21 Feb How to Scale Your Restaurant Business in 4 Easy Steps
Opening and running a successful restaurant is challenging, but you’ve pulled it off. You have reliable employees, countless repeat customers, and rave reviews. Now, it’s time for bigger and better things, so you’ve decided to take the plunge and scale your restaurant business.
Before you get started, know that you should never pursue growth just for the sake of getting bigger. Growth should be sustained, controllable, and purposeful. To successfully scale your restaurant, you need to have a plan, a timeline, and the right help. Here are 4 easy steps to scale your restaurant for success that’s built to last:
Decide what “scale” means to you
Success doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone. For some restauranteurs, scale means one thing: opening a new restaurant. But, there are other ways to grow your restaurant business. 60% of U.S. consumers order delivery or takeout once a week, so many restaurants are expanding services to include catering, delivery, and/or takeout. Other restaurants have found success with the addition of breakfast and brunch hours.
Consider what your goals are, then decide what will work best for your restaurant. Aligning your vision with what you think is practical is key to success.
No matter how you decide to scale your restaurant business, timing is everything. Are you in the right position to pursue growth? Answer the following questions before you commit to an additional location, expanded hours, or new services.
1. Do you have enough positive cash flow? Most restaurants operate with a profit margin of about 10%, so an in-depth understanding of the financial resources it takes to run your existing operations is vital. Every additional menu item or location has the potential to increase revenue, but also comes with an additional cost.
2. Is demand high enough? Are you so busy that wait times are driving customers away? Or, if you take reservations, are you booked out months at a time? If so, scaling to include another location, expanded hours, etc. can increase accessibility and, in turn, revenue.
3. Do you have a base of loyal customers? 13% of consumers consider themselves loyal to at least one restaurant brand. When introducing new services or locations, loyal customers will be your biggest advocates—think of them as unofficial brand ambassadors. These customers will write reviews, share images on social media, and bring their friends. That sort of attention and loyalty will be invaluable as you scale your operations.
4. Do you have experienced managers you can depend on? Scaling a restaurant business doesn’t just take money. It also takes a lot of time. 3 in 10 restaurant owners cite staffing as a major struggle. If you’re one of them, it’s NOT the right time to scale up. Make sure you can rely on your team. If you’re confident that you’ve built a reliable and loyal team, growing your restaurant business is a great opportunity to promote key individuals into more senior roles.
Did you answer “yes” to all those questions? If so, you’re ready to scale your restaurant. Now, it’s time to take action!
Find the right location
This step is specifically for those restaurant owners that defined “scale” as opening a new restaurant. The importance of market research when scouting new real estate cannot be overstated. Location is everything in the restaurant business, and it’s the one component that’s nearly impossible to change once you’ve decided to move forward. You can change your staff, your menu, or even your name, but you can’t change your location.
First, know your target market, including age range, education level, and income level. When considering locations for new storefronts, Curry Up, a chain of fast-casual Indian restaurants, looks for areas where tech companies and hospitals are prevalent in order to boost lunchtime visits and catering orders.
When you’re ready, involve a knowledgeable broker and real estate attorney. They’ll ensure that your perfect location is within budget while protecting you from predatory leases and hidden contract terms.
Streamline FOH and BOH operations
Have you ever visited a restaurant and heard one of the following:
• “I haven’t learned the new menu yet.”
• “We just opened so our kitchen is short-staffed.”
• “We’re out of ___________.”
Customers won’t cut your restaurant any slack just because you have a new location, new menu, or new anything else. Mistakes can make or break your restaurant, so don’t open until you’re ready. That means having staff hired and trained, your kitchen fully stocked, and both FOH and BOH procedures in place and running smoothly. This is where technology comes in.
80% of U.S. restaurant owners say technology for online ordering, reservations, inventory, and analytics helps increase overall productivity and sales. Choose a multi-functional point of sale (POS) that scales along with your business. The very best POS systems have even more functionality, like the ability to create custom floor plans, notify the kitchen that an order is running late, and more. And, if you’re opening a new location, using the same POS in each of your restaurants means you deliver a consistent customer experience and allows you and your employees to easily move between locations.
To successfully scale your restaurant, you’ll need the help of your team, your customers, and your vendors. When you’re looking for the best POS system to scale with you, BASYS will be there to help too. We’ll work one-on-one with you to find the perfect solution to manage your business, increase productivity, and drive revenue, so you can plan for even more success! To learn more about finding the right POS for your restaurant, read 3 Tips for Finding the Right POS to Help Your Restaurant Thrive.
BASYS Processing as a business partner
Does your current processor understand the unique struggles of your industry? Do they provide great rates and personal customer service? Are they offering solutions to grow your business and being proactive about helping you reduce risk and increase your savings?
Contact BASYS today to learn more about innovative payment solutions that will save you time and money. We make accepting debit cards and credit cards convenient, safe and affordable.
BASYS Processing features:
• A friendly, live voice will answer the phone when you call; no automated phone systems
• In-house PCI Compliance team to walk you through the process step-by-step, improving security and reducing costs
• Accept payments in person, over the phone or online
• Next-day funding options
About BASYS Processing
BASYS Processing provides credit card and debit card processing services, plus solutions that include terminals, virtual terminals, e-commerce, mobile, and point-of-sale, customized to fit any need. Banks, associations, and software partners depend on us to strengthen their reputations and relationships with their customers by providing remarkable service paired with ultimate flexibility and pricing. Merchants depend on us to make accepting credit cards and debit cards convenient, safe & affordable. BASYS was founded in 2002 on one philosophy: to take care of our merchants, partners, and employees so they never want to leave. We are dedicated to working one-on-one with our customers to design the perfect solution. BASYS is Personal Payment Processing.
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