Came across this post in the The Globe and Mail on Monday, explaining the top ten tips for growing your restaurant business.

Most of them had to do with front-of-house/staffing management and menu planning, including:

  • Know your customer—literally. Names, preferences, favourite wines: anything to help your regulars feel truly special. And keep on top of shifting demographics—what was wildly popular five years ago may have shifted to simply “meh.”
  • Pick specialties or signature items and be authentic about it. Narrow your menu down to what you do really, really well and keep doing them really, really well. That means no ketchup in your Pad Thai.
  • Train your staffers both to treat customers well and be excellent at their work. No one likes stagnating at work, so emphasize cross-training and innovation, along with superlative customer service.

OK, all good points—and they’re from restaurant consultant Mark Wilson, so they’ve got some credible experience behind them.

But what about the stuff that the customer can’t see? Things like reducing food waste, conserving electricity, gas, and water, and figuring out ways to cut operating costs that have little to do with the food you’re serving.

Restaurants are so often at the mercy of fluctuating utility costs, and while we don’t have stats about how much energy costs affect whether a restaurant is able to stay open, I have to believe that they play a significant role.

So what do you do? Well, we’ve got some posts you can take a look at:

There are lots more, as you can probably tell. The point is, profitability goes beyond the people-and-food side of your restaurant. Without paying attention to the technical side too, you’re missing out on valuable ways to improve your bottom line.

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