last time you updated the look? It may be time for fresh lighting and fixtures, upholstery, paint, window coverings, and/or uniforms.

Try some new marketing

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is a great way to increase your revenue by growing your customer base with patrons who may not have otherwise found your restaurant. 92% of consumers will choose a business on the first page of local search results and 60% of users click on one of the top three search results, which means it’s extremely important to be at the top of results when consumers conduct a search. How? By increasing your SEO.

And great news – it’s free! Read these 8 Tips for Mastering Cost-Free SEO for Restauranteurs for pointers.

Do some deep cleaning

Take a look around your restaurant with fresh eyes. Are you turning a blind eye to certain things that may need some attention? Now is the perfect time to take on some of those big projects.  It does not have to be all at once! Create a schedule to have staff to help and dust that bottle display, clean out those light fixtures, paint the baseboards, sanitize the ice machine, degrease the kitchen hood, and so on.

Rearrange your walk-ins

Properly maintained storage is the backbone of your food inventory management system because it prevents the loss of merchandise, particularly through spoilage. Get your walk-ins in order to avoid throwing product – and your money – literally in the garbage.

Use the first in, first out system (FIFO). FIFO simply means newer stuff at the back, older stuff in the front to ensure that the older stuff doesn’t go bad before you get a chance to use it. Always date and label everything. EVERYTHING.

Research better takeout and delivery packaging

In the NRA 2022 report 54% of adults say purchasing takeout or delivery food is essential to the way they live. It also states that a majority of operators said that off-premises side of their business will continue to be the best opportunity for growth in 2022.

If you haven’t already, now is a great time to make sure your takeout and delivery packaging is in line with or above the competitions’. It’s also a great reassurance that 58% of consumers who participated in the NRA 2022 State of the Industry Report say they’d be willing to pay a little more for to-go orders to cover the cost of upgraded and/or sustainable packaging; so, it’s definitely worth looking into new options.

Invest in new technologies

The NRA 2022 report also stated that more than 8 in 10 operators say the use of technology in a restaurant provides a competitive advantage, and that’s why a good proportion of operators are ramping up investments in technology in 2022. The most common plans are for service-based technology such as online or app ordering, reservations, mobile payment, or delivery management. Many operators also plan to devote more resources to back-of-the-house technology, such as point-of-sale, inventory, or table management.

Conclusion

The forecast for 2022 dining looks bright! Take advantage of the spring season by refreshing your brand and preparing your restaurant for increased traffic and a boost in sales.

If you would like to easily track data and gain insight into your operations to increase efficiency and boost profits, consider a comprehensive, kitchen inventory management software solution. Restaurant365 incorporates restaurant accounting software and restaurant operations software into an all-in-one, cloud-based platform. It includes tools for financial reportingoperational reportinginventory controlscheduling, and more.

Schedule a free demo of Restaurant365 today.