Managing restaurant operations can occasionally be an uphill battle. Most of the time, you strive to keep your business running smoothly by focusing on delicious food and excellent customer service. Nevertheless, some common restaurant problems do come to light that may seem overwhelming.
Lacking the clarity of finding the right solution, 60% of your business peers pull the plug before their first anniversary, while 80% of them shut shop before five years of business. The struggle is real. So, how can you, as a restaurateur, find and implement the solutions to tackle these common restaurant problems? Read on!
5 Common Restaurant Problems and Solutions
- Ineffective Staff Management
- Inability to Maintain Consistency
- Lack of USP and Online Presence
- Inability to Make the Right Decisions
- Absence of Automation
1. Ineffective Staff Management
Another one of common restaurant problems, ineffective staff management can lead to many issues such as low morale, high employee turnover, and low productivity. Ineffective management can be caused by several factors, such as lack of clear communication, improper alignment of the staff with the business goals, and inadequate training.
Ineffective staff management results in poor customer service, which can impact your restaurant’s reputation and potential future customers who rely on online reviews to make decisions.
You must ensure that your employees are happy and motivated to work. Here are a few tips towards implementing effective staff management:
- Communicate the role expectations and key deliverables of every staff clearly beforehand. Give enough clarity on their responsibilities and ensure that they are aligned with the goals of your company.
- Help your staff to upskill by providing extensive training and on-the-job learning to perform their tasks effectively.
- Create a positive and productive work environment for your staff by providing enough space for discussions and feedback.
- Ensure your staff understand and practice the right etiquette while interacting with customers.
2. Inability to Maintain Consistency
Another one of common problems in restaurants is the inability to maintain consistency in terms of food taste and restaurant hygiene. In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, sanitation and hygiene have become crucial in every aspect of our lives. Maintaining a clean restaurant has become an expectation rather than an exception, and lack of hygiene is one of the worst common problems in restaurants.
Aside from an immaculate restaurant, you also need to prepare delicious dishes to drive more sales and delight your customers. Adding the right flavor to your food requires careful planning and attention to detail. If your food remains bland and flavorless, your customers will flock to someone who offers tasty treats.
Implement the following strategies to maintain your restaurant’s consistency:
- Develop your menu such that it features dishes of your niche that consist of strong flavors. For instance, if you’re into Arabian cuisine, make sure your menu covers dishes such as shawarmas, biryanis, and kebabs.
- Train your chefs and kitchen staff on proper techniques for preparing each menu item, and provide them with the recipe information that specifies the ingredients and steps to be followed.
- Ensure that your restaurant is compliant of all the rules and regulations prescribed by the respective authority, i.e., the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
- Sterilize your cooking stations, utensils and equipment properly. Implement proper procedures for disinfecting the restaurant, and make sure you have proper ventilation and drainage systems.
- Train your staff to wash their hands frequently and to wear protective head gear and gloves before entering the kitchen.
- Adopt the latest technology to provide a contactless dining service, such as QR codes to scan menus and share feedback, contactless ordering, and digital payments.
3. Lack of USP and Online Presence
In today’s dynamic environment, every business requires two critical components: a unique selling proposition (USP) and a sizable online presence. Restaurants must set themselves apart to stay ahead of the game, especially when the competition is fierce. Offering delicious meals and good customer service might just not be enough to make the cut.
Without an online presence, millions of people who spend time on the Internet looking for places to dine or make orders would not be able to see your restaurant. And without a USP, your restaurant offerings will lack the oomph factor that intrigues people, resulting in lower footfalls and reduced customer retention.
Here are some suggestions that can help you differentiate your restaurant and build a strong online presence:
- Determine a niche (cuisine) and differentiate your restaurant based on a theme related to a particular locality, a pop culture reference, or the cuisine itself. Your restaurant elements can be designed to complement the chosen theme.
- Understand what your customers want and think of creative ways to link your offers with their needs. For instance, they might need more comfortable seating.
- Make sure you provide enough visibility for your brand and logo. Include them in your menus, staff uniforms, and other paraphernalia.
- Strengthen your online presence with the following techniques:
- Adopt a comprehensive digital marketing strategy. Utilize a mix of paid and organic media to reach more customers and raise awareness for your brand.
- Adopt your own website and online ordering app. This will also reduce your dependence on third party food aggregators.
- List your business profile on Google Business Profile to increase visibility within your geographic location.
- Entice food bloggers and influencers with offers and discounts to promote your restaurant.
4. Inability to Make The Right Decisions
Knowing your restaurant’s performance is a must. Without these numbers, you will not be able to make heads or tails of your daily operations. You must establish metrics to gauge your restaurant’s performance, such as the revenue you generate on a particular day, the inventory you are currently carrying and its freshness, your production plan for a certain week, and the cost incurred for purchasing ingredients.
Every single operation in a restaurant is a chain reaction – dependent on one another and impacting the restaurant’s performance. Without these numbers, your daily operations become chaotic and you lose track of your investments and expenses. As mentioned in an earlier point, monitoring these metrics manually is a meticulous method.
To overcome the burden of uncertainty and prevent gut-based decision-making, you must rely on the reports generated by your restaurant POS software. Here are a few reports that will give you more clarity:
- Extensive sales reports that provide insights on your bestsellers based on category, payment method, and time of the day, and help you forecast your production.
- Ingredient and food cost reports that help you understand how much you spend in procuring and preparing your menu items, as well as gauge your profitability.
- Production reports that help you understand if your consumption is optimal and help you reduce wastage costs.
- Inventory management reports providing detailed information on your current stock, changes made to stock quantity to detect pilferage, ingredient freshness, and safety stock levels in case you need to make purchases.
5. Absence of Automation
Without automation, your dependence on manual labor increases exponentially. While the costs of procuring ingredients and labor can be determined, the hidden cost of human errors impacts the bottom-line profoundly.
Lack of automation is one of the most common problems in restaurants, resulting in complex daily operations, especially for medium and large restaurants with the capabilities of processing over a thousand orders in a single day. Monitoring inventory and planning purchases becomes a huge hassle, and there is a significant disruption in communication between your wait staff and kitchen staff. As a result, your restaurant’s efficiency decreases, causing your profitability to plummet as well.
The solution is straightforward: we must obtain what we lack. Investing in a robust restaurant management software helps you take back the reins of your business. Complete automation gives your restaurant a boost in terms of profitability and growth, and your reliance on manual labor decreases drastically.
You will have more time on your hands, now that complex and time-consuming operations like keeping track of bills, monitoring ingredient quantity and freshness, conveying orders to the kitchen, and processing payments more quickly are automated.
Now that you’ve understood the most common problems in restaurants, you have started your journey towards a profitable growth. The next step is to adopt the right technology that does all the heavy lifting for you. It should help you navigate through the tempests of uncertainty as well.
Problems solved easy with Gofrugal ServeEasy
Gofrugal ServeEasy is a robust restaurant POS software that helps you nip the above mentioned common restaurant problems in the bud. Some of the beneficial features to support your daily restaurant operations are:
- Easy to use and intuitive interface that requires the least training and minimal skills to operate, helping you empower your staff
- Detailed recipe management module to help you store recipes, plan your production, and keep track of your inventory
- Provision to design online menus with QR codes, and integration with ServJoy – an order-taking app with features to record and edit KOTs, for you to enable contactless dining at your restaurant
- 140+ reports based on real-time data that help you generate valuable insights, and integration with WhatsNow, our mobile application that helps you view your restaurant’s performance on the fly
- Complete automation of every aspect of your business, including billing, accounting, inventory, production, CRM, menu and recipe management
- Integration with third party food aggregators to build your online presence, and the facility for adopting your own online ordering and delivery app
Gofrugal simplifies the complexities of the common problems in restaurants. Adopt Gofrugal ServeEasy, the restaurant POS software that you need to sail past every challenge in this red ocean of restaurants, and become one in the twenty percent of successful ventures.