5 Easy Steps you can take to Retain Restaurant Staffs

Imagine that your restaurant is growing at a steady rate or is at the brink of success. But what if a star employee decides to leave?

You can manage, right?

But what if more than one employee decides to leave?

That won’t be good for your restaurant.

So, take the following steps to ensure that your staffs stick with your restaurant.

Retain Restaurant Staff

 

Be a Good Manager

There is a difference between being good and being a jerk.

If you are a business minded person who doesn’t care about their staffs at all, then you are going to regret it in the near future.

As everyone has a breaking point and it’s no different with your staffs. If you continue to act in the same way, your staffs are going to leave.

But don’t lose hope yet. There are some steps that you can take to prevent that.

Offering support, organising a special event, sharing responsibility, and encouraging your staffs are some of the steps that you can take towards it.

 

Fire Poor Performers

You might me wondering that, “I thought that this article was about retaining staffs, not firing them”.

Well, if the staffs are dragging your restaurant down then it’s better to fire them without hesitation.

Failure in doing so will require your star performers to outperform; the added stress will make them leave soon enough and you’ll be left with the poor performers. As a result, the sales and service will suffer.

 

Get Rid of Poor Equipment

Making your staffs work with outdated equipment that clearly needs to be replaced or repaired is mental torture.

Your staffs are already going through enough stress and pressure. They will try their best to work with the equipment as long as they can tolerate. But sooner or later, they are going to walk out of the door if you fail to repair/upgrade the equipment.

 

Train your Staffs

If you want to keep your staffs, you should have a comprehensive training program in place. Read the following guide to achieve that: How to Train Restaurant Staff

 

Compliment your Staffs

A simple “thank you” or a genuine compliment can go a long way. Stop taking your staffs for granted.

The mistake that most managers/owners make is that they never compliment their staff. But never miss the opportunity to criticise them for their poor performance or mistakes.

The way you treat them is going to reflect on how they treat your customers.

So, change before it’s too late to avoid any kind of regret.

 

How to Keep Pests from Closing Down Your Restaurant

Think about the last person you would like to meet on earth even if a zombie apocalypse takes place. How would you feel if they pay you a surprise visit?

Not a happy situation, right?

Well, pest sightings are worse than that. If your customer happens to see a pest in your restaurant it will not only result in loss of business and a marred reputation but is also followed by an inspection from the health inspector which might result in getting your restaurant shut down.

 

Restaurant Pest Control

 

So, what can you do about that?

As you might have heard several times over that prevention is better than cure, keeping pests away is the best step you can take rather than having to worry about getting rid of them.

If pests have successfully breached into your restaurant, don’t worry just follow this guide and your restaurant will be pest proof.

But to win any battle, you should have an idea about the enemies that you are going to face.

Let’s take a look at the four most common pests found in the restaurant kitchen.

  • Flies
  • Stored-product pests
  • Rodents
  • Cockroaches

Most common pests found in restaurant

 

Flies

The most common type of flies found in a restaurant is house and fruit flies.

Houseflies carry more than 100 types of disease-causing germs and they contaminate the food items by tasting through their feet.

Fruit flies feed on decaying items, mainly fruits, and vegetables.

The body of flies is coated in bacteria most of the time and they contaminate the food items by landing on it, which leads to illness such as shigella, E. coli, and staphylococcus.

 

Rodents

Rats and mice carry a number of diseases, including salmonella, plague, rat-bite fever and Hantavirus.

To find out if a rodent has successfully sneaked into your restaurant, look for rub marks and other signs, such as droppings, burrows, gnaw marks on plastic pipes or electric wires.

 

Stored-Product Pests

Despite their small size, stored-product pests should never be ignored as they contaminate much more than they can eat which incurs to heavy losses.

In addition to ruining commodities, some species secrete chemicals that alter the flavour of food products, while others cause an allergic reaction if ingested, which irritates the human digestive tract.

Inspection food supplies and storage at regular intervals by employees for signs such as live larvae, webbing, and adult pests, and removing the infested commodity immediately will keep them at bay.

 

Cockroaches

 Cockroaches carry an average of 25 disease-producing bacteria that can lead to foodborne diseases such as diarrhoea, pneumonia, food poisoning, and leprosy. They also pick up germs as they crawl through sewage or decaying matter and carry these onto food items.

As if that wasn’t enough, research shows that their excrement and cast skins contain allergens that result in allergies and asthma.

Operating a restaurant is hard enough, having to deal with pests like these is just like adding oil to the fire.

Now that you know what you’re dealing with, let’s take a look at a few steps you can take to reduce the risk of infestation and get rid of pests if already present.

 

  1. Inspection

Pests are like Tom Cruise from the movie mission impossible; they can sneak into almost anywhere. So, to catch them you’ll have to turn into Sherlock Holmes.

Don’t worry, just ensure that you perform the following step and you’ll end up being a pretty good Sherlock.

  • Keep a black light handy and use it to monitor for the sign of infestations, pest urine and bite marks before taking the shipment inside.
  • Inspect for egg cases, faeces, cast skins or live pests in every single place.

 

  1. Storage
  • After taking them in, store grain products in a glass jar to monitor for larvae.
  • Store dry foods away from the floor and walls.
  • Ensure a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit inside your refrigerator.
  • Rotate products on first in first out basis.
  • Seal all containers tightly.

 

  1. Sanitation
  • If spillage occurs, immediately vacuum or clean.
  • Regularly clean appliances and equipment.
  • Wash the kitchen floor to get rid of elements that attract pests.
  • Use drain cleaners to get rid of pests that hang out in the sink or floor drains.
  • Regularly remove waste from all trashcans.

 

  1. Keeping them Away
  • Ensure that your restaurant’s doors and windows are weather sealed.
  • Avoid keeping doors or windows open, unless absolutely necessary.
  • Encourage your employees to speak up about pest sightings.
  • Consider installing wall mounted fans that will blow air out against pests.
  • Ensure that all trash cans have tightly sealed lids.

If you and your staffs work together, you can win the war against pests.

P.S If you think that the situation is getting out of your hand; it is recommended that you call a professional pest management team for expert help.

 

How to Market your Restaurant in 17 Unique Ways

Before getting into restaurant marketing I want to stress three things:

1) Offer tasty food.

2) Provide great service.

3) Control food cost.

Failure in doing these three basic things is a recipe for disaster, but if done right and coupled together with a great marketing plan can skyrocket your restaurant’s sales.

Let’s take a look at 17 marketing strategies to promote your restaurant and build a strong customer base.

How to Market Your Restaurant

  1. Food Porn

The best way to promote your restaurant online is through high-quality, drool-inducing images.

Having delicious looking photos on your website and other social media accounts such as Facebook, Instagram, etc. will grab the attention from growling stomachs everywhere!

Hire a professional photographer or do it yourself, but special care should be taken to ensure that the images are top-notch.

You can find some helpful tips for photographing food in this bbcgoodfood post.

 

  1. Reviews

How many times have you gone through product reviews before purchasing a product?

You might be thinking I lost count, don’t you?

Public opinions have taken over the internet and you can use it to your own advantage by gaining positive reviews on websites such as Yelp,  Zomato, Trip Advisor, etc.

It is a major factor in deciding if customers will be dining in your restaurant or your competition’s.

Simply taking care of the three factors that I stressed at the beginning of this article will help you gain a positive review for your restaurant.

 

Negative Reviews

If someone leaves a negative review online reach out to them, apologize for the inconvenience caused, promise to improve in the future, and work out a form of compensation.

This shows that you actually care about your customers and leaves a good impression.

In many cases, this has also proved helpful to get the reviewers back in the door for a second chance.

 

Points to keep in Mind

  •           Always answer in a polite, professional manner.
  •           Thank them for their review, whether good or bad.
  •           Work out a form of compensation for the inconvenience caused.

 

  1. Be Found

 Claim your spot in online directories and review sites. Also, set up a responsive website that has your restaurant’s location, special offers, latest menu, etc.

Even just having a website is not enough. You need to publicize it in your advertising materials and stationary.

It is also important to set up a Google my business page for your restaurant to help it get found.

 

  1. Loyalty Program

Partnering with nearby business or online apps can help bring in more business.

For online apps strategy to be effective offer a discount or free purchase if a person visits a certain number of times.

For the partnering strategy to work, promote one another and offer a special coupon that can be redeemed at your partner’s business place.

 

  1. Blog

Start a blog to establish an online presence and engage with your customers.

Blog about recipes or anything else that your customers might find interesting.

Instead of spitting out junk bring quality in your posts. It’s better to have quality over quantity.

 

  1. Email Newsletter

Set up an email newsletter that informs your customer base about the latest offers, new menu items etc.

 

  1. Traditional Marketing

In this digital era, traditional marketing methods are mostly ignored, but if done right can bring in a lot of customers.

The traditional methods to focus on are brochures, flyers, newspapers, texting, and magazine ads, etc.

 

  1. Show off your staffs

Capture an image of one of your happiest staffs working, be it the chef, waiter, or the busboy.

Post these images with a small description to your restaurant’s social media accounts to show that you value your staffs.

The added advantage of this strategy is that this not only makes your staffs happy but also helps build an image that your restaurant is a fun place to hang out and has great customer service.

 

  1. Food bloggers

Request food bloggers to review your restaurant in return for a free meal/drink.

The review will help with your reputation and the outside link will help with your website ranking.

Some bloggers might decline your offer, but the more you ask better your chances.

 

  1. Test new waters

There are many marketing platforms out there other than Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest that can be used to promote your restaurant.

Try to find out about them by staying current with the latest technology.

Once such app is FourSquare , use it to your own advantage by creating a personalized offer where the first 50 to check in get a free drink/appetizer.

 

  1. Social Media Presence

Use social media accounts to strengthen your word of mouth watering by sharing pictures of the newest dishes, special discounts, and other posts to have an interesting and interactive online presence.

This provides you with the priceless opportunity to represent your restaurant and engage with your customers 365 days a year.

Also, let people check –in at your restaurant through your Facebook page.

To enable this option, ensure that the category of your Facebook page is set to Local business and follow the following steps.

  1. Click About on the left side of your page.
  2. Click Page Info.
  3. Add your restaurant’s address in the address section and click Save Changes.
  4. After saving your changes, a map will appear in the address section. Click on the edit button again and check the box next to Show map and check-ins on the Page.
  5. Click Save Changes.

 

  1. Free Wi-Fi

Offer free Wi-Fi if your data plan allows it, but if you are using a tablet-based restaurant management software ensure that it doesn’t interfere with the network.

One issue that you might face because of this is low table turnaround time.

Monitor how it goes and decide if it’s good for your restaurant’s business or not.

 

  1. Packaging

Promote your restaurant on the packaging. Partner with a nearby business and offer them something in exchange for promoting your restaurant on the packaging.

 

  1. Email Marketing

Market your restaurant to potential customers through Gmail ads or emails by pushing the latest offers and discounts.

Special care should be taken to not overdo it, as users will appreciate a less flooded inbox.

 

  1. Online Delivery and Reservation

Partner with online delivery and reservation services. If done right, this will help bring a lot of business.

 

  1. Engage  

Engage with user-generated posts to show that you appreciate your customers. This will help build a fan following.

Greet your regular customers on their birthday or any other special occasion, and forward a coupon that can be redeemed for a free drink/appetizer. This helps in bringing in the business of the people accompanying him/her to celebrate.

 

  1. Monitor

Monitor the web using monitoring application such as Google alerts to find out mentions about your restaurant, staffs, cuisine, and competitors.

Doing so not only keeps you informed but also lets you safeguard your restaurant’s reputation.

Following these 17 marketing strategies will help grow your restaurant gradually without breaking the bank.