Ideas to expand your restaurant business

Running any sort of business isn’t easy but it could be easily argued operating a restaurant is one of the hardest trades of all. From looking after health and safety concerns to ensuring food is delivered on time and to a high standard – plus, of course, dealing with an often-fickle public – the job of a restaurateur is perhaps one of the toughest in the world.

However, just as with all firms, most companies seek to expand and grow. Sure, the day-to-day running of your firm should always come first but, just like most entrepreneurs, your eventual aim will likely be switching your focus towards restaurant marketing in order to grow your business.

If you run a restaurant and are looking for ways to diversify and grow your firm, below are a few ideas that could help.

Change your menu – add specials and time-limited dishes

Adding special menu items or time-limited dishes can be a great way to spice up what you offer – plus is almost guaranteed to generate interest. Speak to your chef and see if he/she has any ideas for meals they might want to add.

Think about delivery food or takeaway options

If your firm currently just operates with physical, in-house sales, one of the easiest ways to grow and expand your restaurant is to think about deliveries, takeaways or even drive-thru sales (obviously this may largely be dictated by your premises and location). As a result of the distancing measures of the recent Coronavirus outbreak, restaurants had little option but to look at ways to sell their food through other means – with delivery services like Just Eat, Uber Eats and Deliveroo booming.

If you want a simple, fast and cost-effective way to expand your restaurant business, think about alternative ways for customers to buy your food; drive thru menu boards these days are a fraction of the cost they once were meaning you could offer takeaway sales – plus getting on board with some of the larger delivery food companies could see you hugely expand your customer base (both potential and existing).

Look carefully at your staff

All businesses are the sum total of their staff and the employees you hire should be your firm’s greatest asset. Often, it can be all too easy just to accept the status quo and leave things as they are but you should take a long, cold, hard look at your team to evaluate exactly what they bring to your business.

Study and identify market opportunities

Doing a so-called SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) is sensible in any business and can give you valuable insight into the here and now of your firm. By looking at the competition, you’ll be able to get an idea of potential threats or market opportunities, while taking an impartial view of how your business operates now (strengths/weaknesses) you’ll be able to identify areas for improvement or parts of your firm that are working particularly well.

A SWOT analysis will also let you see if there are areas where you might be able to expand your firm – for example, if there is a lack of Thai restaurants in your area (and, of course, you have the skills to be able to move into that sector) then you could look at branching into offering Thai food.

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