It’s January and the hustle from the holiday season is slowly coming to an end. By Danielle Koonce, NYS Restaurant Association
We all rang in the New Year and the thoughts of getting in better shape, keeping in touch with friends and cleaning out the basement/garage/home office all seem to be revisiting our new year’s resolutions with promises of actually keeping them this time.
But what about your restaurant?
Have you been thinking of new goals to help your restaurant be more successful in 2015? Here are five resolutions that you should set – and keep – this year.
Connect with your staff.
Your staff is just as eager to start the new year as you are, so take advantage of that energy. Review training exercises, give stronger staff more leadership roles and allow your back of the house staff to experiment with some new culinary ideas. The New Year also brings about federal and state minimum wage changes as well as human resources guidelines you need to update annually. Make sure that you, your managers and your staff are all updated on the proper paperwork.
Start a new social media account. There is always pressure to start social media accounts. The overwhelming feeling of added responsibility and the sheer volume of social media platforms to choose from makes for a very daunting task for some. The truth is, if you are not putting yourself out there you are not taking advantage of opportunities to gain more customers. So just pick one. Look at other restaurants’ websites and see what sites they like to use. Then choose which one you find the most fun. Like taking photos? Instagram could be best. Have great contests or specials on a daily basis? Go to Twitter and hashtag away! Already have the “Facebook, Twitter, Instagram” trifecta? A social media guru like you may want to take advantage of an analytics or general posting program to streamline your efforts.
Create a promotion for each quarter for the year.
This is the time of year when you are at your most confident. It is a new year and you have a clean slate. Utilize this focus and create promotions for the year. One-per-quarter is a great way to get started because it coincides with the seasons. Think of a theme, what to serve, how to promote it and budget for the promotion. This will make for effortless marketing throughout the entire year.
Learn more about the restaurant industry. Whether you started in this industry by cooking at home, training in restaurants or going to culinary school the day you opened your restaurant was when you felt confident that you were expert enough to go it alone. The best thing to do to continue to grow as a chef/business owner is to always be learning. Attending educational seminars, talking with fellow restaurateurs and downloading quick-reference materials online are great ways to keep your skills sharp. And don’t discount the education you have to offer others as well. You have been in the business and know how hard it is, share your tips and tricks that helped you succeed – secret recipes excluded of course!
Join your Trade Association. Doctors, lawyers – and restaurateurs all have industry specific trade associations that work in the best interest of their members. Associations are available on a national level but also are state-specific. New laws, trends and ways to save money are what Associations provide to its members. As a member you not only are supporting a group that helps protect the restaurant industry from a political perspective, but you gain a competitive edge by hearing about the latest law changes, attending events hosted by experts in the industry and taking advantage of member savings only available because of the collective buying power of the Association’s members.
So really if you just follow through with resolution #5 the other four will take care of themselves! Happy New Year!