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Leverage the most underutilized resources in your restaurant

Q: I often feel as though I’m the only person in my business who understands it. Where can I turn for advice and help?

It’s lonely at the top. Often the owner or CEO of a business has few people, if anyone, to speak with about his/her business. Family is wonderful but dragging your business into your family is a guaranteed way to invite unsolicited, often frustrating advice. Your family cares about you and unless they’re working in the same business, they’ll have a difficult time avoiding the anxiety and perplexity you’re experiencing when you simply wanted to vent or get some ideas.

So, where should you turn? There are three underutilized resources at your disposal:

Your vendors are ready to help. Understanding their businesses will yield unexpected benefits. They have a vested interest in your success and want you to succeed more than you expect; the more you succeed, the more they sell. Work closely with your vendors in the following ways:

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Four Simple Reports for Understanding Your Business

Q: When I step back and take a look at my business, I know I need to spend more time analyzing sales information. Where do I start?

A: The most underutilized tool in the restaurant industry is the Point of Sale System (POS). Reams of paper are used daily in support of a healthy business, but those wonderful reports are underused in decision making to move the business forward. Analyze POS reports from both a macro and micro level, and use various time parameters such as hours, days, weeks, months and year over year. To begin, focus on the macro level reports, specifically the following:

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Instill a Sales Building Mentality to Increase Sales

Q: Our quarterly sales are short of budget and prior year. We’re doing a good job inside the four walls, but what can be done to stimulate sales beyond doing a good job?

A:
Flat sales have been an issue since the Great Recession for many restaurants. Dining habits have changed, and as long as there is uncertainty in the economy, sales will be in limbo. Though flat sales have been the norm, many operators have enjoyed success in building sales during the last few years. Those that have increased sales keep a focus on the top line to drive the bottom line. One of the best action steps you can take is to build a sales mentality with the entire staff. Sales building is everyone’s responsibility—not just that of the owner and management team. Here are some ideas to consider and implement:

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