A new business will face many ups and downs in the initial five years of its inception, just like an infant. As mothers take extra care of the baby at its infancy, an entrepreneur also needs to be extra cautious with the operation of the business.
However, fool proof your business blueprint is there will be some initial hiccups when you launch your business. You should be ready to rework and fine-tune your strategy as the challenges arise. The restaurant industry is a rewarding business, but it’s also vulnerable to external forces like high labour costs and rentals, high inflation, stiff competition etc.
It’s not always possible to predict the challenges your business will face, but digitising the operation and using some marketing hacks can help you deal with them in a better way.
Here are some of the essential hacks to improve your restaurant business This will help you get a better perspective of your business operation, thereby making you better prepared to face the uncertainties of business: –
Restaurant Management and other supplement software for restaurant business : –
The process of digitisation helps you manage the business in a better way. Digitalisation gives you a 360-degree view of your business, enabling you to understand the business verticals facing challenges and take corrective measures before the problem escalates
Point-of-sale (POS): –
POS or Point-of-sales is an application used in the food businesses especially in retail and F&B industry, to track sales, cash flow, food inventory and aids in accounting. Restaurants deal with many cash and credit card transactions; a POS helps in monitoring every transaction and sometimes even acting as a credit card processor. It’s not possible to alter transactions once made without a password, thus reducing the chances of employee thefts. POS can connect the computer to the kitchen printer, simplifying the processes of ordering. Besides the restaurant’s day-to-day activity, the POS can also organise profit and loss statements aiding the accounting process.
Inventory management system (IMS):–
Managing inventory is the process of tracking the inventory coming in and out of business along with keeping a record of goods and ingredients in stock. Inventory management software helps you avoid the problem of overstocking or understocking—applications like these help with tracking inventory loss due to kitchen wastage, error in orders or spoilage.
Human resource management system (HRMS):–
As the name suggests, the Human Resource management system manages human resources. Labour is an essential component of the business, and HRMS helps you with employee and parole management. Food business faces some unique challenges like high staff attrition. HRMS helps the food business in centralising the employee records, attendance and workforce planning etc.
Accounting software: –
Accounting software’s probably don’t need much introduction as they have been in Indian market for quite some time. The introduction of GST and the complexities it has thrown at the business has expedited the adoption of accounting software. Accounting software’s is used for processing accounting receivables and payables, cash flow analysis, income and expenses statement, balance sheet etc.
Third party services to improve your restaurant business: –
The restaurant industry engages with many third-party services like warehousing, logistics, pest control and quality control.
F&B industry needs both dry and cold storage. Some of the ingredients the F&B business deals with is volatile and perishable in nature. The warehousing part of the business needs to be handled by industry experts who have specialised management expertise. It is essential to tie up with experienced channel partners to avoid wastage, faulty storage, and product outage.
Logistics is a fundamental aspect of the supply chain in a restaurant. Restaurant logistics needs to provide the right product and quality at a correct price without wastage. This becomes particularly challenging as most of the food industry’s products have a short shelf life.
Pest control: –
Pests are attracted to food and the restaurant industry deals with a whole lot of food, attracting pests in their premises. Food industry thus needs to maintain a high level of safety standards by adopting integrated pest management. Pest creates the threat of contamination, damage to raw material, packing and brand. Food businesses should hire pest control firms which have experience with dealing with food facilities. Local government issues high standards of safety for food business, in case of non-enforcement restaurants, may face penalty or cancellation of licence
Marketing strategy to improve your restaurant business: –
Marketing new business in old times was a very costly affair as mediums like TV, radio, and newspaper advertisement were very expensive. Even after spending a lot of finances on these traditional marketing mediums, there was no guarantee that they could convey your message to your target audience. This has now changed with the advent of digital marketing. Its recommended that you apply a mix of both traditional and digital marketing to achieve your marketing, here are some example mentioned below: –
Promotions incentivise people to visit your new food business. You can offer a flat discount on some food products. When you keep such discounts, it’s better to keep a limited period offer as this creates a sense of urgency among customers to buy the product. Loyalty programme is another time-tested option. A loyalty programme gives your client a sense of entitlement.
Website and social media: –
Last few years have seen a digital revolution in the country. A large section of the population has a smartphone and access to social media, creating a new avenue for marketing, especially for the restaurant business. Food business can post their menu, meal promotions and attractive food pictures on their social media page. They can even launch paid ads to a targeted audience and check the success ratio too. A website is a digital asset of a restaurant. Your website represents your brand and can be utilised to take orders, inform your guest about promotions and new events happening in the restaurant.
Influencer marketing for food business: –
Influencers are people who have achieved many followers by posting content (videos and photos) catering to specific demography. A restaurant can tie up with these influencers and promote themselves. It is crucial to choose the medium of social media you would like to go with, usually Instagram, facebook or Instagram is a safe bet when it comes to restaurant industry.
Public Relations: –
Public relations is an industry dedicated to helping their client achieve their business objective. It is a traditional mode of marketing that is still relevant. Due to stiff competition in the food industry, it has become difficult for the new business to gain attention. A PR firm promotes the business through traditional and digital marketing to the target audience. A good PR campaign can build a brand image and credibility for your business.
Promotional Events: –
A restaurant can organise a special event to promote their business. Some ideas will be to do a food festival, restaurants in hotels are known to do these kinds of promotions. The other current trend is to host events like Karaoke nights or cooking classes. Restaurants can even tie up with artists and musicians for activity at their locations.
The above mentioned are some of the essential hacks to improve your restaurant business