We’ve all watched the show “Restaurant Impossible”. In case you’ve missed it, the show is centered on celebrity chef Robert Irvine who helps restore failing American restaurants. He assess the problems within the targeted restaurant, then creates a plan to bring the restaurant back to its glory.
There are far too many restaurants open in America that are flatlined, or worse, failing. In fact, according to CNBC 60% of new restaurants fail within the first year, and nearly 80% die out before their fifth anniversary. While you may never appear on the show “Restaurant Impossible”, there are strategies you can put into place TODAY as a restauranteur to help you get out of a rut and improve your overall profitability and popularity. Here are five things restaurant and hospitality management can do to drive innovation:
- Staff Empowerment: Richard Branson of Virgin Brands is well known for putting employees first. He said in a recent interview on Inc., “If the person who works at your company is 100% proud of the job they're doing, if you give them the tools to do a good job, they're proud of the brand, if they were looked after, if they're treated well, then they're gonna be smiling, they're gonna be happy and therefore the customer will have a nice experience.” If you put your staff first, the rest will fall into place. Your customers will enjoy the experience, and will come back for more.
- Transparent Communication: The key to communication is over communicating. When new ideas, staff, technologies, or policies are added, they need to be communicated clearly and celebrated. Anytime you make an announcement to your staff, you should get on the floor, and set time for employee one-on-ones. The best way to accomplish this is to manage by walking around". Simply grab a notepad and pen, get out from behind your desk and start talking to staff and customers. Ask good questions and write down their feedback. Take their feedback and turn it into something exceptional. This gives you eyes into what’s really going on at your restaurant and offers an opportunity to not only celebrate the success but to positively reduce failure and to learn from it.
- Reward and Praise: Appreciation is a fundamental human desire. Employees respond positively to hospitality management’s recognition because it validates the work they’ve put in is noticed and valued. When your employees feel valued, their satisfaction and productivity rises, thus impacting your overall customer experience in a positive way. In the restaurant business, legendary customer service coupled with producing consistent unforgettable food, is one of the main keys to staying open.
- Welcome Organizational Change: Use this time of year as an excuse for new beginnings: Reinvent or condense the menu, work with the chef and kitchen staff to add new things to the menu, develop new promotional activities, take time for more training, or make plans to update the decor of the restaurant. All of these organizational change activities will pay off in the end.
- Have the Right Technology In Place: There is a reason hospitality innovation and technology go hand in hand. Technology has a “shift potential” (pun intended), to grow a restaurant's business in many ways. Restaurant technology can be categorized in a few different areas, like: the customer experience; workflow and workforce; front-of-house, and back-of-house technologies. Areas that we feel technology are especially important: employee scheduling and back-of-the-house inventory, front of the house customer service and reservation technologies. Choose a solution that is user friendly and enables you to view and log details electronically, so you can access them anywhere.
- A great example to show the the value of a technology is Shiftnote.
- It improves hospitality management and employee communication,
- It keeps your team on track & accountable,
- And it measures important stats/data to inform future business decisions.
In just a few steps, you are on your way to putting some programs in place for restaurant and hospitality management innovation. Do you have additional pointers on how to change your establishment for the better that you can share? Connect with us on Facebook to share your thoughts!
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