Recoup Lost Restaurant Sales:
Ways to Maximize Your Bottom Line
There are so many ways to lose restaurant sales in your establishment. A combination of those losses could cost you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in a month or years’ time. With losses like those, before you know it you will be out of business.
It is hard to admit that whatever you are trying to do is plainly not working. There are several ways to pinpoint and correct your issues:
1. Hire a restaurant consulting service.
2. Be proactive and head of the issue before it becomes a problem.
3. Utilize working systems and tools to guide you out of the red and into the black.
Restaurant consulting services:
Restaurant consultants will listen to you and give you feedback as to how to correct the problem. Consultants will also observe your operations and view your PNL. This would be an effective way to find out why you are losing revenue and for possible ways to correct any issues. This method is costly, although in the long run it will pay for itself.
Train management to be observant and proactive. Management needs to observe the employees and guest consistently looking for possible issues that might arise through the guest or employees perspective.
Ways to be proactive:
- Make sure there is an employee at the door to greet all guest immediately.
- Make sure the server knows when they are seated and to approach the guest as soon as possible.
- As the server approaches the guest, the server needs to correctly mention their name and any specials for the day or night, this means to suggestively sell appetizers and daily specials, be descriptive when mentioning these items. The server should have a specific appetizer in mind prior to approaching the guest table.
- Make sure the appetizers and or the entrees are delivered to the guest within the restaurant check time frame and the temperature of those food items should be cold food cold and hot food hot, plate presentation is a huge factor.
- Managers need to be in the dining room visiting each table to ensure WOW quality service. Every employee should be trained in being observant and catch possible issues before they are seen by the guest. The customer’s eye is seeing what the guest sees (step into the guest shoes).
- Use checklist to ensure that your restaurant is properly prepared for the shift
- Managers giving direction, followed by follow-ups.
These are just a few examples of being proactive. Once the guest decides to pay the check and leaves your restaurant, you lose the advantage of correcting possible issues. Train management and the staff to head off problems from the beginning of each possible scenario, if you don’t react to the problem it may create customer complaints.
Utilize working systems and tools to guide you out of the red and into the black:
What kind of systems is available to my restaurant?
- Forms, checklist, quick reference charts and spreadsheets.
These tools will set your restaurant up for success as long as you are consistent in using them correctly.
Spreadsheets are a great way to track and analyze the restaurants performance.
There are many types of spreadsheets.
Daily figures report system – Night manager records at the end of the shift all sales figures such as: taxes, comps, coupons, voids, credit cards, cash, etc. onto this spreadsheet. It will automatically calculate based on what you entered on this spreadsheet.
Safe count system – Record all monies such as cash and rolled coins onto this sheet. When counting the safe at the beginning middle and end of the shift it creates accountability.
Food and or alcohol cash till system – Count down the register till and record all numbers such as: cash, lose coins, rolled coins, checks, travelers checks. Once the figures are entered it will calculate the overage or shortage. Great accountability tool.
Food and or alcohol Inventory management system: once you set up the system such as: enter all product codes, item description, quantity and price – than you can begin your counts. Once the counts are done, you can enter the counts onto the spreadsheet and it will create a food cost percent.
Food and or alcohol order system – once you set up the system such as: enter all product codes, item description, quantity, price, and par amounts than you can start your food order by printing out a count sheet and doing an inventory of on hand food, drinks, paper, chemical, restaurant general supplies. Once you enter those figures on to the spreadsheet it will generate your order based on the par amounts and inventory on hand counts.
Food and or alcohol vendor log system: Enter all invoices and information onto this spreadsheet such as: date of delivery, past due dates, invoice number, item description, quantity, price. Once you enter the information, through the period of time that invoice will show how many days are past due such as: 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, and 120 days. By using this system not only are you keeping a record of your invoices, at a glance you will know if you are past due on a certain invoice or on time.
Timekeeping and scheduling system – You will be able to enter employees hours worked onto each employee time card. All you need to do is fill in the information for each employee onto the employee information sheet located in the timekeeping system, once you enter this information onto the employee information sheet it is a done deal, meaning you will not have to reenter it again. The only time that you will have to enter employees onto this sheet is when you have new hires or re-hires. There are bonus features such as: employee scheduler that is printable, phone list that is printable, miscellaneous labor information and payroll sheet that is fully protected, all these figures are calculated based on employee’s hours. Once you enter the hours worked then it will automatically calculate daily and weekly payroll dollars, Regular hours worked and overtime will display along all the week to date figures.
Using spreadsheets can help you in being proactive:
- Knowing the sales from week to week can help you in projecting sales. In reality your restaurant will be better prepared for any volume of business.
- The inventory spreadsheet will allow you to order enough food to get through any time period that you have established.
- The vendor sheet will alert you when your bills are past due. By using the system correctly and consistently your bills will never be late, and that creates smiles on your vendor’s faces.
Employee timekeeping system:
Be entering in hours worked for each employee, the system will generate the final numbers. Using the scheduler properly will help you prepare for any volume of business. Being better prepared means less customer complaints.
This feature is a great tool to help tighten the gap between projected vs. scheduled and actual. As you enter scheduled hours to the system you will be able to view how close you are to hours available vs. schedule employees and how close you are to projected labor percent vs. scheduled labor percent. As long as you don’t go over the projected figures you will meet all the projected goals.
- All the shaded white cells are not protected; you need to enter figures into them.
- Enter the projected sales, projected labor percentage and projected average hourly rate.
- Enter the employee work hours to the schedule.
- Enter the actual weekly sales.