Have you set your budgets and restaurant revenue targets for 2016?
In this latest article, Kitchen CUT Co-founder John Wood looks at how Revenue Growth isn’t just about driving more customers in to your restaurant. Here are some top tips on how to achieve your restaurant revenue targets.
Forecasting your restaurant revenue targets
Most of you would have either already gone through, or are currently in the process of creating your budgets for next year.
It is a challenging time to try and predict what the business is going to be like for the next 12 months. In many businesses, when managers and owners are trying to set their restaurant revenue targets, they tend to add 5-10% on the previous year’s revenues and see where they can start to trim back on payroll and improve on margins – ultimately looking for better bottom line profits for the year than the current one.
So breaking this down into the key areas is critical to try and establish what you need to start doing differently to achieve these new targets.
Typically, people tend to think about just getting more customers into the business, which is great, but can be very challenging in a very competitive market place.
You need to have a sales and marketing strategy in place to first establish what type of clientele you want and where are they currently dining and drinking [you can read our article on ‘Understanding Customer Profiles’ here].
However, increasing covers on your busy days is down to ensuring you turn the tables quickly, WITHOUT making your customers feel rushed. A good manager will take an element of risk and push these “table turns” and deal with any issues on the day/night if needed. Obviously having a space or a bar that you can move customers to makes this far easier. Another key factor to the success of this is ensuring the menus are not complicated so that the kitchen can cope with the additional covers and speed of service.
Revenue growth can also be about trying to fill those gaps in your week when you are quiet with “Special offers and deals” that could entice your customers.
Many operators are turning to an “all-day dining” focus so that they can potentially capture the Breakfast, grazing and coffee crowd. This is becoming more popular due to the continuous blurring of typical dining times and the ever increasing coffee market.
The other revenue growth option, which many people forget, is by looking at your current customers and seeing how you maybe able to increase “Average spend” – just by some small incremental tweaks to your menu.
Having properly costed dishes and menus gives you the transparency you need to be able to tweak prices on the more popular dishes, thus increasing revenue. If you use Kitchen CUT’s costing and Menu Engineering tools this will allow you to really examine the best performers in your menu.
Create more interesting side dishes to entice people to spend that little more, don’t just take your garnishes from your menu and make them into side dishes create exciting and innovative side orders that will entice people to buy. E.g don’t just do Buttered carrots , try Honey and thyme roasted carrots with toasted almonds. You will see your side orders start to sell.
Look at creating some grazing/sharing dishes on your menu, not only are they very popular and “On-trend” at the moment but they will allow the service teams to suggest a sharing dish when customers choose not to have starters/appetisers or desserts.
Look at creating a simple and creative Mocktail and Cocktail menu with some healthy options and using herbs, teas and fresh juice infusions. Customers are looking for something a bit different. Try to keep these relevant to your concept e.g if you have an Italian influenced menu, why not create a basil and tomato infused Margarita?
Having the transparency of properly costed dishes that are linked “Live” to your supplier/vendor prices allows you to make weekly/daily decisions on your selling prices. This will also allow you to get your service team to suggest some of the higher profit making dishes. See also our “Menu psychology” Blog where we look at “Sweet spots” on your menu and the benefits of “Boxing” certain dishes as well as using larger font size, these subtle tricks will increase the sales mix more towards the higher profit making dishes – you can read that article here.
However, without being able to track price changes and the automatic impact it has on each dish you will not have this knowledge.
Ultimately to drive a better bottom line profit you will also need to reduce some key costs and Kitchen CUT allows you to:
• Reduce payroll
• Improve margins
• Decrease wastage
• Decrease breakages/loss of operating equipment
• Improve efficiencies
All of the above are some of the largest costs you have in your business!