What’s the plan for 2005? What can I expect to happen? How am I going to survive, make more money, give raises to my staff, remodel, advertise, etc.? It feels overwhelming.
Well it can be overwhelming unless there is a plan:
This is the first step in the plan for the ensuing year. Forecast daily, weekly and monthly sales. Forecast the appropriate expenses. Be conservative! Lower sales growth (3%-5%) and higher expenses. Refer to 2003 and 2004 trends. Be detailed. Get management to buy in. Implement on January 1 and track the results weekly. Make sure you have a good bookkeeping system in place or you might find the task daunting.
2005 Operating Plan
Develop goals with your team that would include sales and marketing, service, record keeping, service, management, remodel/repair, food & beverage and anything else you would like to see happen in the year of 2005. Under each category develop a bullet point list of action items/tasks and assign a point person to execute. Meet weekly with the team to check on the results. Be sure to coach the individuals to success.
They are all going up. Now, what to do? Simply put, the operator needs to be more productive. Talk to your vendors to see how you might “lower/maintain” the costs. It is possible if you partner with them. They have many ways to keep your costs in line but you must work with them closely as a partner and not as an adversary.
Find “new” ways to increase your sales that are cost efficient. I’m not a big fan of discounts but selectively used can generate additional business effectively. Use internal merchandising to keep the customers you do have and increase their frequency of use. Several ways include having a good kid’s program, daily specials, wine/beer tastings, rewarding frequency of use, give aways of specialty products such as bottled dressings and sauces, touching tables, upsell of products (yes, you can increase your GCA by 15%), etc. Have your team develop list to ensure loyalty. Don’t forget special service to everyone with strong recognition and reassurance.
2005 will not be easy. I want to emphasize how strongly we at Restaurant Group feel about developing budgets and plans. They really help to enhance your business.
If you need assistance in any of these areas, please contact Arnold at 206.679.1037.