In India, a lot of successful restaurants are family run and these restaurants are so good that you often wonder why they haven’t opted for restaurant expansion. I have seen many people suggest the restaurant owners that they should start a new branch at a new place, expand. But, the owner just politely laughs it off saying he’s comfortable where he is.
So, why are these restaurants so reluctant to start a new branch and expand into multiple locations? Here are some of the concerns of the restaurant owners when it comes to restaurant expansion:
- Theft of money by biller
- No personalized treatment for repeat customers
- No control on service level in the restaurant
- Compromise on food taste and quality
All the above reasons are of serious concern, but you can definitely counter these problems effectively if you have the right tools with you. Let us look at each of these problems and how to counter them.
Theft of money by biller
In India, if you ask the Gen X and Gen Y segment they will say that the person who is collecting the money after a meal is assumed as the owner of the restaurant because this is most important part of managing the restaurant; the restaurant owners would not outsource this work to anyone else.
The risk of fraud is high and to control it, a restaurant owner has to know the following things:
- How many plates to be prepared for the day?
- How much gets sold?
- What is the left over Inventory?
But how to know all these things when you are not physically present at the restaurant? The answer lies with the modern POS systems which have an Inventory and recipe management modules, which will help you calculate how many plates can be prepared from the raw material that you have.
They also provide real time session sale notifications by the billers, with which you will know how many plates have been sold and how much money has been collected so far. At the end of the day, you can calculate the leftover and devise your income, thereby ensuring that no fraud happens.
No special treatment for repeat customers
If you ask any successful restaurant owner, he will know his regular customers by their name, their preferences and will have a very good rapport with them. This brings about loyalty of the customers as well as additional business, as they will spread positive word-of-mouth about your restaurant.
So, how do you identify your regular customers if you are not present at the restaurant? The POS systems help you collect mobile numbers against each bill so that you can gather the following information.
- How many times has a customer visited my restaurant this month?
- What was the total sale value?
- What feedback did he/she provide?
Using this data, you can identify your top customers and send them a ‘Thank You’ note at the end of the day, inform them whenever a new item is added in your menu, give them discounts or wish them on their birthdays and anniversaries. All these things will make the customer loyal to your restaurant.
No control on service level in the restaurant
In the service intensive industry, loyalty of a customer will depend on the quality of the last interaction he had with the restaurant. For instance, ask yourself a question: did you ever visit a restaurant again where you had a fight with the manager over the food? I’ll guess “NO”.
So, how do you know if a customer has been ill-treated at your restaurant? Have a convenient feedback mechanism in place. It can be via an app or by simply putting up your number at the restaurant entrance for registering complaints, so that the customers have an option to put across their thoughts. And as a restaurant owner, you would have an opportunity to set things right.
Compromise on food taste and quantity
In India, standardization in food was never followed. The taste of food is very specific to the person who made it and this is because most of the measurements in India are not in terms of the number of spoons but as ‘handfuls’, making it difficult for one person to imitate the taste of food prepared by another person.
If you have figured out a hit recipe, then you may have to figure out a way to imitate the process so that the taste remains unchanged. In order to make that process easier, you can measure your ingredients in grams, rather than ‘handfuls’. This method will also help you when it comes to raw material management and fraud control at the store level.
The best practice to maintain in a restaurant is the practice of having a brilliant POS system. If you are looking for one, take a look at SmartD Business. You can do all of the above and more with the multitudes of features available with this simple to use Restaurant Management System. Plan your restaurant expansion strategy today!
Pic courtesy – Internet