Some sectors in the hospitality industry may be going through a rough time but the outlook remains positive.
You may have read that a few restaurants have been hit hard, like Strada and Prezzo closing restaurants, and Jamie’s Italian being – in owner Jamie Oliver’s words – “two hours away from bankruptcy”, the news can leave you wondering if there are opportunities for growth in the food-service sector within the hospitality industry.
To many, the future is still bright particularly if the owners have a firm grip on the finances with help from our hospitality accountants. Your establishment can also grow and reap the rewards in this thriving industry. In this post, we look at 10 ways which you can grow your food-service sector in the hospitality industry.
Here are 10 ways you can grow your business in the hospitality industry
1. Increase sales opportunities
More and more people are going online to buy what they want. From run-of-the-mill items to restaurant take-outs, people are taking advantage of the convenience of the internet to make purchases, either via popular apps like Deliveroo or via the store’s website.
For restaurant owners, make sure you have a user-friendly website with an easy ordering function or partner with a few favourite delivery apps. These delivery companies charge you a commission (usually 10%). The clear advantage is that it can help you to gain more customers, but the con happens when your regular customers start to use the app to order, meaning you end up paying commission for customers who would have come to you anyway.
2. Put your customers first
We all heard this before but for the hospitality industry, this is paramount because when customers walk into a restaurant, they expect to receive exceptional service and from time to time, they may even expect you to bend the rules for them. It pays to figure out what makes you stand out in their eyes and keep that as an integral part of your business strategy.
It must be said that in the old days when a guest didn’t receive a good service, they would tell the staff right away or perhaps share it with a few friends. Today, however, they turn to social media, posting bad reviews that are likely to hurt your business. So here are a few tips to deal with negative online reviews:
- Respond immediately, preferably within 24 hours.
- Be professional and stay cool. Don’t get angry and don’t insult.
- Verify the situation and if it is a fake review, state what you have found and ask the person to remove it.
- Encourage your happy customers to post positive reviews.
3. Scrutinise your accounting
Many businesses fail due to poor financial management and control. You don’t have to be a trained accountant but if you understand the use of accounting and finance in the business context, you have the edge over your competitors. Get help from your hospitality accountants too – a good one should make time for you and use accounting information to help you make strategic decisions.
Scrutinising your accounting is particularly vital if you want to expand. In this instance, giving your business a health check by engaging an audit and accountancy service from Berley, because we can help to identify opportunities for growth and pinpoint weaknesses that need attention.
4. Learn from business leaders
The hospitality industry is one of the oldest industries and there are plenty of successful entrepreneurs with great insights. Learn from those who know how to set the right culture, build the best team, or turn the company around when things are tough.
The flip side of learning is sharing. If you are willing to share your experience in a conference or trade show, you can become a thought leader and increase the exposure of your company, which often lead to new partnerships or new sales.
It sounds simple, but with so much competition around, following the status quo isn’t going to get you anywhere. You need to stand out from the crowd, bring a new product or service and market it in an eye-catching way. Fortunately, the hospitality sector is more lenient than most, so there’s plenty of room to be creative and remain competitive.
6. Pay attention to your equipment
You can’t put out a high-class service without high-quality features and facilities. When running a restaurant, your priority should be making sure that the kitchen equipment all works efficiently, your ordering system (web and onsite) is easy to use and the whole establishment is spotless. In the UK, more and more people are looking for good food hygiene standards so if you have received a high rating, emphasise it.
7. Take advantage of cloud-based systems
Using cloud-based restaurant POS and accounting software have many benefits including:
- Being cloud-based means they don’t require physical server hardware of your premises.
- They are subscription base and usually require no or minimum upfront costs.
- You don’t have to take care of any software updates.
- Support is readily available.
At Berley, we encourage our clients in the hospitality sector to use Xero, a simple-to-use accounting software built for entrepreneurs like yourself.
8. Market yourself online
As many of your potential customers tend to search online before visiting you, your online presence is just as important as your physical establishment. If you haven’t already invested in a website and social media, then make them your top priorities.
Be creative when it comes to market your food-service business online. Run location-based advertising during a quiet period and post mouth-watering food shots when it’s raining are some of the ideas.
9. Keep an eye on the competition
There are no denies that the food-serving business is highly competitive and to attract your customers, you must know your unique selling points and weaknesses.
10. Deal with staff turnover
It’s easy to recruit wait staff, but it’s also easy to lose them. Like it or not, the food-service sector has always had high staff turnover. Be realistic, maintain a positive attitude, keep a database of reliable temp staff who can step in to help, let your customers know some trainees are working tonight, these are just a few tips to help you deal with high staff turnover.
Berley – specialist hospitality accountants in London
Success in the food-service sector boils down to managing your finances right so you can focus on growth. At Berley, we are accountants for small businesses in London with a focus on hospitality accounting. We help you to take care of your financial affairs so you can focus on doing what you do best.
From pricing strategies to tax planning, our hospitality accountants are keenly aware of the challenges you face, which is why we offer a bespoke service that is ideal for your food-service business.
To find out more get in touch on 020 7788 8261 or fill out our Online Form.
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