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Running a restaurant can be quite a venture. There are so many aspects that should to be taken into consideration, like food, health and safety requirements, marketing strategies, staff, venue and so much more. Many business owners start their restaurant adventure with a good business plan – something that can help them form ideas and structures for their upcoming eatery. It is an essential part of a successful establishment. So, what is a restaurant strategic plan then? We use a strategic plan to implement and manage ideas and possible improvements of an existing business.
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What Are the Key Elements of a Strategic Plan for Restaurant Business?
If you run your own restaurant establishment, then you are probably aware of the fact, that you should always keep up with everything that is going on around your eatery. You have to be on top of everything. A good strategic plan for restaurant helps you see things outside the box. Food quality, customers service, atmosphere, social media presence – those are just some of the aspects that should be considered while formulating a strategic plan. Perhaps your business is lacking something, that other eateries are not? Online delivery options? Outstanding desserts? Sometimes it is good to compare yourself to other businesses and see what your competitors offer their customers. We are not encouraging to be a copycat here and offer the exact same menu, but to simply implement similar services like online food delivery or to cater parties. By offering more options and services, you get more recognition and you can definitely gain a great deal of new customers.
Strategic Planning for Restaurant
In order to prepare a perfect restaurant strategic growth plan, we encourage you to take a closer look at SWOT analysis. SWOT is the acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. It is always good to be aware of your restaurant strong sides but also know all your weaknesses. Perhaps your social media or internet website could use a slight makeover? Media presence is highly important these days. What about the upcoming Restaurant’s Week in your city? Take the opportunity and show off your restaurant’s fabulous food! Threats? Know your competitors – if they have something that you do not offer – make sure not to stay too far behind. If your restaurant is known for long delivery times – try to fix this problem as soon as possible. And if your eatery offers the best chicken pot pie in the entire county – let the people know about it! What is more- offer a discount on your chicken pot pie – encourage your clients to visit your eatery and taste it! Remember to take every opportunity that comes your way! A collaboration with a famous influencer is on the horizon? Do not waste your shot! Do whatever it takes to make your business visible out there.
The Basics of a Restaurant Strategic Growth Plan
If you feel like your restaurant is lacking something, make sure to take your time and investigate the problem. A good business is on a constant move. Just like you never stop learning – your restaurant should never slow down. The food and customer service are the key elements of every eatery out there. Every restaurant strategic plan should involve food section there! Even if your business is well-known for its impeccable food – make sure to always surprise your loyal customers with some new additions to the menu. There are those clients who will never get bored with your lasagna, but remember that there is also a great deal of people, who would like to try something different and new as well. You can leave the best-sellers on the menu forever, but try to add some seasonal dishes as well. Each season gives us different treasures from the soil, so make sure to use them wisely in your kitchen and amaze your customers!
Every plan needs a market analysis. Even if you already run a restaurant, you should always make that periodic market analysis, so that you know what is going on in the food business. Any new restaurant software? Maybe it can improve the workflow of your business! Food trends, or even change in demographics around your restaurant – everything has an impact on your business. A new office building is about to appear in the area? That means a bunch of brand-new customers! Time to renew your lunch specials and hire more delivery people, or simply partner up with delivery services. The market changes every day, so if you want to run a successful restaurant, you ought to follow up with all the news and customize your business to your customers’ needs and expectations.
A Good Marketing Plan is a Must
Marketing is an inseparable part of every business out there. Does not matter if you run a clothing store or a restaurant. You should always focus on good marketing. But what exactly is a good marketing? Is it only about throwing events and giving away freebies? A good marketing strategy or a campaign will grant you some decent profits for sure. Whether you want to start your restaurant business and you are lingering over your desk and writing a business plan, or simply need to boost sales in your existing restaurant establishment, so you are working on your strategic plan – a marketing plan should be included in both! Do you ever stand in line at your local supermarket and look at those chocolate bars and chewing gums that are located near the cash registers? “Let me grab one” – I bet everyone said that at least once in their lifetime. This is what we call “a good marketing move”. Putting those little snacks and treats at your sight while you are waiting to pay for the groceries. What an income booster! Marketing is all about promoting your business and increasing your sales.
Social Media – Your Precious Marketing Tool
There are many aspects of restaurant marketing. So, if you need a good restaurant strategic plan, do not forget to devote a whole chapter for marketing and its ingenious ways to increase your restaurant’s income. Social media can be your secret warrior. Of course, you can always get those paid ads, but if you are on a budget, you can at least improve your social media presence by posting photos regularly. Think of a social media strategy, where you ask your customers to tag your business or repost your posts. Offer them discounts or free desserts to their next orders. Trust us – the power of social media is indescribable. All you have to do is to time your posts or tweets and keep your webpage updated. Treat your homepage as a free marketing tool, where you notify your guests about any upcoming discounts and events.
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Yes, events are important. So, if you happen to be thinking about any other marketing strategies to put in your restaurant strategic plan, make sure to put this one in there! You do not have to throw events on a monthly basis, but try to throw at least few throughout the year. It can be a themed event for Halloween or a nice brunch for Mother’s Day weekend. Freebies attract people, so remember to get a bunch of free pens or mugs for the clients. Advertise those upcoming events on your restaurant’s social media accounts and website. You can even work on your email marketing game! Send out friendly reminders or cute digital invitations – so your loyal customers will feel special!
Can You Benefit from a Restaurant Strategic Plan?
Many people who already run a food establishment do not want to waste their time on strategic plans. Why? Because they think they have it all covered. Perhaps they do, but we think it is always better to take a small step back just to see what is really going on in your business. There are many ways to improve the workflow and increase the profits. Running a restaurant is quite a challenge and sometimes one can overlook some things. A strategic plan will help you take a closer look at every aspect of your business. See what your customers have to say about your restaurants. Afterall, they are the main target and profit makers here. You can always designate a small area at your restaurant to put a “suggestion box” or ask them to fill out a questionnaire, where you may ask them about the food, customer service and any other aspects of your business. A restaurant strategic plan will definitely help you make all the improvements that will eventually lead to better sales and higher incomes.
Restaurant Strategic Plan Sample – Customize it!
If you search the internet, you will definitely notice that a restaurant business plan is far more common than a restaurant strategic plan. It is probably because some people are still not aware of all the benefits that come from a well formulated strategic plan. Just like with resume or a cover letter – there are many different structures of a restaurant strategic plan as well. The truth is, the most important aspects of a good strategic plan is not the structure but your own observations and notes. There are many different websites that offer you free samples and templets of restaurant strategic plans. Most of them are customizable, so you can easily create your own plan.
What Else Should Be Taken into Account When Writing a Strategic Plan?
Before you write down a strategic plan for your restaurant, make sure to take some notes. Just like we have mentioned before – food and customer service are very important. See if you can improve the food quality, or perhaps come up with different food variations. Check your customer service performance. Do not forget about the restaurant’s vibe and atmosphere. Make sure to improve delivery time if needed. Work on social media presence. See if there are any areas of your business which need an upgrade. Perhaps your POS system has to be updated or you noticed that there is too much food wase, so you might need to work on that. There are numerous restaurant software available online, that can easily help you manage your restaurant more efficiently. Take notes and put all your observations in your restaurant strategic plan. It will give you an idea of all the thing that can be done better, in order to improve the service and get you those higher sales.
If you own a food establishment, make sure to take your time and create a thorough restaurant strategic plan. Take advantage of the internet, and get a free sample or a template. Focus on different aspects of your business, like media presence, food delivery, market analysis and more. You might be surprised, that once you start digging into the topic, you will see how many things can be improved so that your restaurant can run smoothly and more efficiently. Afterall, every business owner would like to see happy customers and those high incomes, right? A restaurant strategic plan will definitely help you satisfy not only your dear clients and employees, but also your bank account!