The food may look amazing, the venue sublime; but a restaurant has to run efficiently if it wants to stay in business for longer than its opening week.
What is coming in? What is going out? – The cash flow of a restaurant is vital to ensure that the good food and sublime setting that all the local press praised you for, becomes a firm fixture on the city restaurant landscape. Not just another flash in the pan short term venture.
We don’t own or run a restaurant ourselves but as a professional bookkeeper, we have worked with many who have; which means that we have seen it all. From incredibly efficiency multi site operations to outright chaos from first time restaurants that have come to us as a last roll of the dice having tried to do their finances, bookkeeping and cash flow themselves for far too long.
Which is why, to help the many restaurants in the city who want to become an institution, here are some top tips that we have picked up from other restaurants along the way that will hopefully help to make your restaurant run more efficiently and with increased profit margins.
1 – Automated table reservations.
Managing restaurant bookings can be a complex affair. Especially if your restaurant can be booked over the phone, through email, on the website and even some other external sources like Facebook. A simple paper diary and pen booking system will not cut it these days and is 100% guaranteed to lead to double bookings.
And those unhappy double booking customers who get turned away on a Friday night are the same ones who will quickly be on the review websites giving you the dreaded one star review. An automated table booking system will streamline the process and prevent any embarrassing mix ups.
2 – Inventory Software.
The ingredients needed for a successful restaurant are not cheap. So staying on top of your food and drink inventory is crucial to keeping costs under control. With an automated inventory taking process, you can manage your restaurants ingredients shelf life and set reminders for when to replenish stock. It also means you will be able to see when you are spending too much on ingredients that are used in unpopular menu options that so often have to be thrown out as they reach the end of their shelf life.
3 – Streamline the menu.
Inventory software can highlight what is and isn’t being used in a restaurant. And that can help you to streamline the menu. While all creative restaurant owners would love to have a diverse and flowing menu of all their unique and complex dishes, the simple matter of the fact is that if you have items on the menu that are not being ordered, it is costing you money in ingredients that have to be thrown out. Everything in a restaurant kitchen needs to be something that customers will actually order and will make you a profit.
4 – Enthusiastic staff who can up sell.
Well trained, quality, happy staff who feel respected, work hard and have a better work attitude than those who are not treated well. A waiter is a big part of the process of dining out so a happy waiter is more likely to lead to a happy customer. And the more enthusiastic your staff are about their job, the more likely they can up sell for you.
How can this be of benefit to you? A simple statement along the lines of ‘If you are really hungry you may want to add a side to go with it just to be on the safe side’. It is all it takes to see an extra few pounds of profit added to every table sitting.
And listen to your staff and their feedback. Talk to each member of the team to find out where they think you could be more efficient. They are on the front lines and they have invaluable experience of the customers thoughts on your business.
5 – Hire a great bookkeeper.
So this is admittedly a bit of a self sell, but running a business is not easy. Our goal is to make it easier for you.
Whether it’s getting paid by your customers on time, completing your VAT returns, processing payroll or submitting your annual accounts and tax returns, the demands on businesses can seem endless. And it’s almost certainly not why you got into business in the first place. It is, however, exactly why we got into business. We do the things you avoid because where your business is concerned, you do the real work, we do the paperwork.
Having a good quality bookkeeper can bring many invaluable benefits to your business.
Don’t believe us, simply call us today and we can chat you through how we can, and have, helped so many restaurants flourish over the years.