For a very long time, many restaurants in Trinidad and Tobago have seen and experienced the good days with business thriving and profits soaring. However, in 2020, for some these good days are coming to an end. In case you haven’t seen some of the warning signs, a few restaurant chains have closed under-performing locations while several other fine dining establishments and retailers who operate independently have also been forced to shut their doors.
As the restaurant holocaust approaches, it has become increasingly vital to pay closer attention to the rapid shift in guest dining trends, as well. Third-party delivery or food couriers have already had an adverse effect on the dining aspect of the restaurant industry, as have modern virtual kitchens and such innovations. If you own a restaurant or have considered opening one, it may be a good idea to reconsider your method of proprietary methods sooner rather than later to better attract and maintain customers and boost profits.
- Simplify and modernize your menu
Give the people what they want. Get lean, mean and green with your menu, which involves reviewing your product mix report from your point-of-sale system and knowing the cost of every item on your menus, which, by the way includes your beverage menu! It’s alarming that only a very small number of restaurants and bars actually know the cost of everything on their menus. After you’ve found your composure from the blow of identifying the gap between your theoretical and actual food costs, you’re likely to become motivated to redo your menu, which makes it great timing for a fresh menu design. More than likely there are a handful of items on the menu that need to tacitly be removed. If you fear that you may start receiving death threats for removing some items that are such a favourite, take the favourites and list them as “classics.” A new menu alone will invigorate sales to a small percentage, while a properly engineered menu can increase profits by 15 percent or more.
- Become a better leader and weed out low-performance team members
The days of being a deranged boss who screams and yells are over, as is the day of the manager who likes to stir up drama and bacchanal with his staff. Great people are drawn to work with great people alike and it would be a bad assumption for you to think that doesn’t apply to you or your market. Whether you like it or not, remember the restaurant and bar industry is really the hospitality business, people-driven and people-focused.
Monitor closely but gently the remaining team members. As more restaurants look set to close in 2020, people will be searching for jobs and now is the time to crank up your recruitment drive. Revise and update job descriptions to attract the most suitable talents, and schedule and market a set day each week to hold open interviews. In a fiercely competitive market, you must always be on the look-out as top talent and skill doesn’t remain unemployed for long.
- Get with the data movement
In restaurants and bars the POS system is mostly used as a high-tech cash register. However, these systems can integrate with software to create a flawless connection, making you the smartest operator around.
When used properly, a cohesive system becomes a true customer relationship management tool that will automatically start a ticket upon check-in and provide the service team with information on guest preferences based on their dining history, which will surely wow and impress your guests.
- Have cash reserves and jump on the delivery train
After taking a deep dive into your profit and loss statement, identify where expenses can be cut back and with the extra cash, if any, take advantage of bargain deals such as great used equipment from prime restaurants, which will surge the market as it caves in.
Meanwhile, as most older folks prefer to get out of the house, the younger generations appear to want to chill at home and binge their favourite shows which, contributes to the biggest shift in the coming year of how guests choose to dine. If you’re not in denial, thinking this won’t affect your brand such measures, like creating a special menu for delivery, offering online orders and curbside/pickup options should be considered and implemented during the calm before the storm, so you ought to be prepared for when the demand for delivery begins.