New Year’s resolutions aren’t just for your personal life. In between those promises to eat healthier and exercise more, try to establish some goals that help improve your restaurant too. Whether it’s marketing or maintenance, here are some New Year’s restaurant resolutions to try in 2019.
And unlike those diets or reading goals, these should be MUCH easier to accomplish throughout the year.
Engage on Social Media More
It’s not shocking that social media marketing is a must for any restaurant. At the very least, you should be posting pictures regularly on your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter channels. This is the simplest way to share everything from promotions and events to food specials and discounts.
But what else can you do? For starters, try engaging more with customers. Whenever patrons leave reviews or post photos from your restaurant, be sure to reply. Make sure to highlight positive reviews and posts by saying thank you. Even if it’s a negative post, resolving the issue cordially with a comment shows other users that you care. Another way to leverage social media is with targeted ads or filters. For instance, Facebook’s sponsored ads allow you to reach thousands of people in a given location, and cutting-edge Snapchat geo-filters let people within a set radius use a filter featuring your restaurant’s name and logo.
Map Out All Seasonal Promotions Now
You always should be flexible with promotions throughout the year, but try to nail down a rough outline. Start by going through the year and pinpointing holidays and events that are important to target. For instance, Mother’s Day and Thanksgiving week are always busy times for restaurants. You also should have special promotions for Halloween and the holiday season. Aside from the major holidays, remember the smaller ones like Cinco de Mayo or St. Patrick’s Day, which is always popular for bars and restaurants.
Sporting events throughout the year always draw a crowd. Remember to plan for promotions during the Super Bowl, March Madness or other championship games. If you want to do something a little different, throw in some fun promotions around “hashtag holidays.” A special event or promo for Random Acts of Kindness Day (Feb. 17), Awkward Moments Day (March 18) or National Good Neighbor Day (Sept. 28) could help set your establishment apart from other places.
Bring Some “Green” Practices to Your Kitchen
Making your commercial kitchen energy efficient should be a priority in 2019. Effectively reducing energy usage not only has a positive impact on the environment, but it also helps cut down on your energy bill. Start by maintaining your equipment regularly. Whether it’s a refrigerator or fryer, following a proper cleaning or repair schedule helps your unit run efficiently and at proper speed.
Whenever a unit isn’t in use, it still uses energy when idle. Consider implementing a shutdown procedure to save on unnecessary energy consumption. Other green measures could include using LED lighting, lowering water pressure for sinks and dishwashers or installing proper OEM parts on your equipment during repairs or maintenance.
Organize Your Kitchen Space
This tip will come in handy, especially if you’re new or inheriting space from a previous owner. Organize your restaurant kitchen in a way that lets you and your staff to operate quickly and efficiently. For example, create designated stations to streamline the process from beginning to end. Most establishments have core zones dedicated to prep, hot food, cold food and cleaning. If you have a bigger restaurant, you can add small stations for baking, salads and plating.
Storage should be fine-tuned as well. Consider hanging utensils, pot and pans to avoid rummaging through shelves and cabinets. Also, open shelving units and racks are great for easy access to store everything from dry ingredients and spices to bread and canned goods.
Include More Vegan Options on the Menu
Having some vegan-friendly dishes on your menu can bring another audience to your establishment. In fact, many well-known fast food restaurants have added vegan choices to their rotation of other tasty items. While you might already offer alternatives or substitutions to your customers, consider creating highlighting signature vegan dishes.
The opportunities are endless. You could include entrees like veggie burgers, avocado- or hummus-based wraps and delicious mac and cheese dishes using cheddar-style shreds made of soy or barley. What about appetizers? Starters like tomato bruschetta, buffalo cauliflower or grilled eggplant slices are always tasty alternatives.