COSTS VS. SALES: Where Is Your Focus?
Restaurant owners and managers become restaurant operators for different reasons. Some always dreamt of owning their own restaurant. Some chose restaurants as an avenue of education, attending culinary school or other courses. Some inherited a family business. Some are in the business as a means to another end, and as we all know, many have fallen in to this business by accident or because it seemed like the path of least resistance. Regardless of how you wound up here, there are 2 goals that we all have in common and are unavoidable: increasing sales and lowering costs.
Some of us are strategic and systemized. Many restaurant operations are more hit & miss in their methods than some people would believe, and many have, believe it or not, no system at all. Some restaurant managers focus more on their sales. In my experience, most focus on lowering costs.
What if the best opportunities to both increase your sales and better control your costs are already within your grasp and you’re already paying for them? What if the best ways to achieve your goals were as much a benefit to your servers as to your restaurant? What if it became easy to have your servers work naturally & genuinely with your costs & sales in mind?
These possibilities are real and within your grasp. You have a great opportunity to have a team of dedicated, enthusiastic professional restaurant servers, committed to increasing sales & exceptional service, making every effort count and having fun doing it.
In what other business can you have a team of service & sales professionals, at the cost of hourly wage employees? By communicating with your servers and demonstrating your commitment to increasing their income as well as your restaurant’s, you could transform your servers. They can become a true team of professionals, working together to increase sales and providing consistently excellent service. This is achievable, provided they genuinely understand the relationship between exceptional service, higher sales & increasing their personal income.
From this perspective, restaurant servers begin to understand that their section is their own business. And they’re given this business with a variety of support staff, from kitchen staff to bussing staff. They practically own a business with no advertising costs; no recruiting or hiring of staff; no labour costs and no food costs. And when they begin to see it from this perspective, they begin to understand what a great opportunity they have, and they change the way they work and communicate. When they stop thinking of themselves as employees and start seeing themselves as restaurateurs or entrepreneurs, they become committed to ongoing improvement and focus more on the guest experience & sales. I’ve seen this type of empowerment work and teams that embrace it see an increase in sales anywhere from 5% to as much as 25%. What’s more, they get more done in less time, which of course would lower your labour cost percentages, too.
Want to see an increase in your restaurant’s sales and be more efficient in your use of labour dollars? Empower your serving teams to ideas of ownership and taking responsibility for service excellence. They’ll begin to see how committing themselves to becoming more strategic is at least as good for them as it is for you.
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