It is not easy to be a restaurant owner, certainly not in one of the most competitive markets of the world, United Arab Emirates. The UAE has been in the news for a while now thanks to its diversification plans springing out of depleting oil resources. At the heart of the plan lies the tourism and hospitality industry. Needless to say that the restaurant space in the Emirates is fast growing and constantly changing. Add to that the enormous level of competition and tourism-dependent demand and you have for yourself a melting pot of an industry. Thus, as a restaurant owner, you are bound to feel some tips to run a restaurant effectively must be penned down. Here is our list of smart restaurant management tips that every restaurant owner should follow.
Pro-Tips That Every Restaurant Owner Must Follow
Given the state of the restaurant industry in Emirates and focusing on the factors which affect it the most- extremely high levels of competition and tourism, we have come up with this set of tips for any restaurant owner in UAE.
1. Menu Design Is Important
In the highly competitive market of UAE, attracting and retaining customers is important, but not enough. To earn profits, as a restaurant owner you also need to push people to buy your high-profit dishes. At the same time, you cannot blatantly upsell your dishes all the time. Moreover, you must retain the customer as well, and the design of your menu plays as much role in retaining your customers as does your service. This is so because the way your menu is designed determines how your customer experience will be. Is the menu too long and tedious, or is it too complicated to understand? You need to consider all of this as a restaurant owner.
In either of the scenarios, the customer experience is spoiled, and they would instead visit a restaurant whose menu they can appreciate and conveniently choose from. Here comes the importance of menu design. A good menu design not only enhances your customer experience but plays with their psyche in such a way that they automatically order high-profit dishes. To understand how menu design alone can do such a thing and how to create such a menu, read 9 Essential Restaurant Menu Design Tips That Will Make Your Customers Order More
2. You Need To Market Yourself
With the blatant rise in competition, restaurant space in UAE is not an easy battle to survive. While it is true that tourism is growing, it is also true that the pace at which service providers are growing outdoes the pace at which demand is increasing. Dubai already has merely 260 customers per restaurant as opposed to 320 customers per restaurant in the USA. With Dubai Expo 2020 well on its way, this problem is only going to increase. Here comes the need for you to market yourself. It is more than necessary to have a strong marketing campaign in UAE if you need to attract any customers.
Moreover, because tourists will flock in for Dubai Expo 2020, it is imperative that your marketing campaign has already established you like the available brand so tourists who mostly search places to visit before actually visiting a country, know about your restaurant. It is a good idea to keep a predefined amount separate to market your restaurant. This amount must also be mentioned in your financial plan and budget.
3. Observe Every Trend
Being a restaurant owner can get hectic and tiring, but when you are in an industry as competitive as the food industry, you need to keep up with the pace. Keep an eye out for all the trends that come by. These trends are shaping the restaurant space, and no trend is trivial even if it is short lived. Give due attention to every trend to adapt and survive.
Also, if you fail to keep up with your customer’s preferences, you will die out in time. Trends in the UAE again are more dynamic and volatile than the rest of the world due to the influence of tourists and their varied preferences. However, on the upside, this also means that as a restaurant owner, there are more trends for you to catch on and more opportunities to take advantage of.
4. Invest In Customer Loyalty And Retention
As a restaurant owner, your customers are the most critical stakeholders in your business. While attracting new customers is essential, in the restaurant industry of UAE where there is a shortage of new customers and too many service providers, retaining old customers should be your priority. Everywhere in the world, restaurants make more profits through their old or regular customers as compared to new customers. In order to survive the competition in the restaurant industry of Emirates, customer retention is the key. This can be done through loyalty programs, offers, selected schemes etc. You must invest in a CRM software which can be integrated into your POS software for maximum results. This article will guide you on How To Create A Restaurant Loyalty Program That Actually Brings Back Customers
5. Invest In Smart Technology
Both labor and food cost are at an all-time high in the market. Restaurant technology has a solution to the rising costs in the face of automation though. Invest in the smart restaurant tech that is coming up. Not only will it streamline your operations but reduce wastage of any kind at your restaurant thus reducing your food costs.
When processes are automated, they reduce the time taken to perform some operations and the need to hire manual labor as well. Your operational efficiency will increase and manpower needs and wastage will decrease. To know more, read A Ready Reckoner To Choosing The Right Restaurant POS System
6. Follow Methods Like Proportioning And Waste Management
While we are discussing high food costs in Emirates, it is one thing to employ recipe standardization and inventory control software, and another to physically follow methods like waste management and proportioning. The former is the new way to do things, but that does not mean that the latter is not essential. In fact, both go hand in hand.
A restaurant owner must know the value of proportioning, to begin with. Not only is it crucial to maintaining your restaurant costs but is also essential for your customer satisfaction. If the portions you serve are too less, your customers will not be satisfied and if they are too much, it will lead to wastage and extra costs.
Thus, it is of utmost importance that you standardize your recipes and procedures, measure everything and have precise proportions. It will also be beneficial to divide your food waste into pre-consumption food waste and post-consumption food waste. This will give you a clear picture regarding where the problem lies and what to do in order to fix it.
7. Make A Staff Training Manual
Your staff is the identity of your restaurant, but in a tourist economy where customer perceptions of ideal service are incredibly fluid, your staff may need a resource to go back to keep up. A staff training manual is that resource. Not only does it tell your staff how various functions are to be performed, but it also acts as a guidebook or a reference material to come back to. Thus, invest time in making a staff training manual. The results it will produce are long-term and will reflect in the way your restaurant operates.
8. Conduct A Periodic SWOT Analysis
As a restaurant owner, you must have conducted a SWOT analysis of your restaurant while writing the business plan. As the industry changes and you evolve, your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats also change. In order to stay at the top of your competition, it is a good idea to conduct periodic SWOT analysis. You can do this analysis once a year or even twice for better results and more comprehensive strategies.
9. Choose Your Supplier Carefully
Profits in restaurant space of UAE are already razor-thin but you as a restaurant owner must remember that profits do not just come from increasing sales but from decreasing expenses as well. Here lies the importance of choosing the right restaurant supplier. Do not overstep your budget while selecting a supplier but do not just go with the cheapest one as well. There must be a balance of reliability, accountability, and price. Also if this combination exists in a small supplier go for him instead of a big corporation. Remember it is always better to be a big client of a small supplier than an insignificant client of a big one.
10. Manage Your Accounts Daily
As tedious as it sounds, managing your accounts daily is a must. It tells you a lot more than the day’s sale, it tells you the pattern in which your restaurant performs, which hours are slow, what days are usually rushed, etc. It also gives you insight into your inventory status, how much stock was consumed, at what rate, was anything wasted etc. Managing your accounts daily will also let you pick up on signs of probable losses and need to change for the better.
11. Always Include Time To Reach Break Even In Your Financial Plan
A number of restaurant owners while making their financial pan either do not estimate the time to reach break-even point or underestimate it. It will definitely be great to reach break-even well within or before time but more often than not, this does not happen. Not calculating the time to reach break-even and including it in your financial plan or calculating it but determining a shorter time instead of a longer one for contingencies can ruin your budget and cost you your restaurant. You need to set aside an operating capital that will carry the business forward until you reach the breakeven and start generating profit.
12. Stay Update About Your Restaurant All the Time
One of the biggest mistakes that most restaurant owners end making is depending entirely on the restaurant manager for running the business. While you don’t need to carry out the entire management yourself, you should still oversee the operations diligently. You can do this by reviewing real-time reports of your business right on your mobile phone.
There are many things that you need to take care of as a restaurant owner. We hope that these tips will help you run your restaurant business more efficiently.