Restaurants, like any other business, have the sole reason of making profits out of their customers’ needs. There are numerous resources that can help you learn how to run a profitable business. Restaurant management consulting firms in Dubai and Saudi Arabia, however, swear by the tips outlined in this blog article. These tips are behind the success of many restaurants in the region and can help you achieve the same with your restaurant.
10 Tips to Make your F&B Business Profitable
Below, we share 10 of the best tips to increase the profitability of your hospitality business:
1. Ensure Customer Satisfaction
Our customers are the sole reason for the existence of our business. Therefore, if we are to talk about the business’ profitability, it is only natural if we are keen on our customers’ needs. Restaurant management consultants all over Dubai and Saudi agree that the journey to maximum business profitability begins with customer satisfaction.
So how do you ensure your customers walk out of your doors fulfilled and content?
- Understand what they need and what irks them. Some customers, for example, are thoroughly keen on cleanliness and will instantly be put off by the slightest impression of otherwise.
- Keep up with the trends and instantly adapt to customers’ changing needs. Most people are moving towards being healthy and are conscious of what they are eating now more than ever. In order to keep the customers coming, you need to move along with the trends, adopt healthy diets on your menu or opt for ingredients that are more natural and whole.
- Listen to the customers. How do you handle complaints raised by the customers? They will definitely keep coming back if they feel their views are listened to. As a restaurant manager, occasionally walk around the dining room, saying hello to the diners and getting their feedback. This would be highly appreciated and the homely reception will surely promise return visits.
- Take note of and reward your loyal customers. You can set up an email list where you get to share new deals and specials, giving them the privilege of knowing first. Restaurant consulting firms also suggest loyalty programs. Loyalty programs help you to retain customers while giving you an advantage over your competitors.
A satisfied customer is a guaranteed, faster way of marketing that beats any other. You can bet they will come back with friends and family next time.
2. Manage the Costs of Food and Beverage
While you focus on increasing your restaurant’s profitability, take stock of food and beverages in the business. Be vigilant to monitor any disappearance of foods or drinks, which could sadly be as a result of theft from the employees. You should be able to account for how much was bought and how much was sold without missing pieces to the puzzle. Set up a system to ensure no employee makes off with bottles of wine or food.
You can also avoid incurring huge losses by reducing the number of faulty or redo dishes, which also generally reduces the amount you throw out as waste at the end of the day. If you are making losses from expiring ingredients, you can use applications that will notify you when a product is a few days from the expiry date*. The overall effect of all these is saved costs and an increase in the number of profits you earn eventually. Hospitality consultancy companies suggest negotiation with supplies for discounts, helping you to save more.
Hospitality management companies more so in Dubai and Saudi are now keen on the ‘zero waste policy’ as is shown by the high number of F&B companies absorbing it into their policies. The Armani hotel in Dubai is a great example of this.
3. Improve the Quality of Services and the quality of food you offer
A satisfied guest will always market you, and we cannot fail to insist on this. The customers can enjoy great food almost anywhere but what will set you apart from the rest is your service. How you present your food to the customer, how fast or slow your service is; how you basically handle the customer. Be friendly and welcoming, carefully paying attention to the guest. Greet the diners the minute they enter the dining room. Use polite titles such as sir and ma’am when addressing them and see the big difference it will make.
Check on the quality of the food you offer too. This is a no-brainer. The reason your customers came into the premises was largely to get a sumptuous meal. If you have everything else in check but serve unpalatable food, then it will all be in vain. How do you present your food on the plate? Do you offer specialties? Are local foods a big part of your menu? Recent trends show that customers are shifting towards appreciating their local dishes, the same is true in the region. Use organic and healthy ingredients too.
4. Proper Staffing
From the chef to the servers to the maintenance guy, everyone who works at the restaurant is a representation of the business’ values. A customer can get put off by poor employees and that has a negative effect on your image as a company. The bad habit of one employee is tied to the entire restaurant brand as it is seen as something that is allowed and not strictly dealt with. This means that you have to be extra careful when hiring.
You may hire people with experience working in the hospitality industry, but in the situation that you do not, be sure to train them and instill the values that define your business. For instance, you could ensure they are knowledgeable and well-versed with the menu such that they will be able to up-sell food with high-profit margins. It will increase your sales significantly if the waiting staff know exactly when and how to up-sell. They could offer extras alongside the main courses or suggest other courses the guests have not ordered.
Just as any firm in other industries, for maximum output from the employees, you have to ensure that they are happy and engaged with the roles they play. The effect that this has is increased performance, in their serving and eventually in customer satisfaction.
A great way to make sure your staff is well-motivated, as suggested by companies offering hospitality solutions all over Dubai and Saudi Arabia, is establishing reward systems for the employees. Each department could vote in an employee of the week who gets a small reward. This honestly goes a long way in motivating and challenging them to become better at their assigned duties. Hold team building events and get to know your staff individually, they will feel part of a bigger family and their response to your concern and care will blow your mind away.
5. Market! Market! Market!
You may offer the best food and services in Dubai or Saudi Arabia, but of what benefit is it if only a small fraction of the population are able to enjoy them? You want to make maximum profits and that simply means more sales. The best way to market your hospitality business is by following trends. Go with the flow. What sites are most popular at the moment?
Hospitality management companies recently discovered the shift of majority of the population towards YouTube and are now encouraging companies to adopt this trend. Restaurants can now make videos to advertise themselves and post it on YouTube and Facebook Live. Set up ads on these sites too to reach as many people as you can. You can also advertise on travel sites and that will make your business more accessible to both local and foreign visitors.
You may find it of great benefit to hire social media experts and professional photographers on your marketing team to bring out the best of the features in the quality of services you offer and ensure massive advertising. Post up deals such as 2 for 1’s, happy hours and any discounts and watch how the effect works like magic! The advantage of advertising on social media and such sites is that you get to understand what the customers are into and get feedback based on the views, likes and comments that you will get.
Take advantage of celebrities and social media influencers in the region to market yourself. Invite them over and let them make reviews on your restaurant that they will post on their pages. You will be shocked just how much following you will acquire by that.
6. Spruce things up with your décor
An interesting trend has come up. The younger generations (who by the way now have the largest purchasing power) are more likely to visit and be loyal customers to restaurants deemed “cool” by their peer influence. You might be wondering just how they are able to gauge this.
As we have said above, this generation is driven by trends and influences. The social media craze is something we cannot fail to notice. They want to visit instagrammable venues to share with the world, by that we mean they are extra keen on the décor and setting of the restaurant. The décor in your restaurant should match the preferences of the particular group of customers you are targeting. If it is the above-said group, go for classy and trendy themes. If you are targeting professionals, go for more simple yet sophisticated themes with a chilled mood. If your restaurant is purposed to serve families, then you can opt for a more homely and accommodating setting.
Create inviting views for your guests. Do not downplay the effect of plants and nature in your building. Play with lights and sounds. Soft lighting creates the illusion of a bigger space, and hard surfaces reflect the ambience that you are trying to achieve through your musical choices.
7. Do not get left behind on Technology
Technology is no doubt changing the hospitality industry all over the Middle East, most especially in Dubai and Saudi Arabia. We have seen restaurants such as the Drink and Spice Magics Restaurant in Bur Dubai going as far as having robotic servers. To get to a level of maximum profitability that you desire, then you have to up your skills in the technological sector. It makes work much easier. It saves you precious time and it enables you to cut down on costs by replacing employees. Technology is more precise and fastens processes up.
Do you have a running online system where your guests can make bookings or orders? Most customers nowadays prefer this system as it saves time. You can also advance your POS and restaurant management systems to more recent versions for upgrades. You can use software for:
- Monitoring of employee hours and management of payrolls
- Inventory management
- Queue management
Having the latest cooking equipment will also be an added advantage to your business. Cooking time is cut almost by half and therefore, there is faster delivery of orders. You may not need to hire as many employees to assist with the cooking if your equipment does most of the work, this saves you a whole lot of hiring costs
8. Adopt Delivery Services
Join the bandwagon and start offering delivery services to increase your accessibility. Do not limit yourself only to customers who physically visit your premises when you can reach out to more through delivery. You may partner with third-party delivery firms at a standardised price in case it will be overbearing to handle the costs on your own. Some of these delivery companies in Dubai include Eat Clean ME, Uber Eats, Talabat, Deliveroo and Spoonfed. Those in Saudi Arabia can use Mathaqi, Wssel and Talabat.
Consolidation of these services will close a gap between you and a particular group of customers, helping you increase sales and eventually your profits.
9. Offer consistency
What is the one thing that keeps your customers coming back? It could be your service or simply how you cook your food. Well, whatever it is, do not lose sight of it. Be loyal to your customers as much as you want them to be loyal to you. You can do this by promising them that however they like things done is how they are always going to find it when they come back again and again. This does not mean that you should settle for it. Keep digging into it, explore more ways to bring flavour, switch up ingredients here and there but do not lose your authenticity. Remember why your guests love coming back.
10. Monetise on extra spaces
There are so many ways in which you can make some more cash by utilizing the extra spaces. If you have a lot of unused space, you can be creative and find yourself making more than you ever imagined.
- Set up a co-working space
Many more people are moving out of office employment to work from home. Occasionally they may need to work in a different environment, or maybe host meetings. You can offer these services at a friendly cost.
- Art gallery
Turn that room into a little artsy haven where artists can exhibit their work at a fee. Not to forget the number of customers it will draw at the same time.
- Establishing a spa or fitness centre
As fitness and healthy living are prioritised among many people, your restaurant can actively take part in this move. The spa or fitness centre will be a source of income as well as a source of entertainment for your guests.
- Creating an indoor garden
Sustainability and going green was listed among the 2019 trends in the hospitality industry. Customers are keen now more than ever on environmental conservation. It would also be cost-saving to grow your own organic vegetables.
Take it from the experts
In conclusion, we have seen that the customer is the main target to focus on when you want to make your business more profitable. Discover what makes the customer happy and what easily puts him off. Make it your business to ensure every customer that walks out of your premises is happy and satisfied, willing to come back again and again. It is really important to be up to date with the latest trends and adapt as required.
A business that has learned the art of maximising its profits is one that is well-aligned with trends, changing its provision of services along with the change in customers’ needs. Understand what your target market expects from you and be vigilant to meet them there. Conserve where there is wastage and make improvements in whichever area that calls for any. The possibilities are endless! Your profits could as well be at the highest if you apply the above tips to your F&B business.
And if you decide that you need any assistance from a restaurant management consultant in Dubai, Saudi, or anywhere in the Gulf region to earn profits from your hospitality business, contact Glee today. You can also browse through our services to see how we can be of help.