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Tips for a Profitable Holiday Season

Even though the holiday season is underway, there is still a lot you can do to be as profitable as possible. The difference between making money and losing money depends on how well you gear up and gear down. Proper planning truly has a major impact on your profitability.

Restaurant owners and managers use the common phrases, “we’re in season” or “we’re out of season,” and they’re not talking specifically about winter, spring, summer or fall. They’re referring to the time of year when they have the most, or least, customers.

Every restaurant has its own season. For restaurants in high tourist areas, being in or out of season can account for huge swings in customer counts and sales. There are also areas of the country that have a large influx of winter visitors with customers trying to escape their cold climate in exchange for warmer weather. These situations pose some serious staffing challenges for restaurant owners.

Proper planning is the key to profitability. You have no chance of hitting your target numbers without knowing what kind of sales to expect on a daily basis. Projecting sales allows you to staff and purchase product properly. It allows you to best manage your cash flow. It allows you to hit your budget. And most of all it allows you to make money.

Generally restaurant owners tend to be reactive in nature instead of proactive. Let’s say you’re a restaurant owner in an area that is affected by large increase in customers for a portion of the year. For example, you know that when it starts to snow in the Midwest, like clockwork every year, your sales volumes will start to triple. If you run your restaurant reactively, once winter visitors come, lines will start to form at your door and then you start to search for help to handle the sales volumes.

The problem with this scenario is the missed opportunities. It’s not just about having enough help; it’s about having enough well-trained staff. If you do not have sufficient staff, you miss out on sales and often times end up with frustrated guests. Both represent lost revenue today and in the future, because you’ve sent customers to your competition not for just one visit but in the future as well. Even if you have enough staff, if they aren’t well trained, you might as well be short-staffed because a poorly trained team can create the same scenario.

Being proactive and prepared in advance of your season will increase costs up front because of the additional training wages and staffing up before the rush of winter hits. However, it’s pennies on the dollar compared to dealing with the nightmare of running your restaurant in a reactive nature.

Let PeachWorks help you proactively manage your restaurant. Learn about our Peach bundle where you can get our powerful restaurant management solution for the low cost of $195 per month per location.