Know What Not to Pay For
There are plenty of restaurant items you can get for free from your distributors, such as drinking glasses, signage, paper goods, even tee shirts. Many of the freebies offered to most restaurants come from alcohol distributors, as a way to promote their products. Other freebies are included when you ordered a certain product, like coffee or soda, from a distributor. Of course, not every restaurant design, concept or décor will fit all the freebies available, but you can pick and choose what you want to use from your distributor. Read more for the complete list of things a restaurant should never pay for.
Look for Ways to Save Money
Simple things like running the dishwasher only when it’s full, or turning off the lights when not in use, (like mom always told you to do) offer small savings that add up over time. There are a lot of quick steps you can take to save money, either through cutting energy use or reducing spoilage and waste. Keeping your kitchen staff well trained to use FIFO (First In First Out) for rotating food can cut down on food waste. Religiously practicing portion control is another way to cut waste in the kitchen. Some Cost saving measures will not only save you money, they are also better for the environment, such as switching to glass from plastic or Styrofoam in the dining room or installing low flow faucets in the restrooms. Read more about small steps your restaurant can take toward big savings.
Take Advantage of Free Advertising Opportunities
A big advantage of living in the digital age is the amount of free advertising available for businesses. There are site that can help you design a free, easy and attractive website. Social networks like Facebook and Twitter offer a free way to connect with customers, as do many free review sites, like OpenTable, where customers can leave comments. It’s important to maintain your website and social networks in order for them to be effective. You can add daily or weekly customer promotions, such as an early bird menus or happy hour details, to your site and post them on your timeline or tweet them to followers. Also try linking with other local businesses, such as local hotels, the chamber of commerce and local tourist information sites. Beyond the World Wide Web, you can promote your restaurant in-house with flyers, menu inserts, and table tents. Your servers are also another excellent resource for advertising. A well trained server can act a walking menu board, explaining specials, upselling orders and filling customers in on upcoming promotions. Read more about how to market in-house.
Stop Problems Before They Start
Implementing a daily inventory system that looks at check tallies, payroll cost and daily cash flow will help you monitor finances and tackle any problems before they get out of control. A POS system can help you track daily sales as well as project future sales. Keeping a close eye on food and cash can also help prevent employee theft. BY tracking food and drink orders through a POS system, you can cut down on the amount of “freebies” that staff might give away without your knowledge. Once an order is placed and sent to the kitchen or bar, the ticket cannot be changed without the manager/owner password.