It’s funny how we sometimes miss the little things that can make us a success.
With the arrival of the New Year, it is the perfect time to take stock of your restaurant and ask yourself, “What can I do to improve my business?”
We all know about spring cleaning, but what about a new year’s whitewash? The old cliché that “you can’t see the forest for the trees” rings true for restaurant owners who are so close to their day-to-day business that obvious problems go unnoticed.
Sometimes, things as simple as a complete cleaning of your location are all you need. Or, you might consider replacing that old and withered signage. Or maybe you need to update your furniture and interior design?
Quite simply, keeping your place clean will build your customer’s confidence. By offering a comfortable venue, they know that you are taking care of the health and well-being of your restaurant.
In these days of consumers’ food safety concerns, you cannot afford to have customers think that a lack of attention to your dining area or restrooms is a reflection of your kitchen’s cleanliness. They might conclude, if you are lax where they can see the results, how bad might it be where they can’t see?
So, with that in mind, here are a few suggestions to start the New Year with a clean and shiny slate:
- Grab a clipboard or your tablet and make a list of the elements of your operation: hallway, entryway, ordering area, dining rooms, bathrooms, kitchen door, front door, tables, chairs, condiment caddies and shakers, video machines, etc.
- Make a chart and walk around while ranking their condition and cleanliness. Do they need to be cleaned, painted, repaired or replaced? How clean are your floors and splashboards? Do your carpets need professional cleaning?
- Walk outside and maybe even across the street to get a fresh view of your exterior? Do you need new plants? A new coat of paint? New or cleaned signage? Would you walk into your place if you were a customer? Is your place well-lit? Your parking lot in order? You may be able to negotiate some of these costs with your landlord.
- What is the overall ambience of your place? How does it smell? How are the acoustics? Is the music too loud or too soft? Does your Wi-Fi work correctly throughout the restaurant?
- Ask your friends, family and staff members for suggestions as to how to clean up your restaurant. You may be surprised at what they say.
- From this list, prioritize what needs to be improved. The simple items that can easily be cleaned or fixed should be completed first. If your staff is too busy, hire an outside crew.
- Next, itemize the rest of the list that needs improvement and assign an estimated cost. It may take some time to get everything done. Paying for everything at once is expensive, so rank them by cost and priority. Spend the money first where it is most visible to your customers. A little paint can go a long way in improving your image and projecting a sense of consumer safety.
Ultimately, you will be amazed at all the little items you haven’t seen because you have been focused on the big picture.
Liguria Foods wants to see you succeed. Making great food and offering great service is not always enough. Offering those items in a clean, safe environment where consumers feel comfortable should never be overlooked.
Your customers will be happy to see you care.