Managing Your Restaurant Property: 5 Smaller Details You Can’t Overlook
It’s no secret that managing your restaurant comes with many considerations. You want your business to look good, have amazing food and drinks, attract employees and produce enough income to love comfortably.
With so much to think about, some of the small things are easy to neglect. Here are five smaller things you can’t overlook when managing your business.
The restaurant and other industries are utilizing the internet well. Social media is a powerful marketing tool and you should definitely take advantage of it. However, as much as a website and social pages are vital, it’s also necessary to remember your offline marketing.
Many people don’t use social media and you can’t guarantee everyone in your market will see your posts. Other advertising methods can bridge the gap and ensure as many people as possible know about your restaurant and any promotions you hold.
Purchasing advertisements for local television stations and newspapers is an excellent way to get the word out. You can also post flyers on community bulletin boards, sponsor events and post billboards. The more exposure you can control around your business, the better. Even subtle things, like putting a sticker with the information on your car or wearing a shirt with the logo in public can bring more attention to your restaurant.
Maintaining Your Parking Lot
Your customers aren’t going to want to eat at your restaurant if they don’t feel safe navigating your parking lot. Without proper care, the lot can develop potholes which put vehicles at risk and can even cause accidents.
There are many ways to prevent your guests from experiencing a bumpy ride. Water causes potholes to form, so you want to ensure your lot has proper drainage. They often happen in the spring, so it is important to stay especially diligent during after the season’s rain showers.
When a pothole does start to form, quickly address it so it doesn’t become a larger problem. You or a contractor can patch it with asphalt. Sealing your lot every couple of years can help prevent these holes from forming.
If your restaurant is near a main or busy road, you’ll likely get more customers who were just passing by. The downside of it is that street noise can compromise your guests’ dining experience.
Just like music that doesn’t fit your theme, too-bright lights or unpleasant smells, hearing traffic can cause confusion or stress to your diners.
For already constructed buildings, you likely won’t be able to stop all street noise. You might think to turn up the music but that can get in the way of the important conversations that happen around dining tables.
Instead, try to block sound from entering your customers’ ears. Hanging cloth canvas paintings and tapestries can decorate your restaurant while absorbing sounds before they get to the rest of your interior. Thick curtains, area rugs and cloth tablecloths can also help take some of the noise in the air.
You could also invest in or create decorative acoustic panels to place around your restaurant.
Never assume customers are happy with everything you do just because your restaurant fills up. Regularly collecting customer feedback is an excellent way to gauge your performance.
If you get a complaint with an easy fix or get multiple complaints about the same issue, you can address it to create a better guest experience.
There are a few ways to collect feedback, including briefly checking in with diners during their time there. This provides an opportunity to remedy a negative situation before they even leave. Having an anonymous feedback box or kiosk and an online review form could make people more comfortable with sharing their honest opinions.
Many businesses encourage their customers to leave online reviews but that can backfire if there is no other way to provide feedback. They’ll air their grievances by knocking down your percentage of positive reviews. Every business gets some negative reviews–you can’t please everyone– but providing places for constructive feedback may get more people away from Google and Yelp.
Catering to Families
Having a family-friendly restaurant will likely get more customers through the door. However, it doesn’t just mean placing a few simple dishes on a kids’ menu.
While you don’t have to make the whole space for kids – though you certainly can– having fun table activities, creative food options and special considerations goes a long way.
You don’t have to get overly fancy, but providing a color or sticker sheet, fun hats or small toys can amplify the dining experience for small children, making their caretakers’ meal more peaceful.
Entertaining children isn’t just a positive thing for families. Kids are still learning how to be patient and control their volume and a different environment and waiting on food could lead to crying children disrupting other guests’ experiences. Having a fun distraction can prevent some of these disruptions.
A good experience with their kids will get families coming back and telling both parents and child-free friends about the experience.
Paying Attention to the Smaller Details
There’s a lot that goes into managing a business. Paying attention to the small things will help your restaurant stand out from the rest.