The food industry is always thriving. After all, everyone needs to eat, often a mix of staple foods, comfort flavours, and new dishes. But if there is anything that 2020 has shown us, there isn’t a fully recession-proof industry. With 2021 likely to be dictated by the pandemic, it will take the bravest and most savvy to start a restaurant business this year.
Are you thinking of finally making your restaurant dreams come true? Starting a restaurant this year will require a lot of grit and strategy to boot. Start-up tasks typically include expert market research, menu planning, scoping out the competition, installing the right equipment like commercial coolers, and choosing a high-traffic location.
Check out this guide to serving delicious flavours and successfully running your restaurant this year.
How to Increase Restaurant Profits in 2021
The main goal of any business is profit. These earnings are essential to your business’s future. To earn a healthy profit margin, you simply need to make more revenue than your expenses. Unfortunately, expenses during the pandemic have gone up. With guidelines requiring restaurants to install covid-secure safety measures such as hand sanitizer, perspex screens, socially distanced tables and contactless toilets and payment systems, the cost of running a restaurant has gone up dramatically.
The problem is that whilst expenses have increased, revenue has taken a nosedive due to fewer people eating out and capacity limits on how many people you can have indoors. Many restaurants struggled to reopen safely for heavily restricted indoor dining, with earning potential reduced by being limited to take-out and delivery.
As restaurants adapt to safe reopening guidelines, it’s necessary to find other ways of maximizing profits. This could include doing things like bulk ordering key ingredients. Bulk Frozen Vegetables are a good way to save money as vegetables are used in many dishes but are often blended into sauces or purees so do not need to look freshly picked. Frozen veg is still just as fresh and healthy as ambient veg, but it lasts much longer and is easier to store, saving on waste and therefore being better value-for-money.
Build a Food Delivery App for the Restaurant
There’s no doubt that restrictions on indoor and even patio-only dining have hurt many restaurants in the past year – and is expected to continue as lockdown and physical distancing measures persist. But even at home, you can expect loyal customers to crave their favourite comfort or seek new flavours that pique their interest. Don’t starve them.
As take-out and delivery becomes the norm, many restaurants can slowly bounce back from the slump caused by indoor dining restrictions. Food delivery and take-out pick-up apps allow customers to place an order online, pay, and get their food in an entirely safe and contactless manner. You can look at using something like micros mobile if this something that you think your restaurant could use to help them expand. Now, serving best-selling menu items just got a lot more convenient.
Social Media Marketing Strategies
It’s time to get social. Both loyal patrons and potential customers are always hanging out on social media. Serious foodies even curate a selection of hashtags and accounts they follow for the latest food trends and recipes and tag local businesses they love. But are you trending on their feeds?
Take advantage of your presence on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to attract customers with mouth-watering photos. You can also use this space to provide up-to-date information about your restaurant, such as food safety protocols you are practicing to gain customer’s trust.
Use popular social media trends and gimmicks to connect with customers, such as fun hashtags and stories. Invite customers to post their photos and tag you to qualify for deals or discounts when they refer a friend or come back for a second order.
Set New Healthy Menu
If it wasn’t clear before, the need to protect our health and boost our immune system is becoming even more critical. This year is an excellent time to revamp your menu and appeal to customers who want to embrace a healthier lifestyle.
Many customers are now looking to swap out their guilty pleasures with healthy options, such as vegetarian or vegan food, fruit smoothies, and calorie-wise dishes. There’s nothing better than a combination of delicious and nutrient-rich flavours in every guilt-free bite.
There are many ways you can promote a revamped and healthier menu. Start by incorporating symbols for low-calorie and vegetarian options on the menu to guide customers. Make sure to encourage these new menu items on social media, and use popular hashtags that health-conscious customers follow to attract them to your page.
The Future of Restaurants
As restaurants continue to grapple with the impact of COVID-19, growing your business this year will require a lot of creativity. Survival means embracing technology that shapes the customer experience, from convenient mobile ordering to contactless payment and pick-up or delivery.
Now more than ever, you need to connect with customers and keep them up-to-date on both exciting offers and safety measures to guarantee their long-term satisfaction and trust.
You will need affordable but reliable equipment like commercial coolers that do the heavy lifting of sealing in every bit of flavour and quality taste that customers look for in the kitchen.
Embracing these trends will help you run a successful restaurant that will quickly grow into a local neighbourhood attraction.