Strategic Planning Tips for Restaurant Owners and Managers

Anu Singh

Anu Singh

Senior editor

Parul Saxena

Chief editor

Last updated: September 6, 2021

What could be the main goal of restaurant owners?

Well, customer satisfaction and profits top the list. The next on the list is building a brand that attracts new customers. Then, of course, every restaurateur’s dream is to be a hot destination for delicious food and excitement.

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It helps to have a look at the bigger picture and see you will keep your wheels turning year after year. You need to stay on top of many things, from data quality management to impressive operations and managing staff to food quality.

In this blog, we’ll discuss ways you revamp your future of hotel industry and how you can set yourself up for success.

1. SWOT Analysis

SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats_ analysis is an excellent tool for restaurant owners. It involves performing both internal and external factors to get the exact picture of your restaurant’s performance.

Your strengths could be the popularity of your food, your cutting-edge marketing strategy, and your managers’ years of experience. You can use it to boost and improve your business while maintaining customer satisfaction.

Your weaknesses may be the inability to analyze, extract and use the data at your fingertips. It may also include the inability to stay on top of industry trends, inventory tracking, or attrition. Retention can be challenging in the restaurant business, and paying a good amount to experienced employees may be a little heavy on the budget but will result in significant long-term returns by retaining customers.

It can include business visibility through online reviews, growing your online presence, and leveraging the power of word-of-mouth and marketing campaigns when it comes to opportunities. One way to do this is to have a clear strategy for responding to your negative and positive reviews. Another way is to work on your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and attract new customers.

Lastly, when it comes to threats, it may include your competitors, negative reviews, inconsistent social media presence, and poor staff management. You must pay special attention to these threats as they can be a major roadblock to your success.

Putting SWOT to Use

Once you are done with SWOT analysis, you can create an action plan for business improvement. Determine which challenges you will want to tackle first, make a timeline with goals and checkpoints, and then how you plan to execute it. Without having a solid plan, you will likely focus on other things, and the whole idea will go astray.

Start off by determining how you will improve your weaknesses and combat your threats. Make them your priority but don’t forget to work on your core strength areas.

2. Competitor Analysis

Now that you have examined your business inside and out, it is time to focus on your competition. After all, restaurants with similar concepts are your biggest threats.

What you can do is make a comparison list of your competitors and see what they excel at. Your hotel marketing strategies can include menu items, pricing, location, staff, and more. Make sure you do it honestly and look down on a competitor’s strength to make yourself feel better.

Putting Competitive Analysis to Use

When you are done with your analysis, you can pick up an aspect that your competitor is not adept at. Then, you can use some of your ideas and use it for your own business.

For instance, if their printed marketing materials are more eye-catching, you can hire a graphic designer to make your creatives stand out and take your brand to the next level. Or, it can also be some funky interiors that magnetize guests. Finally, you can consider investing some budget into making your exterior more attractive.

Moreover, this analysis will help you discover more areas in your restaurant that need improvement and how you can stay miles ahead of your competitors. It always helps to be aware of your surroundings rather than turning a blind eye to those doing business around you.

3. Revamp Your Marketing Strategy

When it comes to marketing your business, a lot of planning and strategy are required to make it successful. A thorough evaluation of your current and past marketing strategies is required to see if you are moving on the right track.

Was it paid advertising on Instagram that worked or that particular placement of the action button on your site?

Or maybe it was that solid email marketing campaign that attracted large crowds. Well, if these tactics worked in the past, add that spark of innovation and repurpose them in new marketing campaigns to get awesome results.

At the same time, you must make it a point to keep up with the present demands and test new methods. Maybe that pop-up event helps you boost sales. You will not know until you try. Also, don’t forget to make your plan solid and ensure the right budget is there.

4. Reduce Your Restaurant Labor Cost

Restaurant owners know that besides food costs, another major operating expense is your labor budget. Optimizing it is quite a challenging task as you need to consider a mix of issues such as customer labor laws, every hospitality needs, and customer service standards.

One of the most important tools for restaurant owners is to leverage sales forecasting. These are dependent on historical sales data and economic trends to predict future sales levels. You can easily automate all these processes with POS (Point of Sales) systems and scheduling software.

Sales forecasts let you examine labor costs on a granular level. When you have information on sales trends, you can make informed decisions and effectively allocate your labor.

5. Streamline Your Employee Hiring and Onboarding Process

The hiring process can be extremely time-consuming. Finding candidates by manually posting jobs and sorting through applications is an old and ineffective way and doesn’t give the best results.

With the technology available, you can quickly filter the best candidates and expedite the evaluation process. Leveraging these to your advantage can help you optimize your restaurant hiring operations.

Besides, payroll and HR software can help you achieve operational efficiency when it comes to hiring and onboarding employees.

You will also be able to document the training purpose of your new hires. Moreover, your new hotel management apps for employees will be more invested in understanding your restaurant policies and improving your retention rate over time.

6. Standardize Your Reporting

Well, your restaurant management software can help you get data. But does it have actionable insights?

One thing you can do to achieve this is to standardize your reporting.

In this way, the benefits of hotel accounting software will let you have a complete overview of your business and even integrate it with any other systems you use. Besides, you will save on time spent manually importing and exporting information.

Reporting is becoming all the more important for operations management. In the past, many restaurant owners have relied on bookkeeping to develop an understanding of their business. However, with integrated reporting capabilities, they can segregate information over the week, quarter or month.

Moreover, advanced reporting tools will also allow stakeholders to drill down into vendor data and eliminate data requests from the accounting team.

Wrapping Up

The right marketing and planning can be a boon for restaurant owners. But, how you manage your overall restaurant operation will help you retain customers in the long run. Strategic planning is essential for every business and can help you identify your strong and weak areas quickly.

Once you know your internal landscape thoroughly, you will be more prepared to deal with competition. Use these tips to create a solid foundation and then manage your restaurant like a pro.

Anu Singh
Anu Singh has worked for known SaaS firms and holds extensive expertise in breaking down technical topics into digestible copies. Her content speaks volume about her creativity and knack for exploring new avenues. When not writing she likes to read novels, hone her editing skills and stay abreast with the latest industry trends.

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