Have you ever felt that your restaurant has lost some of its shine? Seen a few regular customers become not-so-regular, maybe? Perhaps you’re wondering why the new Italian joint across the road is attracting longer queues, even though you know that your food offerings are much tastier?
The reason is quite simple – if your restaurant has been around for a while, your policies, menu and even the ambience may feel a little tired. Diners’ these days love to have an ‘experience’ every time they go out. This ‘experience’ is what separates the best from the rest!
You may be serving the best food in your genre, yet, unless you keep on improving the customer experience, you’re unlikely to see much growth. As a restaurant, if you’ve waited till the time it seems like you need to start afresh and remodel, you’ve waited too long.
That being said, renovating your restaurant is a hard task. Here’s a simple and effective guide to get you started.
- Customer is King
Without a doubt, your customers are the single most valuable resource you have. Before doing anything else, you have to listen and analyse what your guests say.
People love to see effort and will leave constructive feedback – 8 times out of 10. You can even host a contest, or a giveaway (discount coupons etc.) to give them an added incentive. Usually, this process of ‘asking’ should be done when they’re waiting for the bill.
One quick way to get started with this is to visit inResto’s feedback and let us do it for you. 🙂
- Outline and stick to your budget
Here’s a fact: Remodels and renovations always cost a lot more than you expect them to and a lot more than you want them to. Let us give you an example, – You want to change your restaurant’s wallpapers, but upon removal, you find mould underneath. You need to remove this too, of course.
Respect your investors and stick to a budget that you can spend. It’s always wise to have a contingency budget, usually 5-10% of your total budget. So if your total budget is Rs 50 lakhs, you must keep 5 lakhs as a buffer.
- Consider your Revenue Generators
Suppose your bar and terrace are your biggest revenue generators. Renovations offer a perfect chance to improve upon them!
You could add a bigger, better and a more spectacular bar to increase your alcohol sales. You could perhaps change the entire décor of the terrace area, while keeping your theme consistent.
- Take Inspiration!
For instance, one of the most trending restaurants in the country; Robot in Chennai is a success story because of massive renovation and remodelling. Earlier known as MOMO, the owners have retained the Thai and Chinese menu but revamped the entire theme along with introducing robots in lieu of waiters!
- Prepare Your Checklist
You need an architect, a designer, an equipment supplier and a general contractor at the very least. The contractor will then provide you with sub-contractors, workers and all the manpower you need.
If your team and vision is strong, it would go smoother than expected.
- One fell swoop?
Do you wish to stay open during the renovation? Are you willing to put in the extra effort to manage your bookings, while fielding complaints of noise from your guests?
You need to be clear with your goals. If there is only a minor renovation needed, you could stay open. However, major projects are not a good time to stay open.
- Your team is your biggest asset, not the four walls
Your staff will look at you for guidance during and after the renovation. They’ll need money to sustain themselves and keep them happy! You could either get them a temporary job somewhere else or send them on a paid vacation.
- Let the world know
Use your ‘legacy-data’ and reach out to all your customers. Unless you let people know that you’re open, they will not know!
Send out SMS’s, start email campaigns, offer discounts, and light up your social media accounts – your imagination is your only limit.
Successful renovation and proper advertisement will let you see a 10-25% increase in sales straight away. Afterwards? It’s all about maintaining and increasing your value.
Just remember, inResto is always here to help you!