What is Your Satisfaction Level?
It seems that you have done all the right things to build and operate your dream restaurant concept, but is there something still missing from the equation? What are your customers saying about the job you are doing? Do you communicate with them on a regular basis? Sometimes it bodes well to look at your restaurant not only from a financial analysis but through the eyes of your guests, who by the way, have selected your restaurant over the any hundreds of choices out there.
- Sit in every area. Is there an annoying light from outside an open kitchen door? Is there a draft from the ventilation system? Noise from the kitchen?
- Is the seat upholstery in good condition? Do the carpets need repair or cleaning? Does the paint need touching up?
- Are the table covers fresh and clean? Is the flatware polished and the glassware sparkling?
- Can you easily read the menu in the available light?
- Is the food attractive when it is brought to the table?
- Is your wait staff well groomed and attired?
- What about your restrooms? Are they pleasantly lighted? Attractive? Are the soap and towel dispensers filled? Is there adequate ventilation?
- What can you do to make your customers feel more comfortable and relaxed?
- You'll think of other things. Ask your staff for their ideas and complaints they've heard.
- Even if you can't do everything now, make a plan and schedule time to make sure you do it later.
On the Financial Side…How Does Your Cash Flow?
It is not uncommon for restaurateurs to experience stress due to the in and out flow of cash. There are certain times of the month, and certain months, when it seems that there will never be sufficient cash to pay all that is due.
Examples of these times are:
- The 1st of the month when the rent is due.
- Accounts payable for food purveyors and operational expenses.
- Payroll is tomorrow.
- Payroll taxes are scheduled for impound by the payroll service.
- The sales tax and B&O check must be postmarked (in Washington by the 25th).
- Real estate and personal property taxes are due.
- And of course on April 30th and October 31st, all of the above are due at about the same time.
What is Financial Freedom?
In a nutshell, you have reached financial freedom when you have enough cash in the bank to pay all of the above on the due date and still have sufficient funds to pay business loans and fund a retirement plan for your staff and most importantly for your family. To reach this plateau, all successful restaurateurs perform the following functions. They have:
- Developed or are redeveloping their business plan—then sticking with the blueprint.
- A facility that is maintained and upgraded to be continually exciting for their new and loyal guests.
- Food and beverage menus that change seasonally to keep the excitement level high both for the patrons and the staff.
- Accountability to the balance sheet and income statement by using computerized Point of Sale (POS) systems and establishing bookkeeping guidelines that translate to the back office accounting software.
- Programs and or spreadsheets that project sales and expenses for at least the ensuing quarter (preferably one year) and management reporting that provides line item variance reports.
- Weekly meetings with key personnel to discuss the previous week's results and upcoming events.
So...is your restaurant is doing as well as it could be? If you would like to learn more, contact us for a free consultation.