New Year 2004

We all make resolutions to start the New Year and many of these plans, hopes and dreams fall to the wayside. I’ve found success by not overdoing it or promising too much to myself. So what would really be terrific to accomplish in 2004?

Focus on Service

Easier said than done. But here are some steps that may simplify the process:

  • Describe your service vision on paper. Get agreement from your staff.
  • Develop the steps of service on paper. Your staff should participate in this.
  • Meet on a regular basis (monthly) with your staff to discuss how the service is going and what could be done to make it better.
  • Perform “secret shoppers” on a daily/weekly basis so you can judge/grade the staff. Bring the information to the staff meeting.
  • Track the sales every day on the staff bulletin board. People want to see the results of their work.
  • Helpful Hints: The results should be viewed as long term. It does take a while to get the entire staff moving in the right direction. Stay the course. Be consistent. Be patient.

2004 Sales and Expense Budget

If you haven’t developed one for 2004 as of yet you should. Why? It gives you a financial objective and pathway on how to go there. Here are some steps that will help you develop this:

  • Review 2002 and 2003 monthly results to see where you have been.
  • Develop monthly sales chart for 2004 with an upward trend. I’d use 3% as an increase over 2003 unless there are some significant extenuating circumstances.
  • Develop realistic expenses. Don’t be overly optimistic and don’t be too conservative.
  • Once completed do you like the results? If not, make adjustments.
  • Share with your team. Make them part of the result process.
  • Helpful Hints: Don’t be afraid to take some risk on both the sales and expenses. To achieve desired results key people have to be accountable. Be sure to share the budget and results with them. Be sure to share the increased profits with them.


Definitely a challenge. Hourly costs as well as taxes/benefits are on the increase. So what is one to do?

  • The primary target is the kitchen. Labor is very intensive for prep, cleanliness and production.
  • Evaluate each position carefully. Determine where efficiency could be improved.
  • Talk to your food vendors to see how you might be more productive by using value added products.
  • Develop a list of efficiencies and review with your key people in the kitchen.
  • Determine which ones you will implement and which ones you will wait on.
  • Implement and measure results.

Helpful Hints: Both in the evaluation and implementation process be sure to solicit opinions from your staff. Generally people don’t like much change so early buy in is important to success.

We have other ideas for what can be done in the New Year such as a marketing plan, clean up/remodel, local store marketing, in-store merchandising, and energy cost management and what to do about increased competition.

For assistance on any of the above please contact us.

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