Updated: Jun 19, 2020
It's only a few weeks to go before the year changes. Do you already have a vision for your restaurant next year?
Do you want to have the best year yet in your business in 2020?
If so, the time to plan, strategize, and come up with a game plan is this month.
I would like to talk about three things you should consider in preparing for next year's business calendar. And my advice is for you to spend time and think about it this month.
1. Conduct a thorough SWOT Analysis of your restaurant
I firmly believe that you must do a SWOT Analysis every single year. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.
Every year, you must look at the Strengths of your restaurant. Where are you very good at, and what are you famous for in town?
Also, what are the weaknesses when it comes to different aspects of your business? This is what I call macro-SWOT Analysis, as well as micro-SWOT Analysis.
Macro focuses on more significant points of the strengths and weaknesses within your restaurant as a whole.
While micro-level centers on the smaller or more specific parts of your restaurant such as strengths and weaknesses within your marketing, kitchen operations, or team.
Your ticket times, dining experience, reputation, price point, marketing strategy, systems, finances, labor percentage, food cost, etc. can be your strengths and weaknesses.
I do think that if you want to have the best year yet, you have got to do this task, and there's no way around it.
On the other hand, you also need to determine the opportunities and threats.
For opportunities, you need to view the restaurant trends on a local or national level. Study the new trends that are coming in 2020 in hopes that it could be a fantastic opportunity for us to take our sales to the next level or be known for something new.
For threats, you must identify those in our industry. It could be a new trending movement that is making a buzz.
For instance, you have a burger store with shakes and fries that are delicious. And this movement of healthy food options is becoming more popular among people. So, this becomes a threat to you.
Another example of a threat could be a new establishment in town with a fab budget, and a great experience that they can provide.
For instance, a few months ago, two movie houses opened. They are about a mile from our restaurants.
Both of them serve pizzas. They also offer other forms of entertainment like bowling, laser tag, etc. We own pizzerias, so that became a massive threat to us.
And there was another threat that I didn't foresee with the arrival of these new businesses. That was losing some of our staff. Sadly, they got "snatched" by these companies.
These are big problems. If you are not planning and don't come up with a contingency system, then that's going to startle you in the future.
2. Increase your prices
Another thing you need to consider before 2020 is to increase your rates this month. How will you increase your prices without losing customers? That is the big question.
Here are some items I'm planning to raise prices with, and maybe you can also consider your restaurant doing these as well:
1. Catering menu - do market research, look around into the 5-mile radius of your restaurant. What are the catering options folks have, overall?
In our case, we serve pasta and pizza. So, I am going to conduct marketing research to identify if we are below or above the market.
How can we craft our offering in a way that we're not necessarily and directly competing, but rather, we can create a unique experience?
2. Drinks - we have not increased prices for our drinks in the last few years. So now, I'm thinking of adding a few cents to it, particularly in our alcoholic beverage, the beer.
3. Regular menu - for example, with appetizers, you may want to have a variety of those.
Maybe something worth $4.00, $6.00, and $10.00. Aside from pricing selections, we can also have a variety of offerings that people can use, like healthy options or not so healthy options.
Increase prices this month for you to see a little bit of a boost in sales before we hit 2020. That would be an excellent way to welcome the new year.
3. Create an innovative campaign
A quote from Thomas Jefferson says, "If you want something you've never had, you must be willing to do something you've never done."
If you want to have results that you've never had in 2020, you need to do things you've never done before.
Whether it's having smooth operations, or seeing a growth in your sales steadily, like hitting 10 % month after month, you have to make some innovations for you to achieve it.
I understand that this could be a lot of work for you, and I. But we both want those results we've never had, so we got to be trying new things.
What are the things you've been working on this month that you are willing to try in 2020?
If you haven't started thinking about this yet, let me give you some ideas:
✔ A new menu offering