April 9, 2015 | By Ron Miller |
How many ways do you hurt? I’m not talking about your back or that cut on your finger. I’m not even talking about how much your head hurts after you talked to that one employee. I’m talking about the pains of restaurant management. How many different pains can you name?
We’ve come up with our list of the top 11 pains of restaurant management. Do you have any to add?
Nothing drains more out of you or costs you as much money as chaos. It results in higher food cost, low morale and ultimately customers who are scared to return. Acknowledging the problem is the first step to solving it. What’s the cause and what steps are required to fix it?
2.) Not enough customers
It’s self-evident, that to be successful, you need customers. What can you do to get more people in the door? Marketing works but it takes time, and how do you know what things work and how to prioritize them?
3.) Bills are too high
Most restaurants begin with a plan that balances expenses, revenue and profit. The pain comes when things start to change and the balance gets disrupted. Rents go up, beef prices go crazy, and a flood in California turns lettuce into gold. It’s tough to maintain balance.
It’s simply a fact at many restaurants: the staff you have this month may not be the staff you have next month.
Success breeds competition. If you’re successful, other savvy restaurateurs are going to try to ride your coattails. To stay on top though, you’ve got to be forever pushing to be better.
It might be something like taking a longer break or something bigger like walking out the door with a case of meat, but to some degree, theft happens in most restaurants. You’ve got to have safeguards in place or your profit is getting away from you.
7.) Bad data
Of course we see customers coming to us all the time with this pain. It’s hard to manage your restaurant if you don’t know your food cost, labor cost and profit. It’s not something you should just guess at.
8.) Can’t find good people
There’s an adage that 80% of the work is done by 20% of the people. I think every manager has wondered at one point, where those 20% of workers are! Seriously though, wouldn’t it be great if you could only hire high-performers?
9.) Working too much
I’ve seen studies that show the average restaurant manager works 65 hours a week. That takes a giant bite out of your family time and makes recharging a challenge.
10.) Bad online reviews
You do all this work and make great food. You’ve got a beautiful place and hire good people and then some yahoo writes a bad review. It’s a fact of doing business in the 21st century. You need a plan for addressing the negative reviews and flooding the channel with positive ones.
11.) Lack of profit
How’s your bottom line? Are you doing everything right but still think you should be making more money? Lots of restaurateurs are in that boat!
>>They say the first step in solving a problem is to identify it. Maybe this article did that for you. The thing to remember is that all of these are solvable — in fact, the links above will take you to some tips to do just that. Over the coming weeks, look for more articles here and more tips to help eliminate some of these pains.
>>We’ve created a fun little poster about the 11 Pains. Click here to download it!